Inspiration: How to Prepare for a Newborn Photo Session

Erin – mom of two year old Benjamin and 38 weeks along with bundle of joy number 2, shares some great advice on preparing for a newborn photo session.

Newborn Photo Session Sarah McCoy Photography


After 40 weeks of planning and preparing for a new baby, the big day finally arrives.  You are most likely exhausted, riding an emotional rollercoaster and feeling totally overwhelmed with your beautiful little bundle of joy. Now that he has arrived you are anxious to have a photographer document every wrinkle and tiny crease of your precious little baby.  As if you didn’t have enough anxiety about his arrival, you are now feeling the need to plan for a photo shoot.

  • Remind yourself that you have hired a professional.  There is a reason why you are paying someone to take the pictures.  They are prepared for endless crying, explosive diapers and spit up.  Your baby won’t be the first one who refuses to sleep or decides modeling isn’t the career for him.  Communicate ahead of time with your photographer to prepare yourself.
  • If the pictures will be taken at your home remember to turn up the heat.  A newborn will often happily pose for those adorable naked pictures if he is warm and cozy.  No one wants to be cold and naked!
  • Keep a washcloth on hand for spit up mishaps.  It also comes in handy as for those baby boys who tend to pee as soon as their diaper comes off.
  • Don’t expect your newborn to tolerate multiple wardrobe changes.  Choose a few favorite items and keep it simple.   Take an inventory of all the gifts and cute outfits in the closet.  Is there a special blanket or hat knitted by Grandma that you would like used?  When choosing an outfit keep the design simple.  You want the final picture to focus on your baby, not a smiling monkey.  Solid colors, stripes and dots will work great.

Newborn Photo Session Sarah McCoy Photography

  • The latest trend is newborn photography is props.  Don’t stress yourself out trying to find the perfect antique bucket to place your baby in.  If you really want to use props, speak with your photographer and see what she has available.  Most likely she has an item that will suit your needs.  Otherwise hats, scarves, wraps and blankets keep the picture simple and help keep the focus on your baby, not the prop.  Check out Etsy for beautiful handmade items or a local craft shop for prop ideas.
  • Of course you want to want to look great in the pictures too and most likely this photo shoot will occur within the first couple weeks of your baby’s birth.  If you are like me, this could be the first time you have seen a hair dyer since before the baby was born.  Talk with your spouse, plan your morning and get dressed in increments.  Wake up and feed the baby, pass him off to your spouse and jump in the shower.  While the baby is sleeping put on a little makeup then it’s time to feed the baby again while your spouse get’s dressed.  Pass off the baby again and blow-dry your hair.  With some planning and communication you will be able to get ready in time.
  • What should you wear?  If possible, think about this ahead of time. The last thing you want is your spouse standing in their closet asking you, “Honey, does this match?” twenty minutes before the photographer arrives.  Use the same principles for your outfit as the baby’s.  Simple design and no distracting graphics.  You may also want to plan for a flowing top for yourself as most likely your tummy will still have a mid-pregnancy look.  Dark colors can be your friend here.
  • Once the photographer arrives (or you arrive to their studio) it is time to relax.  Let the professional be the professional and follow their lead and advice.  Also, trust their editing skills.  A little exposure adjustment and airbrushing can go a long way on those hard earned bags under your eyes.

Newborn Photo Session Sarah McCoy Photography

Images by Sarah McCoy Photography.




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