Newborn shoots in the studio – 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!  

It’s ok if you’re a bit late.  Better late than stressed 🙂 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. 

 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.  You’ll have full access to my client wardrobe (link) but make sure you let me know the week prior if you have your eye on a particular dress/es so I can ensure it’s ready for you!

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 strip them down.  When you arrive at the studio, I’ll dress baby from my wardrobe – so they need to be dressed in something very easy to remove.  Ideally, just a nappy with layers of blankets for warmth. If you do have a cute outfit you want them photographed in, then pop them in that with blankets over it to keep it clean.

Then, feed them.  Even if they aren’t ready for a full feed, it’s best to give them a nice big top up.

After the feed, keep them upright and burp them thoroughly.  They might fall asleep on your way to the studio and that’s ok.  Try to keep them settled as you get them out of the car – but if they do wake up I’ll suggest a top up feed to settle them at the start of the session.

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

  • 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)
  • Any outfit/s you want to dress baby in for your photos
  • Snacks and activities for toddlers

That’s it! I have everything else you need at the studio – a changing basket, plenty of outfit options for bub and mum, white noise, and blankets.  

Finding the studio

The studio address is at my home at 156-164 Chalmers Street (the unit number will be emailed to you just before your session!).   The easiest parking is on Chalmers Street (ticketed).  

We do have some steps at the entry, so leave the pram in the car. 

Get dressed at the studio

Don’t get yourself into your outfit until you arrive, because you *know* if you do someone will spill something or vomit on you!

Expect to be warm

We want bub to be cosy and sleepy, so the studio will be warm – very warm.  If the adults are not sweating, it’s probably not warm enough for bub!  So bear this in mind when planning your outfits, and dress light.

When you arrive

Once you arrive, I’ll settle you all into the studio and watch bub to see where they’re at in their cycle.  Once they are fed and happy I’ll usually take them from you to settle.  This can take a little while, and that’s absolutely ok – there is no time limit on these sessions and we follow baby’s lead.  

If you have toddler/s or preschooler/s at your session then we will start with their photos.  They tend to listen best and be most cooperative at the start of the session, so we work quickly.

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!)  

My studio is in my home, and we have plenty of toys for your toddler to play with once their photos are done.  You might also want to bring (non-messy) snacks and an iPad or their favourite books to entertain them once their photos are finished. I might suggest that Dad takes them outside to the park or to the cafe on the corner for a babyccino. Toddlers will not focus for 2 hours and we will have more success with the newborn portraits if things are calm and quiet.

Newborn in the studio

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