Updated: Sep 17, 2020
Congratulations! Your beautiful baby is almost here!
I can’t wait to take photos of those first precious days for you!
Here are some tips to help you get ready for your session.
Preparing Your Home:
This session is supposed to be fun! I do not want you stressing out about cleaning the house because let's face it - you've got other things to do with a new baby in the home. Cleaning for me is not necessary. I am strategic about what is in the background of the photos and can work with your space. First, decide which room(s) you would like to take photos in. Common locations for a home session include the baby's nursery, parent's bedroom, living room, or outdoors. Make sure to clear any clutter or objects lying around in these areas beforehand. The easiest way to do this is to put all the items in a bag and put it in the closet for an hour. Done!
If you choose to take photos in your bedroom, please make sure the bed is made. Neutral sheets or blankets are preferred. Photos in bed give a cozy feel where the whole family can pile in the bed and snuggle up.
Please open the blinds in all the rooms you would like to be photographed in. I try to use natural light or a combination of natural light and bounced flash if needed.
If baby's skin is a little dry or flaky, try applying a small bit of baby lotion to those spots the day before our session. Sessions should take place between 0-14 days old ideally. During this time, babies are more sleepy and cooperative. Around 2-4 weeks, babies start developing baby acne (totally normal) which we would also like to avoid if possible. Have a hairbrush for baby on hand to freshen up the hairdo after outfit changes.
Babies are most content when they have been fed and feel warm. If baby is coming up on a feeding within a half hour of the session, consider feeding the baby a little early if you do not want baby feeding photos taken. If baby is hungry during the session, that is not a problem. We are on baby time and will make sure he/ she is comfortable before continuing. This can also be an opportunity for breastfeeding photos if that is something you are interested in.
What To Wear:
Collect any items you want used in the session beforehand such as blankets, swaddles, head bands, or stuffed animals. I encourage simple outfits and neutral colors like white, black, or tan while steering away from t-shirts with logos or bold patterns for the family. Casual clothing is perfect and bare feet look most natural in a home setting. Moms can also consider a light, flowy maxi dress or a pretty cotton gown that will be both comfortable and soft while you are cuddling with your new baby.
For baby, I recommend a solid colored swaddle or neutral swaddle (no bright colors or bold patterns) or just a neutral onesie. Due to COVID-19, I am asking parents to swaddle and handle the baby as much as possible. Have an extra outfit on hand for baby in case it gets soiled. I know there are a ton of really cute baby clothes but some can be distracting in photos. This is showcasing your real life at home with baby so keep the wardrobe simple for yourselves as well. I do not do posed newborn photos. I photograph baby in natural positions laying down or being held as well as details of the face / hands, etc.
Relax & Have Fun:
If the baby gets fussy, don't worry. A baby can sense your anxiety and we want to keep the environment as mellow as possible. I am not in a rush and as a parent myself, I understand we are on baby time. Ultimately, I want you to enjoy this experience and I look forward to capturing photos of your little one that you can cherish forever.
Jessica M. Photography is an Arlington Heights, IL lifestyle newborn photographer. She photographs families in the Northwest Suburbs including Palatine, Buffalo Grove, Northbrook, Barrington, Schaumburg, Glenview, Deerfield, Vernon Hills, Northbrook, Park Ridge and more throughout Lake and Cook County in Illinois.
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