One of the first activities you may want to share with your baby during the first week is a newborn photo shoot. The days and weeks leading up to your baby's arrival can be very hectic so save yourself the headaches and plan a few things ahead of time. A little preparation will help ensure you capture this special moment which you and your family can enjoy for years to come. Here are some tips for you to get started:
1. Plan ahead and book early
Book a photographer early (i.e. around 2nd trimester) as it may be hard to get a good one last minute, especially if your big day lands around a holiday. Also, many photographers don’t just specialize in newborn photography and their schedules are planned months in advance.
Sessions usually need to be done within the first 2 weeks of birth and most photographers recommend within 3 – 7 days as this is the “sleepy-time” window where it’s easiest to position your baby into different poses. Somewhere around day 8, babies tend to start stretching more and after 2 weeks any newborn acne or colic will likely flare up.
To save some money (let’s face it, babies aren’t cheap!), it’s best to negotiate with your photographer on a package bundle to do both your maternity shoot (if you’re on the edge about it, I highly recommend you do it!) and your newborn shoot together.
2. Decide who will be in the photos
Will it be just the baby or will mommy and daddy be involved? How about siblings? This is also a good time to discuss with your spouse on what s/he would like to incorporate into these photos like props, clothes, pets, etc. We recommend having the whole family during this special time. Next comes outfit planning…!
3. Plan your family’s outfits
Your outfit can be a simple white or black shirt, t-shirt or tank top along with your favorite pair of maternity jeans. A simple dress also works, but keep it simple as you’re showcasing your baby, not your wardrobe. Feel free to throw in a little color but skip the busy patterns.
Do pamper yourself and go have your hair, makeup and nails done (go for a massage while you’re at it!) since feeling beautiful and confident will mean you will feel more comfortable during the shoot...and also, cause you deserve it new mama! For the hubby, the same simple rules apply. Make sure tops are ironed and free of loud logos or patterns. It's possible that your hubby’s hands and feet may play a major role in the shoot so make sure he tends to them!
4. Plan your baby’s outfits
Your little bundle of joy will be the star of this photo shoot so make him/her stand out! There are many photography props to consider such as hats, headbands, booties, blankets, and baskets. This is also a great time to incorporate any family heirlooms or favorite toys you've purchased for your baby. You can also dress your baby in adorablecrochet sets which always make for social media worthy posts.
5. Location, location
Decide where you want the photoshoot to take place. You can opt to do the newborn shoot at a studio, but most people prefer doing it at home since your baby will still be in a very fragile state. You can also incorporate some outdoor shots if you have a patio or backyard to use. Make sure your bed is crisp and clean as this is one place that newborn photos mostly take place! A solid-colored blanket works best and white/ cream bedding would be recommended. It’s best to keep things light and airy and not too busy.
To make the session more pleasant for your baby, make sure s/he is well fed as this makes for a sleepy baby. Crank the heat up 30 minutes before the shoot as this will help make it comfortable for your sleepy baby.
A milestone blanket is a perfect addition to capturing precious moments during your baby’s first year. One of the best ways to track your baby's monthly growth is to have a consistent background and these blankets make that a breeze. Simply spread it out on your bed, place your baby on top and use a prop (photo frames or ribbons work great!) to mark their age, and voila – a special memory complete! Last but not least...ENJOY this special moment because it goes by fast! Remember to relax and let your photographer to work his/her magic!
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