Planning For Your Studio Newborn Session

Preparing for your newborn session as a parent, can be a little overwhelming. You’re tired, still emotional, and quite possibly, a little uncomfortable in your own skin. You are visiting a strangers home, and handing them your precious bundle to photograph. It can be scary! And I understand that. I really do.

I have prepared the information below, to help ease your mind, and your nerves, in the lead up to your session… I have tried to cover all questions you may have, but if you think of anything I haven’t covered, please feel free to pop me an email at and I will answer it as soon as possible. If your question arises on the morning of the session, please feel free to text me, as I often don’t check my emails in the morning school rush…

How can I prepare my newborn for our session?

You can never truly prepare for a newborn session. Part of the beauty of these, is that every baby reacts differently, and so no two sessions will ever be the same.
 I prefer babies to sleep during my sessions where possible, as they are easier to wrap, position and get into those lovely newborn poses (meaning a faster session for you!) but that doesn’t mean they should be kept awake in the lead up to a session, as overtired babies are much harder to work with.

You should try to keep your routine as usual, with baby feeding and sleeping as they had in the days before. The only thing I can really suggest, is if you are breast feeding, to avoid caffeine and spicy foods for 12 hours before your session, as these may overstimulate baby when passed through in your milk. 
If baby is unsettled, we may do some top up feeds, so if you are formula feeding, please bring along an extra bottle or two, just in case!

If baby has a dummy, or settles well with a wrap with a familiar smell, please bring this along as well, as these settling aids can really help baby relax and drift off into a nice deep sleep.

What should we wear to our session?
Whether you are having your photos taken in my studio, your home/workplace or a public space, I suggest neutral clothes, that don’t have bold, busy patterns or big slogans.  While these might be some of your favourite clothes at the moment, they can date quite quickly, and I would hate for you to look back on your newborn photos in 10 years and cringe at your outfits. Likewise, a quick iron before hand, and clothes free from marks and stains, are always a good idea.

Consider choosing from three or four colours, and mix and match them, so everyone is tied in together, but not matching exactly… A good tip is to keep your shirts and pants/skirts neutral, and add a pop of colour in a headband, cardigan, chunky necklace or pair of shoes. Some combinations that I love are… Navy, white, grey and red… Navy, white and mustard… Black, baby blue, red and white…

When planning your outfit, please keep in mind that the studio will be set at a constant 25 degrees to ensure baby’s body temperature is regulated while they are lightly wrapped, or undressed on the beanbag. And while this is the perfect temperature for them, for us it can mean an uncomfortable couple of hours in the warm room. Please feel free to wear a singlet or light top, and layer when it is time for your photo to be taken.

What time should we arrive?

I always suggest clients arrive 5-10 minutes early, so that we can get to know each other before we begin. This is especially important if you have young children with you, who may need a few moments to warm up before we begin…

Can I bring friends and family to watch the session?
While it is lovely to share the experience with friends and family, if your session is taking place in my studio, I ask that no more that two adults come to the session, as the space is limited, and there are often props and flash units set up, limiting the area available. I also ask that clients refrain from taking photos during the session, as this can be distracting to children, and can cause clients to be looking in different directions.

My toddler/child doesn’t really enjoy photos, is there anything you can suggest to help with this?
If you are coming with toddlers or young children, we can complete the family and sibling photos first, so that your partner (or a friend) can take the children to one of the many local parks we have within walking distance, or a very short drive. This ensures that they don’t get bored, while we are settling and photographing your newborn.

If you are coming with young children alone, and aren’t able to take them out after their turn, I suggest bringing along a favourite quiet toy or book. iPads, tablets and phones can be a great distraction too, if you allow your children to have screen time.

I am a big advocate of a little treat or reward following the session (or a bribe if you will), however I strongly suggest not offering the treats half way through. If the child gets food on their clothes, or gets to play for a few minutes, then has to hand the toy over, things can turn emotional quite quickly, and it can be hard for a little person it recover from.

If I know a sibling isn’t going to be very excited about the prospect of the session, I will get their photos over straight away, and they can then move off to play, leaving us to focus on the newborn and parent shots.

My baby has really flaky skin, is there anything I can do to help ease it?
Flaky skin is a normal, natural occurrence for newborns, and can appear at any time during the first week/s of life. While some parents love the flaky newborn skin, others prefer it isn’t visible in their photos. If you are conscious that your baby has flaky skin, you may decide to use a lightweight (sensitive), newborn moisturiser the night before, and the morning of the session. I can lightly touch up the bigger flakes in post processing, but moisturiser can help to soften and smooth the skin. As with all products, please be sure to patch test the moisturiser on your baby before you apply a larger amount, to ensure they don’t experience a reaction.

As the session may take a couple of hours, is it ok if we bring some lunch or snacks with us?
While I understand that sessions can take some time, and breastfeeding mums (and growing children!) need to snack, I ask that clients don’t bring in foods that could spill and stain, or leave a smell in the delicate props and fabrics in the studio (eg: coffee, hot chips, ice-cream sundaes, chocolates, etc).

If you should find yourself hungry during the session, and don’t have anything in your bag, you will find a selection of bottled water and sealed snacks on display for you to help yourself to.



I hope that these few points have helped to ease your mind, and prepare you in the lead up to your session. If there is anything further that you would like to ask, or require more information on, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

I am so looking forward to working with you, and creating photographs that you will cherish for a lifetime.

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