5 Tips to Prepare for your Newborn Photo Session

The minute you saw your baby, you fell head over heels in love. Those chipmunk cheeks, wrinkly hands, and their tiny little body have filled your heart with so much joy. You keep trying to memorize every detail before they get bigger – their sweet smell, the way they smile when they’re sleeping, the grunts, and the feel of their hands grasping your fingers. You want to remember every minute of these special days for the rest of your life.

As a new parent, you finally understand why other parents tell you to cherish these first weeks. Your child will grow so quickly. It won’t be long before they transition to a toddler, and you’ll be struggling to remember how soft their skin was, and how their sleepy head seemed to fit perfectly on your shoulder as you rocked them to sleep. That’s where newborn photo sessions come in handy – preserving these precious, fleeting days.

Your newborn’s photography session should be an exciting time for your family. But parents often find themselves worried and anxious about preparing themselves and their babies for the big occasion. With a little planning, you can relax and enjoy the session, knowing all your bases are covered. Years from now, you’ll be glad you booked a newborn photo session so you can stroll back in time to the days when you didn’t have to share your child with the rest of the world.

Follow our top five tips to make sure you and your baby have a great session that documents this special time in your lives.

 

SCHEDULE YOUR SESSION AHEAD OF TIME

Woman holding a clock next to her pregnant belly

 

Most photographers will only do newborn sessions when infants are between 5 to 14 days old. That’s a small window of time, so you need to be thinking ahead!

By scheduling in advance, you and your photographer will be prepared for when your baby decides to make its grand entrance.

Also, scheduling your session ahead of time will make it less likely that your photographer will be fully booked when you call. Waiting until the last minute to schedule your session might mean you won’t get your preferred photographer, and you’ll be stuck shopping based on availability instead of finding a professional who fits your preferred style.

A good time to start the booking process is around your second trimester. Reach out to the photographer you want and tell them your due date (and answer any other questions they might have). Then, once your sweet baby is born, let your photographer know the exciting news, and you’ll get an exact date for your session.

 

KEEP YOUR BABY AWAKE BEFORE THE SESSION

Happy baby smiling in bed

 

It’s no secret that infants sleep a lot. But sometimes, their sleep patterns don’t cooperate with our plans. If you want your little one sacked out during the photo session, so you can get those adorable sleepy newborn poses, keep them up for a while before your photographer arrives.

Making sure you keep your baby awake prior to a session is a great way to guarantee they will sleep through most of it. That will lead to peaceful pictures, instead of ones where they look enraged or red-faced from crying.

 

FEED YOUR BABY 20-30 MINUTES BEFORE YOUR SESSION

A mother feeding her baby with a bottle

 

What’s cuter than a milk-drunk infant? (Hint: the answer is nothing!).

Newborns are some of the hungriest creatures on this Earth. You don’t want their photo session disrupted by their frantic cries for milk. Feeding and burping your infant right before your newborn photo session begins means less crying, better sleep, and relaxed parents (and photographer!).

Avoid giving them a full meal in the one to two hours before your session. If they seem hungry, try to give them a small snack to get them through. Then, slightly before your session, you can feed them a full meal and expect a happy, tired baby in return.

Most photo sessions last around two hours, which leaves plenty of time to refuel if your child wakes up expecting a snack. Just make sure to have an extra bottle on hand if you use formula.

 

UNDRESS TO IMPRESS

A smiling newborn baby covered with a blanket

 

About 30 minutes before the session, change your baby’s diaper into a loose (but not too loose), clean diaper and swaddle them. Since most photographers prefer babies to be naked during their session, undressing them beforehand is a timesaver. It also means you won’t disrupt their sleep cycle by trying to get their onesie off. A loose diaper is best because it will avoid creating diaper marks around their waist.

A great way to do this without waking them up once they’ve fallen asleep is to change their diaper, swaddle, and then feed them. You’ll be taking care of everything at once. By breastfeeding (or bottle-feeding), they’ll be able to calm down quickly, and most likely fall asleep immediately after (if not during) their eating time.

Are you worried your newborn is going to get cold? Keep them swaddled until your photographer arrives. They’ll be able to advise you on the next steps before they start taking pictures.

 

SIT BACK AND WATCH

Woman relaxing on couch with a cup of tea

 

This one’s for you, Mama.

Your photographer knows what they’re doing. Let them run the show. As a mother, you may have that innate urge to pick your child up with every grunt they make, and it can be hard to see someone else handling them. This is why it’s important to find a professional newborn photographer with experience and positive reviews.

