Your adorable baby is finally here! Congratulations!
I bet you fell in love with your bundle of joy the moment you saw their little chubby face. You keep trying to memorise every detail of their features before they get bigger.
So, document that special newborn stage as those first few months will be gone in a flash!
In this article, I will answer all your questions regarding newborn photography. From what to bring to a photoshoot to what should you wear, I got them all here.
However, if you still need convincing whether or not to have a professional photoshoot, I have the article for you.
That said, if you are already convinced but are still undecided about which studio to get, I got you covered as well. One of our amazing writers wrote an article about the top 7 best newborn photography studios in Singapore. Click here to check that out.
Now, onto answering your questions!
What is newborn photography?
In a nutshell, newborn photography is the category of photography that focuses on taking photos of newborn babies by a trained and experienced photographer. Interestingly, while some may think that taking photos of a sleeping baby is easy, photographer Ashlee Neuman from The Bump said it is one of the most difficult photos to take. Since the whole photoshoot process would depend on the baby’s mood, parents and photographers should be prepared for anything!
When should I take newborn photos?
It depends on what kind of photo you want!
Kelly Marleau of Fiddle Leaf Photography suggests that if you want a photo of your baby sleeping and still with that classic wrinkly newborn skin, better take the photos within the first two weeks. This is when the babies are easier to pose as they are always in that perpetual sleepy state.
However, if you want the baby to be awake and capture more of their personality, it is better to wait a few more weeks.
That said, most professionals suggest taking photos within 5-14 days as babies are still easier to pose. Likewise, babies after this short window can be a bit fussier.
So, time your photoshoot wisely!
Who can be part of the photoshoot?
Anyone can be part of the photoshoot! Whether mom, dad, siblings, grandparents, or whoever you want is willing to join, they can join the shoot. Just because it is a newborn photoshoot doesn’t mean the photographer will only take the baby’s photos. That said, throughout the shoot, the baby is the star!
How do I prepare my baby for the photoshoot?
According to photographers, a few things can be done:
- Keep them awake 1-2 hours before the session
- Infant sleeping patterns can be a bit tricky, especially in the first few weeks. So, most photographers would suggest that you interact with your baby prior to the shoot. This will ensure that the little one will be tired right before the session starts
- Give them a long and warm bath an hour before the session
- This can relax the baby and make them sleepy
- Feed the baby 30-mins before the session
- A milk-drunk baby is a really cute and really sleepy baby!
- Dress them in comfortable clothes
- Clothes should be warm, comfortable, and easy to unwrap. Make sure to not put them in a onesie.
That said, prepare yourself as well. Since sessions may take between 2-3 hours. Make sure to have mama or a bottle on hand for when the baby cries for their milk.
Where should the photoshoot happen?
Depends on you!
Some families choose for the photographer to come into their home and take photos in the nursery or the master bedroom while others would opt to go to the studio. Most photographers are versatile so they can accommodate you based on what you want.
Here are some of the pros and cons of both at-home and in-studio photoshoots you may want to consider.
- No need to travel
- It is calm and quiet for you and the baby since everything is familiar
- Outfit changes are easier
- Siblings are much more comfortable
- It is much more personal
- You have to tidy and stage your house
- Can sometimes be more expensive
- No need to tidy your home
- A studio is a neutral and versatile space
- Lighting is perfect as studios are bright, often full of natural light and professional lighting equipment
- Controlled temperature for the baby
- Access to all the cute outfits, wraps, blankets, and props!
- You need to travel to the studio
- You have to bring everything you think you might need for your baby
- Older siblings may get restless
What should I bring to a photoshoot?
Photographers usually have a prepared newborn photography checklist for parents, especially if they opt to have the photoshoot in the studio. This is done to prepare the parents and to avoid confusion and misunderstandings. Here are some of those items in said checklist:
- Book a session in advance and talk with the photographer if you have any specific ideas.
- Bring a snack and water for yourself and any pets and siblings. The photo shoot can be long and tiring.
- Bring at least one change of clothing for the baby. Just in case any accidents happen. Bring extra clothes for yourself as well.
- If siblings are coming, bring some entertainment for them.
- Bring any toys, clothes, or props you wish to be included in the photos.
- Bring plenty of wipes and diapers.
What should I/we wear?
You can wear whatever you want. However, if you really want to highlight the start of the shoot – the baby— here are some tips from photographers:
- Wear clothes that don’t wrinkle easily
- Wear solid colours or small prints.
- Wear white, cream, neutrals, pastels, or black. (Side note: black is best for moms who wish to hide their post-pregnancy belly).
Basically, pick a colour and coordinate accordingly.
What kind of photos I can get?
Again, this will depend on you.
But there are two main styles of newborn photography: posed or lifestyle.
- Posed Photos: In these photos, your photographer will gently position your baby in a variety of cute poses during the shoot. This is emphasising the cuteness of your baby while rocking those classic newborn poses. Examples of posed newborn photos: babe baby, with props, or with parents and siblings.
- Lifestyle photos: These photos are more candid and informal.
Regardless of what kind of photos you want to take, you should talk with your photographer so they can bring your ideas to life. They can also have tips and tricks to pull off what idea you have in mind. Likewise, they could also advise whether your specific idea can be done or not.
Bottom line, communication is key!
What happens during a photoshoot?
While each photographer has their own twist on how photoshoots go, a brief rundown of the session will be as follows:
- When you arrive on the studio or when the photographer arrives at your home, you will be given plenty of time to prepare and relax. For in-studio shoots, parents will be shown around the studio, will be offered drinks, will be given the necessary paperwork for the shoot, and will be given the chance to ask any final questions before the shoot begins.
- Baby will be settled to sleep.
- The baby will be swaddled.
- The photographer will gently position the baby.
- The photographer will take a variety of photos. This could include adding props or including family members who wish to join the shoot.
- You will be shown the photos.
After the shoot is done, the photographer will edit out blemishes or the odd stray hair. They won’t edit to the extent that your baby will look unnatural.
Once this is done, a digital gallery will be sent to you or you can book an appointment to check the photos before printing.
How to choose the right photographer?
Photography skills aren’t the only factors to consider when choosing a photographer. Since the photoshoot subject is a little fragile and oh so precious, extra care is required. So here are the things you must consider when choosing the best photography studio.
- Care: this is the most important! Choose studios that are trained to handle babies.
- Experience: the photographer must be very professional and highly skilled in dealing with a newborn baby.
- Quality of photos: choose a photographer whose work you like best!
- Budget: Consider how much you are will to spend for the photoshoots. Check out if studios have different packages as well you can get a bang for your buck!
- Customer reviews: check if other customers were satisfied with their work. It can give you a peace of mind if you are assured that the studio/photographer you will choose will give you the quality of work you want.
What to expect in a photoshoot?
Expect that everything might still go wrong. This could mean the baby is fussy, crying incessantly, or the baby having an accident. It could also mean you get your clothes ruined by baby vomit or you forget your change of clothes at home. This could also pertain an older sibling having a meltdown or is being uncooperative with the shoot.
Basically, anything can happen!
Hopefully, nothing goes wrong and you can just enjoy and relish in the cuteness your baby.
If this do go wrong, know that it’s okay. These are normal things during a photo session.
Capture those fleeting moments forever.
Sure, newborn photoshoots may be stressful at times but they could also be the cutest and most adorable thing you do with your newborn so far! I hope I was able to answer your questions about newborn photoshoots while also alluring you to try it out for yourself.