So, you've got your teeny newbie back home. Woohoo!
An awesome way to capture all that magic is enjoying a photo session in your baby's first home.
Included in this blogpost are some tips and tricks to think about in the lead up to your shoot. As we know, newborn babies can be unpredictable and the most important thing is to make sure your little one is happy, safe and relaxed. All my newbie sessions are adapted to each individual family, this way everyone has photos that are personal and meaningful to them, plus we work with how your baby is feeling which will determine what we do and where we shoot within your home. The most important advice I can give is, enjoy the experience and relax as much as possible. The beauty of doing the shoot at your home is, you don't have to worry about leaving the house at a certain time, plus you have everything you need to keep your baby happy right where you are, keeping them in a familiar and warm environment.
The first question I often get asked is, when is the best time to have your Newborn Session? There are a number of options, so depending on what type of photographs you have in mind, will likely determine when you would have your shoot
Up to 2 weeks old
Your baby is super small and sleepy and has all those
brand new baby features
Up to 2 months old
They are awake a lot more now and starting to develop a little character,
we may get some little smiles and eye contact
Over 2 months old
You guessed it, they are even more aware of their surroundings now,
with bigger smiles and lots of eye contact
The majority of my newborn shoots take place in the morning, starting around 10/11am. This time of day works really well as you guys have time to get ready, and baby is usually in a pretty good mood. If there is another time of day that you think will work better for you, that is all good too!
Rooms- Often the cosiest places are the best for newborn shoots. The lounge, the bedroom or the nursery can work really well. But if you have somewhere in mind that you would really love to involve in the shoot, that is fantastic. I love to shoot in a documentary way, capturing you and your newbie's natural interactions and connection. I will incorporate this with a little direction to get the most out of your session as well as suggestions on the best places to shoot.
Temperature - Keep it toasty. Any rooms you think we might use in the shoot, be sure to keep them nice and warm. Especially if we are having outfit changes, or baby is getting their bod out at some stage. We want to keep them as calm and chilled as possible throughout the shoot.
Clutter - I know this may be a tricky one, with a new baby on the cards... but if you have the ability to remove any clutter that you don't particularly want in the background of your images, perhaps just pop it in another room or under the bed.
Light - Although I will bring a lighting set up in case it is necessary, I will always opt for beautiful natural light if it is available. To make the most of the lovely window light, it is best if the artificial lights inside are turned off. Don't worry about doing this before I get there as I can assess the light when I arrive.
Parent(s) - Most important thing is to feel comfortable.
Avoid repetitive patterns
Wear what you love
Newbies - Feel free to keep it really simple or include up to 2 or 3 outfits
The whole family- Just keep in mind colour combinations. You could go for neutral colours, or go wild and get really colourful. It does just depends on your style. I would just say, avoid anything too busy as this can ditract from your newbie's delicate little features.
Nails- I love taking close up shots, which can often include a parent's hands, so if you are particular about how your nails might look in an image, be prepared for that.
It works quite well if your little one has a feed before the shoot begins. During the shoot we are likely to have a break or two (or three) so you can feed them again, take as long as you need.
There is no need to have a predetermined plan of how the shoot is going to go, as I mentioned earlier, we will just go with the flow, keeping the session relaxed and led by the main attraction, your newborn.
Embrace the cry!
Embrace the poop!
We will work with whatever that tiny human throws at us (hopefully not literally!)
If there is anything special you want to incorporate in the shoot, we will do our best to do that in a natural and stress free way. I don't bring any props with me as I want the focus to be on your beautiful babe. Optional props that you may want to include could be a soft toy, a swaddle/wrap or a hat for example.
Siblings bring a whole other dynamic to the shoot, whatever age they can get involved. I love photographing the relationship between siblings!
If you have any activities in mind that you love to do with you newbie, I'd love to hear about them. Something as simple as reading them a story, playing them a song, or giving them a bath can make really wonderful and unique photographs.
If you have any questions about having a Newbie Shoot in your home or you would like to book a session of your own, drop me an email and I would be happy to chat all about it.
Faye is a Wedding and Lifestyle Photographer based in Royal Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, UK
Natural Newborn Photographer
Outdoor Family Photographer
Creative and Documentary Wedding Photographer