As I’m sure you can imagine, lots goes in to a successful newborn photography session. When we are planning a newborn session with a client, we like to get helpful information so that I can do my best to create a cohesive shoot that works with both my style and the client’s vision. Here are some tips to prepare for a newborn session.
I get that it takes lots of time to get a fully stocked studio together with all the fabrics, drops, accessories and wraps to create these images. However, I suggest starting with lots of neutral fabrics and a few popular color accessories and wraps to make each session look unique. You can create a large variety of images on the same fabric just by switching the pose, angle and accessory. It’s important to have the entire session pulled and prepped before the baby gets there. It takes me and my assistant about 30 minutes to set up an entire session. We always have 3 different beanbag fabrics set up with waterproof pads in between and enough wraps and accessories for 3 poses per fabric. Keep in mind that not every single baby can do every single pose, so if there is one we have to skip due to baby’s comfort or level of sleepiness, we still have plenty of other options.
Props. We love props! When setting up, I will pull three props with backdrops, stuffers and wraps or accessories to create the look I am wanting. We have also recently started doing a simple wrapped shot from above directly on a backdrop and our clients are loving those! Oh and we always do a flokati set up! Easy and adorable!
How do we know what stuff to prepare??
Way before each session, we mail a newborn magazine to our clients that have booked. This has lots of pictures, helpful tips to have a great session, what to bring, what to do, what not to do, etc. We also encourage them to look through our blog of recent sessions and let us know if there are any images they would love to recreate or any design elements they would like to include for their baby. Some clients are very specific and some give me creative freedom.
The MOST IMPORTANT piece to planning these sessions is the client questionnaire. I live and die by this questionnaire when setting up the session. If they don’t do one, I panic and kind of have to throw something together. Not good haha! The online questionnaire they fill out has questions like: names and ages of everyone being photographed. It helps to know if there is an older sibling and how old they are when preparing for my sibling shots. Describing the nursery and sending pictures to Lauren is key if you want me to be able to mimic your style! Color scheme is everything!!!! I love when these flow seamlessly and look gorgeous in an album, on an announcement or hung together on a wall. In order for them to look thoughtfully planned out, I need colors to go by. We even have our clients choose what color they want for their family images and do a checklist of types of accessories they like. I’m not going to put a princess crown on a baby when the parents think that is ridiculous, and if they love hats, I need to know that! It is also vital that I know if they are bringing any meaningful props so that I can think that through and style it in a way that isn’t hideous or just looks like an afterthought.
If you are new to the newborn game or a seasoned professional, just know my biggest advice is to be prepared and set up before the session begins and have back up plans pulled for alert babies. It has helped us to get our newborn sessions down to around 2 hours and we are able to get a ton of images in that time frame since there is no thinking or planning in between shots.
To read more about our newborn sessions, click here