I have photographed many newborn sessions over the years! I have collected tried-and-true tips to make our newborn session as smooth as possible. I know this is a long guide, but everything below will give us the best results for our newborn session. Please let me know if you have any questions!
I have a few tried and true ‘sleepy tips’ to help you prepare for the newborn session. The following tips will give us the best results during your session to help baby stay sleepy the entire time. If baby is in a deep sleep for our session, we will have the best possible session.
I suggest following these tips in this order, if possible, in the hour or two leading up to our session:
Following these tips and tricks to make and keep baby as sleepy as possible will create the best results. I always have about 5 different sets and the sleepier baby is, the quicker we can move through the sets and the greater variety you’ll have in your gallery. Bringing a pacifier can be helpful too. At the end of the day: babies run the show and ultimately determine how many sets we get through :)
If you are travelling from outside of Lethbridge for our session, please try to still follow these tips, but if possible, leave time for a "wake window", diaper change, and feed immediately before arriving.
Please let me know if you have questions about these sleepy tips! I am here to help!
Baby will be wrapped in white for any parent/family/sibling photos. With that in mind, I do suggest light-coloured neutrals: whites, beiges, creams, greys.
Pastel colours: some families opt to bring in a pale pink or a pale blue into their coordinated outfits based on the gender of the baby, which works well so long as the colours are pale. Anything that is too bright or busy becomes overwhelming and takes away from the baby and takes away from the emotions created through photography.
My in-depth What To Wear Guide can be found here: https://www.shereehartungphotography.com/what-to-wear-guide
My Newborn Session What To Wear Pinterest Board: https://www.pinterest.ca/09gsxosyskim4ygkksyyeqp2vnscmv/shp-newborn-family-outfits/
Mamas: As a mama of two girls, I know what it's like to have just had a baby and then trying to dress up and plan for family photos, all the while our bodies feel different. I know it's challenging to anticipate those changes while outfit planning. I suggest flowy dresses, size up so you're comfortable. You'll notice a lot of flowy dresses throughout the pinterest link above. I am more than happy to help with outfit planning.
It gets very warm inside the studio. This is intentional as it helps to keep the baby settled and cozy. However, this can create for toasty session for parents. You are welcome to bring a water bottle (please make sure it has a lid), and/or you are welcome to change into something more comfortable after the parent/family photos are over, and/or wear layers so you can be comfortable for the duration of your session.
Baby, pacifier, bottle, diapers, etc., and your beautiful selves. Otherwise, I provide everything: wraps, props, headbands, hats, etc. This is so that you only need to grab your diaper bag, and everything else is prepped for you when you arrive.
My newborn sessions usually take 1-2 hours. Usually the first half an hour (if not less) is family/sibling/parent photos. We take breaks with toddlers as needed. I work fast. I know toddlers (and husbands, ha) have short attention spans and expire quickly. I have tips and tricks for toddlers. After the family photos are done, I can usually get through most sets within an hour, depending on the baby. We let baby determine when we are “done”, and mama and I make that call together.
I also wholeheartedly encourage bribery. For the kids, the dads, everyone. Ice cream afterwards, new hot wheels, whatever it takes. I bribe my own children for photos, and I’ve seen it all. Bribe away: it works!
I suggest having older sibling(s) practice holding baby before our photo session. This will familiarize the siblings and make them a bit more comfortable before photos. I know this can be a challenge depending on the age of the older sibling(s) and their interest in the baby. Even if your older child(ren) doesn’t want to hold the baby during our session, we can still get some great sibling photos (I’ve got tricks up my sleeve).
If you have opted for a full session, so we are doing family/parent/sibling photos AND baby solo photos, this is a typical workflow:
Dad and siblings leave: I do ask that dad takes the siblings out of the house after they’re done their photos. This is because the photos of just baby can take around an hour, maybe more, and that’s too long to expect siblings to wait in someone’s else’s home and be on their best behaviour. If the weather is nice, sometimes dad&siblings go to a park, go grab a bite to eat, maybe go back home if you live close. For this reason, some parents opt to take separate vehicles depending on your own logistics. Or, I tell you when we’re almost done, you text or call dad, and he knows when to come back and get you. If you take separate vehicles: I am more than happy to help you take the car seat or diaper bag out to the car or carry whatever you need down the stairs. I’ve buckled baby up in the car seat, I’ve put the car seat in people’s cars, etc. I’m here to help with whatever you need.