Welcoming a new baby is both joyful and overwhelming, being a parent myself I can relate. You have chosen to capture this fleeting time with your baby and to forever remember them exactly as they are now, and I promise this will be all worth it.
The sleepy, peaceful babies show in newborn photography all have one common quality, their parents followed this simple prep guide before their session. A peaceful state of sleepiness is the ultimate goal of our newborn session, together with some contented awake shoots.
To ensure this I'm asking for a little bit help from you. None of which I have not already done with my very own babies and clients before you. A sleepy baby is critical to the success of your newborn session so please follow all of the helpful tips and instructions. This perfect sleep recipe has proven to be very effective in newborn photography around the world.
BATH+ FULL FEEDING + CAR RIDE TO THE STUDIO = SLEEPY BABY & AMAZING SESSION
Pack & Prep
If your baby has slept solidly for 3 hours prior to your session, we may spend a long time trying to get your baby to sleep and not get many posed shots or be able to use the props you've requested. If you can, in the morning of your session, try to keep your baby awake for 2-3 hours by giving them a bath, interacting with them, and feeding just before you leave your home or on arrival at my studio.
Obviously, this may all go out of the window, as these things are always easier said than done! But this little bit of prep really can make a difference to your session, especially if the baby arrives nice and sleepy.
1. Dress baby in a simple loose sleeper that doesn't have to be lifted off over the head, just in case baby is sleeping soundly on arrival. No tight socks or vests to avoid lines on their skin.
2. If you are using or considering using a dummy, please bring it along. It can be a huge lifesaver when the baby continuously wants to feed/suckle for comfort.
Sometimes it really is the difference between getting that short or not! A dummy can help to avoid contact with mummy while we are in the “rhythm” of a session. Baby can smell mum and hear her voice and this triggers their instinct to feed. It can be quite a distraction for a little newborn.
Using a bottle or a dummy for a couple of minutes can help to maintain the fluidity of the session and helps the baby settle easier.
3. Any eye gunk or boogers are to be removed where possible please
4. If you are breastfeeding, it may help not to eat spicy or acidic foods or drink caffeine in the 48 hours prior to your session as this could possibly make the baby unsettled.
2. Bath Baby
The purpose of the bath is not just to clean YOUR baby and ensure the fabulous soft fuzzy baby hair; it also makes them smell amazing!
While all that is true, the real reason for the bath is to keep babies awake and tire them out. If your baby's umbilical cord is off, please give a full bath, otherwise, sponge bathe.
The key is to linger during the bath, draw it out longer than you normally would. You want your baby awake so dilly dally and take your time as to tire them out.
We would be grateful if you could feed your baby a FULL feed when you arrive at the studio. A full tummy equals a sleepy baby!
Tip- get dressed and package before feeding baby so it’s the last thing you do before heading to the studio! 4. On Arrival
A full baby means a sleepy baby, and we need a very sleepy & calm baby in order to achieve the sweet, flexible poses you see in my portfolio.
If the baby is awake when you arrive, it is best to undress them first, loosen the nappy and then wrap them in a blanket before feeding. The only way we will achieve calm, curly poses is if your baby is happy, full and sleeping deeply.
5. It’ll be hot hot hot
The studio will be heated intensely to keep your little one warm, so dress in layers so that you can remove some if you get too warm.
6. Soothing, feeding the baby
Please know that I do not mind waiting for you to nurse or for nappy changes, or just taking a break to soothe your baby at any point. You and your baby's wellbeing is more important to me than getting a shot.
If you are bottle-feeding your baby, please bring along more than you think you'll need!
When doing the poses where the baby is undressed, it is normal (and okay) for baby to poop or wee on my backdrop...or anywhere else.I can assure you this happens all the time, and I am not upset or offended.
Please bring with you baby wipes, extra nappies, and a towel.
After each newborn session, I launder all of my backdrops and other items the baby comes in to contact with. An extra set of clothes for the parents is a good idea, just in case.
Someone always gets wee'd or pooped on, its usually me, but sometimes you!
8. Session and Siblings
Newborn sessions generally take 2-4 hours, so please plan for that.
Siblings that will be included in photos, will be photographed at the start of the session. We suggest either bringing two cars so that Dad can take the older sibling(s) back home after we finish with family images, or have your spouse/partner take the older sibling(s) out on errands or grab a snack while we complete the session.
We recommend bringing no more than yourself, your spouse/partner and children. Lots of people in the studio make for somewhat challenging creative conditions and it’s tight in our cozy LITTLE space!
No cameras are allowed during your session. We understand this is a momentous time in your life that you want to capture. However, we are working very hard to create unique, artistic images for you and another camera in our midst is distracting.
Enjoy your session and allow me to take those beautiful photos for you.
9. Family Photos
If you wish to have a portrait with your little one please keep your choice of clothing simple. Personally, I think plain tops with neutral colours work best, please avoid bright and busy patterns & large logos where possible. If you are keen on black and white photos, please avoid white tops if possible.
I am a big fan of skin-on-skin portraits with you holding your baby against you. They're so timeless. So if you want some natural portraits like this with your newborn, mum's consider a strapless top or vest, alternately I could wrap you in a scarf with a stretchy material I have available.
These can produce some very tender images.
Nappies and wipes
Parent and siblings outfits
Dummy (optional but very helpful)
Baby go home outfit
A baby blanket
Anything to make you comfortable (ipad, books, nursing pillow, sleepers). I will provide cold and hot drinks and cakes and chocolates!
Thank you again for choosing Catherine Taylor Photography to document this special time in your lives. I am honored you chose me, and I consider photographing your newborn a great responsibility and privilege
I look forward to meeting you all.