Preparing for your newborn session can be quite overwhelming…
But it doesn’t have to be that way!
These will be the moments you and your loved ones look back on. remembering those button noses and tiny toes.
My goal as your photographer, is to make this time in your life one of the best experiences possible.
New and expectant parents in and around Sheffield may be wondering many things about those early days with a new life in the home. I'm a Sheffield Photographer, and I'm here to help ease your mind about one part of that: newborn photos.
WHY PHOTOGRAPHING YOUR NEWBORN BABY is IMPORTANT
Simple, newborn photography is the perfect way to preserve precious moments of your little bundle of joy for you and your family forever! Each time you look at the photos on the wall you'll remember just how teeny tiny your little newborn was.
As parents you will want to treasure every moment during their newborn stage and capture as much of it as you can. A photo session with me, an experienced and fully trained newborn photographer, is one of the best ways you can capture some of these memories and freeze them in time. Capturing moments like these is the reason I'm a newborn photographer, the smile and emotion on parents faces when they see their photos is priceless.
Your newborn's photography session should be an exciting time for you and your family, but some parents often find themselves worried and anxious about preparing and what to expect for the photography session. I hope this blog helps you feel more relaxed and answers any questions you may have before your session. Years from now, you'll be glad you booked a newborn photo session.
scheduling your session
Scheduling your session ahead of time is always recommended. By scheduling in advance, we will be prepared for when your baby decides to make his or her grand entrance. A good time to start reaching out to me is from your 12 weeks scan. I book you in using your due date provisionally then once your little one is born, you send me that exciting text to tell me and we schedule you in for your session. Newborn photo sessions are best done between days 5-21, this is the time period where your baby is still flexible and sleeping a lot, so this is when you're able to get those cute sleepy, curled up poses and they (hopefully) remain sleepy.
Some mamas may not feel up to coming to the studio so soon post birth, especially c-secion mums, please tell me when you're feeling better and able to arrange your session.
If you have only just thought about having newborn photos and your little one is already here, that isn't a problem, it is never too late to take those all important photos, please message me!
Babies do sleep a lot, however for certain super cute poses your baby will need to be in a deep sleep. In my experience, morning sessions seem to be the best where possible. If you can't schedule your session for then, we will get you in at a time you can.
BEFORE YOUR SESSION
Sometimes babies sleep patterns don't cooperate with our plans. The session will go a lot smoother if baby is milk drunk and super sleepy! Where possible I always recommend trying to keep baby awake before your session. Doing this prior will hopefully help make them sleep through most of the session.
Schedule to feed your baby when you get to the studio, breast feeding is always welcome. They're usually so sleepy and milk drunk after a good feed which is the perfect time for me to start taking photos!
Don't dress up your baby to come to me - a nappy and romper is all you need as once baby has fed we will get started straight away. If you have a certain outfit you would like your baby to wear during their session, bring those along with you but please don't bring baby in them.
WHAT TO BRING
I have a large selection of props, outfits, wraps and backdrops so you don't need to bring anything with you unless there is anything special you would like in your photos with your newborn.
Bring your usual baby bag with you with your preferred nappies and wipes. I do have some in the studio just incase you forget them or run out. If you have any dummies at home, please bring these with you regardless of whether they usually have one, it really helps for settling while I'm posing them on occasion- it's pure magic sometimes!
I know this goes without saying, but believe me it happens, please bring milk with you to your session and bring more than usual. Being a little model is hard work, babies tend to get hungry during their session and since sometimes it can take up to 4 hours we need to be prepared with everything to hand they may need to be settled.
I have facilities to make up a feed, but do not have sterilising equipment for your bottles, so please bring plenty of sterilised bottles with you. Many of my clients bring ready made formula for ease.
DURING YOUR SESSION
You'll relax while I work my magic creating images of your baby's first days, and of course siblings and family if you wish.
