Preparing for your baby is such a fun and exciting time. It’s the fastest and slowest 9 months of your life while you research the best baby items, plan your baby shower, and read all the books! Another item on your list is booking your newborn photographer. Finding the right photographer to capture your precious newborn should be a fun experience! Here are 5 things to look for when hiring your newborn photographer!
How to Hire the Right Newborn Photographer
Newborn Portrait Style
Are you looking for lifestyle newborn portraits of posed newborn portraits? Neither style is wrong or right, and you can find a photographer who offers a blend, but it’s very important to understand how each style is different! Let me break it down for you.
Lifestyle Newborn Portraits – This style is less about providing direction and more about capturing those candid moments with your baby. The newborn photographer may come to your home and simply use settings in your home to capture the photos. For example, you might see photos of the parents holding their newborn in the nursery or on their bed. If your dream is to have these candid moments, you might be interested in lifestyle portrait photography.
Posed Newborn Portraits – This style provides more direction and posing to capture your baby in different dreamlike scenes. These images can be more custom and can be done in a studio setting or your home. For example, if you see a baby girl swaddled in a floral blanket with matching flowers and her hands tucked under her chin, that’s a posed portrait. If you’re dreaming of your newborn in a dreamlike setting, you might be interested in posed portrait photography.
Experience with Newborns
Hey, every photographer needs her start! But, if you’re looking for a photographer that you can trust with the entire newborn experience, look for one with experience in this area. Browse her portfolio or reach out and ask for more samples of her work. Going back to the first thing to look for, if you like a photographer but realize she focused on posed newborn photography and your dream is a lifestyle session, that’s something to consider!
Look for a photographer who has you in mind throughout the entire process. I don’t just mean the actual shoot! Your photographer should make your life easier before, during, and after the session. You need someone who offers a seamless experience that you can count on. Look for a photographer with a newborn package that starts with getting to know you and ends with your portraits on the wall!
This actually goes for every type of session, but find a photographer with who you feel a personal connection. I’m not saying you have to become best friends (but that’s certainly an added bonus!), but one that you feel understands you and that you feel comfortable spending time with. You should feel cared for throughout the entire process!
This one is key! If the newborn photographer you’re considering is booked, then it’s a huge bummer! Many newborn photographers only schedule a certain number of sessions each month to accommodate birthdays. It’s extremely important to have a photographer that has a backup! Reach out as soon as you’re interested to get on the books.
I would love to be your newborn photographer! Nothing would give me more joy than to capture those first precious moments with your new baby. Send me a note to schedule your free consultation.
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The first few weeks with your new baby are a whirlwind of love and beautiful chaos! By having newborn photos scheduled, you won’t have to worry about anything in those sleep-deprived days after the birth. Your sweet babe is only so tiny and new for such a short time. Every time you look at your newborn photos you’ll remember all the love and amazement you felt during those first few weeks.
Learn how to plan for and prepare for your newborn session along with how I’m keeping my tiny clients safe during this crazy pandemic.
When to Schedule and Plan Your Newborn Photos
The best time to reach out to a newborn photographer is well before the birth! I highly recommend reaching out when you are about halfway through your pregnancy. It’s important to give yourself time to find the perfect photographer and get your newborn session on the calendar. Many newborn (and birth) photographers limit how many sessions they schedule per month, so grab your spot as early as you can!
The ideal time to photograph a newborn is two weeks after the birth, but really, anytime in that first month or two is fine. The photos featured in this post are from when this sweet baby girl is 6 weeks old. The first six weeks or so is when your baby is the most sleepy and snuggly for great posing, BUT whenever you feel ready to have them done is fine!
Worried about how you’ll possibly feel ready for a photography session a mere couple weeks after birth? Let me help!
4 Tips for a Great Newborn Session
I know that thinking about the first two weeks after birth seems like a crazy time to let a photographer into your home to take photographs of your baby and family. Fear not! I bring everything needed for the shoot and here are 4 tips to help you prepare for your newborn session.
Don’t Stress About the House at All
My friend, I cannot emphasize how little the state of your house bothers me. You just had a baby! I can make any house situation work with no problem. There will be zero judgment at all. In fact, I bet your house will still be more organized than mine!
Try to Feed About a Half Hour Before (but snacks are fine!)
