Preparing Your Newborn & Family

Below are our recommendations for preparing for your newborn session at our studio. We have found that careful preparation and consideration of the following items ensure that your session goes smoothly and that you will have beautiful newborn portraits that you will treasure for a lifetime.

  • Newborn portrait sessions go smoothly when both baby and parents are calm, happy and relaxed.
  • Please do your best to KEEP YOUR NEWBORN AWAKE  for two to three hours before arriving at the studio. This is VERY IMPORTANT. We know this is hard, but please try. Without this, we spend too much time getting them to sleep and not as much time photographing them.  If you need some tricks for this, you can try giving them a bath, keeping them naked, or even applying ice to the bottom of their feet intermittently ( But… NOT TOO MUCH). And… if you can have someone who can entertain them during the ride in the car… that will be very helpful! We will get amazing images if your baby sleeps through the session.
  • PLEASE DO NOT FEED YOUR BABY before leaving home. Try to feed them two hours before you leave. I know this seems counter-intuitive. But if it is at all possible, time your baby’s feedings that day so that you can feed him/her as soon as you arrive at the studio. If baby is sleepy and ready to eat when they arrive, we will have plenty of time to get beautiful images before they awaken and need to be changed.
  • Dress your baby in a zip-up or button-up onesie, so that when we undress him/her at the studio, we won’t have to pull anything over his/her head and risk disturbing your baby too much. It is best to let Kate and her staff handle your newborn when you arrive, as we are experts at moving newborns without disturbing their comfort!
  • When doing the poses where the baby is undressed, it is normal (and okay!) for him or her to “relieve” him or herself during the session. We can assure you this happens all the time and we are not upset or offended. We have wipes and towels on hand for this purpose. After each newborn portrait session we launder all of our backdrops and other items with which the baby comes in contact with baby “safe” detergent and hot water.
  • Please know that there is no rush with a newborn portrait session. We like to give special attention to each client, especially newborn sessions. Most newborn sessions last at least an hour, but some sessions can go as long as three. Please know that we do not mind waiting for you to feed, change, or soothe your baby. That’s part of what we offer as a custom portrait studio … the time we can provide!
  • In a family session, Mom and dad are always welcome and encouraged to join for pictures with baby. If you’d like to do some family/relationship portraits with baby, there are few things as stunning as skin-on-skin shots of a newborn and the proud parents. Dad can be shirtless for some shots, as can Mom, or she could wear a strapless bra or tank top. Images for this type of portrait are generally closely cropped. If you prefer not to take skin-on-skin photographs, we recommend that you wear neutral clothing for images with your baby.
  • We use the parents as backdrops for baby, so Dad please wear a long sleeved neutral toned (brown, cream, olive, tan) shirt and jeans or casual pants. Mom needs to bring a nude colored bra. Strapless is preferred. We will be wrapping mom in fabric here at the studio for that strapless “skin-on-skin” look. Also, an extra set of clothes for the parents is a good idea, just in case of “accidents”.
  • In warm weather months, we recommend that you bring your baby to the session in very little clothing. Bringing baby in just a diaper covered with blankets in their car seat is fine. In winter, a zip-up onesie works great. Just make sure nothing has to go over babies head when we remove the outfit. The less we have to move baby, the better. Make sure to not to put any tight/restricting clothing on them that could make indentations on their skin (socks, elastic bands on the arms and legs, etc.) It can often be upsetting to baby to change clothing, so loose clothing will make it easy to feed your baby when you arrive at the studio… making the session run smoothly.
  • Newborns are absolute perfection when they wear nothing at all. For variety and some fun pops of color, we also like to use the swaddling blankets and wraps. We have an enormous collection of props, swaddles and backdrops and will create a set design that we are sure you will love. If you have color preferences, please let us know before hand and we will coordinate that for your session. We will choose which items photograph best in the color schemes you love.
  • Please BRING A BOTTLE OF BREAST MILK OR FORMULA AND A PACIFIER WITH YOU to the session. We will ONLY use it if absolutely necessary to calm and soothe your baby. We understand mothers are trying to establish good breast-feeding habits and may prefer not to use a pacifier. If you are adamantly against this, please let us know and we will accommodate your needs.
  • If you are breast-feeding, try to avoid eating anything spicy or gas-inducing (ie. pizza, spicy sauces, garlic, broccoli, Thai food, high fat, etc.) that might upset baby’s tummy for 24 hours preceding your scheduled session. It’s best to stick to a relatively bland diet the 24 hours before your session.
  • Please note that sometimes it takes some time to get your baby asleep and that is okay. We will ask to take your baby from you, so that you can rest while we coax him/her to sleep. Often, especially with mom, baby smells mommy and thinks it’s time to eat!
  • Newborns photograph beautifully while sleeping. In order to get those perfect sleepy newborn images, our studio is often heated to 80 degrees during the session and we use space heaters, heating pads, blankets and noise machines to get your baby into that happy, sleepy state.
  • DO NOT CIRCUMCISE your baby boy before your newborn portrait session. We will be wrapping him tightly while naked and moving him between different poses, which can be extremely painful with a raw circumcision. We WILL NOT photograph a newborn boy who has been circumcised less than six days prior to the session.
  • We almost always schedule a newborn portrait session for first thing in the morning when babies seem to be at their best and mom’s milk is the richest.
  • You will be feeding your baby a FULL feeding when you arrive at the studio, so please schedule your baby’s day accordingly for this.
  • Please only bring those who are to be photographed to the studio. If there are older siblings that will be included in photographs, those images will be photographed at the start of the session. We suggest either bringing two cars so that dad can take older sibling(s) back home after we finish with family images, or have your spouse/partner take older siblings out on errands or to grab a snack while we complete the session.
  • NO CAMERAS ARE ALLOWED during your newborn portrait session. We understand this is a momentous time in your life that you want to capture. However, we are working very hard to create unique artistic images for you and another camera in our midst is distracting and uncomfortable for the artist and her assistant. Please respect copyright and the artist’s individual creation, and do not take pictures or video during your session.