Newborn sessions generally last around three to four hours. Newborn sessions are timeless, and flow well when your day has no expectations. Please schedule your newborn session on a day when you have no other commitments. Young babies typically sleep well in the mornings, so I try to schedule them to begin around 9-10 am. Age is very important. Newborns, between the ages of 5-10 days old, are much easier to pose and will generally sleep through most of the session. Babies much older than this will not be as easily soothed, nor will their bodies naturally conform to that familiar newborn slumber. Sleeping through the session is crucial for getting those fun poses.
Though this may not sound appealing to you, your baby will sleep more soundly and your photos will turn out much better if it is very warm. The overall temperature in the room is very important for your child to be comfortable in just a diaper or less. About one to two hours before I arrive, please set the temperature in your home to 80 degrees. If your session is during the warm months, please do not open windows; the humidity will make for a very uncomfortable session. Instead, turn the thermostat up and allow it to reach 80 degrees. (In well-insulated homes, this could take quite a while without help of the heater because it will likely be morning time.)
Utilizing natural sunlight during your session can make a world of difference in your photos. If you have large, open windows in your home that welcome the sun's rays in the early hours of the day, please consider allowing me to photograph in these rooms. Natural light gives us glorious photos.
You'll want to have on hand extra diapers, wipes, receiving blankets, and/or cloth diapers, paper towels, and pacifiers if you use them. Please gather these items and have them available in the room for us to use. Should we plan for you and/or siblings to be in the photos, please wear light or neutral colors so as to not distract from the simple newborn perfection.
To lesson the marks on your child's skin, please loosen diapers and take off any clothes about an hour or so before our session. A receiving blanket wrapped around a loose diaper will help contain surprises. Unless you have a few special items, please do not worry about clothing on your baby. They grow and change so incredibly quickly; I much prefer to capture the details of your newborn's fresh new skin.
Please plan to feed your baby as I'm setting up. This will give us the best chance of having a sleepy baby during the session.
Grandparents and other family members tend to hover and can be distracting to a serene environment. To capture calm, quiet, and personal moments I find a comfortable, hands-off approach is best. A relaxed environment is the goal so your baby will sleep well and not notice the happenings going on around him. I have myself, or if my assistant attends, do the majority of the soothing unless the baby needs to be changed or fed. This minimizes jostling between people, and the chance of your baby waking from familiar smells. This is especially important for nursing moms; a newborn's nose is very sensitive!
Generally speaking, I need an open area in which to shoot. I love utilizing the glorious natural sunlight from beautiful windows. Sometimes, for that perfect position, it is necessary to move couches, tables, and even toys from a sibling's room, but don't worry. Everything we move will be placed back in its original location. Your baby's comfort, and the beautiful images we create are well worth it!