You've Booked Your Newborn Session.... Now What?

Why Should I have a Newborn Photoshoot?

Your latest has arrived home, you have had a few days of adjustment, and now you can start thinking about all the practical stuff that needs to be done, and dreaming of the future with them. These days go by in a flash. They will be 1 before you know it and these early days will seem like a distant, hazy memory.

It is incredibly hard to get newborn pictures of your own child. Even seasoned professionals will go to another professional to get newborn photos. You may want to be in them or it’s a way of leaving the stress and work to someone else. I know after my 3 the last thing I felt like doing was spending 2-4 hours in the studio shooting and then the many hours that come after re touching the images.

This is exactly the reason why you should leave that job to a professional: so, you can just relax and enjoy your baby while I get to work in creating a piece of history in something that you will treasure forever.

A successful photo shoot does require some preparation and planning which is why I have compiled these tips for you ahead of your session.


wm-FS2A8144 copy.jpg

When Should I schedule the Newborn Photoshoot?

I recommend booking in for your newborn session while you are still pregnant. The best time to have the newborn shoot is when baby is under 2 weeks old. This is when your baby is most sleepy and curly and you will get the sleepy curly shots that are synonymous with newborn photography. If baby is a little older, that’s fine but we may not get a full range of sleepy posed images and we may get more awake/wrapped poses.

I tend to start newborn shoots between 9-10am depending on the day. I find that babies are most settled in the morning and we are more likely to achieve a great gallery in a shorter space of time by shooting in the morning.



Your Expectations of the Photoshoot.

Before the actual photo shoot, I like to do a consultation with you to discuss your vision or the ideas for the newborn photography session. This is usually done over zoom and we go through whom will be attending, what you like and to go through the prep for the session in more detail.

While planning a newborn photo shoot, parents often look at things such as Pinterest or Facebook and/or come with their own ideas, they can be often cute and fun. However, the photographer might have some tips about realisation and facilitating those ideas. This might be about posing, props, shooting style or anything connected to the session itself. This is something I go through with you in the consultation.

There are quite a lot of newborn photographers in Nottingham. Some photographers do more portraits, some prefer posed scenes, some lifestyle images, and all those styles should be discussed in advance.

Please, always keep in mind that every newborn photographer should always first consider the safety of the baby, and only then the quality and creativity. Make sure to ask about training a newborn photographer has undertaken as it is not a genre that should be undertaken without training. See my post on baby safety in regards to this

I have a great selection of props, hats, headbands, bowties, blankets, baskets and backdrops to choose from. I like that you have a look through my Facebook and websites before the session so you can let me know if there are any of them that you particularly love. The same goes with colours I use as well.

wm-FS2A9065 copy.jpg

I am a posed newborn photographer. So, if you would like something more fancy and stylish, the studio session is right thing for you. In my studio you have access to a wider range of props, try out a variety of different poses and different backgrounds, and, also, in most cases, the studio session will have better quality of lightning, which can produce some gorgeous images that you will treasure forever.

I allow 2-4 hours for newborn sessions. This is because we are completely lead by your baby. Going back to safety, this is the priority and posing a newborn will not be done with an unsettled baby.


wm-FS2A7315 copy.jpg

What Should You Bring?

For parent/family pictures I advise that you coordinate the outfits you plan on wearing. By sticking to items of clothing from the same colour palette it creates a nicer image. So, all of you be in lighter colours, all be neutrals, all be in darker. Avoid opposite or clashing colours (one in black and one in white, red/green, blue/yellow etc. For shots with the family I tend to have baby wrapped as they are easier to pose and is neater and I have plenty of wraps so I can find one that compliments what you wear. You don’t need outfits for baby as they will either be wrapped or in just a nappy/naked.


If you are open to using a pacifier for baby I suggest you bring one of these as it helps settle them between shots or if they stir.


