So, you’ve seen those beautiful newborn photos and you’ve decided that that’s exactly what you want. Now you’re curious, what does the photographer actually do and what happens during a newborn photography session?
Before I started photographing newborns, I imagined the photographer just waited until the baby fell asleep then simply placed the baby in a bucket with some pretty fabric and BOOM! You’ve got your photo. Oh boy was I wrong!
At the very beginning…
I remember my first ever newborn photography session I ever did back in 2016. The gorgeous baby was a dream and slept the entire time, but I had literally no idea what to do with him. I placed him on a bed prop, sprawled like a starfish and began snapping away. The whole time I was taking pictures, I was trying to decided what to do with him next. I had all these beautiful images in my head and had no idea how to do it myself. It was time to book some training! Training is vital in newborn photography as you learn how to handle and pose a baby safely and responsibly.
After training, I noticed my work had significantly improved. I was more confident in transitioning poses and general handling of the baby. Although I do have two children of my own so I should be used to handling babies, it’s always different when you’re handling someone else’s.
This is me…. Emily Miller Photography
Now, I can’t talk for other photographers and what they do during their sessions but I will tell you exactly how I do mine. I have had the pleasure of training with some of the best newborn photographers in the UK and have found my own way of achieving a successful newborn session.
The minute you get here…..
Now, newborn sessions are very much baby led and achieving specific poses depends fully on how the baby is for the duration of the session. Babies can start the session awake and unsettled but very soon will fall asleep if they’re not constipated, hungry or cold.
To ensure I can get your baby to settle, I will first make sure they’ve had a good feed right before we get started, I will check when they’ve last had a dirty nappy and ask general questions about how your baby has been in the last day or two. Whether they’ve been a bit cranky, constipated, unsettled, this will all help me to gage what to expect during our session.
Now it’s my turn……for a cuddle…
Once baby is fed and happy, we’ll strip baby down to the nappy and this is where I take over, and a good excuse for a cuddle J
My newborn sessions usually start with a few cute poses on the beanbag and fabric. A few beautiful, clean and pure images of your little one. I’ll do 4-5 different poses, all the while being very gentle with your little baby. Keeping them warm, comfortable and the transition from one pose to the next is very gentle as to not wake the baby or cause any discomfort. Your baby’s safety is my priority throughout the session.
Babies are human….and they may wake up…
Now, the little one may wake in between poses but this is normal and is absolutely ok. This is the part I show off my patience and work to get your baby settled again. Babies like to be close another human to feel the warmth and comfort so this usually settles baby straight back to sleep. If baby still does not settle, they may be hungry or need a nappy change or they may even have a bit of wind they need to release.
From blanket to bucket…..
Once we have achieved a few gorgeous images on the fabric, I’ll carefully transfer baby into one of my props. This could be my heart bowl, a bucket or a little bed prop. Props will be decorated with fabrics in the colour of your choice, padded for baby’s comfort and added little details such as flowers or textured fabric layers which really make the image pop.
For the second half of the newborn session where we’ll be using the props, I usually have between 2-4 props to use depending on how the baby is at this stage. Some props will require baby to be wrapped. Babies love being wrapped as it is like being back in the womb being all curled up tight and warm, and we’ll throw in a bonnet to add to the cuteness.
While baby is peacefully sleeping in each prop, I will take a picture from two or three different angles for more variation, everyone loves variation!
Your session, your choice….
The whole time during the session I will be checking with you both, aka mummy and daddy, if you’re happy with the set-up, if there’s anything you wish to change or anything you want to add. Some of my clients will spot a different bonnet or headband and some will spot a certain fabric texture or colour they fancy. Change is always possible during the session but you’ll have to speak up as I cannot read minds. J
I am honoured to be your photographer…
Overall, your perfect newborn session is designed purely around you and your preferences. Think about what colours you’d like to see hung in your house, what colours would complement each room and what images and poses you have seen from my newborn gallery on my website before and loved which you would want recreated. I have my own style so if you’re asking me to recreate another photographers work that is the complete opposite of my style then I may not be the photographer for you.
I take pride in my work and believe that the reason you chose me is because you love what you see. You will be looked after from start to finish and every single client I have had the pleasure of working with has had my complete respect and I work hard for each and every person to produce the best work possible. Every booking I get I do a little happy dance because I am honoured to be chosen to take those precious memories of your beautiful new baby. It really does mean a lot.