How to prepare for your newborn’s photo shoot

At long last, your little one is here! Those early weeks with a newborn are filled with so many special moments. You’re probably super anxious and excited to have professional photos taken of your newest family member, and I don’t blame you! I was too! Newborns grow and change so quickly, it’s important to capture those precious first few weeks before they’re gone.

Of course, preparing for a photo shoot with a tiny human can seem a bit daunting. Luckily, I’m here to help. As my client, by now we already talked about your preferences of colors and props to use. You answered my newborn session questionnaire and I feel like we already know each other! I am ready to meet your new baby and this guide will get you ready for this session too.

Here are my top tips on how to prepare for your newborn’s photo shoot:

A few days before – If you’re planning on being in any of the photos with your baby (which I highly recommend), now is also a good time to start thinking about what you’d like to wear. Some of my clients prefer dressing up while others prefer more simple casual clothing. I always advise to keep it simple, so the focus is on the baby. I recommend avoiding clothes with busy patterns or logos as they can be distracting in photos. Solid colors look better on camera; and more fitted clothes photograph better than oversized clothes. Most of my female clients are more confident wearing 3/4 sleeves than thank tops. Dad should follow the same advice: solid colors (or simple patterns) and shirts with no logos look nice and timeless.

Parents should not worry too much about pants or shoes, as those will not show in the pictures. Young siblings, on the other hand, will be full body in the pictures, so cute dresses for sisters and nice pants and solid shirts for brothers. If you’re stuck for ideas, feel free to reach out—I’m always happy to offer suggestions!

Don’t neglect your nails, mama! Make sure you get them manicured or have your nails trimmed short and cuticles clean. Your hands will be in the pictures and the details will show. Hair and make up are a major factor in you liking the final images of yourself (like you should!). If you prefer to have hair and make up professionally done (which I also recommend), I can arrange that so you don’t need to worry about it. Just let me know in advance and I will book an artist to come to the studio.

The day of – So this is it, the day of your newborn photo shoot. My best advice is give yourself extra time to get ready. Mornings with a newborn are unpredictable and you might be waking up from a wonderful smooth night, or a sleepless one. At this point there is nothing resembling of a routine, so give yourself grace and just go with the flow.

Try (no pressure here!) to keep baby awake for a couple hours before leaving the house. A bath and lots of interaction (play) can make your little one tired, and help them sleep during the photo session. Whether you’re breast- or bottle-feeding, make sure you have everything you need packed and within easy reach. If possible, try to time the feeding in a way that baby will get a full feeding (and a milk coma) right after you arrive at the studio. I might ask to use a pacifier to help sooth the baby, if you agree on using it.

La Jolla newborn photographer studio space

Once you arrive at the studio, you will notice the warm temperature. Your baby will be naked for part of the session and a warm room makes for a comfortable sleepy baby. The temperature tends not to be very comfortable for men and older children. We will start the session with family photos, so dad can then take the siblings for a walk by the beach or a snack at one of the many coffee shops around Birdrock village.

And most importantly: relax and enjoy this time. Just remember to breathe, go with the flow, and maybe even take a nap on my couch — I will take care of the rest!

xoxo, Renata

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