First, I just want to say thank you for considering a newborn session for your new addition! It’s honestly one of the best ways to celebrate a new life and capture all their sweetness for lifetime. In all the years I’ve done newborn sessions, never has anyone regretted investing in newborn photography and many of my clients remark at how much joy the photos bring them years later.
My name is Jackie, and I’m the photographer behind Cream n Cocoa. I began shooting newborns back in 2009; and since then, have captured over 3,800 babies. I have also taught newborn posing and editing both in person at workshops throughout the United States as well as online. What all that boils down to is that I’m highly experienced working with newborns.
Newborn sessions are unlike any other type of photography session. Not only must a photographer have a strong grasp of lighting and the camera; but more importantly, they must understand how to work with newborns and gently pose them while sleeping. This takes YEARS of practice to master. Typically, when new parents sit in on their first newborn session, they are surprised at the amount of skill and patience it takes to capture the photos – all while keeping their little one safe, comfortable, and happy.
Below, I want to cover some of the most commonly asked questions I receive regarding newborn sessions…
When do newborn sessions take place? How do I hold my spot?
Newborn sessions are best done when your baby is between around 6-18 days old. The goal is to capture the photos while the baby is still quite sleepy and used to being curled up in womb-like positions. The longer babies are out of the womb, the less they want to be posed while sleeping. I also like to wait a few days post birth to allow your baby to get used to feeding (breast or bottle) and gain back any weight lost after birth. Bottom line is that a hungry baby will not cooperate for photos so making sure your baby is eating well is KEY for a successful session.
Initially, I prebook newborn sessions by due date and month because, for the most part, we don’t know exactly when these little ones will arrive. However, I only book a certain number of babies a month knowing that they can come early, late, or occasionally on time. It is important that you book your spot ahead of time to ensure that I am able to do your session. Once your baby is born, then we will set a date/time for the shoot. I ask parents to contact me within 48 hours of arrival assuming all goes well with the birth or keep me updated should your baby need additional care at the hospital following the birth.
What happens if my baby is born premature?
With little ones who arrive prematurely, the best “window” for newborn photos is extended. As far as sleepiness, many babies track along with their due date; so for instance, if your baby is born at 34 weeks it’s likely they will still be quite sleepy and cooperative for newborn photos at 4 weeks old since they are technically still at 38 weeks gestation.
As always, your baby’s health and safety are of the utmost importance. We will only proceed with photos once your little one is stable and ready to go home. Even in circumstances where a baby has had an extended hospital stay in the NICU following birth, we’ve still always managed to capture beautiful shots when they are ready for their photoshoot.
I know my due date but I’m not sure exactly when my baby will come? How can I hold my spot?
Initially, I prebook newborn sessions by due date and month because, for the most part, we don’t know exactly when these little ones will arrive. However, I only book a certain number of babies a month knowing that they can come early, late, or occasionally on time. Once your baby is born, then we will set a date/time for the shoot. I ask parents to contact me within 48 hours of arrival assuming all goes well with the birth or keep me updated should your baby need additional care at the hospital following the birth.
I notice your galleries are between 10 and 20 images – can I get more?
Newborn sessions are highly specialized. My focus is on taking excellent quality, UNIQUELY styled photos. Each photo takes into account even the tiniest of details to make sure you have gorgeous, heirloom quality artwork to display for years to come. My clients receive the edited digital files to print as they please (though I do give suggestions for well priced printing services). With newborn sessions, much of the time is spent soothing and posing your baby. Because babies will give me a limited amount of time to work with them between feeds, my goal is to shoot QUALITY photos and not just a bunch of average shots.
We will work together to choose props and plan the sets that fit your style, so that you know exactly what we are going to capture in the time we have together. Bottom line is that you will walk away with a gallery filled with different poses/backgrounds/props vs a lot of images that look the same but just slightly different angles.
When it comes to good newborn photography, less is more.
I want family and sibling photos with our new baby – is that okay?
Yes! Absolutely. All of my sessions include parent and/or sibling photos should you want them. This is a newborn session so the focus will be on the baby; however, I understand that it’s also important to capture a few family/sibling/parent photos. If you decide to do sibling photos, we will shoot those within the first 30 minutes of the session. This way, dad or another adult (grandparent/relative/friend) can take the big kids out to lunch/play while mom and I finish up with the baby. Newborn sessions are quite long and it’s too much to ask small children to sit through them quietly so this system works out wonderfully and delivers much more stress free results for mom and dad.