Congratulations on the arrival or pending arrival of your sweet baby boy or girl. You’re on the right track in researching how to prepare for your newborn’s first portrait session. The reality is, you only get one chance to capture your newborn’s pictures because babies change so rapidly in facial features as well as in body movement and facial expressions. Here’s what you need to know about capturing timeless keepsakes from your baby’s first portrait session.
Choosing the Right Photographer
Finding a photographer is not difficult. In fact, the industry is flooded with photographers of every caliber and price range competing for your business. During your pregnancy, while you’re daydreaming about holding your little one, take the time to browse the web and put together a sampling of your favorite images. When you have a sampling of your favorite images, you have a clear idea of your style and can then seek out a photographer whose website portfolios look similar to the style you’ve envisioned.
Once you find the photographer with the right style, make sure he or she is in your area, and in your price range. Then, read reviews and ratings to see what others are saying. You might find a photographer whose work is stunning but whose personality is difficult for you to be around.
When to Schedule Your Baby’s First Portraits
When you schedule your baby’s first portrait session with Mitchell Photography in Berea, Kentucky during your pregnancy, your maternity session is free. But if scheduling that early isn’t practical for your lifestyle, then know that your best opportunity for stellar images is during your baby’s first two weeks of life.
During your baby’s first two weeks, sleep is deep. Your newborn’s body is flexible, and he or she isn’t bothered by the handling required for posing. In most cases, you can feed and burp baby, allow for baby to potty, and then there’s a good 45 minutes to an hour when your photographer can work with your baby peacefully.
You can also ask about our Baby’s First Year program, another opportunity to save money when scheduling your keepsake photo shoots.
Shhh… The Baby is Sleeping
Have you ever noticed that some of the most adorable newborn photographs ever taken were of the baby sleeping? There’s a reason photographers choose to capture the essence of newborns during sleep. In reality, your baby’s eyes are not fully developed and lack the ability to focus. For this reason, images taken of baby with eyes open usually produces an image of a cross-eyed baby. Furthermore, for a baby to hold his or her eyes open, the rest of the face becomes strained, generating wrinkly foreheads and odd expressions.
Naked Baby and Wardrobe Selections
We are all born in pure innocence, wrapped in flesh and nothing but. There’s an element of sweet innocence in photographing a newborn without clothing. Parents and photographers alike feel an honor in preserving memories of the baby’s umbilical cord, the fetal fold. But not all people are comfortable with nudity. That’s okay! At Mitchell Photography, we allow you, the parent, to choose how you’d like your baby photographed. When photographing newborns, we keep our studio toasty warm - including the use of space heaters and blow dryers near the camera area to keep baby cozy. We use heartbeat sounds in-studio to comfort baby, and we minimize the lights as much as possible. Your baby’s safety and comfort are our top priority.
Accidents happen. Should your wee one happen to tinkle, business, or spit-up during your session, it's okay! We expect these things and we're prepared. In fact, these can make for hilarious out-takes as keepsakes!
Whether or not you opt to start with nude images, you can bring as many outfits as you feel appropriate. Remember, your baby might not be in the mood to change frequently. The more you move baby during a session, the more restless baby becomes. And, some clothing may cause baby to be uncomfortable. Check your fabrics to see which items may cause your baby to be itchy or uncomfortable. Try your baby’s outfits on before arriving at the studio.
You can also bring any items that have sentimental value. Some parents want baby photographed in Dad’s work uniform or with Grandma’s pearls. We love to work with your belongings in addition to our in-house props and costumes.
We have a wide variety of hand-crafted, crocheted newborn props that can have your newborn looking like the center of a flower, a butterfly, sock monkey, and more. Ask us to show you our newborn props.
On Picture Day
Bring baby to your session hungry. We schedule more than enough time for you and baby to be cozy and comfortable. In a dimly lit, private nursery area, we’ll ask you to undress and loosely wrap baby in a blanket. This removes any lines or creases on the skin from elastic, snaps, or diapers. Then, when your newborn is warmly tucked in the blanket, enjoy a tranquil feeding session. The feeding session is the opportunity for you and your baby to both relax and see to your needs. Once your child has finished eating, we wait about 30 minutes more for baby to potty and settle in to sleep.
You will also be in pictures, so be picture-ready, too. Don’t worry; we understand you may be concerned about post-baby figure, but we’re highly experienced in using posing and lighting to camouflage as much as possible. Be cautious in getting ready, tough. Baby might be sensitive to smells such as hair spray or perfume, which could interfere with the photo shoot.
Wear something comfortable, loose fitting, and timeless. You have privacy in studio and can include wardrobe changes. We include the entire family in a newborn session, so make sure everyone is ready for their turn with new baby.
We take our time in polishing your images with professional quality. Furthermore, we’re cautious not to overshoot, sending you multiple images that look nearly identical. Instead, we show you an array of about twenty unique images from which to choose. With twenty images to choose from, there’s ample room for picking out your fav, and if you can’t part with any, you’ve got just the right amount to make a keepsake album. But don’t limit yourself to the standard album or 8x10 print. We’ve got everything you can imagine to celebrate your baby - including smartphone and tablet cases, coffee mugs, tee shirts, Christmas tree ornaments, and more. In fact, we can custom design your baby’s birth announcements, too. So while it’s important to think about how to prepare for your baby’s first photo shoot, keep the seed in the back of your mind that you’ll be making purchasing decisions in a few weeks.