10 tips for successful Newborn Sessions
I thought it would be great to do a post on Newborn sessions, and some tips I find help me have the most success!
1. Start with a nice warm space, I have a small studio so the room heats up pretty fast, lots of on location photographers use space heaters. Please, please if you use them be careful and not to put them too close to the baby. The hot blast of heat could potentially burn, so make sure its not blowing directly on the baby.
2. Have ample hand towels or receiving blankets, I use them for all the messes, instead of the wipes, its warmer on babies bottom that way.
3. Warm up your hands, would you want someone touching you with icy fingers? I like to wash my hands before I touch baby so I run them extra long under the warm water to warm them up.
4. Be prepared, I’m a planner and like to go into each session with fresh new ideas, for props and poses that create a unique session for each an every client.
5. Interact with your clients ask them which props and blankets they like, favorite colors etc. What their style is, if they like certain hats, head bands. By having open communication you work on creating a session together that you both will be happy with.
6 Treat the baby with respect. The little one you are working with is a little person and will tell you what they like and what they don’t like. They will tell you which positions they want to be put into and the ones they don’t. And that’s perfectly OK. My belief is that in order for anyone to be treated with respect they have to give it and a newborn is no exception. Handle the baby as careful and as lovingly as you would handle your own child.
7. Be Patient. I can’t stress this enough. We all get little ones who are non sleepers at some point, you have 2 options either ride it out or reschedule. I like to hang out with my clients and chat and get to know them while we wait.
8. Give baby breaks. In my sessions we take lots of breaks to top up baby and keep baby asleep, when I feel like I have moved baby a lot, I give baby 2-3 minutes to relax and fall into a deeper sleep.
9. Know when to quit. Listen to the baby, they will tell you when they have had enough moving around and enough being handled. At some point they all say, “OK Lisa I’m done.” And I respect their wishes. ( I usually find this around the 3 hour mark)
10. When all else fails bust out the hairdryer ( but don’t aim it at the baby) I discovered this little trick when my son was 6 weeks old, I was hurrying to get ready, he was cranky and wouldn’t fall asleep and I needed to dry my hair. With in 2 minutes he was out like a light! Whenever I have a little one that needs some extra white noise to go to sleep I bust out the hairdryer, and it works every time 🙂
11. Safety first! I’m not a heat pad user, but many photographers I know do use them, please please ensure you remove the electric heat pad prior to putting the naked baby on it. Seems like a lethal combination liquid + electricity if you know what I mean. And baby’s sensitive skin can burn quickly.
Don’t put baby in dangerous situations. I have noticed a big trend on people putting babies in glass vases. All I can say is scary!!! What if that baby pushes hard against the glass, or jerks like they so often do and knocks over and smashes the vase. Do you want to be known as the photographer that hurt a child? But more importantly, do you want to be the photographer that hurt a child?
The photo is NEVER more important than the child …period.
If you don’t know how to do composites – don’t do it. If you haven’t been taught to SAFELY suspend a baby – don’t do it. Above all, always make sure that little one is safe.
If you have a tip you would like to share, please leave a it in the comments field!
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