Photographers know how much your infant means to you, and they are treated accordingly. Any experienced newborn photographer will know exactly what positions will be comfortable for your child and how to move them delicately so they won’t wake up.

Your photographer should be used to working with worried parents and will know how to put you at ease. However, if at any point during the session you start to feel uncomfortable, make sure to let your photographer know. It’s just as important for you to feel comfortable as it is for your little one.

Also, try not to stress if your tot is being fussy. Babies can feel their mama’s stress or tension, so if you’re calm, your infant may relax too.

 

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

To prepare for fussy moments, you’ll want to have a few things ready — a pacifier, a bottle of formula/breastmilk, a swaddling blanket, and a few clean diapers. If nothing seems to be working to calm your bundle of joy, ask for a break in your session while you try to get things under control.

A few other things you should keep in mind when it comes to your baby’s newborn session are:

• Most photographers include props, but if there is something in particular you want your photographer to include, let them know.

• Try to keep the volume down to maintain a calm environment. When you get overwhelmed, you and your baby can both feel it. Staying relaxed and quiet will ensure a calm atmosphere.

• Make sure you come prepared to be in a few of the photos. You may not be feeling like a supermodel quite yet, but getting in the photos with your infant will create some lasting memories you’ll both treasure.

• Wear neutral colors like creams, mild tones, and soft hues for intimate portraits.

• It’s best to avoid chunky jewelry and watches, which can be distracting elements and will look dated years from now. Strive for timeless photos that will be staples in your home for decades to come.

• If you want to capture your entire family with your newest addition, the best time to do so is toward the end of the session. Consider having the rest of your family show up at the end, so the noise level from the extra people doesn’t disturb your baby.

To read about more tips for your session, read on.

 

DRINK IT IN

It can be tough for moms to relinquish their caregiver role, even for an hour or two as newborn photos are being taken. However, take advantage of this time. It’s a much-needed mini-break for you. Unlike a maternity photo session, your newborn photo op is all about your baby.  You can spend it watching an expert who excels at their craft, and possibly learn some photography tips while you’re at it.

Years from now, when your son towers over you, or your daughter raids your closet, your keepsake photos will remind you of those precious days when they were still little enough for you to carry in your arms.

perfect timing

Capturing your bundle of joy within the first two weeks of life can make all the difference in your newborn portraits. During this time, babies sleep deeply and curl up naturally into those adorable womblike poses.  Since birthdays are unpredictable, we reserve only a limited number of sessions per month based on your due date.  We simply ask that you contact our Manhattan studio as soon as possible after the birth, so we can offer a selection of appointments to accommodate your family.  Preemies are sometimes postponed till any concerns about health and birth weight have been taken into consideration.  Every case is unique, so please call us at the studio to discuss once your tiny miracle has arrived.

A newborn photography session wis a wonderful way to capture this momentous life-changing event.  Our specialty is creating timeless, beautiful portraits that capture the sweetness of this fleeting time.  We believe in authentic, natural photography to preserve these meaningful memories in your life.  Your baby will only be that tiny for a few short weeks, and you’ll want to remember how she looked when you first met her.  You’ll want to capture how perfectly she fits in your arms, your intense emotions, and the way you gazed at her in complete wonder and adoration.

We’ll start with portraits of your baby in adorable curled-up poses on different blankets.  We use knit accessories and wraps to add variety, while keeping the focus on the beauty of your tiny bundle of joy. Afterwards, we’ll capture some intimate concepts and cuddles together with Mommy and Daddy.   Our clients generally purchase prints, wall art, and handmade albums to display their gorgeous newborn and family portraits.

nyc newborn baby photography studio

Timeless Maternity & Newborn Photography Studio NYC
glow portraits® is a renowned boutique photography studio in NYC, specializing in maternity and newborn portraits. The studio offers a lovely selection of backdrops, newborn blankets, maternity gowns, and accessories to make your pregnancy photo shoot and baby portrait session a unique experience. Our specialty is creating soft, dreamy portraits that showcase the sweetness this special time in your lives. glow portraits® is passionate about creating artistic maternity and newborn portraits for families to treasure forever and ever as prints, wall art, and albums. From pregnancy to the first weeks of life, we strive to capture the beauty of these precious fleeting moments. For inquiries and bookings, please contact the studio as soon as possible to ensure availability!

what is custom photography

CUSTOM PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHY. The family photography you choose to hang on your walls is ultimately the result of the artistic vision of your professional photographer. This vision, coupled with what you wear to your session, the environment, the lighting, even the mood the subjects are in at the time of photographing creates the work that you will want to proudly display on your walls forevermore.

