Newborn Session Information and Prep Guide
Thank you for choosing me to take your newborn pictures. I'm thrilled to be a part of your family and help you preserve memories for years to come.
Come on in, relax, and make yourself at home in my studio while I get the most precious images of your newest little addition and your family.
Preparing for your session
If you are nursing, the day before and the day before your session it is important to eat clean simple foods that will not upset your baby's tummy.
Get as much rest as possible. I know this is hard iwth a newborn, but do your best to sneak a bit of extra sleep in when you can. If everyone is rested and happy, it will show in your portraits.
On the day of the session it is important to keep your baby awake for 1-2 hours. We want him/her to arrive at the studio tired. Some things you can do to keep your baby awake... bath, tickle their feet, keep them unwrapped/unswaddled, play with them. In the car ride over be sure someone stays in the back seat with them to keep them from falling asleep on the way over.
I keep the studio warm during the session with a heater in the room, so be sure to dress comfortably and light. Sessions normally last for 2-3 hours, but can run longer depending on the baby. Prepare for a slow, relaxing few hours.
You can feed the baby right before you leave for the session, or just after you arrive at my studio. Whichever you prefer.
Please don’t dress the baby in any elaborate clothing that is hard to take off. Babies who come in full outfits tend to get grumpy right away just from being undressed, which isn’t a good start to the session. Please bring them in zippered or button down pajamas.
You’ll notice I wear yoga pants and a T-shirt to newborn sessions. It’s not my usual professional attire, but you’ll see very quickly why it’s wise for this type of photography! You may want to have comfortable clothes on hand, too.
For Mom and Dad
You are both a big part of this new baby's life and trust me, you will want these photos no matter how tired you are now. Photographing connections between you and your new baby is one of the biggest reasons I do this work and my favorite part of the session.
For Dad, a nice but simple tshirt looks best, something with a bit of weight and texture looks best. Keep the color simple and muted so it does not compete with your babyWhite, cream, beige or light grey work well. Feel free to bring a few options to choose from. Nothing with buttons so we can get baby close to you.
Moms look wonderful in simple white or neutral colored tank or tshirt. Keep the color and design simple. Don't forget to look at your nails as they will be in these images.
Remember, simple is timeless, you want to enjoy these images forever.
If you are wanting any parent pictures on the black background like what you might have seen in my portfolio, be sure to bring a black tshirt along for both of you. These pictures are some of my favorite since the focus is entirely on the people and not the clothing.
Attire is usually dependant on age. For sisters, a simple neutral tank or tshirt or simple dress works best. Brothers can be shirtless or a simple tshirt. A nice pair of jeans look great on the boys too.
Please be sure to have something to keep them occupied for a little bit. It helps to have someone with you who can take them out of the studio after they are photographed while we work with your newborn. The room should be kept fairly quiet so the newborn stays sleeping for the pictures.
My style is to keep your images timeless. Current trends, while cute now, usually do not stand u well over time. However, I do love incorporating special to you items that have importance and meaning to you and your little one. Please let me know if there is anything you would like to incorporate into your session so I can plan for how to best use it.
Sessions with your newborn are best 5-10 days after birth. After this time it is more difficult to keep them asleep. They are not as flexible and they will want to stretch out making it more difficult to capture the traditional newborn poses. For scheduling purposes, it is very important for someone to contact me right after birth so we can get your session booked.
You are welcome to use a phone camera to take behind the scene photos of your session ONLY. You may not take close up pictures of baby or set up. Please wait for me to deliver the final images for these. If you do post these behind the scene images of your session on social media, please tag Jenn Parkin Photography and share your experience of the day.
Your baby will be naked for a portion of the session and I expect that accidents will happen. No need to apologize or worry about props or blankets. It's completely normal. You will also be holding a naked baby at some point and an accident is certainly possible during this time. be sure to bring more than one outfit for yourself and plenty of wipes!
Everything that comes into direct contact with your baby is washable, so it will be clean and fresh for your session. Babies will always pee and poop during the session time. Messes are part of photographing babies, so I choose my props accordingly.
Dry skin, flaking and baby acne are all normal and nothing to worry about. Bathe your baby so soften the flakes and the rest will be taken off in post production of your images.
During your session
Mom, your new baby is very tuned into your smell and they have a natural feeding instinct when you are near. During the session there may be times where you are asked to be further away from your baby. This is only to make it easier for me to work with your newborn. I have lots of experience with handling babies and safety is my number one concern. Babies usually cry at some point during the session. Your natural urge will be to soothe the baby for me, but I ask that you let me try to calm them myself first. Since a 10-day-old baby associates you with both comfort and food, the baby will often want them to come together, which can make it harder for an infant to calm again once you set the baby down.
As the session goes on, you’ll be able to take snack breaks for both you and your baby. I will have water and coffee on hand, but feel free to bring anything you might like during that time.
Pacifiers are almost a must with the session. They help soothe your baby when moving into another position and help keep asleep. Even if you don't use one regularly, please consider bringing one along so if baby is extra fussy we have another way to try and soothe.
Things to remember
• Contact me right after birth. Give this task to someone else if you prefer so you don't have to worry about it
• If nursing, eat clean simple foods prior to session
• Get plenty of rest
• Keep baby awake 1-2 hours before session.
• Pacifiers are almost a must
• Bring plenty of diapers and wipes
• I have water on hand, but bring snacks. This will take a little while.
• Clean hands, clothes and faces on adults and siblings
• Dress comfortably and bring a change of clothes
It is my hope that while we are photographing in my studio that you feel at home with me. I am truly honored to document this time in your lives for you and look forward to sharing that time with you and your family. If there is anything I can do to help ensure a comfortable and smooth portrait session, please let me know.
after your session
Go home and dream of your images! I'll go through all of the photos carefully. I will then pick what I think are the best ones and professionally edit each one. The number of photos available will depend on how the session went. Typically, this number is between 25 and 50 images.
About 1 week after your session I will send you a link to your digital images. They will all be available to you in a password protected gallery for you to download, along with a print release. You will also be able to tell me your favorite image you'd like me to print for you as your included mounted 11x14 print. You'll also receive a print price sheet for the professional printing lab I use, where you can purchase images and keepsakes. I highly recommend this lab, the colors and quality are superior to anything I've used before.
I know that you'll be thrilled with the images from an unforgettable photography session with your new baby.