The key to a successful newborn photo shoot is preparation. Please don’t confuse this with me expecting your little one to be in any sort of routine, as this just isn’t possible at their age. However during the ideal window for Newborn photos, 5-14 days, they do tend to sleep a lot so we can use that to our advantage for the shoot.
Feed baby 2-3 hours before the shoot
Baby ideally will have a feed 2-3 hours before your shoot. This is so they are due for a feed as soon as they get to the studio. They can then settle with a full tummy.
Try to keep baby awake
This is easier said than done, but bare with me! If we keep baby awake prior to their shoot, they are more likely to be tired and sleep through their session. If baby has had loads of sleep before you get here then you can almost guarantee they will wake up and be unsettled when they arrive. Usually they will fall asleep again after their milk, but it does depend on baby.
Ways to keep little one awake are:
- tickling their toes
- some nappy off time to let them kick about
- a bath (as they are coming for photos it’s nice to wash their hair gently so it looks its best)
- time without a dummy
Bring a dummy or soother
Even if you aren’t planning on using one ever again, a dummy can be a good way to keep baby settled during their shoot. The sucking action is very soothing to them so it helps them stay in a nice deep sleep.
Don’t worry, it won’t confuse them or interfere with breastfeeding at all.
Bring baby in a simple sleep suit that buttons up without poppers, and no socks (they can leave marks around baby’s ankles).
The studio is at the ideal temperature for baby, around 28c, which will feel warm to us so you may wish to dress in layers to stay comfortable.
Your changing bag with extra nappies, wipes, burp cloths. A spare change of clothes for mum and dad if you are having parent shots (babies often pee or poo during this bit and you don’t want to go home with messy clothes). Bring extra milk if you are bottle feeding as babies sometimes feed a little more during their session when being moved about.
If you want to include a special teddy or blanket this is fine, but please let me know beforehand so I can plan it into my set up.
I have cold and hot drinks here with biscuits, but you may wish to bring your own cold snacks too. Please don’t bring hot food.
Bring along an extra adult if you are having sibling shots so they can take them off and keep them entertained away from the studio after their photos are taken.
Of course, even with the best laid plans babies can and do surprise us so don’t be too worried if it all goes pear shaped! We will go with what makes baby happy, so please don’t worry if baby decides they don’t want to go along with any of my advice! Sit back, relax and enjoy your baby’s first photo shoot.