Newborn shoots at sunset – how to prepare and what to expect

Don’t stress

You’re about to read my top tips for your newborn session, but please – do not stress!  

The most important thing above *all* else is that you arrive to your session as calm as possible, ready to love on your newborn baby and enjoy your session. 

I leave plenty of time for sunset sessions.  If you’re a little late it’s not the end of the world – better to arrive late than stressed! 

 Be organised 

Organise your outfits and anything else you need for your shoot early.  A week before your shoot, lay out your clothes and check they work together.  If you need a second opinion, I’m only the other end of a text or email.  Set them aside – including underwear, shoes, socks, and accessories – so that nothing gets lost or dirty.  Let me know the week prior if you have your eye on a particular dress/es from thew client wardrobe.

Get yourself ready early because the last hour before your shoot flies by. Better still, book to have your hair and make up done for you! 

Prepare baby 

I’ve had 2 babies of my own.  And while I am no expert, I do know one thing: babies usually do the complete opposite of what you need them to do.  So please, before you read this section refer back to point #1 – DO NOT STRESS!

Ideally your baby will be fed and sleepy at the start of your session.  Try to keep baby awake for at least an hour before you leave home.  

Half an hour before you leave, change their nappy and dress them.  It’s important that babies are warm for an outdoor shoot.  It’s lovely if we can see their fingers and toes for detail shots, but cover them up in socks and mittens to keep them warm en route.  I have some gorgeous knitted options for newborns, so please ask if you want to borrow something!

Give baby a nice big feed before you leave home, or plan to feed in the car on arrival at your location.  Even if they aren’t ready for a full feed, it’s best to give them a nice big top up before we start the session.

After the feed, keep them upright and burp them thoroughly.  

If it goes “wrong”

Don’t stress.  It’s ok – I have seen it all, I promise!!

Newborn babies are unpredictable. I don’t for one minute expect them to work to any particular schedule. We follow their pace and cues. There is no time pressure; I will stay with you until we have captured everything we need to capture.

What to Bring

On location, it’s important that we travel light.  Most of my locations are not pram accessible, so leave it in the car and carry bub in your arms or bring a carrier if you really need one.

You don’t need much for your session and too much stuff will be restrictive.  I recommend you bring ONE small backpack (that I can carry for you) with the following:

  • Nappies and wipes
  • A dummy (if you’re using one)
  • Formula (if you’re bottle feeding – it’s best to bring a little more than you expect to need)
  • A change of clothes for baby
  • Snacks for toddlers
  • That’s it! 

Get dressed when you arrive

Consider waiting until you get to your location to dress baby and toddlers. Because you *know* someone is going to spill something or vomit en route!

Managing toddlers

Toddlers are in charge (for a change!).  Be flexible in your expectations of what the sibling shot is going to look like.  

The best way to get older siblings to cooperate is to be present, be patient, and work quickly. Games, songs and cuddles are the order of the day. Don’t be afraid to take the initiative and do things you know they love. Focus on getting them to have fun and enjoy the experience. Treats that we can give them periodically through the shoot are great, but make sure they’re quick to eat and not too messy.

Most importantly, please don’t get stressed or upset with toddlers.  It never helps.  Everything looks better with a smile (even if you’re screaming a little inside!)  

Newborn at sunset

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