Sunday, April 15, 2018

A Newborn Photography Session with Baby Riley and Her Big Sister Ariana.

A few months ago I shared a photo of the 9-day old baby Ella, a composite image created using a digital background by Luisa Dunn

The original image is on the left, the composite is on the right.

Compositing is an old photographic technique of layering or blending two images into a single scene, often creating an illusion of a whimsical but technically impossible photograph. Composite photography goes back to the late 1800 and is widely used in newborn photography.

Some of my favorite backdrops come from Luisa Dunn, a well known newborn photographer and a fantastic artist. Incorporating her designs into my work allows me to keep my newborn models safe and comfortable while creating an enchanting scene.

Newborn photo of a baby in a purple diaper with a flower headband on top of a wooden bed with flowers

Shortly after my post about baby Ella, I received a Facebook inquiry from a mom expecting her second baby. The mom fell in love with the colors in the photo and requested a similar setup. After baby Riley was born we scheduled a newborn photo session for both of her girls.

At the time of the photo session, Riley was 6 days old. Her big sister Ariana took an active part in the photo session, helping out with “her baby” wherever she could and being an all around amazing big sister.

The girls’ mom loved the results and left a glowing review about their newborn session on my Facebook page.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

9 Things to Expect at Your Newborn Photo Session 

By the time you book a newborn session, you may feel like an expert at posing for professional photos. From engagement shoots to wedding photos, from maternity sessions to Christmas card pictures, many parents walking into a newborn photographer’s studio have a half-dozen or more professional photoshoots behind them.

Newborn baby girl in a pink skirt and pink flower headband smiles while her daddy is holding her in his hands.

But, no matter how often you’ve had photos taken in the past, you’ll soon discover that a newborn session is quite different from any other photoshoot. Even the studio will look different from the commercial photography spaces or high-traffic mall studios you may have visited. Filled with adorable props and outfits, it may remind you of a boutique more than a photography studio. Here are 9 things to expect when you bring your new baby in for his or her very first close-up.

Newborn baby girl in a tulip wreath.

1. The studio might be warmer - and noisier - than you’re used to
To keep babies happy, a newborn photographer’s studio will be warm - perhaps as high as 85F. Other strategies for creating a baby-friendly environment may include a white noise machine running in the background.

Newborn baby girl is sleeping on a flower bed.

2. The pacifier is your friend
Pacifiers can be lifesavers during newborn sessions, even if you don’t use them at home yet. A pacifier helps keep a baby calm when the photographer moves him or her from pose to pose or changes their outfits. If you have a pacifier, don’t forget to bring it with you! Some photographers might have a spare one on hand, but it’s best to bring your own just in case.

Newborn baby boy sleeping with his head on hands.

3. Baby may need to be fed mid-session
During the session, baby might get hungry; if this happens, the photographer will take a break for a feeding. If you’re nursing, you will feed the baby. If baby is on formula, the photographer will probably ask to feed her. This is standard practice among newborn photographers: it helps them make sure baby stays sleepy throughout the session rather than perking up in your arms. You will be by the photographer’s side watching the entire time.

Newborn baby girl in the white chair.

4. Family photos come first
If siblings and parents are participating in the shoot, many photographers will want to do these photos first, before turning their focus to the newborn.
After family photos are done, it is best for one parent to take older children to the nearest cafe or playground instead of keeping them in the warm studio for hours. You can ask your photographer to recommend kid-friendly places near the studio.

Big (3year old) brother is kissing his newborn sister. Newborn sister is in the bucket, brother is touching her forehead with his lips.

5. Accidents happen

Babies cry, pee, poop, and spit. This is all totally normal. Don't worry about the photographer’s outfits or blankets! Professionals have seen it all - and have a plan in place to wash and sterilize the props and the space after each baby.

Newborn baby boy is posed on a blue blanket with his head on his hands.

6. A quiet, calm environment is best

Many newborn photographers don't talk much during newborn sessions to keep a positive, calm energy in the studio. As a parent, you can help by keeping your phone on silent, making any phone calls outside the studio, and just relaxing! Remember, your baby can feel your mood.

Newborn baby girl with her eyes open and a toy-bunny

7. You may need to help with posing

It is essential to have a spotter for some poses. While some photographers will have assistants, others may ask you for a little help.

Baby boy is posed in a sage bucket

8. You may not be allowed to take photos during the session

Some newborn photographers request that you do not take photos of your baby during the session. If your photographer has such a policy, remember: you’ve entrusted her to capture these once-in-a-lifetime moments, so let her be the one taking the photographs! Other photographers may allow only behind-the-scenes shots of them working with your baby.

Sleeping newborn in a white posing pod chair

9. Patience is key

Sessions usually last 2-3 hours, so be patient, relax, and enjoy this special experience with your newborn. In just a few weeks, your baby will seem like a whole different person, so savor these moments!
Mom is gently holding her newborn baby boy sprawled on her tummy.

More info about newborn sessions: