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Nailing your newborn session

Not a lot of things bring more joy into our studio than a brand new babe. We also know that those first few days and weeks of bringing a new life into the world can feel, NUTS. If you're anything like me, those first few weeks were like walking through a thick happy fog and trying to do anything remotely close to normal life felt like a giant chore.

We are moms, too and that means that we get it! So to make your life a little easier, here are a few tips and tricks for nailing your newborn session.


1. When is the right time for a newborn shoot?

When considering the right shoot date for your newborn session, we suggest two different options. One is not better than the other, there are just different benefits going with either option.

Booking 7-10 days after their arrival - This time frame ensures your little one will be more sleepy... which gets you a higher chance of getting those wrapped, sleeping shots. BUT, you may end up getting mostly sleep shots due to the fact that is can be tough for a baby this age to stay awake for any period of time.

Booking at 6-8 weeks - This time frame still gets you "newborn" type photos as they are still at that tiny tiny stage but you will also have a more alert, potentially smiley newborn. BUT, because they are more awake, you may not get them to cooperate with being wrapped up in a tight swaddle unless they already just love it.

We think either option is fantastic but the decision is definitely a personal preference and changes with every client.

2. How to choose a location

We photograph newborn session in our Bright on White studio or in your home. The first 3 images below are in our natural light studio while the second set were all taken at home. There are benefits to both.

Studio Shoot: We love the clean, crisp look of our Bright on White images. The simplicity of the shoot keeps the focus completely on the baby and the connection between your family. BUT, we also know it can be difficult to pack up your brand new life to do anything right after you come home from the hospital. On the flip side, you also don't have feel like you need to clean the house or put the final touches on the nursery in order to accomplish a fabulous newborn session. You get to show up and be done! Not to mention that sometimes getting out in those first few weeks can be good for the soul.

Home Shoot: We love watching parents navigate their new lives in their homes through our lens. There is something to be said about documenting not only your new life but your new life in the space you were in when they came into the world. BUT, downsides could be your stress level in feeling like you have to have anything perfect. Please never feel that way (although as a recovering perfectionist myself, I get it) as we have children, too and are coming to document your connection. Also, if you are wanting photos but are still not feeling 100 percent, a home session keeps you comfortable in your space.

3. I have no clue what we should wear!

Keep it easy. Think neutral and soft. White, creams, soft blues and soft pinks are all very calming colors and allow the eyes to focus on the your little one. They also bring a certain softness to the images. Play with textures and fabric to bring a layer of interest to your images.

When considering shapes and styles of clothing, I suggest wearing something comfortably beautiful that may have a little give. After giving birth, you may not be up to wearing tight clothing and your newborn session will include sitting, snuggling and laying down. Whatever you wear, do all of those things in front of the mirror before you come if you are concerned. You want to enjoy your session, not having to pull at your clothing the entire time.

In addition, bring at least three outfits for the baby that you LOVE and one change of clothing for both you and your partner. Between spit ups and blow outs, we end up changing quite a bit!

When you are choosing outfits for your baby, think snug. Newborns easily get swallowed up by clothing and big blankets so each piece should fit against their skin. We recommend bringing a white onsie as well as a soft colored onsie of your choice. Even if your baby was not preterm, you might consider trying a preemie on them for the photo shoot as that sometimes fits perfectly and does not swallow them up. Keep in mind, stripping them down to see all that sweetness is also one of their outfits.

Try on everyone's outfits a week ahead of time! This is especially helpful with your baby. They will change and grow so quickly and what looks like it will fit while it sits on the hanger might be HUGE when you put it on them the day of the shoot. Lets cut down on any more surprises. You will have had enough by then!

Like every last parent you have ever met, I will tell you that it goes by way to fast to not enjoy as much as possible. I hope this blog post helps prepare you for a joyful newborn session! Congrats on your new little life!

- Kortnee Kate


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