A to Z newborn Guide ~ Bergen county nj newborn photographer

Thank you Amber Rust of two color photography for letting me share this amazing and informative A to Z guide of newborn photography!! Her creativity and labor of love in producing this guide just blew me away and I wanted to share it with you. While I did change and tweak a few of them to suit my style, it was this amazing guide that started me thinking. You can see her original posts here

So you’re expecting a baby?!  Maybe you’ve just had a new baby.  Have you booked your newborn’s first portrait session?  There are so many questions surrounding that first session.  Can I bring my own outfits?  Can I be in the pictures with my newborn?  What is expected from me during the session?  The most common question of all: What if my baby poops on the photographer during the session?
I know that you are exhausted from being pregnant, or from just having a baby, and I know that your free time is non-existent at this point, but try to take just a few minutes to read this guide, it will help and I will try to be brief.

{newborn photography guide bergen county nj photographer}

The A-Zs of your newborn session!

Appointment – Book your appointment in the beginning of your 3rd trimester to ensure I can fit your newborn in!  I book my pregnant moms by their due date.  This gives me a good idea of how many newborns I have at a given time. Once you deliver, give me a call and I’ll finalize your appointment!  If you’ve already delivered your baby don’t worry, I can’t stress this enough!! I always find time last minute appointments and yes your pictures will still be amazing!

Binky – Babies need to suck to soothe.  Sometimes the difference between nailing the pose and missing it is as simple as that binky.

Calm – Babies can sense when mom is nervous.  Babies can sense when I’m nervous.  It is so important to remain calm and relaxed before and during the session.  I reserve a nice chunk of time for your session and I am not in a hurry. Sit back, try to relax, enjoy a second or 2 of free time and breathe.dad holding newborn daughter

Diaper – Put baby’s diaper on loosely right before the session.  That will help minimize any marks on the baby’s skin from the elastic in the diaper.

Eat – You can diet AFTER the newborn session!  It is imperative that you eat enough calories to help establish your milk if you’re nursing.  Lots of milk = full tummy = happy, sleepy baby.

Feed – Before I arrive at your newborn session, feed your baby a full feeding plus some!  The term often used is milk drunk! We’ll take as many pit stops during the session as needed to fill baby back up if they’re running on low.

Gassy – Make sure and burp your baby after her very full feeding.  A gassy tummy can make a very sad baby. If your baby tends to be very gassy, you can look into options like gripe water.  You can also try avoiding caffeinated beverages {gasp} for a few days before the session.  Dairy has also been thought to be the cause of a gassy baby. Sometimes just being posed on their belly in those squishy newborn poses will help work the bubbles out on their own.

Heat – It’s going to be warm….very, very warm during your newborn’s session.  I will ask you to turn off the a/c in the summer and turn up the heat in the winter. Your baby will be undressed or lightly dressed and I want to make sure they are warm and comfortable.  Dads are usually the most uncomfortable out of everybody in the room.  They are welcome to escape the heat and sneak into a different room for some t.v. if they prefer.

Instagram – Remember you get print credits when you snap a cell shot and send it on it’s way to the interweb… just remember to tag me first…and let me knowwhen your going to snap a shot, so I can suck in and smile lol!

Joy  – I admit, J was a hard one to find… I specialize in newborn photography because they bring me so much joy.  There is nothing in the world as soothing as holding a brand new baby as they drift off to sleep.  Every single baby leaves their mark on my heart, thank you for trusting me with your little slice of joy!

Kids– If you want siblings in the session, please let me know in advance.  I may or may not hold the sibling shots off to the end of the session. If your newborn is sleeping and the poses are flowing then I will try to get the solo shots first. If not, then I might swaddle up the baby and bring in the brothers and sisters. I know that waiting is not always the easiest for young kids but maybe they can watch TV or play on an electronic devise until I am ready.mom gazing at her newborn twins

Location – All of my photoshoots are done on location, at your home.  I try to schedule my sessions  in the morning or early  afternoon. 