Try to feed your baby about a half-hour before the session is to start. This will hopefully give baby time to eat, burp, and be sleepy in time for the photos! If the baby needs a snack during the session, it’s totally fine! I’m very used to it.
Give Yourself Some Time to Glam
If you can, try to give yourself some time to look nice before the session. Take a little extra time in the shower and put on some makeup if that makes you feel good! Trust me, you are so beautiful no matter what, but taking some time for yourself will help you feel relaxed and ready.
Give Yourself Grace, Mama
No matter what happens, you will have treasured photos of your baby. Don’t worry about the house or if your newborn will be cooperative. Your baby will be absolutely perfect. I’ve seen it all and worked with all different babies. It’s all good!
How I’m Safely Photographing Newborns
The safety of your sweet baby and your entire family is the most important thing to me! I’m always very careful and especially so now. Here are a few ways that I am safely photographing newborn babies.
First, I am limiting the number of sessions I schedule per week to only two. I do this to limit the number of families I interact with. Second, I always wear my mask during every session. Finally, I make sure to sanitize my hands and any items we may use during the session.
Display Your Newborn Session Without Adding to Your To-Do List
The session isn’t over until you have your newborn photos displayed how you want them without adding an item to your to-do list. All you need to do is tell me how you envision these photos displayed in your home, and I take it from there! Whether you’re looking to create an heirloom album or a gallery wall, your photos will be where you can enjoy them every single day!
I would love to be your newborn photographer! Nothing would give me more joy than to capture those first precious moments with your new baby. Send me a note to schedule your free consultation.
Birth is such a beautiful and moving experience… it’s also very unpredictable! Add that to this wild season of 2020, and having a backup birth photographer is a must. During the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s become even more important with the “possible” exposures leading to a necessary quarantine. The thought of missing your birth, or other major events, makes me so sad, but the good news is that all is well with a trusty backup photographer.
If you’re looking for a birth photographer, make sure you choose one with a trusted backup. You might be thinking, “What!? Why would I need to think about a backup when you’re the photographer I want!?”
Don’t worry, my friend. In the event the backup photographer photographs your birth, you’re still MY client, and you’ll receive photos in the style you LOVE.
Let me explain how this works, and just one of many stories of why a backup birth photographer is so important.
“I DO” Love My Backup Birth Photographer
Please meet Tara from Tara Photography. We are delighted to be each other’s backup photographer and have been for over a year. This partnership allows us to serve more clients on the Seacoast of New Hampshire while knowing we can trust each other to care of the other’s clients. Together, we photograph clients from Exeter, NH, to Newburyport, MA, and all the way to York, ME!
Last fall, Tara was “scheduled” (quotes because a due date is so unpredictable) to photograph the home birth of beautiful Whitaker. She had one, small, tiny conflict around the same time as his due date – officiating a wedding! Tara hoped the two events wouldn’t collide, but to be safe, she reached out for me to be on deck and made sure the birth mom knew it was a possibility.
On that beautiful fall day, I received the call that I needed to photograph the birth, and I hustled my butt over to the home birth! You might think that walking into a birth without knowing the mom would be awkward, but it wasn’t at all! We didn’t skip a beat, and I was able to get to know this incredible mama in between surges
This being her third birth, things progressed quickly, and Whitaker came fast and quick on a beautiful fall day. He was in a hurry to join his older siblings, who came running over to see him come into this world. They also had a lot of fun exploring the placenta with Midwife Morgan from Flourish Midwifery from Wells, Maine. After that incredible experience, I handed the raw files over to Tara, who edited them to her style and delivered them to Whitaker’s family.
How a Backup Birth Photographer Works
Does it seem a little odd that I’m so passionate about educating you on the importance of a birth photographer? It’s because I am! Working with a backup photographer is an essential part of running a thriving birth photography business.
Having a backup in place shows my clients that I understand how important their baby’s birth is and provides my clients with peace of mind knowing their special day will be photographed.
In the event of, let’s say, a COVID-19 exposure, the health and safety of your family is my ultimate priority, and I would call on my backup to photograph your birth. You are always my client and all communication goes through me before and after! If Tara is the one who photographs your birth, she simply takes the photographs and hands over the raw images to me for editing and prepping.
