You see that plus sign on your pregnancy test…. a FLOOD of emotions hits you in a single blink of an eye! A BABY! A baby is coming!!!
Congratulations! How scary/exciting/surprising/(insert your reaction here)! Probably the LAST thing on your mind at that moment is getting your baby’s photos taken, but down the line, as you settle into your new growing body, the thoughts about how you will want to capture those precious first few weeks will, undoubtedly, cross your mind.
I am writing this blog to help educate you on what you SHOULD consider for your newborn’s photography session if you choose to have one done. Whether you are interested in booking with me, or one of the other well-qualified newborn photographers in our area, there are a few things that you will want to know.
Lets back up and start with a Fresh48, shall we? For parent’s who don’t know, a Fresh48 is the session where a photographer comes in and captures documentary style photos of your new baby and typically just immediate family members such as mom, dad, baby’s siblings and maybe grandparents, within the first 48 hours of baby’s life and usually in the hospital, but some parents opt for a lifestyle home session within a day or so of discharge. My studio usually handles this session the morning of discharge, when we can flood the hospital or home room with beautiful morning light, and capture those first intimate photos of your new bonding experience. The hospital does provide in-house photographers such as Mom365, for a few snapshots of the baby, but if you’d like documentary style photos, I’d recommend finding a quality newborn photographer that also offers Fresh48 services. Here is some information regarding what you can expect from a Fresh48 session with Bumble-B Photography, LLC: http://bumblebphotography.net/newbornhospitalphotos/
Here we are, the BIG one, the NEWBORN session:
When should I book my baby for his/her newborn session?
It is recommended that you book your newborn photographer around the time you pack your hospital bag (typically by the time you are 6 or 7 months along or earlier, especially if your dream photographer is booked way in advance.
What considerations should I factor in when looking for a newborn photographer?
I’d say the one of the BIGGEST factors is SAFETY. Safety is #1. Newborn photographers have a VERY special job when you hand your precious babe over for photographs. Please, please…. this is not to scare you into booking with me, it’s to let you know, that your photographer needs to know how to handle a newborn properly and safely. Newborns are fragile. Your photographer should be very conscious and knowledgeable of baby’s anatomy, and with posing newborn babies. The photographer should always have safe practices when it comes to posing babies in props (by always having a spotter or assistant, and a properly weighted prop) to ensure baby is safe while being posed for a photo. Poses such as Potato Sack, Froggy and any other poses where baby LOOKS like they are holding themselves upright should ALWAYS be done as a composite… which means multiple photographs are taken and merged into one image, even though it APPEARS that baby is holding themselves up… an assistant always had a hand on baby for support. Babies should NEVER, NEVER be allowed to support their own weight. I am a photographer that performs these advanced style poses, and they are ALWAYS done safely, and there is always a hand holding the baby. Any of my parents can attest that their baby is never left balancing in ANY way, even though the final resulting image looks that way. Safety first! <3 Below is an example of a composite (froggy pose).
Budget: Moment of truth here: what is your budget for newborn photos? Having a baby is very expensive, and hiring a wonderful and knowledgeable newborn photographer can definitely be a chunk of that investment. Newborns are only newborns once in their lives, and savoring these moments that you never want to forget is worth every single penny. Make sure you consider this factor. What products does your photographer offer that may interest you to preserve these memories? Are you more interested in digital media to share and have unlimited printing ability (does your photographer offer that)… or would you want to consider having a big beautiful canvas of that ONE amazing image that you loved so much!
Specialty: Is your photographer a newborn specialist? Do they have everything that you will need where you can just pay your session fee and the photographer will handle outfits, props, wraps, and everything beyond, so all you need to do is bring your baby and family. Many photographers that just specialize in newborn or newborn to one like I do, have everything you need…. you only need to select your colors (and maybe a certain set up that you’ve see) that you would like to have incorporated and we can handle the rest! Generalist photographers (who do not particularly specialize in newborn photos) may require that you bring your own items to have the baby photographed with such as outfits, and props etc. My studio welcomes outfits purchased by parents as well, these are after-all, photos of YOUR baby… just know that you don’t need to worry about it, if you don’t have anything. Sometimes it’s worth it to just pay a little bit more to go with a newborn specialist, and have everything taken care of for you. To be honest as the old adage goes “you get what you pay for” is very true for ANY subject of photography.
What is your vibe with the photographer you have chosen?
This is especially important. As newborn photographers, we know that when our clients hand over these little precious souls, they are entrusting us with the most important part of them at that moment, and it is our job to make sure that our parents trust us! If you are in love with your photographer’s work, this may just be the person that you are taking your baby to for hopefully many, many if not all her/his years, and you want to make sure that, the connection you make with this person will be a lasting one, and that you are assured that this photographer will take care of your needs in both the session itself, your baby, and the products that are produced.
What is the age my baby will need to be for his/her newborn session?
Newborn session are typically done at 7-21 days old. Why the time limit? Newborn babies are typically the most sleepy and “curly” around this time-frame, and will more easily settle into those cute little squishy poses that we all love so much! Past this time frame, newborn babies start waking more readily, and are starting to stretch out from being all squished up in momma’s womb, which means they may not be able to pose as easily, and other posing alternatives are needed to capture older newborns that don’t include some of the poses you would most often find on “Pinterest”.
