Studio Newborn Session Prep Guide

What you need to know before your baby's first studio photo shoot:

Congratulations on your newest arrival! I want your session to be as stress free as possible, so I put together this guide to help you prepare for your session.  

When to Get in Touch to Schedule the Session:

 

  • If possible, within 12 hours of baby being born. Once things settle down, please send me an email or call (or text whatever method you prefer) to let me know your sweet babe is here so we can get a spot reserved for them in the studio!

  • Sessions take place between 4 and 20 days old. The sooner you can let me know baby has arrived, the sooner we can make sure you have some date options to choose from during the 4-20 day age range. The earlier the better to get those sleepy poses everyone loves!

  • Sessions are typically on weekday mornings. Newborns are most sleepy & content earlier in the day. Depending on the day, sessions can start between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. Because my weekends fill up with other types of sessions months in advance, newborn sessions are on weekday mornings unless I happen to have a rare Saturday morning opening.

The Day of the Session: 

 

  • Stimulate & keep baby awake at least 30-60 minutes before the session. This helps make babe extra sleepy for the session & when baby can get in a deeper sleep, it makes posing & going from one set to another easier. If your baby has slept solidly for 3 hours prior to your session, we may spend a long time trying to get your baby to sleep and not get many posed shots or be able to use the props you've requested. If you can, in the morning of your session, try to keep your baby awake for 2-3 hours by giving them a bath, interacting with them, and feeding just before you leave your home or on arrival at my studio. Obviously, this may all go out of the window, as these things are always easier said than done! But this little bit of prep really can make a difference to your session, especially if the baby arrives nice and sleepy.

  • Feed baby right before the session. A full belly makes for a happy, sleepy baby. Feel free to come a little early to the studio to feed baby right before, especially if you have a longer car ride. Also, feeding baby as much as possible in the 12 hours leading up to the session will allow for baby to sleep as deeply and as long as possible.

  • Be sure to burp baby really well after the feeding. Gas can make a sleepy, happy baby into an uncomfortable one in seconds.

  • If you are using or considering using a pacifier, please bring it along. It can be a huge lifesaver when the baby continuously wants to feed/suckle for comfort. Sometimes it really is the difference between getting that shot or not!  A pacifier can help to avoid contact with mama while we are in the “rhythm” of a session. Baby can smell their mom and hear her voice and this triggers their instinct to feed. It can be quite a distraction for a little newborn. Using a bottle or a pacifier for a couple of minutes can help to maintain the fluidity of the session and helps the baby settle easier.  

  • When baby needs a break, we break! Please know that I do not mind waiting for you to nurse or for diaper changes, or just taking a break to soothe your baby at any point. You and your baby's wellbeing is more important to me than getting a shot. If you are bottle-feeding your baby, please bring along more than you think you'll need!

Siblings: 

  • I recommend being able to have your older children leave once their photos are finished. I do family & siblings first. Sessions can last anywhere from 1-3 hours which can be a long time for siblings to wait, especially when the studio needs to be somewhat quiet. Have Dad drive separate or Grandma meet at the studio to take siblings.

  • It's okay to bring a bribe for siblings!  I recommend cereal, snacks or candies that won’t stain their teeth. Avoid colorful drinks or lollipops within 24 hours of your shoot. Do not let them eat or drink anything will stain their cheeks, mouths or teeth.

 

What to Wear: 

  • Go simple for family’s wardrobe. When planning your outfits for the family & sibling shots, stick with soft, neutral colors like grey or cream as the dominate colors. This keeps the focus on baby and the family connection.

  • Dress baby in a simple loose sleeper.  One that doesn't have to be lifted off over the head, just in case baby is sleeping soundly on arrival. No tight socks or vests to avoid lines on their skin.

  • There is no need to bring anything for baby to wear except for what they arrive in. I provide all the wraps, headbands, hats, clothes & props. Unless there is something special you want to bring for your newborn’s photos, don’t worry about outfits. If there is something special you want to bring, be sure to let me know so I can work a set around it.

  • Avoid neon colors. Vibrant, neon colors cast onto skin changing the color and tint of your skin.

  • The studio will be warm! I will have a space heater going at almost all times to keep your little one warm, so dress in layers so that you can remove some if you get too warm. (You're also welcome to go out of the main studio to escape the heat!) 

  • For siblings, I recommend a classic, timeless outfit. Steer clear of logos and shirts with writing. Those can be distracting in photos as the eye immediately goes to the words or picture on the shirt instead of the sweet sibling moment.

  • I am more than happy to help! If you have any questions or want some inspiration for wardrobe or other help, please shoot me an email.

  • Sit back & enjoy the session. Not to sound super cheesy, but it’s true — this time is so fleeting, take it in! Baby will naturally want to be fed anytime mom is near so I will have you on a nearby couch watching your new little one’s first photo session. If there's anything you need from me, please let me know! 

No cameras are allowed during your session. I understand this is a momentous time in your life that you want to capture. However, I am working very hard to create unique, artistic images for you and another camera in our midst is distracting. Enjoy your session and allow me to take those beautiful photos for you.

Checklist:

  • Diapers and wipes (I have Pampers and Huggies wipes, as well as Pampers Swaddlers in newborn and size 1 at the studio if needed!)

  • Milk

  • Parent and siblings outfits

  • Pacifier (optional but very helpful - I will also have a few of these on hand!)

  • Baby go home outfit

  • And lastly, anything to make you comfortable - ie. an iPad, phone charger, books, nursing pillow, you can even bring your pajamas if you would like - I know what it's like to be an exhausted mom!) I have a couch and even a bed and will have both cold and hot drinks and snacks for you! 

My studio is located at 130 Tecumseh St. in Downtown Historic Dundee. Parking is available on the street right outside my studio or there is a lot one building down on the corner, near River of Life Community Church. 

 

It is my hope that you come to the studio feeling comfortable and at home. I am truly honored to be able to document this incredible time in your lives and look forward to getting to know you and your sweet baby!

 

 - Kaitlin