Where will the session take place?
Newborn photoshoots will take place in my studio, a beautiful log cabin in the garden of our family home in Anna Valley, near Andover. The space is designed to be warm and comfortable. The room temperature will be set to around 21C and a small heater is used to heat the area where baby will be lying to 28C, so baby does not get cold when posed. I want you and your baby to feel relaxed and comfortable so you will be able to feed on demand and change baby as needed. I am unable to provide refreshments, so you might like to bring lunch or snacks with you so you don’t get hungry. I will play white noise or relaxing music to help soothe baby throughout the session.
Your newborn photo session will take around 3 hours and the reason for this is your newborn will need feeding, cuddles and cleaning throughout the session which is baby led rather than photographer led.
How to prepare
In order to be able to provide you with certain posed images, I prefer baby to be sleeping for as long as possible during the session. I can of course take photos of baby awake, but it is near impossible to position baby in unwrapped poses when they not asleep. In order to increase the likelihood of baby sleeping during the session, we start by making sure baby has a full tummy and a clean nappy.
- Please bath your baby the morning of the session, to try to keep them awake.
- Please wash their hair, which can get greasy in the early days due to all of the hormonal changes taking place in their tiny body. If you are unable to bath baby, please give them a sponge bath.
- Please dress your baby in a sleepsuit that unbuttons at the front and not in any clothes that go over the head.
- Please bring: a hairbrush if you have one, their dummy if they use one, a prepared bottle of milk if they are bottle fed, changes of clothes for baby and you, baby’s changing bag and some lunch or a snack for you.
- If you are breastfeeding or giving expressed breast milk, please avoid the following foods the day before your session: onions, garlic, spicy foods and green veg, as these tend to make babies gassier and less likely to settle.
When you arrive
When you arrive and have settled down comfortably, I will ask you to feed your baby, to make sure they have a full tummy and will be more likely to fall into a deep sleep. I’ll then handle baby for most of the session, usually only passing baby to you if you need to breast feed. This helps to keep baby settled, as they cannot smell milk on me! So I will wind and undress baby as and when they are nice and settled. So that I can capture your baby perfectly while they are still so brand new, for most of the session your baby will be in just their nappy or their birthday suit. I provide a number of props and wraps in a range of colours that you can choose from. Newborn clothes never fit correctly so we don’t get to see all those beautiful wrinkles and creases.
One of the downsides of photographing baby undressed is that your baby is guaranteed to poop and/or pee on props, blankets, perhaps even me or you! This is just par for the course, something I’m used to dealing with and something I allow for. I have 2 children of my own after all! All of my blankets and props are washed in an eco non-biological detergent for sensitive skin or sanitised after each session. I have plenty of cloths, wipes, towels and sanitiser to hand.
You may have some particularly special items of clothing or toys that you would like to be included in the photos. Please remember to bring these along to the session if you would like to.
Family photographs and what to wear
I always include some photos with parents and siblings during my newborn sessions, at no additional cost. Please wear plain clothing to the session yourself, as patterns and contrasting colours can be distracting in the final image. Other family members or friends being photographed should also wear plain coloured clothing and it is a good idea to try to coordinate, such as by all wearing pastel shades or similar tones.
It might surprise you to know that the newborn photography industry in the UK is completely unregulated. Photographers like me, who take safety seriously, have to take it upon ourselves to be trained and educated on how to ensure the beautiful images we create, are done safely. I am fully trained in newborn photography and I undergo regular safety and first aid training. I am fully insured with Policy Bee.
I work without an assistant, but at times I may ask you to be hands on, to help with positioning if necessary for safety purposes. However, for the most part I would like you to be able to relax and watch the session take place, read a magazine, use the wifi or do whatever you feel most comfortable doing!
How soon will I receive my photos?
Around 3 weeks after your shoot, I will invite you back to my studio for your viewing session, where you can choose which images you’d like to keep forever. I’ll take payment at the viewing session and your photos will be with you as soon as possible – digital downloads on the day!
I hope this answers many of your questions. If you would like to discuss your session, please get in touch via my Contact Page.