I’m Lea, a newborn and family photographer from Willenhall, West Midlands, UK. I’ve put together a quick guide for new parent’s that have booked in for their new arrival to have a newborn session. This should cover everything you need to know about not only when to book your newborn session, but also what it’s going to contain and what you need to bring with you!
If you’re still looking for a newborn photographer to capture your little ones arrival then send me a message! I have limited availability, so the earlier you enquire the better.
When to book
It is important to book your newborn session early on in your pregnancy, I would usually recommend between your 12-20 week scan. Although I will always try and accommodate last minute bookings if I can, booking early ensures that I have space to fit you in once your little one arrives.
When does the session happen
Upon booking I will use your due date as a provisional booking date for the session, then once your little one arrives another date will be arranged. It is important that I am informed as soon as possible when your baby arrives to arrange a date within the first 2 weeks of their arrival. This is the perfect time for a photo session with a newborn as there won't be a limitation with regards to posing. The more your baby grows, the less likely they will happily squish into those curled up poses everyone loves as they open out and their tummies grow bigger. If the only option is to do the session over 2 weeks of age, do not panic! There is still plenty that we can cover and you will still end up with a gorgeous gallery of images of your little one.
Length of session
Some people will be surprised to find out that for newborn sessions I allow 2-4 hours for the session. Every newborn session is different; some babies snooze angelically from start to finish and we can whiz through the poses, others decide they are going to test how long they can stay awake and feed for. Newborn sessions are completely baby led, everything is done at babies pace to make sure they are as happy as possible. Patience is a must for a good newborn session as the safety and happiness of your little one is very important.
Let your other half know what to expect too and inform them it's ok to take some time for themselves. If a break is needed, that's perfectly fine as long as your partner is back for the end when they need to have their parent pictures taken.
Payment of session
To book a newborn session I take a £50 retainer which is to hold the session date and to cover my time in the event of a no show. I require the remainder of the balance of your chosen collection to be paid by the day of the session. If you aren’t sure of which collection you would like to choose before you’ve seen your gallery, I always suggest choosing the bronze collection with the option of upgrading once you’ve seen your images.
Do I have a say on styling of the session?
Of course you do! Once your deposit has been paid and your collection has been chosen we can discuss colour schemes. These images are going to last forever so I want them to reflect you and your family in the best possible way. If you’re purchasing wall art then colours are extremely important as you want them to fit within your home. If you’ve seen my newborn gallery, I tend to sway towards the neutral colours as for me I feel they are going to be timeless and are more likely to go with everything. If you have something specific in mind please let me know and we can work together to create something thats unique for you.
Preparing for the session
Here are a few pointers to help the session go as smooth as possible -
On the day of the session I suggest that you try and keep your little one awake as much as possible before the session, even if it’s just for the journey.
Dress your little one in a sleep suit, please avoid putting socks on as they leave marks on the skin. The little we have to take off when you arrive the less we are going to disturb them.
If they’re due a feed when you are ready to leave to make the journey or just beforehand, please wait until you are here. I allow time within my sessions for feeding if needed. Sleepy, full babies are happier to be posed.
What do I wear?
I usually suggest wearing something quite neutral in colour and design. Just keep in mind that trends never last long and these images are going to be on your walls hopefully forever! White, black, cream’s and browns are perfect.
Just keep in mind that if you’re having sibling/parent shots taken then you ideally want everyone’s outfits to work well together.
Please read the ‘heat‘ section to give you more information about what to wear.
Do I need to bring anything with me for the session?
I would suggest bringing the following things with you -
Something to drink Something to snack on, especially if you’re breast feeding.
Plenty of milk for your little one, or just yourself if you’re breast feeding.
A pacifier if your baby has one.
A change of clothes for yourself, as accidents definitely happen.
You don’t need to bring anything else with you. All outfits and props will be provided.
All of my newborn collections include parent shots.
I find that most parents, especially moms are quite reluctant to have their picture taken at newborn sessions. I completely get it, you’ve just had a baby, you’re tired, you aren’t feeling your best etc. That’s fine, I would never push anyone to do anything they didn’t want to do but I definitely recommend it!
In 4 weeks time your baby wont be that tiny, you don’t get those precious days back and if you’re anything like me you’re generally the one that takes pictures of your little one and 99% of those don’t include you.
I say do it, what have you got to lose? Nobody ever needs to see them other than you. Trust me when I say that in 20 years time when your baby is no longer that tiny you’ll be glad that you did. If you can’t do it for yourself, then do it for them as I 100% guarantee that they will never look at those images and see your flaws the way that you do.
All of my newborn collections include sibling shots. Depending on the age of the siblings I will do the sibling shots at the beginning or the end of the session, as due to lack of space and the length of the session I feel it’s cruel to keep other children sat waiting as it gets quite warm and they get easily bored.
I usually suggest that once the sibling shots are done a member of the family take them elsewhere throughout the rest of the session as newborns are quite perceptive and a calm and happy setting is always best! We can discuss what is easiest for you when booking your session.
Extended family isn’t included within my newborn collections, but can be added on for an extra fee. If this is something you’re interested in then please discuss this with me prior to your session.
If siblings are present I will do the sibling shots first, then parent shots, then beanbag poses and props. If baby is settled up on arrival and there aren’t any siblings, I’ll start with beanbag poses, props, then parent shots.
During the session I will work through poses on the beanbag. If your little one isn’t happy within a certain pose, I will move on to another. There is plenty to cover and if at any point you have any questions then please feel free to ask.
Newborn babies struggle to regulate their own body temperature, because of this I make sure that the studio is nice and toasty so that when they are being posed, usually nude, they are still warm, snug and happy.
Please keep this in mind when you attend the session, it’s important for your babies wellbeing so although it might be a little bit warm for you, it’s best for them. It’s perfectly ok to ask to step outside to get some fresh air if you need a break.
I would also suggest when deciding what to wear for the session, keep the heat in mind so that you can easily remove layers if you get a little warm.
During most of your newborn session your little one is without a nappy, so don’t be surprised when accidents happen! This is why I would always suggest bringing a change of clothes for yourself, as although I’ll be doing most of the handling, I always pass the little one back for feeding.
There also isn’t any need to apologise, it’s a hazard of the job.
After your newborn session
Once your session is complete I will go through your images and produce a gallery for you to choose your final images from. Each of my collections come with a different amount of images. If you decide you would like more images than you originally planned for after seeing your gallery then you can choose to upgrade your collection.
I usually allow 3-4 weeks after a session to produce a gallery. Once you have chosen your images for your collection I will then send your digital images to you. If your collection includes prints or products then those will be either be collected, hand delivered or sent through the post depending on location.
If you have a newborn session booked in with me then I look forward to seeing you and meeting your new arrival!
If there is anything that hasn't been covered here and you have further questions then please don't hesitate to contact me, I'm always happy to help.