The first few weeks of your baby’s life will be a whirlwind of activity and emotion. One of the best ways to capture these fleeting moments is to schedule a newborn photo session. Follow these tips to plan a session that will preserve those first memories for years to come.
There are many babies born each day and newborn photographers are busy capturing those precious first moments, many booking out months in advance. It is important to plan ahead and begin contacting newborn photographers before the end of your pregnancy in order to secure a spot on their calendar.
Choose your style
When choosing a photographer, opt for one whose portfolio features a style you enjoy, as your photos will likely have a similar look and feel. Most photographers will allow you to select the color scheme for your session and some will allow you to bring your own props or special family items. Photographers typically also offer their own props including backdrops, hats, headbands, and cute newborn outfits. Discuss your options beforehand to ensure the end result will match your vision.
Set a budget
As with anything, the price of newborn photography varies widely. Remember, the most important thing to consider is your baby’s safety. Working with an experienced newborn photographer is generally a safer option, but may come with a higher price tag. You will only have professional newborn photos taken once, so keep this in mind when setting a budget you are comfortable with.
Find the ideal timing
Newborn sessions are typically scheduled within the first two weeks of life to capture those adorable baby rolls, squishy cheeks and curled up poses. After 16 to 17 days, babies are alert and active for longer periods of time making newborn sessions more difficult for all. If your baby is born early, your session can still be completed once baby is home from the hospital.
Your photographer may suggest a morning newborn session, as babies seem to sleep well around this time. You will want to bring your baby to the session with a full belly, but also be prepared for several feedings, as a session can last anywhere from 2 to 4 hours. Important items to bring include a baby blanket, diapers, wipes, burp cloth, and extra bottles and pacifiers. If you plan to bring siblings to the session, consider bringing quiet activities to keep them occupied.
Discuss your options
Some families prefer a lifestyle, or more natural, session in their home that captures the love and emotion surrounding the newest member of the family. Others prefer a studio session with sleepy and posed newborn photos. These options can also overlap – with posed photos taken in the home and lifestyle sessions conducted at the studio. Family or sibling photos may be done at the beginning or end of your session, or you may prefer to simply focus on your newborn. Be sure to discuss all of the options with your photographer in order to capture the memories that are most important to your family.
Above all, relax. Your baby’s newborn photo session should be a stress-free time when you can focus on preserving this important milestone in your family’s life.
Hannah Hilliard, of Hannah Hilliard Photography, has been capturing Indianapolis’ and surrounding newborns and their siblings for many years. Her studio style using organic and soft textures to capture the fresh essence of her smallest clients has been recognized around the nation. While ensuring a safe environment for each baby, she creates adorable, sleepy poses that capture the love and emotion with siblings and families.