You are so excited about having your new baby photographed! You want to make sure and capture those timeless, classic newborn photos. Did you know that there are specific things you can do to make it much more probable to have a successful session? There are!

Newborn photography is incredibly specialized.  Does your newborn photographer specialized enough to know how to help you get them most out of your session?  Well, here’s a little bit of what I’ve gleaned over the years of photographing the wee little ones.

1. Keep your baby up for a couple of hours before your session. What, you say? How are you supposed to keep a new baby awake when basically he or she generally sleeps then eats then sleeps? Well, it is possible.  You can undress your baby down to a diaper as long as your house isn’t too drafty. This might result in a bit of fuss but will keep your baby awake. You can tickle his or her feet and stimulate them a bit. Next, give your baby a bath. Again, depending on your baby, you might get a little bit of fuss. But it will tire them out sufficiently to get them prepared for being in a newborn session.

2. Feed baby just before coming to the studio or right when you get here. Between tiring your baby out, getting them full and then the lull of the drive, 95% of the time your bundle of joy will is ready to go for a great session. I sometimes have parents do a little feeding right as they arrive as well, if needed.

3. Dress your baby for session success. I do love to get some lifestyle onsie pictures, so a plain white onsie is great to start with.  You can then put them in a zip up sleeper for easy removal. Leave off the socks and loosen the diaper to avoid major indentations on their skin in the portraits.

4. Give at least 48 hours after circumcision before photographing him. Little guys are often uncomfortable the day or two after.

5. Allow a pacifier if needed. If you aren’t using a pacifier, you might consider allowing it in the event the baby is not settling during the session. It is only for an hour or two and should not affect breast feeding. I always keep new ones for situations where parents decide on the moment to go ahead use it.

6. If you are breast feeding, hold the caffiene and gas causing foods. Try to refrain from having caffinated beverages 24 hours before session, or make sure that you are feeding baby pumped breast milk sans the caffiene. Also avoid vegetables that can cause gas, such as brocolli, cauliflower, etc.

7. Make sure you have eaten! New parents often forget this. Newborn sessions can last a couple of hours. My studio is stocked with beverages to make sure you stay hydrated.

8. Prepare to be warm at the studio. Because newborns cannot regulate their body temperatures as children and adults can, the studio is kept at 76-80 degrees to keep them comfortable when undressing and posing them. This can make for uncomfortable parents, so I recommend wearing layers that can be removed.

9. Dress for success! If you are planning on being in portraits with your little one,  cooridinate solid tops. Also, if Dad can bring a solid black tee. It’s great to get hands holding baby shots. With newborn family portraits, it is okay to match solid white, grey or a tan tees.

10. Expect it to take a while. Newborns each have their own personalities and likes and dislikes. Getting a beautiful full session can take up to 3 hours. I recommend leaving siblings with a trusted person if they are not in portraits. The studio is hot and it’s a long time to expect small children to cooperate. If siblings are in portraits, I try and do family portraits first so that they may either leave and go eat with someone, or at least we have them done before they get too tired and do not want to be in the pictures. 

There you have it. Follow these tips and you have a successful newborn session. Enjoy this special time, roll with it, and get amazing images!

Tara Price Photography specializes in Timeless, Classic Newborn photos in the St. Louis and Jefferson County, Missouri area, with a studio just 30 minutes south of St. Louis, in Festus.