Preparing for a Successful Newborn Session

We’re here to make this day as beautiful, easy, and rewarding as possible. What seems easy (photographing a sleeping baby) is actually made possible through a series of very careful actions on your part to prepare for the session, so please read this thoroughly and take it very seriously. We’ve been practicing these techniques for years!

Punctuality is appreciated but we do know that sometimes things can be unpredictable. Please send a text or give a quick call if you are running late, so we can adjust and make the best use of time just in case.

Whether we do our session in studio or at your home, it’s vital that the room be very warm for newborn sessions – approximately 85 degrees. This is to keep baby nice and comfy while undressed. Newborns are unable to regulate their own temperature yet, so this helps them relax and not get too cold in cooler-than-body-temperatures.

The sleepier these little babies are, the more variety of poses we can do. We ask parents to try to keep baby awake for about 90 minutes prior to getting in the car, and to get their tummies nice and full right before you leave. Newborns tend to sleep when you feed them, so keep them awake as long as you can and then feed them to sleep just before getting in the car (or no more than 30 minutes ahead of time). We know that it is not always easy to keep a newborn awake, and sometimes they won’t make it to 90 minutes, but the longer you can make it the sleepier they’ll be when you arrive, which results in more (and more successful) photos. We pose newborn babies mostly while they are sleeping because when they are awake they wiggle out of poses and flail their arms/legs, making it difficult to be safe and get good images. Infant safety is a number one concern at our studio, and we will not attempt any pose that feels unsafe at a specific time.

Please do not dress your little one for the ride over! Many babies are disturbed by the somewhat harsh procedure required to take off a fully closed diaper. Try removing all clothes and, rather than diapering them fully, just set them in a diaper loosely and wrap with a blanket (just a regular one, not one that you’ll want in photos as it may get a touch messy!) to hold it in place for the ride over. Make sure there is no tape touching the baby’s skin, as this can become very uncomfortable! This makes it easier to transition from carseat to backdrop without risking a wake-up when you arrive. We like to have you feed your little one upon arrival to lull them back to sleep again before we begin.

If soothers are part of your routine, bring one along as that can sometimes help while we are posing them. It’s also great to bring a bottle, even if you breast feed, so that we can feed a little if needed without changing locations. Sounds weird, but really works, as baby can really become alert when he smells his mom. For this reason we ask mom to stay out of smelling/touching range while we’re in the studio doing the first shots if at all possible.

Feel free to bring anything else you might like in a photo. Hats, head bands, and blankets are the most common (I have some here, too), but I’ve had families bring more unusual things too. I do most of my shots without props, but props can certainly be fun if there’s time and baby is sleeping well. Also, feel free to bring a coffee, magazine/book and plan to relax during your session! I will include you in some poses and need your help for others, but much of the time you can sit back and relax while your little one’s pictures are done.

Please wear a plain, neutral colored shirt (depending on your aesthetic), as this provides a very neutral and classic look that will not distract from baby in the photos and blends in case we need to use you as a background for an image. Some of our most successful artistic baby shots are done using mom or dad as the background. If you are a bright color person, you may bring alternate clothing as well, but generally it’s best not to distract from the baby. Some parents are nervous about being in the photos, but it’s really important that you are prepared to participate with your baby. We will take the photos and you are not required to buy them, but our clients often find that in the end those are the ones that really convey the special emotion associated with this new phase of life. In order to capture the true magic in your individual story, the relationship and details are vital!


Remember, if you have any questions we are always just a phone call or email away!

Serra Hadsell
503.810.9984 |

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