Your first step in the process is more about determining who you are, who your family is and then seeking a photographer that reflects your style. For instance let’s say your family is extremely outdoorsy and loves playing on the beach. You start determining what style you like, browse through photography website portfolios and determine if any of the styles exhibited there would be a good fit with your life and family style. You have already determined that you should probably seek out a beach type photographer (that is if you live near a beach) and then begin narrowing the field down a bit.

Finally after a bit of internet research, you have narrowed it down to two photographers who do what seems like solid work, the sort of outdoor beach look you desire. It is now time to ask yourself: Do you like photographer A’s style over photographer B’s style? Is it because the people in the images of A’s style are having a great time and it seems very caught up in the moment vs. B photographer more posed, looking in the camera images? If this is a case, you probably like lifestyle photography or perhaps even take it a step further and define your desired style as a photojournalistic photography style. The photographer you probably should choose is photographer A because their style is very similar to the style you desire.

What custom photography ultimately is all about is choice and experience (as in THE experience). Custom photography is about finding someone who will photograph your family, give you devoted 1:1 attention without worry of the next ‘in line’ or the feeling of a crowded portrait studio. A custom photographer will typically show you a fairly extensive gallery culled to only show the good images that meet the photographers’ creative sensibilities. Often the images are fully edited images-color corrected with blemishes and undereye circles removed. Custom photographers are also known as boutique studios, offering a range of products and unparalleled service. Think Lexus vs. Hyundai, think Nordstrom vs. WalMart. Custom photography should have you, the client and your experience in mind.

WHY DOES CUSTOM PHOTOGRAPHY COST MORE? The digital revolution has brought amazing flexibility and ability to control various factors during the image taking and making process. Photographers, the hobbyist, the professional, the amateur all benefit from this ability to manipulate pixels. However, with flexibility comes a price. Digital camera equipment is still considerably more expensive when you factor in its’ lifespan, the need for additional resources for processing those images, the time it takes to get a usable image and the effort that goes into creating a work of photographic art.

We all know that you can go to the local Walgreen’s and pay a $1.99 for a print – as a client you may wonder why you may pay upwards of $50, $70, $90 for a custom photography print. Photographers hear this statement every once in a while: “How in the world can you charge $50 for an 8×10 if it costs me less than $2 to print at a local pharmacy?”

The truth of the matter is the answer to this question is multifaceted. Much of the cost of a photographic print produced by a professional photographer has a lot to do with the time, equipment costs, artistic vision and reputation of the photographer not to mention expertise and the usual costs of running a legitimate business.

The Cost of Time: Let’s imagine that you have hired a photographer whose style you love. This photographer is traveling an hour to your destination to photograph your session. Here is an example of a time break down:
• session prep time (30 mins – 1 hour, includes equipment and back up equipment checks + vehicle checks)
• one hour travel time TO session
• 15-30 minutes prep time at client’s home
• 90 minutes-2 hours with client photographing subject
• one hour travel time FROM session
• 30-45 minutes uploading time from digital cards from camera to computer
• 30-45 minutes time spent backing up the original images
• 2-5 hours editing time to present you with a diverse gallery of edited images
• 1 hour prep time getting ready for ordering
• 2-3 hours time with client for ordering images
• 1 hour sorting through and checking order
• 30 minutes-1 hour prep time for delivery
• 30 minutes-1 hour getting order shipped
• any additional phone time or time needed for add on ordering, shipment issues, quality issues

In this example, the time spent per client can range from just under 13 hours to 19 hours – dependent on the photographer’s level of service. This is time dedicated only to ONE session. When the photographer charges $300 for the portrait session fee, you are not just paying for the two hours of session time, you are paying the photographer for 12-19 hours complete time for your session.

The COSTS of Maintaining a Custom Photography Business: Regarding equipment costs, a good quality professional camera with a selection of good optical quality lenses and digital storage mediums and computer set up can run from $10,000-$30,000 costs dependent on the photographer. Even though you can purchase a really good quality digital SLR for about $2100 there are still other costs related to photography. A good lens for portrait photography can run from $900 to $2500. A dependable computer system with software loaded for business and creative usage can run $2500 to $8000 dependent on the photographer.

Then come lab costs for specialty products. A good photographer knows the lab is integral to their success. Photography labs dedicated to the professional photographer often cost more and offer a range of products that allows the custom photographer to continually offer new, innovative products for you, the discerning client.
Discussion other costs of running a photography business could take awhile so we’ll skip many of the intricate details. There is of course much more: including costs of running the business, taxes, studio rental/mortgage if the photographer has ownership of a dedicated studio, vehicular costs, costs of advertising/marketing, costs of sample pieces that the photographer will likely bring to your session, etc.

