Newborn Session Preparation
Here are some important things to do in order to ensure a successful newborn session:
1. Newborn portrait sessions go smoothly when both baby and parents are calm, happy, and relaxed. Infants are very sensitive to stress and anxiety and will be less likely to relax and sleep for their session. Take advantage of this time to rest as Mary Charlotte and her assistant will handle everything for you.Congratulations on the arrival of your new baby! We look forward photographing your little one.
2. Please do your best to keep your baby AWAKE for 2-3 hours before your session. We know this is hard, but without this, we spend too much time getting them to sleep and not as much time photographing them. You may want to have someone entertain them during the car ride here, too! We will get amazing images if your baby sleeps through the session.
3. We will do our best to schedule newborn sessions for first thing in the morning. Sometimes it takes some time to get your baby asleep and that is okay. We will ask to be the ones to hold and coax him/her to sleep so you can relax. Often, especially with mom, baby smells mommy and thinks it's still time to eat!
4. We will ask for you to give baby a full feeding when you arrive at the studio, so please schedule your baby’s day for this.
5. Please bring a bottle of formula or breast milk to the session along with a pacifier should we need it while photographing your baby. We understand that many mothers are trying to avoid a pacifier during this critical time of learning to breast feed, however we may need to use it if absolutely necessary. The reason is to avoid contact with mommy as much as possible while we are in the “rhythm” of a session. Baby can smell mom 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 pacifier when needed helps us to maintain the fluidity of the session and helps baby settle easier. We will only use it as a last resort to soothe a fussy baby. If you are adamantly against a pacifier or bottle, please let us know and we will accommodate your needs.
6. IT IS BEST NOT TO CIRCUMCISE YOUR BABY BOY BEFORE THE SESSION. We will be wrapping him tightly while naked and moving him between different poses which can be extremely painful with a raw circumcision. If you plan to have your baby boy circumcized shortly after birth, we must wait at least 6 days for his session. We WILL NOT photograph a newborn boy who has been circumcised less than 6 days prior to the session.
7. If you are breast-feeding, try to avoid eating anything spicy or gas inducing (i.e. pizza, spicy sauces, garlic, broccoli, thai food, high fat etc.) that might upset baby’s tummy for 24 hours preceding your scheduled session. It’s best to stick to a relatively bland diet the 24 hours before your session.
8. Dress baby in loose fitting clothes to avoid any lines on skin – A onesie that opens in the front is best, as this avoids us having to lift anything tight over baby’s head.
9. 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.
10. Newborns are absolute perfection when they wear nothing at all. For variety and some fun pops of color, we also like to use the swaddling blankets and wraps. We provide a collection of props, swaddles and backdrops and will create a set design that we are sure you will love. If you have color preferences, please let us know beforehand and we will coordinate that for your session. We will choose which items photograph best in the color schemes you love.
11. We have a prepared our studio with lots of nursery essentials. It is supplied with diapers, wipes, private nursing area, snacks, drinks, coffee maker, hairbrush, hair products etc. So please know you will be cared for with great attention to detail when you come to see us! So if you forget anything, do not worry. Chances are, we have it.
12. Please leave baby in their car seat when you bring him/her into the studio.
13. There is no rush with a newborn session. We like to give special attention to each client, especially newborn sessions. Most newborn sessions last at least 1 hour and can go as long as 3. Please know that we do not mind waiting for you to feed or change baby, or taking a break to soothe your baby. That’s part of what we offer as custom portrait studio.
14. If there are older siblings that will be included in photos, those images will be photographed at the start of the session. We suggest either bringing two cars so that someone can take older sibling(s) back home after we finish with family images, or have someone take older sibling(s) out on errands or to grab a snack while we complete the session.
15. We recommend bringing no more than parents, baby, and one guest if absolutely necessary. Lots of people in the studio make for somewhat challenging creative conditions and it’s tight in our cozy space.
16. We use the parents as backdrops for baby, so Dad please wear a long sleeved neutral toned (brown, cream, olive, tan) shirt and jeans or casual pants. Mom’s need to bring a nude colored bra. Strapless is preferred. We will be wrapping mom in fabric here at the studio for that strapless “skin-on-skin” look. Also, an extra set of clothes for the parents is a good idea, just in case of “accidents!”
17. When doing the poses where the baby is undressed, it is normal and okay for him/her to “relieve” themself during the session. This happens all the time and we are not upset or offended. We have wipes and towels on hand for this purpose. After each newborn session we launder all of our backdrops and other items the baby comes in contact with baby “safe” detergent and hot water.
18. Personal cameras or use of cell phone cameras are not 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 and uncomfortable for the artist and her assistant. Please respect copyright and the artist’s individual creation and do not take pictures during your session.
Thank you again for choosing Mary Charlotte to document this special time in your lives. We are honored you chose us, and consider photographing your newborn a great responsibility and privilege.