How to prepare parents for their newborn photo session

Yay – you’ve just received the email to say you’re the chosen photographer for the newborn photo session. Then, over the next 2 weeks, you receive 14 more texts and emails from those parents, all filled with frantic questions.

What if my baby is born early? Or late?

How do I dress my baby for the photo session? Can I bring an outfit?

When do I feed them? What if they need to feed during the session?

Where is your studio? Can I bring a stroller?

And so on, and so on…

It is natural for parents to have many questions about their session, but it’s not the best use of your time to answer the same questions each and every time you have a newborn photo session.

A better practice is to create a newborn prep guide, that you can send to a client as soon as they book (or even before!). That way, you know that parents have all the information to ensure a seamless and successful newborn photo session. You may even be answering questions that they didn’t even know they had!

Armed with your best newborn photos, an easy to use design tool like Canva, and answers to the following questions, you will have your parents ready for their newborn photo session in no time!

bts of photographer with newborn on beanbag

How and when do we contact you?

Address how long before baby’s due date parents should book their session. Explain how you keep the date on your calendar, and when they should contact you after birth. They will want to know what happens if baby arrives early, or late.

How old should baby be for the session?

It is important to set realistic expectations regarding the ideal age, and especially what to expect if baby is older than your ideal age.

dad holding newborn on arms

How long will the session be?

Many parents are surprised to learn that newborn sessions can be as long as 3-4 hours, so be sure to let them know what to expect.

Where does the session take place?

This is the place to give parents your studio location (or let them know you come to them), discuss logistics like directions and where to park, and also share which amenities they can expect at your studio. In addition, this is a good time to advise them of just how hot you will keep the studio, so they may dress accordingly.

white couch in newborn studio

What should everyone wear?

Give parents your recommendations on what to wear for the family portion of their newborn session. They will also want to know whether to bring any outfits for the baby, or whether you supply everything. Lastly, address what siblings should wear.

mom and dad cuddling newborn

Should I have professional hair and makeup done?

This would be a great spot for a referral to your preferred make up artist and/or stylist.

parents holding newborn in studio

How do we prepare baby for the newborn photo session?

Do you want baby to be fed at home before the session, or only at the studio? What is you policy on pacifier use? This is the place to let parents know what you’ve learned works best for newborn sessions.

What is baby poops/doesn’t sleep/cries a lot?

Parents will have lots of fears about things “going wrong” at the session. It is really important to allay their fears and let them know what is considered normal, and what your game plan is for challenging situations.

newborn photo session with awake baby

What about siblings?

Because of the length of a typical newborn session, it is best to advise parents that siblings should only attend for the family portion of the newborn photo session – typically the first or last 30 minutes. Also be sure to clearly state the expectations around siblings – nothing is guaranteed!

aibling and newborn on flokati

Do you have studio rules?

You may limit the number of relatives in your studio, or have a strict “no filming/camera photos” rule. Maybe you take prop requests, or not. How do you feel about Pinterest requests?

What happens after the session?

Will you be releasing sneak peeks? And what is your turnaround time for the completed gallery? How will they get access to their gallery?

baby in bucket at newborn photo session

With all these questions answered before your newborn photo session starts, you can focus on sleepy baby vibes, and know that parents are ready and relaxed for the session.

Pin this and come back to it when you’re ready to create your newborn prep guide:

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