Newborn babies start developing amazingly fast as soon as they take their first breath. That’s why capturing them in those first few weeks when they’re unbelievably tiny and you’re filled with dizzying amounts of sleep deprivation and unconditional love for them is such a good idea.
As you get ready to welcome your baby to the world, you’re probably preoccupied with all kinds of preparations, wishes and worries, and newborn photography is only one item on a long list. That’s why we’ve created a handy guide below to help you prepare for your baby’s first photo shoot, from choosing and booking your photographer to how to dress and what to take with you to the studio.
The first step seems very simple: find a great photographer for your baby pictures. That being said, there’s a huge variety in the photography styles and packages out there, not to mention the skill levels of different photographers, so it’s important to do your research well ahead of your due date.
Beautiful, high-quality newborn baby photography does come at a higher price point, but seeing as your child will be this incredibly new, tiny and delicate for only a short while, we believe it’s well worth the investment to create beautiful memories with high-quality photography. If you’d like to learn more about finding your perfect baby photography style, read our article on choosing the right newborn photographer.
We recommend booking your newborn photo session when you’re about 30 weeks along and scheduling it for when your baby is roughly one to two weeks old. This way, you can be fairly certain that your preferred photographer is available and you have pictures that capture your baby’s incredible newness after you’ve had a few days to settle into life as a family.
Having even a provisional date booked in also means your dream photographer is more likely to be able to shift your session around in case your little bundle of joy arrives a bit earlier or later than expected.
If you’re getting some pictures taken of baby and parents together, you’re probably wondering what you should wear to the shoot. We recommend keeping things simple with classic, well-fitted pieces in solid colours. Think jeans and button-down shirts, simple t-shirts, soft, lightweight jumpers and cami tops. Because newborn photography studios generally turn the heating up high to make baby comfy for their photo shoot, it’s best if you go with light layers to avoid overheating.
Avoiding busy prints and the latest flashy trends makes sure the focus remains where it should be: on baby. And whatever you wear, make sure your clothes are as wrinkle-free as possible. Getting your hair and makeup done by a professional is a lovely idea, but let’s face it, getting out the house at this stage is a huge achievement, so if you manage to pop on some of your own make-up (or bring it with you) then we think that counts as another massive milestone reached. And remember professional photographers are on your side so will always make you look your best, no matter how sleep-deprived you feel.
As for baby, there’s not too much to think about as newborns are most commonly photographed showing off that perfect baby skin, with dimples and precious rolls.
If you’re photographing baby with some clothes on, you’re probably best to aim for simple white vests, rather than anything too fussy, as remember baby will be lying down and it’s not the age and stage where cute dresses or dungarees are going to look their best.
In case there’s a need for any outfit changes (we’re used to baby sick so that’s all good), make sure the clothing can also be put on and removed easily without disturbing baby too much so that they stay nice and sleepy.
With spare clothing in mind, having plenty of baby wipes (we also have these fab water wipes in the studio) as well as clean towels/muslins is also a good idea. If your baby uses a dummy, make sure you also bring one of these along as it can just be what baby needs to settle on the shoot.
Here at Blue Sky, we usually prefer to photograph babies in natural poses and without over-propping to establish a classic look, but if you have any specific ideas about including a beloved cuddly toy or a hat knitted by grandma, then we are more than happy to include them as we know they’ll have a special place in your heart.
With very young babies, the best thing to do is to make sure they’re sleepy and well-fed for the shoot. While slightly older babies are often photographed fully awake, showing off their newly-acquired crawling skills or cheeky smile, for newborns, there’s nothing quite like a shot of them sleeping curled up like a little angel. It’ll be something to look at incredulously when they’re screaming at the top of their lungs when it’s supposed to be nap time!
To make your wee one is nice and sleepy when it’s time for their closeup, try and keep them awake for an hour or two before your scheduled shoot time. Feeding them just before the studio session makes sure they’re happy and “milk drunk” which should help make them calm and ready for a nap.
If you’ve got older kids, the chances are you’ll want to include them on the shoot and we’re more than happy for siblings to join in. In our experience the best way is to include brother or sister at the beginning or end of the shoot, and then have someone (grandparent or parent) take them away for a treat while the focus is on baby.
Most importantly, relax! When dealing with newborns, photographers know to expect the unexpected, so don’t worry about the possibility of your little one refusing to cooperate, crying or pooing all over themselves, you and the photographer – trust me, we’ve seen it all and we we are not phased in the least (remember most newborn photographers are also parents) The best way to make sure your baby relaxes is if you, too, take it easy and go with the flow.
There’s no need to worry about there not being any ‘good’ shots because your baby acts like…well, a baby. This is exactly why we always schedule a good few hours for our newborn shoots. As long as you’ve chosen a professional photographer with lots of experience photographing newborns, the we know you’ll walk away with some lovely shots.
If you’re looking for the perfect newborn photographer in Edinburgh to capture your baby with some timeless, high-quality studio photography, we’d love to hear from you. Check out some precious shots from our past newborn photo shoots and if you’d like to chat about what you’d like out of your baby photography experience, drop us a line.