Newborn Session

The best newborn portraits are created in the first 1-3 weeks of life, when your baby is still curled up and sleepy. Additionally, since baby acne tends to kick in after three weeks of age, the earlier we do the portraits the smoother the skin will be. Our preference is somewhere around days 7-14. That said, it’s not always possible to shoot within that time frame. Some of the photos on the site were taken at up to six weeks old. We will make it work, so no stressing allowed!

Babies are calmest and most likely to relax in the morning so newborn sessions are scheduled at 10am.

Newborn sessions take place in our Raleigh studio.The studio means a much faster and easier process for parents, as well as all of my props/backdrops are available for every session. When you arrive I will have several set ups ready to go including two large backdrops for parent shots and at least two smaller set ups for baby. The studio will already be heated to a balmy 80 degrees and we will begin as soon as you arrive. We can begin with the family/parent shots so dad can be on his way in about 20 minutes if he needs to get into work. When we are done you head on your way and leave the mess to me!

I have diapers, wipes, towels and a changing pad on hand along with a few snacks for Mom and importantly – coffee. Bring formula (if being used) and a pacifier (even if they normally don’t take one). Have on hand something to entertain yourself (and any siblings hanging out, although it is recommended that siblings only stay during the portion of the session when being photographed). Also a change of clothes is handy, especially if you need to go anywhere public afterward. See What to Wear below. Plan on a total session time of 1-1.5 hours*.

Things to note:

  • Often we will settle the baby down, lay him down for a few shots, and then he will be awake again. This is normal and expected part of newborn sessions. Tiny babies are happiest in your arms, so many of our newborn images will be created while you are him.
  • Before leaving for my studio loosen baby’s diaper, dress him in easy to remove clothing and feed him. We won’t need to disturb your snuggly bundle until we’re ready to start shooting
  • Siblings are welcome to join in some photos but the focus will be on your new addition. Because newborn sessions require much time and focus, I can not guarantee a variety of individual sibling shots. It is best to schedule a separate session for sibling photos when the baby is sitting or older.
  • Having young siblings in the studio can be a little tricky during these sessions. They tend to want to be very much a part of the action (and I don’t necessarily mean IN the portraits, I mean climbing on the backdrop 🙂 so having alternate plans for them can be a big help. We can plan to start with, or end with sibling shots to accommodate your schedule.
  • Please plan to feed baby more than normal throughout our session to keep him comfortable and sleepy. **Also have a pacifier even if you normally don’t use one**. We will change, soothe or cuddle your bundle as much as is needed so please never feel rushed.
  • Your baby WILL pee (or worse) on at least one of my items. It’s perfectly ok, everything is washable, so please do not be concerned. Your baby will also pee (or worse) on at least one of YOUR items. Bring a change of clothes!

What to Wear (and Bring?)

  • Mom and Dad should bring both a dark (preferably black) short sleeved shirt and a light colored top (avoid white button ups Dad).
  • Mom, skin on skin looks great so a neutral camisole style or other comfortably fitting top photographs well. Soft colors, loose and flowy tops with simple designs are great for Mom/Baby snuggle portraits.
  • Family ensembles should be simple clothing without heavy patterns or designs. Remember the focus is on the tiniest member of your family and clothing should not draw the attention away from him. Avoid stiff clothing for adults or children.
  • Jeans and simple tank tops (or no shirt at all for big brothers) makes for a timeless sibling portrait.
  • I have hats/headbands/wraps and blankets on hand but feel free to bring any “props” that you love. Newborns are typically photographed undressed because clothing bunches up and is difficult to position. If you have a sentimental outfit you would like to use bring it along but I do not recommend changing a babies clothing several times – the goal is to keep the settled and content throughout the session.

*These times can and will vary! If your baby is especially calm and sleepy expect a quicker session. On the other hand, if they are especially energetic or hungry it can take longer. Adding siblings to the mix can add to the session time. Do note that you do not necessarily need to be an active part of the session when I am working with the baby. I have seen my fair share of naps happen during this time!