It’s not uncommon for new moms to arrange for a professional photo session to capture the very beginning of their newborn’s life. While you can certainly take your own pics, and you’ll probably take plenty, a professional photographer brings a certain amount of knowledge, skill, and experience to the table that the average parent simply doesn’t possess. However, there are a few guidelines you’ll want to observe in order to ensure that you get just what you want and that you and your infant are comfortable throughout the process. Here are some tips to make sure your newborn’s first photo session goes off without a hitch.
- Time your session carefully. It can take a while to get your newborn on a schedule of feeding, sleeping, and other daily activities. But once you’ve got it under control, the worst thing you can do is screw with it. So think about whether you’d like shots of your baby sleeping or awake and plan the time of your session accordingly. Your best bet is probably to schedule the shoot for just after a nap or a feeding, when your baby is rested and ready to play. If baby gets fussy during the course of the photo session you can always feed him and put him to sleep for some adorable resting photos following the wakeful ones. It’s the best of both worlds, provided your photographer is flexible.
- Practice safety first. No matter how many times a photographer assures you that your baby will be safe perched on a ledge or hanging in a basket, you need to feel comfortable with the situations in which your newborn is being photographed. Keep in mind that all kinds of effects can be accomplished after the fact thanks to superimposing images or using photo editing software. So if you like the idea behind a shot, but you simply don’t think it’s safe for your baby, ask the photographer if there are alternatives to risking damage to your child.
- Forget about posing. If you’re lucky you can find a way to coax a smile out of your newborn during a photo session. But you should probably forget about putting him in some kind of pose. Babies are unlikely to hold any pose long enough for the photographer to snap a shot, so don’t get your heart set on a particular arrangement. In truth, letting your baby do his thing could produce some truly remarkable candid shots that look more natural and beautiful than any posed photo could.
- Bring multiple outfits. You’ll probably want a variety of shots, and you can accomplish different looks by bringing several options for outfits. This can also be helpful for the photographer, who should be able to choose the best clothing to go with different backgrounds for particular effects like high contrast or making the baby the focus rather than the clothes he’s wearing.
- Check portfolios and pricing. As a new mom you may be on a tight budget. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have professional portraits of your newborn taken to send to family and friends. Whether you’re looking at Sears Photo Studio or the pros at Diego Molina Photography, you want to make sure that the style matches your taste and the pricing works for your budget. So take the time to comparison shop rather than simply heading to the nearest photo studio.