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Getting ready for your newborn photoshoot

This guide is to help you, you and your partner or you and your family get ready for your outdoor photoshoot so you get the most out of your photography experience.

The most important step to take when it comes to taking portraits of your newborn baby is scheduling a time to do so. Having a newborn places many new demands on your schedule, however, it is important to understand that your baby will change daily during the first few weeks of life, so important to schedule your appointment as soon as possible.

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Photographing newborns within the first 5 - 14 days offers the ability to take advantage of your baby’s natural sleep patterns. During the first two weeks of life, babies sleep more and are therefore at their best for a photography session. They are more easily posed and enjoy curling up. After this stage, babies begin to become more aware and enjoy stretching out, making it more difficult to get certain poses.

Ideally, the baby should be sleeping while being photographed in order to allow me the opportunity to create those beautiful classic poses.

I have lots of baby studio props, including blankets, headbands and hats, baby tutus and outfits, bean bags and posing bowls. But if there is anything you want to bring, their sleeping blanket or a favourite new toy, then please bring them. When the shoot is complete,

I will need time to process the photographs in order to present you with the best images possible. It generally takes a week or two from the date of your session.

For babies who are breastfeeding, the mother’s diet is the baby’s diet. Starting 48 hours prior to the session it is important to follow the breastfeeding guide that eliminated foods and drinks that are likely to cause upset tummies for babies.

Please avoid caffeine, it can cause babies to be more alert.

Immediately before the photoshoot feed your baby as much as possible to really fill up their bellies. This allow make your baby sleepy and allow him or her to enjoy a long, peaceful sleep, perfect for picture taking. Change their nappy and simply keep to their sleep schedule to keep the content. If you arrive and baby nice and sleepy we can start the shoot right away. If they happen to be awake, then maybe a feed will help them sleep.

Bring baby in loose fitting pyjamas that button or zip all the way down. The photography session can begin immediately this way, taking advantage of a sleeping baby. Undressing him or her can wake them up and loses valuable time. Have a dummy on hand to help soothe your baby during the shoot. Have plenty of nappies and formula (if not breastfeeding) on hand for mid-session feedings and nappy changes.

If you want pictures with your baby keep what you wear simple. Portraits of mum and baby where there is skin on skin contact are beautiful. If you want to have portraits done like this, wear a simple dark or light coloured tank top. This will not only allow for skin on skin contact, but provide the perfect amount of contrast in the picture.

For dads, one of the most important things is to have clean hands with short nails. Your hands will be in a lot of pictures, so it’s important to have them look their best. Stick with a plain black or white t-shirt, with no collar. Avoid button downs or anything with a logo on it as they will detract from the photo. If Mum is wearing a colour other than black, then coordinate with her. For hand-only shots, it’s important to wear a black, long sleeved t-shirt that fits snuggly around your arms and wrists or a black short sleeved t-shirt.

If you are planning to have sibling portraits done with your newborn remember the session can be quite lengthy, so please bring toys or games to entertain them.

Newborn skin is very sensitive, in an effort to again prevent startling and over stimulation I wear gloves during the session.

The studio will be kept warm since many of the photographs will be taken with your baby completely undressed. This means that the studio may be too warm for comfort for you. So dress appropriately for the session.

The lighting used in the studio is a soft diffused studio light that mimics natural lighting, which allows for better quality images even on days where the natural light is plentiful.

Your baby will ultimately dictate how a session will proceed. If he or she is fussy, it is important to stay relaxed, if you become stressed the baby will pick up on this and will become more agitated. Simply sit calmly and allow me to work with your baby. I have plenty of experience and infinite patience, so know that everything will be fine. Please try not to hover over me as I am working, if you are breastfeeding, your newborn can smell you, this can stimulate them to want a feeding since they know their food source is close by.

It is important for you to know that there is the utmost importance placed on the safety of your baby. Poses will never be forced nor will any unsafe poses be used in any manner during your shoot. The studio is cleaned before every session and all blankets and clothes used will be freshly washed.

Outdoor scenes are available if the weather permits and they can be done at the end of the session.

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