Preparing for Your Newborn Session | Austin Newborn Photographer

How to Prepare for your Newborn Session

The best time to photograph most newborns is between 5 and 14 days.  During this very short period of time your baby is still very sleepy and can easily be posed in the studio.  Your newborn’s body can be positioned in poses that older babies simply can no longer achieve.  Below are some steps that will help keep baby happy and comfortable while in the studio.


1.  A Full Tummy

Feed your baby right before you leave home or as soon as your arrive at the studio.  This way baby is happy, has a full tummy, and is ready to sleep at the start of the session.



2.  Dressed Simply

Please dress baby as simply as possible.  We don’t want to disturb baby while preparing him for the session.  Dressing them in easy to remove clothing, such as a zippered sleeper, will help keep baby happy while transitioning him in the studio.  In the summer months you could bring baby in just his diaper covered with a light blanket.

3.  Soothers
Soothing Baby

Sleepy Baby Z © 2015 Valerie Steinkoenig – Valerei Kay Photography


Even if your new baby doesn’t use a pacifier bring one.  This helps me and my assistant soothe the baby into different poses.  Sometimes he will wake as we’re adjusting his position and the pacifier will often allow baby to settle without waking.  Some babies rely heavily on a pacifier while others don’t need one at all.  It’s always safer to have one just in case.

4.  Extra Diapers

I will use them between poses and tend to go through a few during the session.

5.  A Change of Clothes

For you.  In case baby has any accidents between set-ups.  This often occurs during the parent poses.

6.  Parent Poses

I like to do a few set-ups of Mom and Dad with their new baby.   I try to do at least 2-3 set-ups.    For these you should wear neutral clothing.  You should avoid loud patterns.  Preferably you should avoid all black or all white, unless we’ve discussed this prior to your session.  For Dad, a neutral, long-sleeved shirt with no buttons is best.  I like to keep the backgrounds and props neutral for the parent poses.


7.  Bring Snacks and Water

Newborn sessions can last up to four hours depending on how baby sleeps.  I keep the studio pretty warm to ensure a happy, comfortable, sleepy environment for baby.  This can be uncomfortably hot for the adults in the studio.  I recommend you bring something to snack on and some extra water for yourself during the session.

8.  Baby Needs Snacks, too.

Be prepared to feed baby as needed during the session.  Some babies are good sleepers and can go from pose to pose without too much soothing between set-ups.  Other babies need to be fed more often.   Every baby is different.  This is one of the reasons why newborn sessions can last up to four hours.


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Valerie Kay Photography specializes in maternity photography, newborn photography, and baby's first year.

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