Newborn Session Guide




So your session can run as smoothly as possible, I have compiled a prep guide to help us get the most out of your session!

Booking your session

Newborn sessions are most successful when done within the first 3 weeks of birth. Most of the poses will be done while baby is sleeping and I will pose them in cute, curled up positions, so we want to make sure baby is still sleepy enough for their session. After the first two weeks of life they become a bit more alert, so they're less likely to be sleeping deeply enough to be curled into those positions. However, if your little one fancies being awake throughout, then don't worry, I can work around baby and wide awake images are cute too!

When will you book our session?

I know baby's arrival can be a bit unpredictable, so I always suggest we book your session for around 1 week after your due date. Once baby arrives, please just let me know, so we can make any adjustments to the date of your session.

How long does a newborn photography session last?
Newborn sessions usually last around 3 to 4 hours, although on occasion, if baby is unsettled or particularly hungry, your session may last a little longer.

What should I bring to the session?
Please bring plenty of nappies, wipes, muslin cloths and a change of clothes for baby. There’s no need to bring lots of changes of clothes, unless you have items that you would like to include in the photographs, as I provide outfits, wraps, headbands etc.  If your baby has a dummy, please bring it with you as this will help settle baby for the photographs. You should also bring some snacks for yourself. I have tea/coffee, water and biscuits available in the studio. 

Should I bring extra milk or be prepared to feed my baby more often than usual?
Yes please! The best way to settle baby for their newborn photographs is to ensure they have a nice full tummy so they can happily drift off to sleep, so please be prepared to feed more frequently than usual. Please feed and burp baby on arrival at the studio. A full tummy will help them to be relaxed and settled, so we have the best chance of capturing a beautiful set of images. If your baby is in an established feeding routine that you would rather not change, it may mean that if baby get’s hungry they may not settle as well. Whilst this is of course your choice, I can only capture what I can when baby is settled. If baby is formula-fed, please bring extra feeds in case they are particularly hungry (newborn’s go through lots of growth spurts!).

Should I keep my baby awake before the session?
This isn’t necessary, but I would suggest you try to avoid baby having a big solid block of sleep just before their session. Babies are likely to be more alert and less likely to sleep or settle if they’ve had 2 or 3 hours sleep beforehand. Try to interact with your baby before their session to give the best chance of a good settled period during the session.

What should I dress my baby in to arrive at the studio?
Please dress your baby in a front-fastening baby gro/sleep suit, with no vest underneath (unless it’s particularly cold!).

My baby has dry skin, what should I do?

Many newborns will have flaky skin during those first few weeks of life. It's entirely up to you whether you feel comfortable using a lotion on baby's skin or you may prefer to give baby a bath before their session. If baby develops particularly flaky skin, please let me know so we can decide whether to it would be best to reschedule for a few days. 

Can I have photos taken of my baby with their siblings/with us?
Yes. If you would like your baby to be photographed with their sibling/s or with you and/or your partner, please let me know before your session. I take sibling photographs at the end of the session and ask that wherever possible you arrange for your partner, a family member or friend to drop sibling/s off for the last 30 minutes of the session. This is to allow me to focus on capturing the best photographs of your baby during the first portion of your session. 

What should we wear?

If you plan on being in some of the photos with baby, I suggest wearing neutral, well fitting clothing that you are comfortable in. The same goes for siblings. Avoid patterns, logos and prints and instead opt for plain whites, creams, greys, light blues, light pinks or black.

Can I bring my extended family or friends to the session?
Only immediate family (i.e. those participating in the session) should accompany baby to a newborn photography session in my studio, unless by prior arrangement.

Advice for breastfeeding mothers;
Sometimes babies can be unsettled due to tummy ache/wind which can, in part, be due to foods you may naturally include in your diet. Whilst this isn’t likely to be something you need to consider day to day, in preparation for your session you may wish to exclude these foods from your diet 24 to 48 hours before your session; Spicy food (garlic, curry and chilli), gassy vegetables (broccoli, onion, cabbage, cauliflower, cucumbers, and peppers), citrus fruits and their juices (oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruit), strawberries, kiwifruit, pineapple, fruits with a laxative effect, such as cherries and prunes and chocolate (yes, sorry about that last one!). This might seem like a long list, but it’s only advice and you do not have to follow it. But if you can avoid having a curry the night before or decide not to drink your usual 1ltr of orange juice the day before, then it may help your baby settle! (Please note: this is not medical fact and I am not qualified to advise you medically).


What about the comfort and safety of my baby?
My studio will be nice and warm and cosy, so baby will be comfortable throughout, whether they are with or without clothing (depending on set-ups and preferences). I have 17 years experience as a full-time professional photographer and 13 years experience as a medical photographer, where I photograph patients’ conditions with a great deal of care, sensitivity and patience. I am fully aware of cleanliness requirements and hand hygiene protocols when handling newborn babies. I have also undertaken newborn posing, photography and safety training with some of the top baby photographers in the country.

What if my baby doesn’t settle well?
On rare occasions, if baby doesn’t seem to be settling at all after a couple of hours and I’m unable to get many photographs, I may advise that it would be best to rearrange the session to take place on another day instead. This decision is at my sole discretion and if I feel we have achieved a full gallery of images then I won't recommend we reschedule.

Need to reschedule?

I get it, stuff happens. If you do need to reschedule your session, please let me know as soon as possible. You should be aware that after 3 weeks of age the likelihood of getting posed newborn shots is much less likely. Your booking fee is non-refundable but I do allow rescheduling once, due to illness or emergency. If you do not arrive to your session or are more than 30 minutes late without letting me know, then you'll need to pay a late cancellation fee to book your new date.

When will I see my photographs?
At your session we will arrange your viewing appointment to take place in approximately 2 weeks time. Your viewing will take place in my studio and is when you will get to see your beautifully edited photographs, choose your favourites and place your order. I always advise that all decision makers are present at the viewing and ordering appointment as you may find you need help choosing your portraits!

Where is your studio?
You can find me at; First Floor, 29 Station Road, Steeton, West Yorkshire, BD20 6RL. There is no on-site parking at the studio, but I will advise you of close-by on-street parking options before your session. Please try to arrive on time, but if you are running late, please message me on; 07956114916.

I welcome any questions you may have, so if you don't find the answer in this guide - just ask!


© 2014-2020 All images copyright Sarah Walton Photography. Portrait Photographer, Skipton, Keighley, Ilkley, Bingley and Colne. West Yorkshire, North Yorkshire and Lancashire, UK

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