How Photographers Prepare For Your Baby Photo Session

  1. Ideally your newborn baby photography session will be in your diary before baby makes his or her appearance into the world. Sometimes they won’t. So always find out the age of the baby you will be photographing in advance. Ideally plan the shoot after baby is five days old to avoid skin problems, but before 14 days to get those beautifully sleepy newborn baby portraits.
  2. Find out the sex and if possible the name of the baby. This will help you to plan your props and poses accordingly.
  3. Create an equipment check off list- it’s all too easy to forget to pack that important piece of equipment.
  4. Gather your props together in advance of your newborn session. Pack your baskets, blankets, backgrounds, beanbags, hats and outfits.
  5. Clear all your memory cards, pack a backup card, clean your lenses and charge your batteries. Always.
  6. Prepare your lighting; will you be using natural light, strobes, umbrellas or flashes?
  7. Remember those essential items for ensuring a newborn photo session runs smoothly; nappies, mattress protector pads, a supply of wet wipes, white noise app.
  8. Baby’s welfare is always at the forefront of our minds at a MarJo Photo newborn photography session. We will always use a portable heater to keep baby warm during the session.  We’ll be sweating, but that means baby is a comfortable temperature.
  9. Idea creation; plan your ideas and collate them in the best way for you. We like to use Pinterest boards and old fashioned sketches in notepads. It helps to keep the session flowing smoothly as well as communicate effectively in a visual and engaging way with parents what we are aiming to achieve.
  10. Prepare your parents. Yup, they may be prepared for baby’s arrival but it’s highly unlikely they’ll know what to expect from a photography session with you- unless they are a repeat customer of course! Email them a guide upon booking a session with you, share a blog post, anything so they know just how long the session can take, to what props to bring along or get ready.
  11. If you are travelling to a client’s home, ensure that there will be adequate working space. Baby may be tiny, but your equipment not so much… then pack the appropriate lenses.
  12. Nail your technique and we aren’t talking about Photoshop. Positioning babies is so much harder than it looks. Read as much material as you can and watch YouTube tutorials, though nothing is a substitute for years of practice and experience.
  13. Schedule your newborn portraits photography session at the right time of day. These sessions can take a long time, this is particularly important if you want to use natural light.
  14. Outline your service prior to the photography shoot to help manage your client’s expectations. The shoot lasts x hours long, x amount of poses will be done, and you will receive x amount of prints and digital images.
  15. Ask the parents if they have any specific requests. While some parents are happy to trust your artistic vision, some have quite specific ideas of their own, such as ‘I want him in a hammock’ or ‘I really like colour splash, I think it looks lovely’.
  16. Listen to your client, they are paying you money! It’s too easy to run away with your own ideas, remember they will recommend you if they are happy with your service.
  17. Stay calm throughout the newborn session. Baby picks up on your stress.
  18. Learn some soothing techniques – we’ll let you look those up for yourself 😉
  19. Remember to schedule some comfort breaks, for baby and yourself. It’s too easy to lose track of time when you are doing what you love.
  20. Enjoy the cuteness! It’s likely the next time you see their little faces they won’t be so small anymore.
  21. Finally, prepare for the unexpected! Whether that’s projectile pee, poo or vomit! It’s all part of the fun, and we wouldn’t change it for anything!

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