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Preparation Guide for your Newborn Shoot

I am so happy to be photographing your new bundle of joy!  As a mom of two children, I understand how overwhelming those first few days can be with a new baby so I created this informational guide to help you prepare for our session together.

 

Important - Preparation is Key for a Successful Outcome for the Day
  • Newborn sessions are usually scheduled for 9am start at my Cranbourne studio as babies always sleep better at this time. I do sometimes schedule babies in for a 1pm start and this may because I have had a cluster of babies born at the same time.

  • Plan ahead by using google to calculate the distance from your home to my studio and add additional traffic conditions for peak hours etc.

  • Ensure your baby is fed RIGHT BEFORE YOU LEAVE HOME. If your baby is not due for a feed please wake them for a top up feed as feeding the baby on arrival at the studio will wake your baby and may take at least 45 minutes for your baby to fall back asleep.

  • Please keep your baby awake at least an hour prior to leaving your house. If baby falls asleep in the car on the way this is perfect as bubs will be nice and settled on arrival. If your drive to the studio is less than 15 minutes please allow for a some extra time in the car so your baby falls into a deep sleep during the drive.

  • Dress your baby in bigger size onesie that zips in the front as it’s easiest to take off and less disturbing to your baby. Please do not put a singlet on your bubs that requires overhead removal

  • If your baby is in a carseat capsule please bring the baby into the studio in the capsule.

Please Note:

  • NO NAPPY CREAM

  • NO TALCUM POWDER

  • Your session is exclusive to TWO adults only. Due to limited studio space and session policies, we request that all other friends and relatives stay at home

  • If you have a sibling attending. Please note that we will start with the newborn first and the sibling/family images will be photographed about 45 minutes in

What To Bring
  • Bring your makeup in case you have to touch up

  • A change of clothing in case baby has an accident on you

  • Bring Lotion or oil for your baby in case they have flaky skin

  • Bring Snacks 

  • Bring Ipads or colouring books for Siblings

  • Bring Bribes (ie chocolate or things they love) for siblings in case we need it for the sibling shots 

  • Grab a pacifier even if you do not plan on letting your baby use one.  Pacifiers help soothe babies and will make the session go much smoother.  If your baby becomes unsettled in a pose often a dummy will calm them enough to continue without having to get them up and re-pose them all over again. I have Brand New Sterilised Jollypop Dummies that I prefer to use during my session. (these dummies are shaped like a Nipple and adjust to the size of your baby’s mouth.) For more information about Jolly pop dummies "Click Here"

What to expect during your Session

I may spend up to 1-2 hours photographing your baby, however sometimes your baby may require more time.  I allow enough time for your baby to eat, for me to clean up messes and settle your baby if needed.  It also accounts for changing setups for different poses.

I keep my studio nice and toasty. The temperature can range from 23 to 28 degrees so you will want to dress appropriately.  I will photograph your baby in the nude so you do not need to bring outfits for the baby.  Most clothing items will swallow your baby.  I believe it is by capturing the innocence of a nude baby that makes my images art.

 

What to do before your scheduled session and things to Bring

  • Give your baby a sponge bath and don’t forget the lotion  

  • Give your baby a full feed before you leave home

  • Bring lots of Bottles and formula if you are not breast feeding. Babies tend to eat allot more during the session than they would do at home. They will require more milk than there normal scheduled feeding. The reason being that your baby is not just sleeping during the session like they would at home and its warm in the studio. It is also suggested if possible to bring some expressed milk in a bottle if you are breast feeding

  • Put clothing and diaper on loosely to avoid red marks. A onesie that zips in the front is easiest to take off and less disturbing to your baby when I undress at the start of the session. Please do not put a singlet on your bubs

 

During Your Session

When you arrive, please leave baby in the car seat when bringing him/her into the studio. I will remove baby very slowly in the warm studio to avoid disturbing them as much as possible. With the poses I do, a sleeping baby is required. I will never place your baby in an unsafe position just to get a pose. Your baby’s safety is the MOST important thing to me.

Once baby has feed I will often ask that you (mom) allow me to take over. Babies can smell moms and may not sleep well.  Remember the Session can take anywhere from 1-2 Hours (or sometimes longer) and the studio will be very hot.

I always aim to take many different setups of your baby during the session using props etc. However please remember that every baby is different and we may not be able to do everything you are after.

Please understand that sibling shots and poses are not guaranteed as siblings are not always willing to co-operate and your babies safety if the most important to me.