APPLES to ORANGES to BANANAS: Oftentimes clients will mention to their photographer that X studio in the mall/department store only charges $19.99 for an 8×10 “sheet” or they may mention other things related to discount photography chains. The fact is those discount chains make their money on volume, not on customized 1:1 service. In February 2007 leased photography retail space by a rather well known discount department store that started in Arkansas closed down 500 of their portrait studios across the nation? The reason is simple, you cannot make money on 99¢ “professional” prints if you do not sell enough of them. Interestingly enough – those same studios that offer the loss leader packages often charge much much more for their a la carte pricing (as high as $40-50 for an 8×10). The whole reason the big department stores began offering portrait services in the first place was to get you, the savvy consumer, in through their door so that you could spend more money with them in other departments. Your “PORTRAITS” are considered the “loss leader”.

Going to a chain studio, as a consumer, you don’t have the benefit of 1:1 attention for 2 hours at your home where your child is allowed to explore, play and be comfortable in their home environment, nor do you get the experience that many custom photographers are known for or the lovely captures of natural expressions. You simply get a bare bones, “SAY CHEESE” experience. Keep this in mind when selecting a photographer.

REPUTATION/EXPERTISE of the PHOTOGRAPHER: Being in demand, being well known for quality work, having a good reputation often costs time on the photographer’s part. Their expertise comes at a cost, their time learning their craft and learning the intricacies of lighting and the commitment put forth on their end to create a persona about their business that oozes professionalism. A great number of photographers go a very long time from the time that they purchase their first good camera to making money at the business of photography. Many photographers, when first starting out, rush in thinking that the business will be easily profitable in no time, how expensive could it be to get a camera and use it to create their dream? They often neglect to factor in the cost of business, the cost of equipment, software, back ups, etc.

Being of sound reputation, a better professional photographer knows that they must always reinvest in their business to create the reputation of being top notch. To create good work good equipment, reliable equipment, back up equipment is a necessity. The photographer who desires to be known as better/best/unparalelled reputation-wise knows that the most important thing they can do for their business is reliability and dependability. This is how reputations get built. Good work often is a wonderful side product of building that good reputation.
I hope this (lengthy) article helps shed some light on WHY a custom photographer is a better choice for your family’s memories. The photographs that are produced as a result of the professionalism and dedication that your photographer has will be cherished for a lifetime (or more) and great thought and consideration should be placed into hiring who is right for your family’s most precious investment.

All Info Written By Marianne Drenthe, content is inspired by discussions with other photographers, her own personal experiences and outline based on an article by San Diego Photographers Caught On Film Photography.

soft and pure

Newborns are truly our favorite little subjects to photograph, and our passion for capturing these precious first days of life shines through in the portraits we create for brand new families. We keep our approach simple with a neutral palette and soft lighting that allows focus to remain on all the perfect tiny details of your brand new bundle of joy. Our signature style is soft and pure to create timeless works of art that will stand the test of time. The experience in our studio or comfort of your home is calm and relaxing, as we soothe and carefully pose your baby as they were curled up naturally in your womb.

Newborns change so quickly in those first weeks, so we strongly urge clients to reserve availability around their due date as soon as possible during their pregnancy. Of course we try our best to allow flexibility for urgent bookings, but nothing breaks our hearts more than being unavailable to capture these moments for families when we’re already fully booked. Please feel free to find details of our packages in the Investment section of our site, and we look forward to hearing from you when you’re ready to reserve your due date on our calendar!

nyc best maternity newborn photographer

NYC Premiere Maternity Portraits and Newborn Photography Studio
glow portraits® specializes in maternit, and newborn photography in the comfort and convenience of our Midtown Manhattan studio. We also offer in-home studio set-up for an additional fee for newborn portraits, since we understand some clients prefer to stay home in those early days after birth. Most of our clients reside in NYC, Westchester, Long Island, Connecticut, and New Jersey. Our fine art family portrait photography studio is located right in the heart of New York City. We have years of experience in handling and soothing newborns, so brand new parents can rest assured that they are in good hands. With our expertise in artful lighting and editing, we are dedicated to producing beautifully styled images and heirloom artwork to preserve this precious time in your family’s life. As your newborn grows in the blink of an eye, this is your chance to embrace these special memories that will bring you lasting joy. We look forward to hearing from you, and creating one-of-a-kind works of newborn photography art that will be cherished forever! Please reach us at our Midtown Manhattan Studio: 212.868.1076 to reserve your own memorable session experience with glow portraits®.

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212-868-1076

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