Some of my mamas have asked to meet my backup, and that is totally fine! Since this is a very personal event, I would expect you to feel comfortable with the person photographing your birth. Even a quick Zoom with Tara in the months leading up to the birth can add even more peace of mind.
In an effort to keep all my clients safe, if there’s ever a hint of a COVID-19 exposure, I have used Tara to back me up for other sessions such as maternity, newborn, and family sessions. I’ve shared some of these photos on my own social media, and I bet you couldn’t tell the difference! 😉 If you would like to learn more about Birth Photography, please contact me today to set up a free consultation.
Baby Andrew was one of my very first “Simply Baby” Sessions and he was such a joy to photograph. Andrew’s mama and I went to college together and I it has been so much fun watching her become a mama and to photographer her two little men. This little dude just turned ONE and although I would love to be photographing his one year session, it is safer during #socialdistancing for me share some of his simple studio newborn photography session from last year. Andrew started his session WIDE awake (just as most newborns do) and we captured some super cute expressions and even gave me a few grins. Once he was wrapped up, he passed right out and was a dream to work with.
There is just something about the simplicity of a plain white onesie and a simple white background that I just love. Baby details stand out and you really get to see their features up close and personal. If you have been following me for a while, you know I LOVE baby toes…like near obsession. These simple sessions are a great way to capture the tiniest of feature like toes, finders, lips, hair and eyes. These natural baby-led sessions are some of my favorites and I can’t wait to do more when we are allowed back in the studio.
Let’s be real – the last few weeks of isolation have been rough on everyone. As a birth and newborn photographer, I have struggled not being able to support mamas and photograph these tiny little humans, so I will be sharing some of my favorite sessions over the next few weeks. My heart goes out to all of the new mamas giving birth during this time. I look forward to being back in the studio soon but for now, I wanted to share a few ways that I can help you during this time.
FREE Downloadable Guide taking Fresh 48 Hospital – Since I can’t be in the hospital with you these days photographing your sweet new babies, I wanted to come up with a way to help you document those first few days on your own. I have created a FREE Downloadable Guide taking Fresh 48 Hospital pictures of your own baby during social distancing in New Hampshire. Download your FREE Guide Here: https://bit.ly/WWP_5TIPS_Hospital Feel free to share with any of your friends/family who are expecting!
Online Community Support: I have created a Private Facebook Group for Moms where we are currently doing a 30-Day Photo Challenge but it is also where I share a TON of online support for my mamas. All of my birth colleagues have been sharing virtual education and support since this COVID-19 crisis and I have been sharing a TON of it in this group. Check it out: White Wave Photography Moms Group
Kids Activities to Do at Home: For those of you with older kiddos, we are all adapting. New roles of teacher while also running a business has taken a bit of getting used to with 3 kids home now but we are making it work. Are your kids constantly saying that they are bored? Running out of ideas to keep them busy? I have got you covered. Check out this blog post that I did last week: Kids Activities to Do at Home Now, let me be real – I am NOT a Pinterest Mom and I SUCK at baking but we are all doing things these days that we may not normally do. Give yourself grace, enjoy as much as you can and just love on those babies!!!
Phone Consultations & Advice for Photographing your Newborn: I am still doing phone consultations for spring & summer babies, but what if I JUST had a baby and want to get some photos. Well, we can do a virtual session. What I mean by that is that I will get on a call with you and give you tips and tricks to photograph your baby yourself (even if just with your phone). I know it doesn’t replace a professional newborn session but at least your baby’s first few weeks will be documented. If you are interested in learning more about these “virtual newborn sessions” contact me today.
Stay safe, keep smiling and I hope that some of these things help get you through these uncertain times and know that I am thinking of you all and sending virtual hugs. (Seriously though – I cannot wait to HUG EVERYONE again!)
When I met Emma & Kent back in December, I knew that their home was going to be a magical place to deliver their first child. When they purchased the house last year, Emma envisioned having a beautiful home birth here someday, just as her mother had done with her 30 years prior. Now that they were expecting, she had the most beautiful room set up for the arrival of their son.
On the evening of March 9th, I arrived along with her midwife, Jessica from Roots of Life – there was snow in the forecast and with both of us an hour away we decided it would be better to get there before the storm hit. After a quick vital check, we gave mama space with her birth team (papa & her mom).