If you are formula feeding, then bring more formula than you think you will need. It is better to have excess than not enough.

wm-FS2A8706 copy.jpg


Babies generally need an extra layer than what we would wear. Because of this and that much of the session baby is in just a nappy or nothing I do have a heater on the go making the room warm. Warmer than what we would have. So, please bare this in mind when you come to the session. You may wish to bring your clothes that you want to be photographed wearing separate and then you can change in to these when it is time for your photos.  A warmer room makes a happier, sleepier baby


Because of the possible length of a newborn session and that it is better it is calm and settled in the room, if you have other children a couple of things that work here is you could either have one parent drop Mum and baby at the session and leave them for a couple of hours while the other parent goes to soft play, run errands etc. This gives them a treat and some time with the other parent alone which usually makes them happy. It can also mean that they aren’t getting bored while waiting for their part as I do the newborn baby in the first part of the session. However, if this isn’t possible, then I recommend you bring plenty of entertainment for the other children and plenty of snacks and treats. I am in a small-ish studio space with expensive photography equipment and props in a warehouse and so there isn’t space for older siblings to run around.


wm-FS2A9944 copy.jpg




 A full sleepy baby makes the best model.

 Because I want a sleepy settled baby. I advise that you plan on feeding baby when you get to the studio.

 In the morning of the session try and keep baby awake as much as possible. This can be things like giving them a bath, talking and singing to them, and, letting them have floor time in just a nappy etc.

 Feed them as normal on waking in the morning and then try and only give a top up so they are ready for a big feed when you arrive.

 The idea is as they have had more awake time and after a feed they should then settle in to a deep sleep.


Don’t worry if this takes time, it can sometimes be over an hour before we are ready to get started shooting. Safety is the priority so I won’t start with them until they are completely settled.

When you arrive, I will ask you to strip baby to their nappy, loosen the nappy and then feed. This helps wake them enough for a feed and then as it warms up more in the studio and they get fuller they should settle in to a deep sleep.

 While you are feeding, I will go through colour options with you and set up the posing area. If you have something in mind colour wise now though let me know as I can make sure they are top of the pile.


wm-FS2A5934 copy.jpg


Your Baby During the Photoshoot.

Of course, during the photo shoot itself, there should be plenty of breaks for messes, feeding and cuddling. Newborns will need feeding breaks throughout the session, especially if they are a little fussy. Feeding times also allow me to capture intimate nursing moments between mum and baby, if that is something that you would like. Of course, there is no obligation to do so, but it can be a nice addition to the gallery. Let me know ahead of time if this is something that you would like.

Another handy tip: Keep extra wipes, nappies, blankets, and nappy bags nearby for quick clean-ups. Baby will be naked without a nappy on them for some of the session, and it is very likely they will poo, wee or be sick in the session. This is very common so please don’t be embarrassed or worried if they do. Being a newborn photographer I am used to it and not fazed by it at all. After each session, all my props and blankets get washed and sanitised.


Newborn sessions can last anywhere from 2 to 4 hours. The key to getting good images is to be patient. Relax and try to enjoy the session.

wm-FS2A6230 copy.jpg

Now Sit Back and Relax.

Once the baby has been fed and winded, I like to settle the baby in to a sleep so I ask you to sit back and relax while they I do my work.

Bear in mind I am trained in newborn photography and so your baby is in safe hands. I am happy to settle, wind and bottle feed your little one, and I find that in me doing this they are used to me and is less transitions and unsettling for them, but at the same time, I do understand that as a new parent you may be a bit anxious of this so please don’t sit there and let me take control if it is not something you are comfortable with.

So, trust your me, and trust my patience. It is why a newborn session is longer than a family or older child session because I like to ensure the safety and comfort of everyone involved.


wm-FS2A7311 copy.jpg 

Some Final Thoughts

In the end – always remember that you know your newborn better than anybody, so never hesitate to bring up any concerns or suggestions. You should always be upfront me about anything.

However, do stay patient. Babies can sense when their parents are upset/anxious. Crying, inability to soundly sleep, bathroom breaks, and the need for more feeding are all normal things during a photo session. Prepare for accidents and pauses to clean up or calm down the baby.

The truth is – you can never know how a newborn photo session will go. Babies are unpredictable models, but that is what makes them so adorable! Hopefully, these suggestions help you feel prepared and comfortable for your upcoming photo date. If you are still unsure about something, just ask! And for some inspiration, check out my newborn gallery ideas


wm-FS2A9046 copy.jpg