During the session, sit back and relax. I won’t need much assistance as I have my own fully trained assistant.  So take advantage of this time to rest (I’m sure you need it!). Parents will often watch or play on their phone, answer emails or read while I work with your new little one.  I’ve even had some parents take a nap!

A few Important things to Remember

CIRCUMCISION:

-Parents often ask ‘Can I circumcise my baby before the session?’ and the answer is ‘Please, no!’. Circumcision can often leave the area raw and painful for a few days after the procedure. It is important to note that newborn photos should be done either before the procedure takes place or at least 4 days after the procedure to ensure the area is healed.

A full baby is a sleepy baby, and we need a very sleepy and calm baby in order to achieve the sweet, flexible poses you see in my portfolio.  I may ask you to ignore a strict feeding schedule for the 2.5 hours at the session. The only way we will achieve calm, flexible poses is if baby is fully satisfied and sleeping.

If nursing, try to avoid eating anything spicy (ie. pizza, hot sauce, etc) or anything that will cause gas and might upset baby’s tummy for 24 hours preceding your scheduled session. A gassy baby will not pose well during the session due to their little tummy being upset.

This is a full service studio meaning that I will be changing baby’s diapers, cleaning up any messes, and feeding baby when required during the session. I usually ask that Moms try to stay outside of hearing and smelling range of bubs as once baby has that connection with mommy in the middle of the session, it’s sometimes hard for them to get back into a deep sleep or if mommy’s milk has not come in all the way baby may want to use mommy to snack on and pacify frequently. I have always had the most success by being the only one to interact with baby during the session. If you’re breastfeeding and are open to bringing bottles with breast milk, great! Of course if you are exclusively breast feeding then that is fine too.  (again, asking that you remain open to feeding on demand at the studio).

Remove all bandages (from shots, etc) from baby’s skin at least one hour before arriving to the studio. These bandages cannot be removed in post processing and, if left on, will show up in the final images. Dont worry about their cord clip I hide this during posing

The studio will be kept at between 25 and 28 degrees to keep your little one warm while being photographed. If Im not sweating then its not hot enough x

Just to warn you:  Your baby will pee and poo on many of my props and me during the session. Im used to this so dont worry. When being photographed with your baby, you may get peed or pooped on! This happens daily in my studio (usually on me), but some parents are surprised by and unprepared for it.

I spend a lot of time getting every little finger and toe positioned perfectly when photographing your little bundle.  First and foremost, it is important to me for your baby look comfortable and peaceful in the photographs.  I have a lot of experience and patience with newborns.  I have children of my own and have photographed over 1200 newborns. My motto is safety first.  I will never put your newborn in an unsafe pose/prop.

Props and ‘Pinterest Requests’:

I supply all of the backdrops, furniture, hats, headbands and wraps for the session. I am always open to new ideas but be aware that I will not use anything that will harm, irritate or look awkward or controversial on your newborn. If you see something you like in any of our galleries, be sure to mention it before your session as I setup the day before your session . I am open to suggestions on poses that you may have seen from Pinterest but please understand that every pose we do depends on how well baby cooperates and how safe the pose is for your little one. I cannot guarantee any pose for this reason.

 

What to Wear - Mum and Dad

For Mum - bring a plain white/cream top or a White/Cream nice dress. You can bring a Black top/dress but I find it can look a more harsh in images

For Dad - bring a plain white/cream top, also please bring a Plain Black top

I also have scarfs and dresses for you to use during the session, just ask me on arrival x

For more artistic shots,  Dads may choose to remove their shirts and Moms may choose to be wrapped in a scarf, wrap or other stretchy material available in my studio. These can make for some very tender images.

**A note to Mom: I know that you may not feel like yourself right after giving birth, but I strongly encourage you to have a portrait taken with your new baby while they are still so young and fresh. Remember this photo is for your new baby and they will love you always. I will shoot you in flattering angles, so don’t worry! Worst case scenario is that you don’t like the image and never look at it again, but at least your child will have this moment documented.

What to Wear - Siblings

For the Boys - Jeans.or Jean Shorts and a plain top or shirt (without patterns or logos)

For the Girls - A nice dress or I have some here that can be used

They’ll be barefoot, so no need to look for clean shoes.

Hair and Makeup Tip

Here are some guidelines for makeup and hair if you have booked in to have faily/sibling photos. Make-up should be classic and clean. However your foundation can be quite thick as this photographs well and helps me to smooth out your skin in post-processing. Hair the same - loose is best. Have your hair either straightened or curled/waved depending on your style.

And Finally…..

I want you to come away from this session with images you will cherish forever.  Thank you for trusting me to capture one of the most wonderful moments in your life.

Thanks xx

Alana