With my firstborn, I didn’t do a newborn photo shoot — so the second time around, I decided it was a must. I wanted to capture my sweet girl while she was still able to fit in newborn-sized clothes, when she would spend most of her day sleeping, and when she most often found comfort on my chest beside my heart.
While newborn sessions ideally take place in your home, we decided that it would be best for us to go to the photographer. This reduced the need to clean the piles of baby stuff, put the dog outside, or clean, because — I will be honest and admit — there wasn’t a lot of cleaning happening between the time my water broke and we returned home.
I wanted to share some things with you that really helped me get through (and enjoy!) my baby’s first photo shoot as well as things that would have helped me. If you also have some tips, I’d love it if you shared them.
12 Tips to Help You Get Through Baby's First Photo Shoot
Click through for 12 tips that will help you get through and enjoy your baby’s first photo shoot!
Don't schedule anything too close to the shoot.
Newborn photo shoots can sometimes take a while. Between outfit changes, possible feedings, and getting baby to fall back asleep for those coveted sleeping shots, it can be a little while before you’re done. Save yourself the unnecessary stress by not inviting company over too close to the estimated end time of the shoot. Instead let possible visitors know what time you anticipate being home but that you will contact them to confirm.
The sooner you schedule the photo session the better.
Although opinions vary on when to take your baby out, photographers often recommend doing newborn photos during the first one to two weeks (give or take). This is especially helpful for sleepy photos. During that earlier period babies sleep so hard that they can be easily moved and placed into cute poses without even waking up.
Bring siblings along for photos.
If this isn’t your first baby chances are you aren’t the only one adjusting. Your other child is too. At a time when everyone is oohing and aahing over your baby, including baby’s sibling is a great way to make big brother or sister also feel special. Our daughter loved being able to take
photos with her baby sister and I am grateful that I have those sweet moments captured for all of us.
Have photo ideas handy.
If there’s a certain pose you want to try, consider talking to your photographer about it and emailing him or her a photo before the shoot. As a backup have it accessible from your cell phone or print it out, that way you don’t forget and if necessary you can pull it out to show the photographer.
Wear comfortable yet photo friendly clothing.
Although I didn’t anticipate taking any photos and wanted to focus solely on the girls, our wonderful photographer encouraged my husband and I to take a couple photos too. I was glad I didn’t have on an old sweatshirt adorned in baby spit up. Given I was still recovering, wearing comfortable clothing also made it easier to move around and sit for longer periods of time.
Be photo ready.
After having a baby my body was hurting and I was exhausted.
Showering and hair brushing weren’t at the top of my priority list but I felt much better after doing so. Looking back, it would have been nice to have some mascara or lip gloss on hand. Even so, I was ready for some impromptu photos.
Bring something to keep big brother or sister entertained.
Whether it’s a book, favorite toy or some kid friendly apps on your iPhone bring something to help keep siblings busy while they wait.
Make sure baby's belly is full.
If you are able to feed your baby before starting you are less likely to have to stop for a nursing session but if you do it’s ok. While you are at it, make sure you have eaten too. It’s important you keep your strength up and stay hydrated.
Photographers of newborns are well aware that babies eat on demand, cry, and have accidents. They also know that mamas are recovering from childbirth. So please be sure to take it easy.
Bring a separate bag with photo props or special outfits.
If you have a special outfit you want your baby to wear or photo props you want used they will be easily accessible if you have them all in one place.
An extra set of hands may come in handy.
If your spouse isn’t able to be there and you are doing it away from home consider asking a family member or friend to come along. Whether it’s helping you while you get used to having to carry a car seat and diaper bag or keeping an eye on big brother or sister, it might be helpful to have some additional support.
This is one of the moments you will reminisce about later. Enjoy this and instead of sitting thinking about all the things you have to do later watch the magic happening before your eyes. That sweet tiny baby in front of the camera will be celebrating his or her first birthday before you know it.