Emma has written her birth story beautifully and I am honored to be able to share it with you below.
To my Dearest Clyde,
It all began at around 5AM on Saturday, March 9th, when I awoke to noticeable contractions. I then woke your Papa and we discussed how this was feeling in comparison to the nights before, which were more like menstrual aches. Earlier in the week that Thursday, I had lost my mucus plug and then on Friday we met with the midwife for our prenatal visit. During that visit I remember speaking to her about how to get into the right mindset, considering you could come any day now or two weeks from then. As we discuss below, you came in due time. Papa and I thought this might be early labor based on the intensity and frequency of the contractions. Early labor lasted around 14 hours total which we spent documenting the contractions, drinking lots of water, eating nourishing snacks and listening to music. It was helpful that we also passed the time by taking our dogs for a walk, watching the KU basketball game and listening Jim Gaffigan, a comedian that always makes me laugh. It was a sign to me that it was still early labor because I could laugh through the contractions.
The surges of energy continued in my lower back and the bottom of my uterus. Throughout the day we documented how often you moved and when I felt the most intense contractions/surges thus far. As the surges began to elevate, your Papa was in contact with the midwife, sharing our progress. It was determined that she would arrive that evening as the tempo of surges increased. Your Papa and I labored through the night as the birth team helped to support and give us space. The team consisted of the midwife and eventually her assistant, your Oma (my mother), and the birth photographer. To help move labor along and manage my surges, we walked the stairs and utilized the heat of the shower. We also spent time in the birthing tub, it was comforting but we both were so tired from a long day of labor that we kept nodding off. We also tried other positions and activities like walking throughout the house, climbing the stairs, sitting on the toilet, as well as using the bed to lean on the birthing ball.
As labor increased and transitioned to active labor, we also listened to our hypnobabies tracks, attempted to rest between surges, utilized a heated rice sock on my back, used the rebozo cloth to sift my lower back and belly to relieve the energy, massaged my feet, and massaging my back by moving the energy down from my lower back to my feet. This lasted for about 16 hours, so I utilized breathing techniques to breath the energy out of my body and keep my mouth open and loose. Many times we found ourselves moving positions and leaning over to cope with the elevated energy from my surges. I cried once not from the intensity of the surges but out of frustration because of the vague timeline of labor. Throughout the process of labor the midwife was always nearby observing but never intruding. Her patience, trust, and wisdom were vital in allowing our labor to continue to progress at it’s necessary pace. I received two vaginal exams over the 16 hour active labor period and at each I was around 5 cm. This came as both frustrating and motivational, we discussed that my belly shape protruded quite a bit and that you (baby) may need more help getting down lower in my pelvis. To help reposition you, we utilized the rebozo cloth to hug you up and into my body. During this phase of my laboring I became vocal, trying to express the energy out of my body through my lungs and mouth. Our bigger dog Bo kept nearby and seemed to be interested, while our smaller dog Bella, didn’t seem interested whatsoever. We were very curious how they would react during the labor process and interestingly enough their roles seemed to shift later on.
By 11AM the next morning, we progressed through labor with the midwife often checking your heartbeat with her fetal monitor as well as checking in with me. As I sat in a rocking chair, attempting to rest between a surge, all of a sudden I felt and heard a large GA-GUSH! I exclaimed “My Water!” Everyone around thought I needed water and jumped to grab me a glass, but I clarified that my water had broke. The midwife informed me that things would possibly become more intense from here on out. She suggested we go and utilize the shower again to cope with the coming intensity. The dress I was wearing was now soaked with the amniotic fluid. While in the upstairs shower, I became very vocal and from then (11AM) until your birth (2PM) the energy was so intense, I didn’t know what to do with it. Earlier on, I could breathe through it and release that energy, but this lower uterus and back energy was big. As I progressed through the labor, my mind initially went to thinking that I was on an endless merry-go round, just continuing to cycle with no end in sight, but then I reminded myself that I was on a mountain headed to a summit. Your Oma (my mother) put on some very centering and instrumental music that helped me through the surges. I tried to harness it and focus on using it in my body as you moved through my pelvis.
