Preparing for your Newborn Photography Session

Congratulations on the arrival of your new baby!  Thank you so much for allowing me the amazing and rewarding job of photographing your newest family member. 

Please take the time to look through this guide as many questions you might have are answered within.  Feel free to contact me at any stage if there is anything else you need to know.

Studio Location & Session Times


The studio is located: 17 Thelma Crescent Torbay Auckland 0630 There is a business sign on a white picket fence. Please feel free to use car parks that are available in the driveway (which are on either side of the pedestrian gate depending on which car my family is using that day) so you are nice and close to the front door. Newborn sessions start in the morning and will last for between 1 - 3 hours depending on the newborn package you have booked.




How to Prepare


Getting out of the house with a newborn can be hard! I totally understand. To make things easier the guidelines are simple. If you have a baby that is particularly alert or who is older than 14 days at the time of your session, giving your baby awake time before you come to the studio can help greatly if you want the sleepy, posed photographs. Napping is absolutely perfect, but a long 2 or 3 hour sleep before you arrive at the studio may mean that your gallery consists of more "eyes-open" and lifestyle type photographs. Dress your baby in one layer of button-through clothing that is easy for me to remove without needing to pull over their head. Keep baby warm on the journey with a blanket and beanie. The studio will be a balmy 27/28 Celsius. Dress yourself in layers to be comfortable. Older sibling and family photographs are taken first in the session or right at the end. Young toddlers or preschoolers are advised to leave for a special playdate with Dad, grandparents or other caregivers so that I can concentrate on your newborn's special photographs and so that Mums can relax and enjoy the experience. Feel free to bring along something for yourself to eat at the studio and remember extra formula for your baby if you are bottle-feeding.




What to Wear


To keep the focus on your baby and the beautiful relationship that is forming between you I suggest that you wear neutral colours. Logos or patterns can be a little distracting and the aim is to create an image that will stand the test of time. Keep it simple! Colours that look great are ivory, cream, white, light or dark grey and navy. Families are posed on the queen mattress I have set up in the studio. It is dressed in a simple white duvet and the overall effect is of a light and airy bedroom. I have some long a-line dresses for mums to wear and plain t-shirts for the dads if required. A few tops and dresses are available for preschool aged children too. Mums - please be aware that a bright nail polish colour will really stand out in the photographs so I recommend having natural clear polish or a french manicure so that your nails don't inadvertantly become the main thing to draw attention.




Siblings


A newborn is often lucky enough to already have a big brother or a sister and frequently the age gap is around two years. Your toddler may be willing to cooperate for a photo with your new baby and I know that it is an important photo for many parents to have. In saying that, please remember that the sibling photograph is always going to be their choice and a child's feelings and a newborn's safety are the most important considerations. If they are willing, a sibling photograph with a toddler will only take a minute or two. Their cooperation is often fleeting as they have not had much time to get to know this new person in the family that has turned their world upside down. Please note that I cannot guarantee a sibling photograph but that I will try my very best. Photographs will be taken with your newborn fully swaddled so they are easier to hold and a parent (or both parents) need to be immediately close by to assist for safety. I also love to take an individual portrait of your bigger kids too so that they have their own special photograph on their own as part of the gallery of images from your session. As a newborn session will take a few hours I strongly suggest that arrangements are made for toddlers and young preschoolers to leave the studio for a few hours with a parent/grandparent or other caregiver while the individual newborn photographs are being photographed.




What to Expect During the Session


During your newborn session the aim is to have your baby asleep. Hopefully your preparation in the morning means that your little one is ready for a nice long nap. Sometimes your baby will be very alert and awake. This is completely fine, and even babies who are very sleepy will still have a portion of awake time during their session. When babies are awake it is a great opportunity for me to take photographs of their beautiful eyes and to catch some gorgeous expressions. But many poses require your baby to be fast asleep to accomplish. Some babies are super-sensitive and do not want to be touched or handled while they are sleeping. They tend to love the swaddled-up poses as they can sleep without disruption and I'm sneaky with changing out the top swaddle layer, putting them in a different background or setup and adding bonnets and/or headbands for variety. When your baby is fussy or upset the photography halts and instead I will encourage extra feeds and/or cuddles to settle baby. Your baby dictates the pace and we just need to be patient and calm. It will be necessary for you to keep your expectations flexible on what can be achieved during a newborn session as every baby is different. I have a great workflow, but your baby's preferences and alertness/sleepiness will guide what poses are done. Different camera angles and small adjustments to your baby's position will achieve the most variety with the least disruption to your son or daughter's sleep. I will rarely reschedule a newborn session as I will still achieve many beautiful photographs asleep or awake.




On-Location Newborn Sessions at Your Home


You have the option of having me travel to your home for an on-location newborn session. The fee for this is $150 on top of your normal session price and limited to a driving time of 30 minutes from Torbay or extra fees may apply. I will pack everything I need to do my usual newborn gallery and will pay particular attention to any colour and prop requests received in advance. Your Preparation The room I will be photographing in needs to be heated to approximately 27 degrees or be well on its way to this temperature when I arrive. It takes me about 20 - 30 minutes to bring in and set up my gear. I may need some furniture to be shifted back to create enough space for the beanbag and lights. Usually I am photographing in the living room, but I have also worked in baby nurseries, master bedrooms and rumpus room areas too. If you are not sure where would be best feel free to send me some quick pictures via email or text beforehand. Curtains or blinds to be drawn so the studio light works to its best advantage. If you have no curtains please let me know as I will bring some black fabric and we can try to peg it up to create enough darkness. Natural and relaxed style family photographs look beautiful on a master bed with you all cuddled up together or are photographed in your living room. Parent photographs can also be done against a blank wall in your house if you have the space.




After the Session


I hope you enjoyed your newborn session! Shortly after your session I will pick a photo to edit and showcase on my business Facebook page if you have allowed me to do so in the photography contract. Make sure you tag yourselves in this sneak peek or share to your personal page so all your friends and family can see your gorgeous new baby. Editing time usually takes between 2 - 4 weeks after your session. I will let you know at your session what your timeframe is likely to be. Once I begin to edit your photographs I will notify you via email and you can expect me to finished a day or two later - I know its hard to wait! Your online gallery will be created with two sets of photographs. One set are the full resolution photographs suitable for print, the other set are downsized and sharpened for social media or email sharing. The gallery link will be forwarded via email with a password for you to access and you will need to have a computer or laptop (mobile phone downloads are not possible). These online galleries are temporary and available online for a month for you to download - but they also have the advantage of being easily shared with friends and family too.​ When you receive your images it is very important that you create a few back-ups of your images. The online gallery is merely a method of transferring the images. I am also able to supply professional quality prints, canvas and albums so your memories are enjoyed on a daily basis. Contact me for more information and pricing.





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mel@melaniejphotography.co.nz  |  North Shore, Auckland, New Zealand  |  021 208 3276  |

© 2018 by  Melanie J Photography.