Here with Urso Photography, I photograph newborn sessions within our studio but also offer lifestyle sessions within your home! I love the natural setting of a family’s home and photos showing the perspective of those first few days of REAL LIFE with your new bundle of joy. I will come to your home for the newborn session and stay approximately 1-3 hours, depending on baby’s comfort and cooperation. This post will help you better understand what to expect and how to prepare for your Lifestyle Newborn Session with me.
“Wait. What? I have to PREPARE for my newborn session? I just had a baby! I don’t want to prepare anything!” – You.
Woah, calm down, friend! You don’t have to actually “prepare.” I mean, I don’t need you to have the dishes cleaned or the laundry done. It’s more of a mental preparation and a few minor things around the house. Also, if I get there and you’re house isn’t spotless… I may help pick up a few things.
PREPARING FOR YOUR SESSION:
In order to ensure that the newborn session runs as quickly and as smoothly as possible, please follow these steps:
1. If nursing, try to avoid eating anything spicy (ie. pizza, hot sauce, etc) or anything that will cause gas and might upset baby’s tummy for 24 hours preceding your scheduled session. A gassy baby will not pose well during the session due to their little tummy being upset.
*Some other foods that may cause gas are dairy products- milk, cheese, yogurt, pudding, cream, or any food that has milk, milk products, casein, whey, or sodium casein it, as well as foods with caffeine, soy, fish, peanuts, chocolate, wheat, beef, nuts, eggs, corn, or citrus fruits (Courtesy Babycenter & ModernMom parenting).
*If baby happens to be gassy the day of your session, Oval or Gripe Water can be used to help ease baby’s discomfort.
2. Interact with and keep baby awake for 1-2 hours before your session to ensure he/she is good and sleepy for the session. This is very important. Without this, we spend too much time getting them to sleep and not as much time photographing them.
*Stimulating baby with a bath or by doing ‘naked time’ prior to the session are some tricks that you can use!
3. Please make sure your little one has a full belly for the session. Please feed baby just prior to my scheduled time of arrival. If baby is bottle feeding, please have extra bottles and milk (formula or breastmilk) handy. Also, baby should be fed as much as possible in the 12 hours that precede the session. This will allow for baby to sleep as deeply and as long as possible.
*A full baby = a sleepy baby, and we need a very sleepy and calm baby in order to achieve the sweet, flexible poses you see in my portfolio. I may ask you to ignore a strict feeding schedule for the 2.5 hours at the session. The only way we will achieve calm, flexible poses is if baby is fully satiated and sleeping. I would rather have you give baby an extra feeding than have you worry that baby isn’t sleeping and we’re missing out on some cute poses.
4. Dress baby in loose fitting clothes to avoid any lines on baby’s skin and to also avoid disturbing baby when getting undressed. A simple sleeper is best. Please avoid onesies or anything that has to be pulled off over baby’s head.
*Your newborn will be photographed in his/her birthday suit for the majority of the session but we pay careful attention to ensure baby bits are not exposed in any photos. Clothes tend to be bulky and awkward.
5. Have a pacifier – they can be very helpful during the session!
6. Turn up the heat! Set your heater to at least 75! Your little one should be nice and toasty while being photographed. I recommend dressing in layers.
7. Remove all bandages (from shots, etc) from baby’s skin at least one hour before arriving to the studio. These bandages cannot be removed in post processing and, if left on, will show up in the final images.
THE DAY OF YOUR SESSION:
The most important thing to remember on the day of your session is to relax. Please, do not become stressed out about my coming to your home. I am here to help you in any way that I can and capture beautiful images of you and your newest family member. This is meant to be a lovely time and nothing to worry over.
I prefer to photograph newborns in the late morning around 10:00am. This gives your family enough time to wake up for the day and gives you plenty of time to get yourselves ready. If this time does not work for you, we may schedule another time during day.
Raise the temperature in your home. I know, you’re hot! You just had a baby! I totally understand. However, baby isn’t use to this chilly world just yet. We want him or her to be as comfortable as possible. Especially while being photographed. Raising the temperature to 75 degrees will make a big difference in baby’s comfort level. If we aren’t sweating, baby probably isn’t warm enough.
Please try to keep baby awake as much as possible the morning I am coming. A sleeping baby is much more cooperative than an awake baby. This may mean walking around the house and not snuggling up for nap time. Let daddy take over while you get ready. Also, wait until right before I arrive to feed baby. Her sleep cycle typically starts immediately after eating and we want that to happen shortly after I arrive, not before. This will more than likely go along with keeping her awake. Plus, I want to capture a few shots while you’re calming and soothing her to sleep. Simple and beautiful.
DURING YOUR SESSION:
Once sweet baby is settled, we will start your lifestyle session! These photos typically are of everyone. Mom, Dad, Babe, Siblings and even pets are invited to play along. Once we have gotten to this point, your session will seemingly fly by. I will help get you posed and set up for each and every photo. Just remember to relax and be natural. This is a moment you’re going to want to remember forever.
If there are moments throughout our session that baby wants to stop and eat, that is 100% okay. I am there to work about her schedule, not mine. This entire session revolves around the happiness of your brand new baby.
AFTER YOUR SESSION:
Now is the time to dream of all the wonderful photos that will soon be coming your way.
I have been allowed to play with your new, sweet baby and carefully capture beautiful images that I will now begin to cull down and edit. We will schedule your reveal session about two weeks after your newborn session! This is when you’ll come to the studio to view your beautiful images for the first time!
During your reveal/ordering session, we will go through all of your beautifully edited images together. We will take time to choose exactly what prints and products you want to purchase to showcase this amazing and fleeting time in your family’s life. Now you will have beautiful photos to hang on your walls or timeless albums to look back on forever. These images are meant to be displayed and will forever remind you of how tiny your precious baby once was. I cannot think of a more perfect way to treasure your greatest gift of all.
Amanda Urso Perry