7 Best Tips on How to Prepare for Newborn Photos

Today I’m sharing some pro advise for getting the best results from your newborn photo session. Read on for my top 7 best tips on how to prepare for newborn photos.

Tip #1 – Schedule your newborn session while you’re still pregnant

Scheduling your session while you’re still pregnant is my absolute top tip on how to prepare for newborn photos! I typically book out at least one to two months in advance (longer during the busier times of the year like summer and fall), so if you wait until your baby is born it’s not certain that I’ll be able to fit you in.

Newborn sessions are best during the first 5-12 days of life while little ones are still quite sleepy and pliable-this makes those cute, curled-up poses possible! I pencil in the due dates of my clients who are expecting, and then, once the baby has made his or her big debut, we set a firm date and time for the session. The best time to book is during the beginning of your second trimester.

Newborn baby girl being photographed during her newborn photo session with Thousand Oaks newborn photographer, Daniele Rose in this post on how to prepare for newborn photos.

Tip #2 – No fancy outfits are needed for the baby

Newborn babies look best in the buff, so don’t worry about bringing fancy outfits when figuring out how to prepare for newborn photos. I have lots of blankets/wraps/knit diaper covers that we can use in the photos. If you’d like to bring your own items to the session Etsy is a great place to look and there are a ton of cute options for wraps, hats, and headbands if you search for newborn photo session pops.

If you’re having a girl and would like to use headbands during the session, please bring ones that are sized for newborns and are dainty. Standard baby headbands will be too large and will look overwhelming on a tiny newborn.  I have headbands to choose from at the studio as well. For more ideas on what to wear to your newborn photo session click here.

Tip #3 – Bring the necessities

Make sure to bring along anything that you’d like to have your baby photographed with, such as handmade items or family heirlooms. If your little one takes a pacifier please bring that along as well. If you have older children make sure to bring snacks/toys/electronics/whatever it takes to keep them occupied while the baby is being photographed alone at the beginning of the session.

Tip #4 – Divide and conquer!

This is another great tip when planning how to prepare for newborn photos! If you do have older siblings some families choose the ‘divide and conquer’ approach, which always works well.  They’ll have mom bring the new baby and about an hour or so into the session, once we have nearly finished up photographing the baby alone, dad will arrive with the older child/children.  This works well to help keep older siblings from becoming bored (and possibly cranky) while the baby is having their photos taken.  

Tip #5 – Try to keep your baby awake the morning of the session

It helps to keep the baby awake for the majority of the morning before the session. We want to spend as much time photographing them as possible, and less time trying to put them to sleep. A couple of tricks on how to keep your little one awake; give the baby a bath or get them naked, it usually wakes them right up!

Tip #6 – Don’t worry about making sure your baby is completely full before you leave the house

When you arrive at the studio the first thing we’ll do is take your baby out of his or her car seat, get them undressed, and then I’ll put the baby in a cloth diaper. I keep cloth diapers on hand at the studio so don’t worry about those when you’re planning how to prepare for newborn photos. Disposable diapers leave impression marks on their skin, so I like to get them off as soon as possible. I’ll then swaddle your baby to start the session.

All of this moving around/changing clothes usually wakes babies up, which makes it a perfect time to feed them! We’ll have plenty of time for you to nurse or give the baby a bottle before the session starts, and once they’re swaddled, warm, and fed, they typically fall asleep pretty quickly.

A family holding their newborn baby during their newborn photo session with Ventura County newborn photographer, Daniele Rose.

Tip #7 -Expect to be in the photos

Though you might not be feeling your most photogenic after having just had a baby, these moments when your family is brand new are incredibly special – and they are fleeting! I always suggest that mom and dad hop in at least a few of the images, so you’ll want to pick outfits for yourselves when planning on how to prepare for newborn photos. No need to worry though…you’ll have time to get ready at my studio.

I always start by photographing the baby alone, and while I’m doing that you’ll have time to do your hair and makeup. I’ll let you know when it’s time to change into your photoshoot outfit once I’m done photographing the baby, so you can wear your comfy sweats (or even your PJ’s!) to the studio! If you’d rather have your hair and makeup professionally done so that you’ll have one less thing to worry about, that can be arranged as well. I have recommendations for hair and makeup artists that will make you look feel your best.

A baby boy sleeping during his newborn photo session with Thousand Oaks newborn photographer, Daniele Rose.

Bonus Tip on How to prepare for newborn photos : Sit back & relax!

You’ll likely be running late to the session. It’s likely that your baby will have a diaper blow-out as you’re walking out the door, or will cry in the car on the way to the studio. It’s OK! This is all par for the course during life with a newborn. Just text me and let me know if you’re running a bit behind.

Once you arrive we’ll have plenty of time to get the baby happy and settled, and you’ll have time to get yourself ready. After that you can sit back and relax, and watch while I’m photographing your baby and putting him/her into all of those cute, curled up poses. You might even have a few minutes to catch a quick nap on the studio couch!

How to Prepare for Newborn Photos

If you aren’t a current client of mine and you’re interested in having photos of your little one taken when they arrive, click here for more Los Angeles Newborn Photography information. My natural light studio is in Camarillo and I serve the Ventura County, Los Angeles, and Santa Barbara areas.

I’m participating in a blog circle this month and have an article to share about Tips for a Successful Indianapolis Mini Session. If you happen to be in the Indianapolis area, click here for Indianapolis photographer mini session info.

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I'm Daniele Rose, your custom portrait photographer. You'll find me capturing emotive and timeless images of newborns, babies, children and families. I would love to chat with you about documenting your most special family moments!

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  1. Christina says:

    These images are beautiful and this is such a thorough and informative post!

  2. Great information in this post! Your images are gorgeous.

  3. I love all your tips on preparing for newborn photos. So inclusive.

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