Baby Love: Do’s and Don’ts for your newborn session
Written by: Elise, Associate and Newborn photographer for Kimberly Jarman Photography
Newborn Photography often raises questions for expectant parents, the type of newborn photography we do is a relatively new thing (reaching popularity within the last 10 years or so). You probably have very few experiences to compare it to, your parents probably have the experience of taking you as a 6 week old into their local studio with your cutest tennis shoes and overalls… or dressed you in the pouffiest dress they could find. While those pictures do have their place in history, our type of newborn is all about simplicity, and capturing those precious few weeks when your child is so freshly new into the world. Here are a few tips on what to do and don’t do before, during, and after the session!
WHAT TO DO
DO – Think about your baby’s newborn pictures BEFORE your little one is actually here! In order to get those sweet, curled-up newborn pictures that we all love so much, your baby needs to be no older than 10 days old. If you don’t think about the pictures until AFTER you’ve had the baby, that’s a short amount of time to decide on a photographer and hope that they’re not already busy – in only that 10 day period. Not to mention that adds extra stress onto the job of having figure out how to take care of this little one!!
DO – Have a color scheme in mind! We love when clients come with a ‘vision’! We have tons of props and different color schemes for you to enjoy, so feel free to let us know what color you’re painting the nursery, or the colors your home is decorated in, etc. These pictures will eventually become art for your walls – you want to make sure they do well with who YOU are!
DO – Watch what you eat before the session (applies if you’re breastfeeding). Newborn babies stomachs are so sensitive, something that we can digest easily might be really difficult for your week-old little bundle of joy! The session will go as smoothly as possible if your baby sleeps as long and as soundly as possible, so if you’re breastfeeding, try to stay away from the following foods:
- Citrus Fruits
- Spicy Foods
- Dairy Products
DO – Make sure you loosen your baby’s diaper up about 30 minutes before the session. Since we try to get lots of naked shots, the lines that a tight diaper can cause a baby’s skin to have is a little distracting and means more editing time for us.
WHAT NOT TO DO
DON’T – Worry if you’re baby has an accident during the session. We love those beautiful, natural, almost-naked, or completely naked shots of your baby – so expect accidents to occur! Don’t worry about our props or blankets – we have a washing machine and will wash it right after the session!
DON’T – Wear your brightest, chevron striped shirt to the newborn session, if you plan to be in the pictures. The keyword to newborn sessions is SIMPLICITY, because those sweet little ones are so tiny, it is so easy to overwhelm the picture so much that the newborn is not the focus of the shoot! The best colors to wear are more neutrals – cream, light brown, tan, gray, and sometimes black. And make sure you feel good in what you’re wearing, too! We realize that your body is changing, and most Mom’s feel so uncomfortable in their own skin so soon after the baby is born. We want to make sure you feel comfortable in your own skin, so something that’s not too tight and floats away from the body is ideal.
DON’T – Empty out the entire contents of your baby’s closet into a bag and bring it to us. I get it. Baby stuff is ADORABLE. I personally can’t look at baby clothes without an involuntary ‘Aaaahhhhhhh!!!! How Cuuuutttteee!!’ (you know you all do it…. don’t deny it!), so I realize it might be a little hard to choose one bow-tie over the other for pictures. But please try to narrow it down! We love bringing personal elements into your newborn shoot, like the necklace you wore on your wedding day, or Daddy’s favorite tie, but please no that sometimes it might just not work. Like I stated before, newborn pictures can be easily overwhelmed with distracting colors, too big of props. etc. But if it doesn’t work, or we don’t have time to do it, don’t worry! There’s still plenty of photo-ops left! a 6 month session is a perfect time to do fun stuff like that, when they’re sitting up and able to interact with the camera more,
DON’T – Worry about what you can’t control! I know, I know. It’s easier said than done. But after you’ve done all of the ‘do’s’ there’s not much more that you can really do to ensure the photos go well. Often times parents have this grandiose idea of exactly how they’re newborn session will go, and if they make a peep, it sends them into fits of worry. But we’re here to tell you – DON’T WORRY! We will try our best to get as many pictures of your sweet little baby as we can in the time that we have. If they’re a little fussy, we’ll work through it and keep shooting. If they’re awake for most of it, while it may not be the most ideal circumstances for pictures, we’ll do our best to work around it! Babies can sense when you’re tense, so make sure to come into the session cool, calm, and with the mind set of letting go and enjoying the experience.