Sky 9 Studio | Newborn Photo Session Prep Guide

Good newborn photos don’t happen by accident. This is the reason I have compiled the Newborn Photography Session Prep Guide. Capturing this special time with a professional photographer is such a wonderful gift to yourself and your child. Something you will both treasure for many years to come. See below for tips and tricks to help ensure your session goes as smoothly as possible.

Restoration hardware style neutral minimalist newborn baby photo of newborn oby wearing classic bonnet and holding stuffed bunny

How to prepare BABY for newborn photos

In order to get the sleepy, curled up poses that newborn photo sessions are known for, our goal is to have the baby be asleep during the session. Here are a few tips to help:

  • If your baby is receiving breastmilk, try to eliminate caffeine for 72 hours prior to your session. If you are okay with your baby taking a bottle or pacifier, please bring along to the session. We may need this to help baby settle once we start posing. Even if your baby doesn’t usually take a pacifier, please bring the hospital provided one. It can really help during these 2-3 hours.
  • Our goal will be to have you feed and rock the baby to sleep ONCE YOU ARRIVE at the studio. PLEASE TRY TO KEEP YOUR BABY AWAKE BEFOREHAND. Especially because some have a bit of a drive to get to the studio, this will take some planning and forethought.
  • If we are photographing your session at home, please try to keep baby awake before I arrive. Tickling them, playing with them, and singing to them are great ways to ‘wear them out,’ so they are nice and sleepy once we start the newborn photo session.
  • I can’t stress enough that it is so important to do your best to keep your newborn awake. Many parents come in saying “The baby has been sleeping all morning, but don’t worry, they sleep SO well this time of day!” only to have your newborn wake up, since they will be unclothed.
  • Dress your newborn baby in a button/zip-up outfit, just ideally nothing that goes over baby’s head so if they’re sleepy when you arrive we don’t disturb them too much.
  • We will talk ahead of time about what colors, etc. that you like. I tend toward a more minimal style as it is more timeless and looks better as wall art but if you have something specific you would like included in the photos, please don’t hesitate to bring it along for your newborn photo session. Please see below for some color inspiration:

How to prepare PARENTS for newborn photos

Mother holding newborn baby in her home and comforting him.  They are wearing red and beige.
  • crank up the heat for your baby’s comfort during newborn photography sessions, so make sure that you don’t overdress or that you dress in layers. We also have a couch where you are welcome to take a little cat nap. I promise you won’t be the first new parent to have done that. This is a tiring time for new moms and dads!
  • I suggest that parents ALWAYS come ready to be included in the photos, simply because if the baby does not stay asleep he or she will have to be held. If you are uncertain about what to wear, a simple black or white t-shirt works great for dads. I’d suggest buying a new one and washing it at least once though. For moms, white tank tops also work well. In addition, many of our maternity gowns are meant to fit all shapes and sizes and are an easy way to look photo-ready if you just don’t feel up to pulling an outfit together. The dress in the image above is one of our studio gowns. I reached out to some of my photographer friends throughout the country for their favorite inspiration images and found the following:
  • Make sure your nails are neatly trimmed with no chipped nail polish as your hands will feature prominently as you are holding baby.
  • It’s no secret that new parents are often tired and don’t quite feel comfortable getting in front of the camera just yet. Please know that I understand this and that I know how to place you in the most flattering angles and to use lighting and post-processing to your advantage. I’ve got you, mama!

How to prepare SIBLINGS for newborn photos

Newborn photo session with baby boy being held by big brother who is not wearing a shirt.

I typically photograph siblings at the very beginning or very end of the session. If you have a friend or family member who would be able to take the sibling to or from the studio, it can really help but it is not necessary. I am able to accommodate your family’s needs.

As the parents, you know your newborn’s siblings best. If you think they would have a hard time with dressing or changing, you may want to have your child camera ready before arrival. If they are a kid who is always the first to find the mud puddles, you are welcome to dress them at the studio. I do have a small selection of designer dresses that may be of interest to you. We can discuss that during your pre-consultation.

Getting to the studio

My studio is located in the Historic Benicia Arsenal 940 Tyler Street, Studio 23B in Benicia. It can be a little tricky to find, but you can find very specific directions HERE. Bathrooms and a private changing area are available in the studio.

Thanks again for trusting me to be the one to be a part of your family story. I am truly honored and grateful for the families and children I have gotten to know throughout my years at the studio.

I know you enjoy photography so I keep up with a great group of photographers who are capturing family moments in other beautiful places around the country. Please follow along to read a post with more Tips for How to Make Your Photo Session a Success by my friend, Twin Cities Family Photographer, Michele Quatrin, and then circle back to me.





Sky 9 Studio | Newborn Photo Session Prep Guide

  1. Stacey says:

    Such helpful tips!

  2. Jennine Coosaia says:

    Thank you, Fiona. I appreciate it!

  3. Kara says:

    This is such a great prep guide! Your clients are so lucky to get this detailed information from you!

  4. Annika says:

    These are really useful tips. And such beautiful images to go with them!

  5. Such great tips! I agree with everything you say here! And thanks for sharing my link.

  6. Such a good list of prep for newborn photos!

  7. Fiona Saxton says:

    Such great tips and beautiful images.

  8. download says:

    Very good post! We will be linking to this great post on our site. Keep up the great writing. Camila Terrance Darcey

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