Newborn photos can quickly feel overwhelming if you aren’t prepared ahead of time. A newborn photographer shares her top five tips to capture precious moments with your little one without added stress.
As if preparing for a baby isn’t busy enough. If you already have kids, you know that life after your baby is earthside gets even busier. Taking care of your tiny human – or humans – takes up all your attention and energy, and before you know it, six weeks have passed, and you just remembered you wanted those precious newborn photos.
Time passing too quickly happens all too often, but not to worry. You can easily prepare for newborn photos during your pregnancy, so all of your ducks are in a row when your little one arrives.
Photo credit: all photos are property of Zo’e Cole of The Aloha Mamatog
Five tips to prepare for a newborn photoshoot
1. Hire your newborn photographer during pregnancy
Your first moments at home may be raw, revealing, and challenging, so I highly recommend picking a photographer you trust and have worked with before. Most of my newborn clients hire me for maternity photos, so we’ve already had the chance to get to know each other and the best ways to communicate.
This way, you’ve picked a photographer near you and have booked them before the baby comes, so all you have to do is send them a quick message. This is super helpful, as the best time to capture that newborn tininess (and sleepiness) is between four and ten days old. Granted, everyone is healthy and comfortable having visitors over.
Hiring the same photographer for both photoshoots is usually the most cost-effective way to get newborn photos, as many motherhood photographers offer bundle pricing options for those who book multiple sessions with them.
2. Choose your location beforehand
Taking the time to choose the aesthetic and the location of your newborn shoots before birth goes hand in hand with picking your photographer and will likely be a factor in who you hire.
I offer newborn sessions at home primarily for convenience to the new parents, privacy for more intimate moments, and authenticity of documenting your baby’s early life. However, many parents will opt for a studio option that is more stylized or themed.
Knowing where you’re headed for a shoot will help you prepare, so you aren’t scrambling to find a studio option once the baby is already here. Maybe you want some shots inside and some at your favorite park or beach. These are wonderful options to discuss and plan with your photographer after your maternity shoot, perhaps.
3. Prepare your space and outfits while nesting
I have a newborn session prep list I send to my mamas to prepare them, as most newborn photographers will likely have. This list is good to have before your baby arrives, so you can decide on a couple of outfits and spaces in your house (if you’re having photos taken in your home) and set them aside in a safe place until it’s time for your shoot.
And if you’re thinking, what do I even wear for newborn photos? My main tips are to choose something that brings you comfort and confidence and can nurse in if you’re breastfeeding.
Picking one to two outfits for mama and baby leaves you with options for the morning of your shoot, so you are prepared for the day of the shoot. Also, consider how you can layer in accessories to help make your newborn moments feel more special.
4. Start your positive affirmations during pregnancy
Your postpartum body is a new you to get to know and is life-giving in different places than your pregnant body was. It’s completely normal not to feel like taking photos right after the journey of having a baby, and that’s is totally fine.
I know, as a mother, those early moments nose to nose and sleepy on mama’s chest–are irreplaceable and fleeting. Rather than feeling like you’d rather hide, try starting your positive affirmations during pregnancy. Affirmations can be a powerful tool for a confident birth, too.
My body is life-giving.
My curves carried and now nourish my baby.
My new body creates the most perfect food for my baby.
My body was supple enough to expand for my baby’s growth and strong enough to welcome my baby earthside.
These are a few examples, but the more you surround yourself with positive beliefs, the more the negative thoughts won’t make you want to step out of the photos. Every mother deserves to be seen.
5. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
This is good advice for motherhood in general as it’s always said that it takes a village to raise a child.
Well, don’t be afraid to reach out to that lifeline to help with newborn photos. It’s always helpful to have an extra set of hands from a friend or family member if you have to get ready, prepare a bottle, or need older kids to be entertained. Mothers don’t often get a chance to get ready or even take a breath, especially during those early postpartum days.
Having someone to hold the baby while you ready your mind and body can do wonders to calm your nervous system, which will only help calm the baby during your photos. Plus, it’s never a bad idea to get a photo with grandma or the best auntie if they’re already there, right?
Final thoughts on preparing for a photoshoot
Preparing for newborn photos doesn’t have to be a mystery. Babies are never predictable, and that’s the only thing we can truly predict.
If you’re prepped a little bit beforehand, you can have the stress-free newborn photos you’ve dreamed about. And, If you’re really stuck, head to Pinterest for some pose and outfit ideas, too.