7 tips for a successful newborn shoot

this is sweet little sterling oliver,
born just a few weeks ago.
 
just in time for fall and his cute pumpkin hat that his mom made for him.
and the perfect timing for me to get back in the studio.
this shoot went well,
and we got some cute shots of sterling with his blankie that his mom made,
and that his grammy made him.
he was 12 days old, so not as sleepy as we would have hoped,
which led me to give you a few tips to having a successful newborn shoot…
these are some of our favorite shots from our session.
tips for a successful newborn shoot:
1} take them within the first week if you can! 
even 10 days in, babies are less sleepy and more alert they will be tough on your photographer and hard to get in those cute squishy positions that you saw on pinterest and showed your husband and thought, “i have to have that!” but, if you fail at this, wait until 1 month and just admit that they will not be newborns. wide eyes and filled out, but still documented.
2} know what you like and communicate that to your photographer.
i generally ask moms all the hard questions so i know the style before hand. some moms love the props, and the hats and the baskets, some want the clean black and white. be honest and tell them what you don’t like so you don’t waste time on pictures you wont love!
3} be patient. you’ll be there a while. on average, a newborn shoot will last between 3-4 hours.
we’ll stop for moms to nurse, and babies to settle in to new positions.
its a long time to set up, a few seconds to shoot. then repeat. plan to get only a few set-ups, and if you get more, awesome! your baby may not be as curly as a shot you saw, and it might not look the same, be prepared to change it up and move on if it doesn’t work out.
4} bring extra everything. i usually bring lots of things as the photographer that i think moms will need, and have a collection of props and bows…etc. 
but be sure to make a list of everything and be sure your photographer has what you need: 
– diapers
– wipes
– extra clothes
– burp cloths
heating pad
– noise machine/app
– pacifier
– bows, ties, hats, wraps, sentimental things…
5} make an ispiration board and share it.
knowing what you want is one thing, but having examples is great too.
i have moms that aren’t too picky and just say, “this is what i liked, but do what you want.”
{my faves.} then i can be creative, but i know their style immediately. i love when moms have new ideas too. just be clear and help provide props if necessary to make it happen.
6} don’t search for a photographer just because of price.
i have been guilty of this in the past, but the truth is,
newborn photos take lots of time. lots of time to shoot, and then time to edit and prepare.
there is more set-up involved, and more planning, and i feel like i am just getting the hang of it,
so someone who takes them well is worth paying for. pay them what they are worth,
the photos will be worth the investment. i know mine are. 
i regret not taking great photos with my first all the time.
{this is why i LOVE to give newborn photos to my family as a gift.
it’s a labor of love indeed. and an excuse to cuddle my own nieces n nephews.}
7} be cognizant of your baby’s schedule.
you’ll want them to be sleepy when you get there, 
so if that means feeding them, plan around that. if it means showing up early to feed, then the baby sleeps a little later, do that! on the other hand, don’t stress if the baby doesn’t stay sleepy the whole time, some don’t. your photographer signed up for this, they know it’s a long day and they are happy to do it, other wise you wouldn’t be paying them for it!

thanks baby sterling for coming to play with me.
hope we see you again soon!!


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Meg

About Meg

I am Meg, a photographer and designer and a wish-i-owned-a-house-er. My husband and I are self-declared foodies and LOVE projects. We blog about food and DIY adventures from sunny San Diego with our two cutie kids and have an apparel line at colormeapparel.com to keep us busy. Email me at colormemegblog@gmail.com to work with me!

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