Ashlie Behm


5 Tips to Prepare Your Newborn for a Photo Session

Baby sleeping on belly for newborn photos

You’re having a Baby! Congratulations! 

As you prepare to meet your little one, be sure to schedule a newborn photography session. You’ll want to have all of their tiny little details documented once they arrive. Your newborn will grow and change each and every day and you’ll want to be able to look back and see how small they once were. Today I’m sharing 5 tips to prepare your newborn for a photo session. 

The length of your session will really depend on your baby. I never rush newborn sessions, as I want everyone to be relaxed and feel comfortable. We can also take as many breaks as needed. Most newborn sessions last anywhere from 2-4 hours (and possibly longer for twins). 

I typically photograph baby first and then do portraits with the parents, including solos of each parent with baby. Siblings are definitely welcome to join in the fun as well — I love photographing the whole family with their newest member.

Keep in mind that we never want to force images – so we will work with kids so everyone feels comfortable and at ease throughout the session. When older siblings are involved we begin with them, so they can be done first. It is very helpful to have an aunt, uncle, grandparent, or close family friend along to help with siblings after they are finished with their portion of the session — this way parents are free to stay and take more photos with the new baby without needing to tend to big brothers and sisters. 

I hope these tips help you feel comfortable and prepared for your newborn photo session. If you are unsure about something, just ask! I’m always here to help. 

1. Timing

I recommend contacting me at least three months prior to your due date to reserve your spot on my calendar. Once you complete the booking process I block out dates on my calendar around your due date. I only take on a limited number of newborn sessions each month, so the sooner you reach out the better.

Once your due date is blocked out, reach out to me within the first 24 hours of your baby’s arrival (texting works perfectly!) so that we can confirm your session as quickly as possible. 

The best time to get your baby into the studio for their newborn session is within the first five to ten days of life. They are the sleepiest during these days which allows for a low-stress session. 

If your baby is born early and needs to spend time in the hospital, we will plan on getting you into the studio for your session within the first seven days after you get home. 

All sessions begin at 10am for the best natural light. 

2. Awake Before

It’s best to keep your baby awake for about 2-3 hours before your session. This will help them feel extra tired during the session. You can to give them a bath, tickle their toes, let them kick with only a diaper on, or try some tummy time. You can continue to keep baby alert by having you or your partner ride next to them in the car on your way over to the studio. 

Even if you think your baby is a great sleeper during the day, it’s important to not skip this step. The goal is to have your baby ready to sleep through their newborn session. 

3. Full Belly

A full baby is a happy baby! We want baby nice and full right before we are about to start. The best thing to do is to arrive at the studio 30 minutes early so you can feed them before we begin. 

We want to continue to feed baby as much as they want. This will keep them sleepy and calm. A newborn session is a bit of a free-for-all in terms of feeding, but I promise it won’t wreck any regular feeding plans! 

If you’re nursing, you can nurse baby as needed throughout our session. If your baby is taking a bottle I can feed your newborn, keeping them in photo session mode. Allowing me to bottle feed is usually quicker, but we’re not in a hurry! The most important thing is for your baby to stay happy and full. 

4. What to wear

‘What should we wear for our session?’ This is by far the question I get asked the most. The key is neutral colors and simple solids. 

Baby should arrive in a short-sleeve white onesie. While they will be swaddled for much of the session, I will also do some white onesie photos.

Parents and any older siblings should wear solid neutral colors and avoid patterns. We want all of the attention and focus on your beautiful faces! Heavy patterns are a distraction. My studio is all white, so wearing really soft tones like beige, cream, white, and light grey work really well and keep your family the focus of the image. I suggest picking 1-2 colors and then coordinating different tones of that color together. And I always recommend bringing a change of clothes for newborns and toddlers in case any major blowouts happen!

Women also have the option of borrowing a dress from my studio client wardrobe. I have maternity style dresses that come in various sizes. You can view them here. I’ve  hand picked each dress and they photograph beautifully! If you’d like to borrow a dress, I suggest you come into the studio before your baby is born to try on and reserve your favorite one. 

See the photos below for some inspiration!

5. Relax

I get it. Prepping for anything with a newborn can be stressful, not to mention getting everyone photo ready after another sleepless night! 

Babies can easily pick up on our energy, so if you are nervous or anxious the baby will sense that and not settle easily. My goal is that as soon as you walk in my door, you’re able to relax knowing that I’ve got you. You can feed your baby and then pass them off to me — a professionally trained newborn photographer, with safety as the first priority.

You know your newborn better than I do, so please don’t hesitate to bring up any concerns or suggestions. Just remember patience is key. Crying, inability to sleep soundly, bathroom breaks, and the need for more feedings are all normal during a newborn photography session.

During the session you are welcome to watch me photograph your newborn or relax on the couch with your phone, a book or magazine, or the most popular option – take a nap! 

I look forward to documenting all of your baby’s tiny details so that you will always remember how little they once were!

The images below are from a recent newborn photo session taken in the studio. 

Baby sleeping on belly for newborn photos
Family newborn portrait with older sibling
Big sister with new baby brother
New Baby Portraits with Big Sister
Beautiful, artistic Newborn portrait sleeping soundly on a white blanket
Newborn Photography Session
5 Newborn Photography Tips for Parents
Two hands holding new sleeping baby
Newborn portraits with Mom & Dad
Big sister with new baby brother
Newborn portraits with older sibling
Newborn portrait of newborn sleeping naturally posed
Newborn Portraits with Mom
Newborn Photography session with white backdrop
Family Newborn Portraits
Momma with her two babies

Ready to schedule your newborn photography session? Click here to fill out my contact form and let’s start chatting about capturing all of your baby’s tiny features.

Leave A Comment

  1. Julie says:

    Beautiful pictures. I wish we could have had this kind of photography when my babies were born?. These pictures are priceless. I love them.

  2. […] You can learn more about how to prep your baby for their newborn session here.  […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Featured Categories