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  • Writer's pictureJessica Sharp

8 Families Share Their Top Tips for Stress-Free Newborn Photography

Newborns are oh-so adorable but let’s face it they can be a tiny bit unpredictable!

Getting newborn photos of your tiny new bundle is such an incredible once-in- a-lifetime thing to do. This precious time is so fleeting. But you may be apprehensive. What if my baby cries, wees or *whispers* poos… what if they don’t sleep, what if, what if…?

If you’re thinking of having a newborn photography session you may have a ton of questions, concerns or worries about what to expect and how it all works. Who better to offer their words of wisdom than people who have actually done it? So, I asked a few of my recent newborn clients to give me their top tips and advice they would say to parents considering a session.

It’s everything you need to know and more!

1. “Just book and do the newborn shoot!” - Katie & Baby Max

My number one tip would honestly be to just actually book and do the newborn shoot. We were a bit apprehensive as neither Fraser or I had ever done a photography session before, but we were so glad we did it and have those memories! It was such a lovely way to spend a few hours during Max’s early days.

The thought of having a family photograph a matter of days or weeks after giving birth can be quite daunting but getting some adorable images of those rosy cheeks and teeny-tiny toes is something you’re guaranteed to cherish forever!

Booking early is key. You can book a session as soon as you know your due date – so after your 12-week scan. Your shoot will ideally take place between 5-14 days after you give birth when your baby is sleepy and naturally curls into those beautiful womb-like positions. If your baby makes an appearance earlier (or later) than expected, don’t worry - I keep a window open so we can move to fit in with your wonderful new arrival.

2. “I was concerned Parker would wee, poo or cry, but he was amazing” - Natasha & Baby Parker

I had thought about not doing a photo shoot as I was concerned Parker would wee or poo on things or just cry all the way through. In the end I was like he will only be this small for such a short period of time, so I wanted photos to remember. Throughout the photo shoot, he was amazing.”

Whether it’s family photos, newborn or cake smash photography, every parent worries about how the session will unfold. Naturally there’s a concern about kids being camera shy or not cooperating and for newborns in particular, the main worry is about your baby not sleeping or *gasp* weeing or pooing.

The truth is – it really doesn’t matter. I’ve seen it all! Let’s just say the behind the scenes of a newborn shoot can be quite interesting! If your baby wees or poos, I promise you, they won’t be the first or the last!

To make sure every newborn session is as relaxed as possible I only book in one per day. That way we go at your baby’s pace and keep everything relaxed and chilled. Multiple outfit changes, feeding or comfort breaks. It’s done with you and your baby in mind to make sure the session goes as smoothly as possible – no matter what happens!

3. “Pack those extra nappies and muslins” - Jo & Baby Everly

Pack those extra nappies and muslins so you’re ready for anything baby may throw at you, mid shoot.

Preparation is key. Having spare nappies, spare tops (just in case) all helps keep your mind at rest. Prior to your session, I email over some handy tips so we are ready for any surprises. A little planning really does go a long way and means you can relax knowing you’ve got everything covered.

4. “Keep baby awake beforehand.” - Carrie & Baby Ella

My main tip is to follow the advice you gave us. Particularly making sure to keep Ella awake for 2 hours then feeding just before we came to make sure she was nice and sleepy. That seemed to work really well and meant I could enjoy some chill time whilst we were with you.”

As photographers, we do have some clever tricks up our sleeves to help the session along. Keeping your little one awake prior to the session helps tire them out ready for us to capture those sleepy shots. Don’t worry if your baby won’t stay awake though. With a toasty hot studio and a milky feed, we can generally keep your baby snoozing!

5. “Get a feed in beforehand.” - Emily & Baby Thomas

Try your best to get a feed in beforehand to encourage as much sleeping time as possible during the shoot for your little one.

Again, feeding your baby prior to the shoot is another top tip to get them into the dream-zone. I always recommend bringing some milk with you too in case it’s needed during the session. Who doesn’t love those gorgeous milk-drunk smiles!

6. “Allow plenty of time to get ready and plan your outfit.” -Amy & Baby George

Allow yourself plenty of time to get ready. You forget how much time and effort it takes to get your family and newborn up ready and out of the house! If you’re having photos done with the baby too, plan your outfit the day before so there’s no stress on the morning of the session.”

It’s so important to make sure you’re feeling good. A happy mum ensures a happy baby! Taking time out to make sure you’ve got what you need to feel great is essential. If you’re planning on being in the newborn shoot (I totally recommend this), then organising your outfit and making sure you’ve had time to get ready is oh-so important. Not sure what to wear or have some questions? I’m always available to help so give me a call or drop me an email.

If you’re worried about feeling comfortable in front of the camera, then please don’t. It’s my job to make you look and feel amazing. We can have a good chat prior to the session and work out the style and colours you like and go over any concerns you may have so that you’re 100% comfortable before the session even begins.

7. “Bath baby in the morning.”- Laura & Baby Millie

My tip would be to make time for a nice bath in the morning so that baby is nice and clean, nails trimmed, and they’ve had some time to kick about. Which will hopefully mean they are nice and sleepy!

Having a newborn photo session is a wonderful way to capture your growing family. Getting ready is all part of making it as special as it can be. Taking extra time in the morning to get your baby clean and ready is a wonderful way to bond and ensure you savour every moment of this very exciting day.

8. “Relax” - Everyone’s top tip!

My number one tip to anyone thinking of doing a newborn shoot is to relax and take it all in”- Natasha & Baby Parker

Most important is to be relaxed, be yourself” - Laura & Baby Oakley

Sit back and relax, your baby is in good hands with Jess. She puts so much care and dedication in to getting the most stunning photos of your baby. Most importantly have fun!” - Jo & Baby Everly

Keep yourself well hydrated and in comfortable clothing so you can relax and enjoy!” - Emily & Baby Thomas

I couldn’t have said it better myself. Relaxing and enjoying the session really is the best advice ever. It’s natural to stress about the ‘what if’s’ when having a photo session but as you can see, parents end up finding newborn sessions relaxing and more enjoyable than they anticipated!

Newborn photography sessions are exciting and oh-so memorable. With a little planning you can relax and enjoy this delightful time as well as getting photos you’ll fall head over heels in love with! It is one of the most memorable and beautiful ways to capture this special time with your new baby. From milk

drunk smiles and newborn wrinkles to those teeny tiny toes, these really are photos you’ll love for a lifetime.

If you’re considering a newborn shoot do take a peek at my gallery. If you would like to book a session or have any questions, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Love Jess xx

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