I began to feel my pelvis expanding and wasn’t really sure if I should be “pushing” but it felt like things were progressing in that direction. Your Papa was a huge support as I leveraged him when I breathed and “pushed”. The feelings were intense and I rode the waves of energy slowly moving from standing, to leaning, and eventually to kneeling. I gripped your Papa’s forearms and squeezed as the energy passed. This was so intense and so exhausting. Eventually the midwife suggested I get on the bed, as I was on all fours on the hardwoods floor with a large amount of fluid around me. At this point, our bigger dog Bo had moved to snoring at the foot of the bed. Our smaller dog Bella, was now in the doorway listening intently but keeping her distance. I was primarily on all fours as I moved through the pushing surges for about 35 minutes. I felt very constipated through this transition and pushing phase, my body released a good amount of reddish fluid and eventually bowel movements. The midwife was supportive in reassuring me this was normal and provided support in cleaning all of the fluids up as we progressed. I let my body tell me how and when to push. At first it felt foreign and unsure, but as I continued I let my body take over and lead the way. As I pushed and breathed, eventually the midwife asked “ Do you want to feel your baby’s head?” I was so happy to hear that you were that close, I now had sight of the finish line. I reached down and felt the top of your head! What a motivation to meet you and a light at the end of this 33 hour tunnel. With these last pushes, I did feel the ring of fire as my body stretched to move your head through. I knew I just needed to get your head out and your body would follow!
Finally through breathing and pushing you came out! What a relief! The midwife passed you up underneath of me to your Papa and I. I exclaimed “ It’s a boy!” as you proceeded to pee. After a long labor of love you were born at 2:04 PM on Sunday March 10th, the day before your due date. It had been snowing big fluffy snowflakes throughout the day, but I was so focused on meeting you that I never had a chance to even look out the window. The midwife and her assistant checked you out and made sure to help you get the fluid from your mouth that you picked up on the way out. You cried to help get the rest out. I explored your beautiful body and rubbed the vernix that was all over your body into your skin. Your Papa and I got you into a blanket and hat as you rested on my belly and we held your hands. We gazed into your eyes with amazement. As time went on, the midwives refocused on me to make sure the placenta came out as it should. After just a few pushes and it came out intact, it was a gorgeous umbilical cord and placenta. Once all the blood from the placenta was transferred to you, it was time to cut the cord, your Papa did the honors. Then it was time to weigh and measure you. As the midwife assistant did that, the head midwife stitched up my third degree perineal tear. Your Papa comforted me as we gazed at you being weighed next to us. You had a long journey out, so you were ready to rest. The midwife team made sure that all was well and cleaned up before they headed out. We were so grateful to be able to settle into our comfortable home already.
The following weeks, we made sure to take it easy as we transitioned into our new little family. The midwife came to the house to check in with all three of us both physically and mentally. Making sure I was healing and you were growing! In order for you to grow we tackled the new task of breastfeeding, which was a group effort. You learning to latch, me learning to help you latch, Papa, Oma, the midwife, and postpartum doula providing unwavering insights and emotional support. In order for me to heal, I ate nourishing foods, drank lots of water, moved with postpartum grace and took in all the Clyde snuggles I could. Your Papa and I felt very supported by Oma, the midwife, the postpartum doula, and close friends. This was vital, because then we could make sure to focus the majority of our energy on you! We took the next 6 weeks to learning your cues and attempting to address your needs. We transitioned every week into more confident roles as you continued to grow. You have given us one of the most beautiful roles of our lives, parenthood. What a journey we have been on to get here and what beautiful horizons we have ahead of us, Love, Mama
I recently attended the most amazing photography expo and conference in Atlanta where I learned a lot and came home with a bunch of super cute new wraps, backgrounds and a few new baby bows. In honor of my new in-home studio Newborn space finally being complete, I would like to offer this special Studio Newborn Limited Edition Photography Session.
Simply Baby Session Includes | $595
90 minute session of baby only*
Two sets (white plus either pink or blue)
8×8 Linen Book with 10 images
5 Digital Images with a Print Release
Personalized Design Session
Simply Baby Sessions will be held mid-week at my in-home studio in Newfields, NH. There is limited availability for these sessions so please click the link below to schedule a phone consultation today!
*Simple Baby sessions do not include sibling or parent shots. If you wish to have siblings or parents in the photos, please contact me about booking a Fresh 48 or Lifestyle Newborn Session Separately.