Published newborn, Children & family photographer
As a Sacramento Newborn Photographer with nearly a decade of experience, I have found the best tips to prep for your session. I’m often referred to as the baby whisperer, but there are some things that parents can do at home to make the session run a tad smoother and help me achieve those beautiful photos we are all longing for. I’ve put them all together here and I’m sharing all of my session prep secrets with you!
I know that all of these things aren’t possible, and it would be completely unrealistic to expect parents to fulfill them all, so it’s important to remember these are just tips, and all I ask of my clients is for them to try. It’s important for my clients to know that as a Sacramento Newborn Photographer, I’ll do whatever it takes to ensure that I’m able to capture those timeless images you’re envisioning. If that means patiently rocking your little one for 30 minutes or taking several feeding or cuddling breaks, that’s ok!
Sacramento Newborn Photographer| Tips To Prep For Your Session: Before The Session
Give your baby a bath the day prior to the session. If you have time and you’re feeling up to it, you can also bathe them on the morning of the session. This will help stimulate them, keeping them awake, and then they’ll be ready for a nice long nap upon arrival.
If you are breastfeeding, try to avoid eating anything spicy or gas-inducing (ie. Pizza, spicy sauces, garlic broccoli, Thai/Indian food, high fat, etc.) that might upset the baby’s tummy for 24 hours preceding your scheduled session. It’s best to stick to a relatively bland diet the 24 hours before your session. Trust me when I tell you that a gassy baby is not a happy baby. And an unhappy baby doesn’t equate to a smooth-flowing newborn session.
DO NOT CIRCUMCISE your baby boy right before your session. I will be wrapping him tightly while naked and moving him between different poses which can be painful with a raw circumcision. To eliminate any discomfort to your little fella, Newborn boys WILL NOT be photographed if they have been circumcised less than 6 days prior to the session.
Sacramento Newborn Photographer| Tips To Prep For Your Session: Day of the Session
Please do your best to keep baby AWAKE for 2 hours before your session. This is VERY important. I know this is hard so all I ask is that you try your best.
Some tricks to keep your baby awake are giving the baby a bath, getting the baby naked, tickling the baby’s feet, and lightly wetting the baby’s feet. We will get amazing images if your baby sleeps through the session, but if they happen to be one of those that hates to sleep, rest assured, I’ll still get you stunning photos of your precious little one, and I promise you are going to love them!
If possible, please have a bottle of formula or breast milk ready for the session along with a pacifier should we need it. This is especially important with twins and maintaining the flow of the session. I understand that many mothers are trying to avoid a pacifier during this critical time of learning to breastfeed. But I hope you’ll consider that pacifiers are so useful in soothing fussy babies back to sleep during the few hours we are together. If you are not comfortable with the use of a pacifier please let me know. We are absolutely on board with whatever you choose.
You will be feeding your baby a FULL feeding when you arrive at the studio, so please schedule your baby’s day accordingly.
Dress baby in loose-fitting clothing to avoid lines on the skin. A onesie that opens in the front is best, as this avoids having to lift anything tight over the baby’s head. It’s common for babies to fall asleep on the way to the session, so dressing them in just a diaper and covering them with blankets if need be is a great way to keep them asleep upon arrival and we can start shooting sooner.
The studio will be warm during the session so that your baby remains comfortable. There will also be a small space heater to keep your little one warm. Please dress in layers so that you can remain comfortable during the session.
Sacramento Newborn Photographer| Tips To Prep For Your Session: During The Session
My Sacramento Newborn Photographer studio is located in my home, therefore the space is small and there is no extra room for additional guests (ie. grandparents, friends, etc). Only people being photographed during the session may be present. Too many extra people in the studio make for somewhat challenging creative conditions and can be very distracting to your baby and me.
I do my best to keep the environment of newborn sessions very calm and peaceful. The more relaxed everyone in the room is, the more relaxed the baby will be. For us this means pulling out our baby whispering skills, for parents, this means relaxing and letting the photography magic happen!
Newborn sessions generally take 2-3 hours. If a toddler is involved, a session may take a bit longer. Please take advantage of this time to rest! Feel free to catch up on some sleep, or some of those Netflix shows you haven’t had a chance to binge! I generally won’t need any help, but I’ll be sure to ask if I do!
If siblings are going to be part of the session, the best method with siblings is to have them come at the start of the session only. Toddlers especially have a difficult time sitting quietly through a newborn session! Parents find the experience much less stressful when one parent or a friend/grandparent cares for the child for most of the session and brings them to the studio for their portion only. It’s also worth noting that this is a huge life-changing event for your toddler’s life, that special one-on-one attention from a parent or loved one means a lot to them. A special play date to a local park, or maybe a lunch date with grandma. It’s a great opportunity to let the older sibling(s) know they are still important, you still see them, and they are still loved.
No cameras are allowed during your Sacramento Newborn Photographer session. I understand this is a momentous time in your life that you want to capture. However, I work very hard to create unique, artistic images for you and another camera can be distracting and uncomfortable. Please be respectful and kindly refrain from taking pictures during your session. You will see all of your images just one short week after our session. Trust that it’ll be worth the wait!
Expect my patience and attention to detail to rule the day. I spend the majority of a session perfecting poses, backdrops, fingers, etc. and I believe these little things are what make the difference between a snapshot and a work of art featuring your baby. So that’s what I’ll do!
Sacramento Newborn Photographer| Tips To Prep For Your Session: What To Wear | Moms & Dads
We want all of the focus of the image to be on the connection you share with your baby, rather than the clothing. Therefore, we suggest a simple black, white or grey tank top/shirt for mom and a matching plain tee for dad with jeans. Mom/dad and baby shots are close up so most of what you wear will not be shown.
Moms, keep make-up looking as natural as possible. Avoid using too much hairspray; soft hair photographs best with newborns. Be sure to take nail polish off, or paint your nails with a very neutral color. Avoid long earrings or necklaces. We want all the focus to be on you and your baby!
Dads, if you’re wearing a new tee shirt be sure to iron out the sleeve crease in advance. Other than that, just relax. It will be over before you know it.
Bring a change of clothes…you may be holding a naked baby. You get the idea 🙂
Sacramento Newborn Photographer| Tips To Prep For Your Session: What To Wear | Siblings
A simple white or grey tee or tank with jeans and bare feet. Please remove their socks and shoes at the start of the session to get them used to it! For little girls please avoid hair accessories unless they are very small and a neutral color, or absolutely necessary to keep hair out of the child’s face.
Sacramento Newborn Photographer| Tips To Prep For Your Session: After The Session
Approximately 1 week after your session we will get together for your Gallery Reveal and Ordering Appointment. This is the first time you’ll be seeing your images. This is everyone’s favorite part! At this time you’ll be placing the order for the images you’d like. Products take approximately 4-6 weeks to arrive. You will be contacted as soon as your products are ready to be picked up.
Please let me know if you have any questions for Sacramento Newborn Photographer, Megan Escheman Photography.
Megan is a Sacramento newborn photographer based in the Greater Sacramento Area, serving Northern California for all your photography needs. She specializes in family, graduates, engagements, weddings, maternity, and newborn photography. Contact Megan today!
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