1. Wrap - When baby first arrives, I like to allow some time in the studio for mom to relax and feed baby. I know most photographers say to feed baby before you arrive, but I am sometimes a 30 minute drive and I just feel that upon arrival at least “topping off the tank” is a good option in most cases. I encourage feeding baby after a clean diaper and no other clothing. Just loosely covered in a favorite and comforting blanket. This way after a good burping to minimize upset tummy and spit up, moving into wrapping is easier. I haven’t met a baby who lives changing their clothes, so doing it before feeding will allow a more relaxed and milk drunk baby to proceed. I will then lay baby on a prepped table, which is often times warmed with a heating of when cold, and wrap the first layer. This one is white and will allow me to easily change the 2nd wrap without completely disturbing the baby. I like to try and work in 2 wraps (one neutral and one Colorful for variety)
2. Family - with baby still comfortably wrapped we move into family sessions. This is photos of a) mom, dad, and baby b) just mom & baby c) mom, baby, and siblings where applicable d) dad and baby e) dad, baby, and siblings where applicable, e) mom, dad, baby and siblings where applicable f) baby and siblings and g) baby with each sibling. For the baby and sibling shot where there isn’t a child old enough to safely hold baby, I will place baby in a basket and pose the sibling close to the basket. This is for safety reasons, but they do turn out adorable.
3. Beanbag - to be honest sometimes this and family are interchangeable. If baby is wrapped and having a difficult time settling into a relaxed sleep we will start with family first. On the beanbag I will do a few wrapped shots, but this is where I start to slowly unwrap baby and work to get back, side, and/or tummy shots as baby allows. I have it set up with many blanket layers so I can easily change the bottom layer (background). Most of the time I work with one color fabric and one color fur. I also can change out headbands and/or hats with poses to add variety. Everything here is done to baby’s tolerance.
4. Outfit(s) - Some baby’s just do not like to be changed into an outfit. If I can, I always try to put the outfit on under the first wrap layer so once baby is settled there is less disturbance. I do like to include at least one romper look.
5. Family Props - Bringing props with meaning to include in your newborn session is encouraged. Just notify me as soon as you know what you are bringing. Coming to the session and then bringing out props with “oh by the way we want these) doesn’t usually work well. Advance notice allows me to plan out the session - any props I have that I will need (it could totally change what I decide to use such as beds, buckets, and baskets. It also allows me to prepare shots and allow for smoother transitions. I live the story behind each as well. I live adding the WHY details to posts and blogs. I want to have the most efficient session as possible to be able to provide you with a good gallery.
To be honest, even though I have provided 5 different steps, they are all interchangeable. The absolute most important thing to note is baby is the most comfortable and feeling secure and mom is able to sit back and enjoy the moment.
I take safety if the newborn very seriously and I will not attempt anything that I don’t feel is safe for baby.
we move through each step very fluidly, taking breaks as baby dictates. A session with me is most often under 2 hours. When we attend to baby’s feeding and diaper change first thing, the whole session will flow better. I include white noise, a nice warm heater, a heating pad where needed to warm wraps and outfits before touching baby’s skin and water and snacks for mom & dads comfort.
My final request is this. If we are including very young and ambitious siblings, please have a plan to have someone take them home or pick them up after their portion. My studio gets quite warm and siblings get antsy. A calm and relaxed environment will allow for the baby to move through the newborn transitions more smoothly. In the warmer months, there are several parks within minutes that dad or grandma could take them so they are nearby.
I hope you have the absolute most amazing day. Remember to stop today when you see something lively that catches your eye and snap a photo. My motto is find beauty and capture it. Trust me it is all around. You just need to open up, kick out some stress and find it. Make an album in your photos on your phone with just that one simple picture each day. When you are feeling a little down, go back and look at those photos and remember the way you felt when you saw it and chose to take that photo. There is beauty all around us, even in what we think looks like a mess. I promise there is a little glimmer of sunshine. Have a fabulous day.