Bottles, cribs, swings, rockers, sleep sacks, wipes, diapers...there is so much to do to prepare your your new baby, so many decisions to make! Planning for your newborn photo session shouldn't add to your stress or be a burden. Your photo session should be an exciting event to look forward to where you will get to "just sit" and reflect on this new little bundle. That being said, being prepared will will ensure that your final images are perfect, just like you want to remember this perfect new gift for years to come!
This post is the first in a "how to prepare" series where I'll give you tips on how to prepare for photography sessions with the goal of removing the stress of being in front of the camera. This post will cover:
HOW TO PREPARE FOR:
LIFESTYLE NEWBORN SESSION
Your photographer will ensure lighting and posing are beautiful, but you especially have control of the overall look and feel in a lifestyle session.
Read this tip!! This is the most important tip I can give you!!
The general rule to follow is: If you don't want it in a picture hanging on your wall, PUT IT AWAY!
This tip applies to any room where you think the photographer would like to shoot. Any room with great natural light is an option or a room that has beautiful simple decor (like a sitting room you may not frequently use). I typically use the nursery, master-bedroom, and a living area. I've also shot in amazingly beautiful bathrooms...so be prepared!
Here's what to do:
Remove clutter from nightstands, coffee tables, end tables, dressers, etc.
Hide wires from alarm clocks (just stick it behind the dresser), TVs, Sound systems, baby monitors, etc.
Fold blankets or put away extra pillows and blankets
Remove toys from older siblings and large baby items like the baby swing
For example, in the first image, the room is technically clean, the bed is made, stuffed animals are arranged nicely, and the dresser is free of the hair products and papers and toys that were there before. Compare to the second image that is DECLUTTERED. The hats and bags and paper picture were taken off the wall, all but 2 stuffed animals were removed, and the dresser is free of most items (I would have removed the picture as well, but my 4 year old insisted!).
2. STAGE A LITTLE/ADD FLOWERS
The opposite general rule applies: If want it in a picture hanging on your wall, SET IT UP!
A little goes a long way on staging. If all you do is add a few fresh flowers to the night stands, you will love the outcome!
Here's what to do:
Finish the nursery :)
Set out simple pillows or throw blankets
Turn the bindings of books around (optionally)
Open blinds and curtains
The general rule to follow is: Feel your best by looking your best!
I know you just HAD A BABY! If decluttering a few rooms isn't already hard enough, wanting to put on make-up and regular clothes could feel overwhelming! So, keep it simple, but please plan! You are investing $$ in these pictures so, make sure you love them! Mamma won't like them if she doesn't like herself!
Here's what to do:
Pursue pinterest for color coordinating ideas:
For the NEWBORN: a simple onesie or swaddle are preferred. Newborn outfits tend to swallow the baby and take-away from their features.
Moms photograph beautifully in whites and pastel colors. Simple flowing dresses and tops are very flattering over those maternity pants that your thought you were done with!
Dads look great in simple button downs or crew neck shirts and jeans
Make sure older siblings are well-groomed and clothes coordinate
Get your hair and make-up professionally done (if time and budget allow). If you have to pick, I recommend you get your hair done! Make-up is much easier to enhance in post processing than hair.
Plan/purchase wardrobe and professional styling before the due date!
Coordinated cuteness, right?!
The general rule to follow is: Be open and honest with your photographer
As the photographer, I will give you direction ahead of and throughout the session because, let's be honest, who ever knows "what do I do with my hands?"! You may even feel a little awkward in a pose, but typically those look the best ;)
Here's what to communicate:
The most important newborn outfit/keepsake/shot that you want captured. This will help your photographer prioritize the session flow.
When was the last time the baby ate.
If a pose causes you any pain or discomfort (this is different than just feeling silly or awkward)
If you or the baby or sibling need a little break. Session times allow for feedings as needed.