Mom – Your job during the session is to catch up on any reading, sleeping, or social media!  If you opt to be in a few of the pictures, those will be done towards the end of the session.  At that point, I will be using you as a prop!  I will show you how I want your hands positioned, then I will hand you your baby and maneuver hands, feet and head to get the perfect shot.  You are my play dough!

Naked – Most of the portraits you see on my website and facebook page are of sweet naked babies.  Don’t worry, I take every precaution to make sure that all private areas of the baby are hidden.

Outfits – My style of newborn photography is sleeping, naked baby!  If you have an outfit or a closet full of outfits you want to use in your session, please take inventory and pick ONE of your favorite outfits.  We’ll use it at the end of the session if baby is still sleepy.  Each time we change an outfit, we wake up the baby and run the risk of not getting her back to sleep.  This is the main reason I ask to not bring in outfits from home.

Props – I have many, many fun props, baskets, fabrics, wraps, hats, headbands, bows, etc.  If you have something special you would like used in your session, let me know in advance so I can incorporate it. FYI, I make 99% of my props so I can make something special just for you. If you have a particular hat that you like or color that want to see, please let me know. I would love to create a one-of-a kind item just for you!!custom hand made newborn hats and photography props

Questionnaire – When you book your newborn session, I will send you a link to my Newborn Pre-Session Questionnaire.  This questionnaire helps me mold my session to fit your nursery style and colors.  You can fill the questionnaire out online and click submit, no printing!  The sooner you submit the questionnaire the better!
Questionnaire

Rocking – You may see me rocking, and rocking, and rocking and rocking your baby.  While I rock, I’m watching your baby for the signs that they are entering the deep sleep that I need for a lot of the newborn poses.  On average, it takes about 20-30 minutes of swaying and rocking to get baby into a deep, deep sleep.  

Supplies – This is should go under things I often forget to bring… wipes, diapers, burp clothes, binky wipes, blankets, please try to have these readily available.

Time – Expect your newborn session to take anywhere between 2 -3 hours. Babies are on their own schedule with eating and sleeping, so it’s my job to just be patient with them and soothe them to sleep!

Unpredictable – I think we all know that babies are very unpredictable. I’m VERY good with babies. I’ve had 3 of my own, and I’ve learned alot of little tricks to soothe your newborn. I’m going to very respectfully ask you to sit back and let me do my magic, I’ll let you know when I think I need you or when baby needs to be fed, otherwise, I’ve got this, I actually enjoy “dancing” your newborn to sleep, and it eliminates the hand-off when mom gets baby to sleep and hands baby to me … and …. baby ends up waking up.

Value – What to you receive for your investment? Your session comes with 25-30 edited images on an on-line password protected gallery and one 16×20 mounted print. All other items are available either in packages or a la carte. I know that there are many photographers in the market with many different price points. How do you know who to choose? I understand all the considerations that go into making that decision….I will provide you with a safe and soothing experience as well as the highest quality prints and products. I am a seasoned mother of 3 as well as a licensed clinical psychologist and have been photographing for most of my life, newborns for the past 8 years. Here is an informative article on some of the reasons why custom and quality photographer is so expensive: photography

Wet – The one thing I can almost guarantee will happen…. I will be peed on multiple times in a session! I am prepared for that. Towels, wipes, rags all within easy reach for a quick clean up!

eXcrement – Guess what, your baby will poop. Probably more than once. Sometimes once per set-up! I’m used to it, I expect it, I dress for it! I wear $5 t-shirts from Walmart that I can throw away when they get pooped on! All of my fabrics are specially made for newborns, they are all washable and get washed between each session! Everybody poops!

Young – Your baby should be under 14 days old for their newborn session. It seems that once they hit 14 days old they start to get baby acne, they aren’t as deep of sleepers, and they aren’t as flexible. This doesn’t, however, mean that if your baby is over 14 days old that I won’t do a session. No matter the age, babies are beautiful. We just change our expectations and work a little harder to keep baby asleep!

bergen county newborn photographer

Zzzzzzz – If we follow the A-Z, hopefully we will have a lot of Zzzzs and an amazing session!  Z also stands for how many dads fall asleep during their newborn’s session!

Please let me know any questions you have either in the comment box or via email at dalia@storyoflifephotography.com

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