It's a good time to have a rest and catch up on sleep if you wish (it's usually dads that fall asleep and snore)! There may be certain points during the session where I ask you to get involved and help me with some poses/set ups.
Rest assured, I am fully newborn trained and safety is my number one priority so I will put this above all else. Clients have all different feelings when coming to the studio - excitement, anxiousness and most of all tired. I empathise and communicate with all my clients and tell them what I'm doing at all times to make them feel relaxed. As a mother it may be hard to see somebody else handling your baby if they are upset, however I have been called the "baby whisperer" on multiple occasions so will do my best to settle baby myself, should little one still be unsettled I may ask you to take over for me because parents have the special touch! If you start to feel uncomfortable at any point during the session, please just let me know. It's just as important for you to feel comfortable as it is your little one. Depending on baby I have music on in the background and my baby shusher closer to the baby.
Newborns can be so unpredictable, it's difficult to predict what they will be like so please bare this in mind and don't get upset or stressed if they cry and take a while to settle. If baby needs a feed, settling, winding etc we will stop and ensure that he/she is comfortable before we start again. There is a chance your baby may cry. I don't smell familiar like mummy and daddy, though sometimes this is a good thing because I don't smell like milk. I will never continue if your baby is really distressed, sometimes they just need a cuddle, and other times they may need feeding again or have their nappy changed. Not all babies are the same, some drop off to sleep within 5 minutes, others take a little longer. Age of baby also plays a huge part in this.
Sometimes, like us adults, your baby may not be in a good mood at all and this may result in you needing to come back to the studio on a different day to continue the session. This will depend on the amount of pictures I have already taken.
Baby is in charge so the session duration depends on how settled and happy they are. I only book one newborn session per day so there is no rush. I ask you also please allow plenty of time when making arrangements later in the day. Sessions can take up to 4 hours. I have refreshments available such as coffee, juice, water and snacks such as chocolate and biscuits.
PARENTS/SIBLINGS WHAT TO WEAR
The studio is always warm and cosy, ready for your little newborn's arrival. I would definitely recommend coming in layers so you can take jumpers off if you get too warm so you are more comfortable.
If you would like some photographs with your newborn:
- I always recommend to wear clothing that doesn't wrinkle too easily and avoid clothing you have to keep adjusting. Your comfort will show through your photos, these photos are about you cuddling your baby so the simple outfits are best.
- Don't worry about shoes, I never get your feet in my photos, usually my photos are cropped from waist upwards.
- My main recommendation is to wear solid colours where possible and not prints, this keeps the attention on the baby and keeps your photos timeless by avoiding distracting prints.
- Most of my newborn photographs are neutral colours, unless requested otherwise so I always recommend you wear white/creams, black, neutrals or pastels. All these colours are timeless and complements the innocence of the baby. Try to think about colours of your home and if the colours match your wall colours/decor.
- Try not to wear clothes with words on them, we are immediately drawn to this within a photograph and it takes the attention away from your faces. This includes branded clothing and "big sister, little brother" tops.
- Bring your clothes with you and don't come in them. After feeding, changing and holding baby you are likely to get your clothes messy!
what else you need to know and tips
- You may not feel like you want photos at this point with your little one, but getting these photos when they are so small will create some lasting memories you'll both treasure. Of course this is completely up to you but I would always recommend it.
- Avoid chunky jewellery which can be distracting and become outdated in years to come.
- If you would like photos with siblings I usually do this either at the very beginning of the session or end, so where possible if somebody can bring them and take them away that always helps. If not don't worry just bring something to keep them occupied.
- Mums, natural makeup looks lovely.
- Ask me as many questions as you want, even if you think it's silly or you're embarrassed to ask.
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"Amazing newborn shoot with Melissa, the pictures are everything we could have hoped for. Melissa was super friendly and professional and so good at helping get our little one settled during the session. There were so many lovely outfits and props available to choose from. Melissa listens to exactly what you’re after so she can capture the perfect photos, would highly recommend!"
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