NEWBORN SESSION GUIDE
HOW TO PREPARE AND WHAT TO EXPECT
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!
Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic I am making some alterations to my newborn sessions to reduce any risks as much as possible.
During the session I will largely focus on wrapped images of your baby – both on my little posing bed and using props (buckets, baskets etc.). By wrapping baby I can settle them quicker and keep the temperature in the studio down. As restrictions relax I will reintroduce more unclothed posing of babies. We will try to maintain a 2 metre distance from each other wherever possible and I ask that everyone wears a face covering throughout the session (as will I), when not being photographed (obviously baby won’t be wearing one!). As it is impossible for me to maintain a 2 metre distance from baby during their session, due to the need to wrap/pose baby and for safety reasons, I will also wear safety goggles/a visor when necessary and continually use hand sanitiser (as is standard practice). You will still be asked to sit within arms reach of baby when baby is in certain props/poses for safety reasons and I will ask you to make adjustments to your own hair, clothing and props (if being photographed) wherever possible. Hand sanitiser will be available throughout the session for everyone.
All surfaces will be wiped thoroughly with disinfectant before and after each session and all photography items and props used during your session will be thoroughly disinfected and/or washed and/or isolated as appropriate and disposable items will be used when possible.
The day before your session you will be asked to complete a Covid-19 liability release waiver to confirm that you or anyone in your household or anyone you have been in close contact with does not have or have not had symptoms of Covid-19 in the past 14 days and that you accept any possible risks of attending your session. I also affirm the same upon your completion of this document.
Booking your session
Newborn sessions are most successful when done within the first 3 weeks of birth, however, I often photograph babies up to 6 weeks of age in a newborn style, so please don’t worry if your session needs to be rescheduled to a later date due to lockdown or restrictions, as I am confident in photographing babies of all ages and we will achieve a lovely gallery of images whatever age baby is at time time of their session. If you are looking to book with me and baby is already here, please get in touch asap, so we can chat about your session and what is possible. Whilst it is true that to achieve the classic, curled up, dinky newborn images you see on my website it is best for baby to be under 3 weeks of age, it can still be possible to photograph older babies in a newborn style – they just might be a little more awake and alert after this point and need extra time to settle! The poses that can be achieved is often down to each individual baby, so my sessions are very baby-led no matter their age.
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 to 2 weeks 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 will last around 3-4 hours usually, 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 as I provide all of the outfits, wraps, headbands etc. If your baby has a dummy, please bring at least two sterilised dummies with you as these will help settle baby for their photographs. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, I am unable to provide refreshments/snacks in the studio, so if you choose to bring your own refreshments, this is at your own risk.
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. Try to interact with your baby before their session to give the best chance of a good settled period during their time with me. However, If baby is falling asleep before their session, please just let them sleep and continue to feed them as usual as a tired, hungry baby is often far more difficult to settle!
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 newborn’s will have flaky skin during those first few weeks of life, so please don’t worry. It’s entirely up to you whether you choose to use a lotion on baby’s skin or to give baby a bath before their session, but if you’d prefer to do neither, that’s fine too. If baby develops a particularly angry or red looking skin rash before their session, please let me know so we can decide whether it would be best to reschedule in 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 and family 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 45 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. Unfortunately I am unable to allow siblings to stay in the studio throughout the session at present.
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. If only baby is being photographed (no parents/sibling shots), I ask that only one parent accompany baby wherever possible.
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 1 litre 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 warm and cosy, so baby will be comfortable throughout. 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. As well as my usual practices, I have introduced a number of enhanced measures to ensure my studio is Covid secure and you can find out more here.
What if my baby doesn’t settle well?
I only book one Newborn session a day, so don’t worry, we have plenty of time to get baby settled and to achieve a lovely gallery of images. On rare occasions, if baby doesn’t seem to be settling at all after the first hour or so 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 less likely (they will most likely be wide awake newborn shots!). Your booking fee is non-refundable, but I do allow rescheduling once, due to genuine 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. If you need to reschedule due to symptoms of Covid-19 or if you have been in contact with someone with symptoms of Covid-19, then I will waive late cancellation fees on a case by case basis.
When will I see my photographs?
At your session we will arrange your viewing & ordering appointment to take place in approximately 2 weeks time and this is when you will get to see your beautifully edited photographs, choose your favourites and place your order. Payments for an order is due at your viewing appointment. 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! Viewing appointments are currently taking place in my studio as usual, at 1m+ social distancing with the use of face coverings in addition.
When will I get my order?
Once you have placed your order, you can expect your purchased images and prints to be ready for collection in approximately 2-3 weeks time. If you have ordered wall art or albums then these will be ready in around 4-5 weeks time.
Where is your studio?
You can find me at; First Floor, 29 Station Road, Steeton, West Yorkshire, BD20 6RL. Please enter via the front door (don’t worry, you’re not walking into the hairdressers!) and head up the stairs, where you will find my studio on your right. 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!