How to prepare for your newborn portrait session

June 17, 2022

Your first weeks with a new baby are full of unknowns. You read up on birth, breastfeeding, and baby care because knowing what to expect helps ease the stress. Well, getting ready for your newborn photos is no different. Knowing how to prepare for your newborn portrait session will lessen your anxiety and result in better images!

My top 5 tips for how to prepare for your newborn portrait session

Any good newborn photographer will give you plenty of information on how best to prepare for your session. I give my Los Angeles newborn photoshoot clients an extensive prep guide, so they know exactly what to expect and how best to prepare for their session. Here are 5 of my top tips:

1. Plan your wardrobe ahead of time

Ideally, you’ll sort out your session wardrobe before you give birth. If your photographer hasn’t given you wardrobe guidance, check in to see what colors and fabrics photograph best. Most of my clients opt for light, neutral colors. It’s hard to know what size you’ll be a week or two postpartum, so having a couple of options can be helpful. I offer studio wardrobe to my clients with a selection of gorgeous dresses that fit and flatter post-delivery.

family holding toddler and newborn

2. Get your nails done

I recommend that all of my clients get a manicure before delivery. If this isn’t possible, a quick trim and cuticle clean-up at home is fine. I incorporate parents’ hands into my work quite a lot, and chipped polish or ragged nails can be distracting in the final images. I guarantee you’ll want these images, which show just how small your baby was, down the road.

newborn fingers holding parent's index finger

3. Wash your baby’s hair

You will want to give baby a bath or sponge bath before your session. Pay special attention to baby’s hair as it can sometimes appear greasy in the photographs if it hasn’t been washed recently. Unlike flaky skin or baby acne, this is not something that can be edited out.

Baby in dad's arms

4. Give your baby a full feeding

A full belly is one of the keys to an easy, sleepy session. A hungry baby won’t settle for long. It’s best to give your baby a nice full feeding before you leave for your session or when you arrive at your photographer’s studio. A good newborn photographer will never rush you or suggest you cut a feeding short. My clients will often spend 45 minutes nursing, burping, and changing their baby during their session.

how to prepare for your newborn portrait session

5. Share your questions and concerns

If you have questions or worries ahead of your session, be sure to share those with your photographer. If you’ve done your due diligence in choosing the right newborn photographer, your photographer will be happy to take as much time as you need to answer your questions and go over what to expect.

b&w portrait of mother holding newborn baby

Are you looking for a newborn photographer in Los Angeles? Check out my newborn portfolio + session information.

big sister and newborn

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I photograph maternity, newborn, baby, and family sessions in and around Los Angeles. If you're interested in a session, please get in touch.

Ariel Cannon Photography | Los Angeles

Newborn Baby with arms overhead
Baby girl portrait on bed

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