Newborn babies are one of my favorite subjects to photograph, but they can also be the most challenging since they don’t exactly follow directions. As a new parent, I know you’re both excited and nervous about your brand new baby’s session. So here are my top ten tips for helping your baby have the best newborn photo session possible.

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  1. Nursing Moms: If possible, try to avoid spicy foods and caffeine for the 24 hours prior to your session. These foods can cause a baby discomfort and to be more alert during a session.

  2. Feeding Baby: A well-fed baby is a happy, sleepy and safely-posed baby. Our session will most likely start with a feeding, and baby will most likely eat more during their session than on a normal day. Whether you are pumping or using formula, keeping a bottle nearby can be helpful to coax baby to sleep while taking their portraits. We will take plenty of breaks to feed baby as often as needed, so if baby is getting restless I may suggest feeding them again and then resuming the session.

  3. Please try to keep baby awake for 1-2 hours prior to your session - a bath, talking to baby, or even doing a little "naked time" can help with this.

  4. If possible, dress baby in loose clothing so that there are no seam marks on baby's skin.

  5. Bring a pacifier. Even if you do not use a pacifier at home, using one during a newborn photo session can help baby relax so we may get a few more photos before they need to feed or break free from their posed positions. This one small step can easily increase the number of good photos we get from your session.

  6. Babies like it very warm, especially when they are mostly naked. I will have a space heater with me so that we can keep the room at a balmy 80 degrees during the baby-only photos. This is pretty hot for everyone else. Please dress in layers so that your are comfortable during the session.

  7. What to wear for photos: I always suggest mom, dad and siblings wear simple, solid-colored shirts for photos with baby. I find it best if the parents are in neutral tones while children can wear brighter colors if you wish. Please avoid logos/graphics on clothing as they will draw attention away from baby. Mom may not feel like herself right after having a baby, but photos with your little one are so special at this time, and I will make sure I pose you correctly so that you look amazing in your photos.

  8. Siblings: If a very young sibling is being photographed with your baby, we will typically do those photos first.

  9. Baby Safety: Baby safety is always most important during a photography session with me. For some poses baby must be sound asleep or we may not be able to attempt them. As we photograph baby, I may need assistance from one person throughout the session. If you have small siblings attending the session, it is perfectly fine to ask a friend or relative to come help out with sibling or baby during the session. Please talk to me ahead of time if you have any questions about this!

  10. Baby runs the show: Ultimately, the baby is in charge of what photos we do or do not take. Following the prep instructions above will give us the best chance of having a successful session and the most variety of images to choose from.

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Do you feel ready to rock your newborn session? Then let’s chat!

Want to learn more about a session with Jennifer Lukes Photography? Get your copy of the JLP Client Welcome Guide!

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