What to Expect at a Newborn Session

I get a lot of questions about newborn sessions so I thought I would put together a blog to explain how it works. Stick with me! There’s a studio tour video at the end.

Do I need to bring anything to the session?
Nope! I have everything we need except the baby! I have worked over the last four years to build a collection or backdrops, hats, headbands, and props so that you don’t have to bring a thing. If you have a special blanket or item you want to incorporate into the session I welcome you to bring that but it is certainly not necessary.

When should I book?
Some clients e-mail me just after they’ve told their spouse. ha! But most book in their second trimester. I only book 3-4 newborns a month so delaying booking may mean my schedule is filled.

What if we want more than just a newborn session?
90% of my newborn clients return for another session! I offer a variety of packages that are meant to capture some of your little one’s biggest milestones. Check them out here. Don’t see a package that works best for you? E-mail me, I’m happy to design a custom package for you. 

How do I book a session if I don’t know exactly when I’m going to have the baby?
Trust me, as a mom who delivered one baby at 41.5 weeks and the other at 36.5 weeks, I get it! I know that babies are unpredictable. So I pencil in your due date on my calendar and then wait for your e-mail that the baby has arrived. We will not set a specific date until the baby has arrived.

How soon after the baby is born will we do the session?
The ideal time to photograph your little one is between 5 and 21 days. I typically schedule babies around 14 days. This window ensures that baby is still snuggly, extra sleepy, and doesn’t mind being curled up just like they were in the womb. This small window is why it is crucial that you contact me as soon as the baby has arrived – even if you designate this job to a close friend or family member.

When  and where will the session take place?
The session will take place in my studio, typically in the morning through the week. I have found that morning sessions (hopefully before dad heads back to work!) work best. It doesn’t kill your whole day (or your nap!). Clients are done around lunch time and able to get back home if there’s a toddler that needs to nap. For whatever reason, every evening session I have done, the baby is fussy and doesn’t want to sleep. Fluke? Maybe. But I’d rather avoid it. Sessions are done Monday – Thursday mornings at 9:30am. They are typically done on Tuesdays. 

How long will the session last?
This greatly depends on the baby. We let baby run the show. If baby comes and slips into a milk drunk coma then I can usually get through the session in an hour and a half. However, if baby needs to stop and eat it takes longer and have taken up to three hours. 

How do we prepare for the session?
Don’t worry! I’ve got all of that covered in my prep packet I will send you the week of your session. 🙂

I’m breastfeeding. Do you have a place for me to nurse?
Absolutely! I breastfed both of my babies. You are welcome to nurse how ever you are comfortable. If you want to cover, that is fine but it does not bother me in the least if you choose not to. I know sometimes that it is just one more thing to juggle. If you would like some privacy you are welcome to step into another room where you’ll find a comfortable arm chair with an ottoman.

I have older children, what will they do after they are done with their pictures?
Your children will probably be much happier stepping out of the very warm studio and making themselves at home playing with my kids toys! They are welcome to play in the loft  as well as outside, weather permitting. Some parents choose to drive separately so that dad can take the kids home, daycare, or school after their part of the session is over. 

How warm is the studio?
It’s warm! This is how we keep the baby extra sleepy. I set the heater to 75 but usually after we add all of the bodies it creeps throughout the session. I suggest dressing in layers. 

What do we wear?
I go over this in the prep guide but if you want to plan ahead – I recommend neutral colors and solids. Why? We want the focus to be on the baby, not on what you are wearing. Many clients choose to wear cream, navy, black, gray, or white. Siblings full bodies will show but for the most part, parents will be waist up. I have a gray, navy, or dark tan backdrop that I use for parent and family posing. That may help guide your decision. 

Is it safe to pose baby?
Safety always comes first. Don’t believe everything you see. Just because you don’t see a hand on the baby in the final image doesn’t mean that there wasn’t a hand on the baby.  Some shots are composites where someone is holding baby and I edit them out. I promise to keep your baby safe and not put them in danger. 

Where is your studio located?
My studio is in my home in northern Hendricks County. My clients end up absolutely loving it because their older kids (and spouse) don’t have to stay confined to the hot studio for the duration of the session. They can step out, play with my kids’ toys and play outside. 

Take a peek into my studio! It’s my favorite place. And this isn’t even all of it – there’s a   basket of newborn outfits made  perfectly to fit their itty bitty bodies as well as more props and quilts in the garage, which my husband just loves. 😉

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