How to Prepare for Your Newborn Photoshoot

Editors Note: For most of August I am on vacation, spending some much needed time recharging my batteries and enjoying time with the family. I knew I was going to be away from my computer for some time so I went out searching for some great guest posters to help keep this blog active while I am away. I am so excited to welcome my good friend Jade Malone, of Jade Malone Photography. Jade has a rapidly developing photography business in the South Shore of Nova Scotia and she specializes in new born photo shoots. If you are looking for a photographer in Nova Scotia make sure you check out Jade’s work.

The decision to have your newborn professionally photographed is a decision that you will not regret. As a first time parent, it’s possible you don’t fully grasp just how quickly your little one becomes “not so little,” but believe your elders when they tell you it goes by SO quickly!


Newborns should be photographed within the first 14 days of life, so it’s important to book a photographer while you’re still pregnant. Try to book with a down payment by no later than 30 weeks. Down payments are usually non-refundable and ensure your booking is kept. Many newborn photographers take VERY limited bookings, so don’t delay!

Preparing for your newborn session begins with finding the right photographer for you. This involves a little homework and typically, you get what you pay for. You need to determine your budget. Are you able to afford high-end newborn photography? Can you register with a newborn photographer and have shower guests purchase gift certificates in your name?

Consider the experience level of your photographer as well. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and please, please put them in the hot seat concerning their safety procedures! Amateur photographers can do amazing work, but don’t put your baby in a dangerous situation just to save a few bucks! Your photographer should be well versed in newborn safety (which many amateurs are!)

Once you’ve found “the one”, there are some questions you need to ask your photographer.

  • Do they supply the props? Can you bring your own?
  • How many backgrounds/poses does your session fee cover?
  • Do they supply digital images or prints?
  • How long does the session last?
  • Do they provide a place for breastfeeding?
  • Do they have the necessities for warming bottles?
  • How long after the session will it be before you get to view proofs?
  • Does proofing take place in person or online?
  • Do they allow sibling/family shots?

What to expect:

Although every photographer is different, you can typically expect that your session will take between 2 and 4 hours. Why so long? Because your baby needs you! Mom will likely be very hands-on during the session, feeding, soothing, comforting, and even supervising or helping out the photographer!

Your photographer might ask you to try to hold off feeding your baby and try to keep them awake with stimulating activities until you arrive at the studio. Once you arrive, your photographer will most likely ask you to remove the baby’s clothes, feed baby very well and change their diaper to get them very comfortable and sleepy. Babies sleep better with a very full tummy, and a deep sleep is what your photographer is aiming for if they want to achieve the advanced posing featured in mainstream newborn photography.


Once your baby is sleeping deeply, the session will begin. Your photographer will take a LOT of photos! A couple hundred is the norm, and out of these shots you are likely to get between 25-35 useable images. The click-click-click of the camera can be your photographer testing their light, recomposing their shots, etc. Not every picture is one that you’ll want!

Many of the images created make the baby appear to be in a very natural and effortless pose, however in reality it can be quite the opposite. Your baby should be properly supported at ALL times, never left alone on the beanbag, and never suspended in mid air. The images that you see with baby supporting its own head are called composite images. They are accomplished by taking a series of images with parents or a helper holding the baby in place, and then the images are merged together in Photoshop creating the illusion that the babies are doing it by themselves.

Ideally, your session is slow-paced, relaxed and stress-free for parents. Moms and Dads are always given ample time to feed, change and comfort the baby. It’s almost a for sure bet that your baby will pee or have a bowel movement during the session, soiling blankets or the photographers clothes. You don’t need to worry about it! Your photographer knows this is going to happen, and it’s completely normal.


Occasionally, a baby will just not cooperate for pictures and that’s okay! Your photographer can get plenty of really great shots with baby’s eyes open, and has plenty of tricks up their sleeve for getting amazing photos of your baby. You wont be disappointed!

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