The 101 on Newborn Photography

By Kristi James, mil spouse, professional photographer & MBRN contributor .

If you have children, have you ever just sat back and wondered when did your children grow up? I do every day now that my children are older. Last I checked they were still newborns. The newborn stage goes by so quickly. They grow so fast, before you know it, your newborn is all grown up! Capture those precious, fleeting moments with unique and beautiful newborn photography.  From adorable props and settings to sweet sleeping poses. 

When should my newborn be photographed? 
                                                                                         To capture the tiny details and the tiny features of your fresh new baby, they should be photographed within the first 10 days of life. After that time frame the newborns become more alert and more aware of what is going on. The cute sleepy newborn poses are not a guarantee after that time has passed.

What should you know about getting your newborn photographed? 

   The first and foremost you need to consider is choosing a photographer that poses baby safely. There are several poses, that if not done correctly and safely can seriously injure your newborn.  Please, please make sure to ask your photographer if they use the composite method for the harder poses. If they don’t, or do not know what that is, don’t do it. It is not safe for baby and it is ok for you to say no. Safety should be the photographers number one priority. An assistant or a parent should always be within a hands distance or touching baby for prop shots and bean bag shots. At any moment baby can startle or jump and it could be disastrous if there isn’t someone touching or with a hand very close by.  Another safety concern is to NOT put baby in anything unstable or in glass. Those can be extremely dangerous situations to put your most precious valuable in.

    The second thing you need to consider is if the photographer is the style of newborn photography you are looking for. There are two types of photography to consider. The posed style, which includes the baby in props and the sleepy newborn poses. Then there is lifestyle. Lifestyle is set up in your home and captures you in your environment, your home. This is a more natural type of session.

    Once you have covered those items on the checklist, then comes the excitement of having your precious little newborn photographed. The session can take several hours and will depend upon baby. If baby is sleepy and not fussy about being moved quite often then the session should go fast and smooth. Sometimes babies need to take nursing breaks and time to be soothed. Then there are other times when baby just doesn’t want to be messed with at all and nothing will calm them except for wrapping them or swaddling them. Every baby is different and you can never know what to expect when going in. Babies have a mind of their own and they can’t tell us what is wrong. 

      Newborn studio photography can be so fun. There are all sorts of cute buckets and boxes to put babies in. An array of hats and headbands and wraps, plenty of choices in color for blankets and accessories. These can all be so fun.  You can come up with some pretty amazing themes for photos and you can mix it up with some beautiful classic portraits of your newborn.  

    I highly recommend scheduling your newborn session as soon as possible. Most of the time the best newborn photographers are scheduled months in advance. This will also give you time to plan for what you may want for your newborn session and to decide on how you would love to display your images in your home. Plus, the most important reason to schedule as soon as possible is that you don’t want to miss out on timeless and treasured images of your brand new baby. 

    When my first three children were born, newborn photography wasn’t a thing. I mean we got the standard hospital photo, but it was always the awkward looking one where they look terrified. {In Okinawa, that is actually not an option given by the hospital.}  I regret not taking them to a professional to have their photograph taken. I did my 4th baby’s newborn photos and I’m so glad that I did. I look at them every day on my wall and am reminded of how cute and tiny and precious he was. If you’re like me, you’ll regret not having newborn photographs taken.



Contributor: Kristi James