We can now say, from experience ?, that time flies from the moment baby is born. Your baby is only a newborn for 4 weeks and it is one of the most beautiful 4 weeks of your life, but it can also fly by because there is so much happening, so many feelings and so much joy jumbled up and bundled into those first few weeks.
Hi, we’re David and Meivys, a husband and wife photography team based in South Florida. We photograph weddings, portraits, and brands. We share all about life, marriage, and business over at @suarezpartyoftwo. Welcome and we can’t wait to connect with you!
Not too long ago, we went through this process ourselves – we have a beautiful 8 month baby named Lisandra and we booked her newborn session in the first trimester along with her maternity session and first year. We might be biased in saying that these memories NEED to be captured, I mean, they are not a necessity for your newborn to survive, but it will be a beautiful experience of bonding and slowing down time together as a family. It will freeze the moments that are so precious but also so fleeting and you’ll be able to share your new bundle of joy in a beautiful and presentable manner to the world, friends, and family. This special time will only happen once, which is why we always recommend new parents to book their newborn session with time.
So, you’ve decided on a newborn session and you want to be guided (especially if this is a first for your family) Now, the real question is how exactly should you prepare so that you can feel relaxed and enjoy?
Booking & Scheduling Your Session
There are several things we suggest you do. Let’s begin with scheduling. We suggest you book your newborn session either as a collection of session from maternity to one year after your first 12 weeks of pregnancy, or if you’re only booking the newborn session, we suggest you do it during your second trimester. We suggest you go this route because babies come when they want ?? Booking with enough time in advance will ensure your photographer reserves space in their calendar for baby’s estimated due date.
Once baby is born and you are safe and home from the hospital, you’ll want to start reaching out to your photographer to break the news and get the session on the calendar. Ideally, the newborn session occurs within 5-14 days from birth. This is done this way because we want baby to be in that fresh newborn stage and sleeping throughout most of the session so that they are easier to photograph and are more relaxed.
The time of the session will vary depending on baby, but you’ll want enough time to slowly get ready and pampered with pro hair and makeup (yes mama, you’ll want to be in these images! Years from the shoot you’ll thank us and if you’re worried about how you look, don’t ?, we know all the right angles and styling tips to help you look amazing!) You’ll want to schedule 20-30 minutes prior to your baby’s typical feeding so that he/she is full, more on that later on in the blog.
There are multiple options for where to do your newborn session, but for us, we suggest doing it in the baby’s nursery or in home so that baby feels comfortable and at home. Since our style and approach is lifestyle newborn photos, we are not typically placing baby in a bucket or styling/posing baby in so many positions, instead we are documenting the natural life and movement baby does and how baby bonds with mom and dad. If you are not sure if your home will work, you can always send us photos and videos during your planning journey with us and we can give you our suggestions. If your home is not an option, we can use our home studio or we can suggest a studio that has the at home vibes.
What to wear/ What props to prepare
Because we literally just birthed a human and the inflammation and under-eye bags are real!! we are with you mama… and dad! – parents sometimes hesitate being in the photos, but I urge you to think big picture. Years from now, you’ll be glad you’re in these beautiful images with your baby/babies.
Tips for mama – hire a pro hair and makeup artist. Between breastfeeding or pumping and tending to the rest of your family, you need a break and a little pampering. You’ll also want to look your best since these photos will be recorded forever in history ❤️ We can recommend an artist or you can use your favorite. You’ll want to wear something loose and flowy so you are comfortable and feel good. If you’re self conscious about your arms or legs, opt for a quarter sleeve or floor length maxi dress.
Tips for dad – help mama when she’s getting pampered by doing as much as you can, gathering props, washing bottles, preparing the other kiddos. Make sure to wear something that is also comfortable and flattering, but also something that coordinates with mom.
Tips for the whole family – Wearing neutrals is always a good idea. Whites, tans, khakis, greys, and pastels are timeless and sophisticated. Remember that we don’t want to match exactly – not everyone should wear a white shirt and khakis for example. Instead, try to coordinate colors that go well. For example, mom can wear a khaki dress and dad can wear a white button down and grey pants or dark blue jeans. If you have another little, they maybe can wear a pastel color or a combination of khaki, grey and white. We can surely guide you during the planning process with us – we give you a mood board with all of these ideas so you feel at ease and prepared.
Props – Have props you want photographed handy. You can have anywhere from ultrasounds to a special teddy bears or hospital items, family heirlooms or details. If your session is in your baby’s nursery, we will be sure to take lots of detail photos – just be sure to point out which items are important if you’d really like them photographed so we don’t miss a thing.
Day of tips
On the day of the session, try to keep baby awake and entertained prior to the session. You’ll also want to feed baby 20-30 minutes prior to the session.I know this can be a challenge, but it will ensure baby is sleepy during the session which will make for the most adorable, peaceful photos. The session will last about 2-3 hours, just in time to feed baby again right after. If baby needs to feed during the session, no stress at all, we will stop and resume when baby is done, please do not worry 🙂 Prior to your photographer arriving, you should also try to change and then swaddle baby without clothes on so there are minimal marks on baby’s skin.
When your photographer arrives or you arrive to your photographer, try to speak softly and try to relax. Baby will feel mama’s tension, so it’s important that you feel calm. Your photographer should know how to hold and treat baby, which is why it’s so important to go with a photographer that you trust. If you ever feel uncomfortable, please tell your photographer.
During the session you’ll want to have a few things handy – a pacifier if baby takes one, a bottle of formula or breastmilk in case baby gets hungry, a swaddle, a clean burp cloth, a clean diaper – or two! (don’t be surprised if baby has to go potty during the session).
After the shoot
While it is only two- three hours that you’ll be with your photographer, it can seem like a lot longer and can be tiresome for the whole family. Try not to plan much after the session and have plan for lunch or dinner ready to go – perhaps have a family member drop off food or order take out to eat at home. Rest and restore after the session. Because we know how excited you are to see the photos, we will be sending a sneak peek your way within 24 hours ? of the session. The full gallery will be ready within 14 business days from the session and depending on which collection you chose, you’ll have access selecting your included images or have access to downloading all the images on the gallery.
While you wait for your gallery, start thinking about (if you haven’t already) how you’ll announce the birth of your baby – whether you’ll send out announcement cards or share his/her first photo with a group of friends and family via text or email. Or maybe you want to gift baby’s grandparents a framed print. You’ll also want to start thinking about how you will preserve the images for years to come. We are big fans of albums and acrylic prints. They’re beautiful ways of displaying the beautiful photos and a tangible way to commemorate the special time in your lives. Ask us about what you’d like and we will be able to help and guide you in the right direction. You can click here to view more information about heriloom items.
We hope this blog post has served as a guide for you and that you feel more prepared to not only book, but plan your newborn session. If you’d like to hop on a Zoom call with us to go over our maternity and newborn collections, fill out our short inquiry form here. We’re so excited to virtually meet you and your beautiful growing family.
And surprise!!! Click here to to download our Free Baby Shower Planner
xoxo, David + Meivys