- Aileen Britt
NJ Newborn Photography - What Does My Session Entail?
Newborn photography is so rewarding. It's also a lot of work. From planning a session, to setting up the session, to hoping with fingers crossed that the precious new being you are about to work with semi cooperates. (haha, newborn/cooperate...right!) Those little creatures have their own agendas, which include sleeping, eating, pooping, crying and generally sabotaging everyone else's best laid plans. But, oh how we love them so from their new baby smell to their tiny little toes!
So, what DOES go into a newborn photography session? It all begins with the most important part of the whole process... safety. As soon as I even considered photographing newborns I enrolled in newborn photography workshops. I learned how to safely work with newborns while capturing those beautiful images we all love. Now, I have 4 girls of my own, so I have plenty of experience with newborns and safety, but there is so much more when it comes to photographing and posing, and I wanted to be sure every newborn in my studio is completely safe. With the foundation of safe newborn photography set, I can move into the creative process.
Planning a session and setting it up can be stressful, but still so much fun. What colors do the parents like? Is there a favorite hobby or activity they'd like incorporated into photos? What kind of poses are they looking for? We can plan, but never promise. (See newborn's agenda above.) No matter how well a session is planned and what is envisioned, what actually happens is so very dependent on our tiniest of clients. Because of this, the best time to photograph a newborn is generally between 6 days and 14 days, with around 10 days being ideal. I will never turn down a 4 or 6 week old newborn, every parent deserves beautiful images of their baby and though the session may have to be planned differently, with different poses and images, it can still be done very well. Younger newborns naturally curl and are more flexible still. They also sleep longer and more deeply allowing easier transitions in posing and sets. Older newborns may be more alert and allow for some great shots with babe's eyes wide open and staring at mom, or they may hate everything being done to them and just give the stink-eye the whole time.
At the session we hope we have a sleepy baby. They love to be warm and cozy so it's nice to start with them wrapped up nice and tight. If we are lucky and everything goes smoothly, I try to keep sessions within 2 hours. Sometimes it's longer, I follow baby's cues, and take breaks as needed. I could spend all day snuggling and shooting newborns, I miss that stage so much! (Of course not the lack of sleep, hormones out of whack, cluster feeding and dishes left in the sink). I love that I am able to capture these first early moments for you to hold on to. We finalize colors and props, and begin the work of photographing. It's fun choosing different headbands, hats and outfits. It's inevitable I get peed on and worse every session, so I tend to keep a diaper on baby as long as possible. I have a toasty room and white noise to hopefully keep baby warm and sleeping through our session.
After the session I can't wait to upload the images and get to work editing so I can deliver your photos to you! I try not to do too much post processing, keeping it simple and clean.
It generally takes a week or two of office time to select and edit the best images for you to view. Once I start, I have a hard time stepping away, there's so much excitement about you seeing your finished images for the first time! Your images are offered for viewing through an online gallery, as well as an in person viewing appointment if desired, where you can choose your keepers. You can download your chosen photographs included in your chosen package, and also purchase additional digital files and prints as well, all through your gallery.
I hope this helps you understand the process a little better, and how it is much more than just clicking some pictures and handing them off to you. There is much planning, time, and post process work aside from the actual session. I love every step of the way. It took me 20 years to find the courage to put myself out there and focus on something I love. I hope I get to spend the next 20 years capturing amazing memories for families, not just newborn, but through life.