How do I prepare from my newborn session?
This will vary from photographer to photographer, in what the needs for the session are. At my studio, I email a newborn session packet over to our clients that includes a section for sleepy baby tips. These guidelines really help ensure a sleeping newborn, and full maximization of photo session time with a calm and restful baby. Even if newborns are awake, I can take their photos as long as they are happy and calm (and those photos seem to be some of my client-parents FAVES). A warm bath, and a full and satisfied baby prior to the session really help aid in making baby relaxed for their photo session.
What is a typical newborn session like?
This will vary from photographer to photographer, and the type of session you have chosen. TYPICAL newborn photo sessions last from 2-4 hours (we’ve had some go a bit longer)… but this all depends on baby as well, who is the star of the show, and is a person all their own, and sometimes they have different plans for the sessions we create for them. In general, the typical newborn session will include wrapped poses, 1 or 2 prop set ups, a posing on a bean bag with a few different colors of blanket backdrops, and parent and sibling photos. My studio also has an abbreviated one hour session that is all wrapped poses for just baby that meets a wider budget criteria, but my advanced posing is in my full newborn session, as are my parent poses. The studios are normally heated in someway, this is especially true for newborn photographer who take photographs of the newborn who is naked. We want to keep them warm and comfy at all times. Sometimes the studio can be upwards to 80 degrees, so make sure you ask your photographer about this and if so, dress accordingly. Newborn studios are typically quiet, or your newborn photographer may have some sort of white noise device running, as babies LOVE the noise that makes them feel like they are back in the womb. If you are bringing baby’s older siblings, it is typically recommended that you bring along another caretaker to take the children somewhere fun after their family photos are taken so that the photographer and parent (typically mom) can finish up with the newborn in a calm/quiet environment to keep baby sleeping as long as possible. This is especially helpful to make sure that the focus is not removed from baby, and no equipment gets knocked over by busy older siblings. We have a workflow that takes the baby through wrapped poses, beanbag poses, parent poses and prop poses all within this time frame, and also generates a great variety of different poses and looks for our parents to see for their reveal within a week or so.
At my studio, within a week or so, you would attend an ordering session to see a beautiful slideshow set to music, and would then select your final images and products! SO hard to choose, but so much fun!!!
What type of products are generally offered with professional newborn photographers?
This will vary with each studio, also, but this is important to ask your photographer when considering a session to book. What kind of products are YOU interested in? Many, but not all photographers, offer a variety of albums, canvas and prints, or even digital images. We have these items too, but also offer birth announcements, wood prints, gallery wraps, framed prints and metals. Our digital package that include an album, canvas and digitals is our most popular collection!
Why is newborn photography so expensive?
I wanted to add this question in, because I feel this deserves a little focus too. While I don’t know if I am the most expensive newborn photographer in the area, I am not the cheapest either. Newborn photography is an investment, for parents, and for the photographers who handle newborn babies. There is ALOT of equipment (and maintenance of that equipment), time, patience, props, education (constant education) that is needed for photographing newborns to ensure you have the best possible photos possible. The session doesn’t end for us when our newborn client is carried out the door. It’s really only the beginning. We take the time to educate ourselves on editing (newborns are ESPECIALLY tricky with editing, as they have alot of different blemishes, jaundice, redness, flakes, acne, etc that is typical with newborn skin.) and constant updates to safety and posing techniques. I have learned to edit babies so that their skin is more true to an even creamy tone, etc. I typically need to haul my 1/4 of my studio equipment with me to perform in-home session so that my Corpus and Victoria, etc parents do not have to drive all the way out to Woodsboro with a brand new baby. I always tell my parents as I walk in the door “I know it looks like I am moving in, but I promise I will leave, haha”. They get to stay in the comfort of their home where all of their baby’s necessities are while everything is set up, services performed and equipment packed up!
Culling (sorting to pick the best of the best images to show) and the actual editing of those chosen images is an hours upon hours process away from our children and family too, and frankly, we like getting paid for our job too! 🙂 Education…. again…. more education (we never stop learning), and props…. did I mention the props… outfits, headbands, wraps, hats, stuffed animals, backdrops! Haha! Newborn and infant photography takes ALOT to make sure that parents who invest in this service get the images worthy of the price. Invest in the BEST photographer that your budget will allow (even if it’s not with my studio) and you will not regret it!
I hope this has help ease some questions in your mind! Go ahead and get your Google on! There are lots of well qualified newborn photographers in our area!! Find someone that matches your style! This may help give you a head start on your search: https://www.expertise.com/tx/corpus-christi/newborn-photography
Last but not least, congrats again and best of luck in your newborn photography search, and I truly hope you find someone amazing that fits your needs, and it’s my hope that you’ve got a little bit of insight to help you with this super amazing journey that is photographing your baby!!! If your budget allows it, go with the best you can, and don’t live with regret of the DIY newborn photos, newborns are TOUGH (sometimes even for us as photographers), and you have enough to worry about… leave the memories to your photographer to capture for you! We will make sure you are well cared for from the Maternity session to newborn and beyond!!!
For booking information with Bumble-B Photography, LLC please visit my contact page HERE. Hope to hear from you!
Feel free to share this with an expectant friend or family member!