As a newborn photographer, lots of people think that means I’m good with babies… and it’s true! Hey, I’m not a super expert or anything, I’m just a mom of three who loves photographing babies and kids. With all that experience, I have some tricks up my sleeve to soothe a newborn baby.
If you’re reading this and worried about keeping your newborn baby happy during her session, please don’t stress! A newborn portrait session is baby-led. We’ll work together to choose an optimal time of the day for your baby, and during the session, we follow her lead. I make sure to block off extra time if we need it to work around a feed or a snuggle. I’ve seen it all!
5 Tips for Soothing Your Newborn During Your Session (and Beyond)
These tips will help baby calm down and feel safe. You can use these during your newborn session or anytime!
Check Her Needs – Babies cry to communicate. Is she hungry, need a diaper, gassy, or just tired? Offer the breast or bottle, check her diaper, try patting her on the back, or offer a nap. It might not be any of these things, so don’t worry! She may just need some soothing or may be cold. HEAT is key to getting a baby nice and sleepy for our sessions.
Swaddle – Your newborn will LOVE being swaddled. Use a blanket to wrap her up like a precious burrito and help her feel secure. My kiddos were little escape artists so I LOVED the sleep sacks by HALO to get them nice and snug.
Walk – Take her in your arms and walk around or put her in the stroller. The change in motion and environment might be what she needs to calm down and relax. If the baby is really fussy or possibly overtired, a car ride would be an option to try.
Sound Machine – Recreate the whooshing sounds of the womb with a sound machine or by shushing! I highly recommend a portable sound machine for the diaper bag or having an app on your phone to have handy. Shushing works too. In the studio, we use the “Baby Shusher” and it works wonders on getting little ones to sleep.
Pacify – This does depend on the baby! Some babies love a pacifier and some don’t. If your baby doesn’t like the pacifier or you are breastfeeding and haven’t introduced one yet, then you can try your finger or your breast. The suckling actually releases a hormone that relaxes your baby!
Loving on Newborns
I hope these tips are helpful for you! Photographing newborns is probably my favorite. I just love meeting this tiny new person and capturing this special time in photos for you. I would love to be part of your story by documenting your baby’s first few days. If you’re interested in booking, let’s chat! Otherwise, please join my VIP email list to connect that way for upcoming spring specials.
As a NH Maternity Photographer, I rejoice in the celebrations with my clients as well as the heartache. When Kayla let me know that she had lost a pregnancy early on in 2020, I was heartbroken for her! I knew how bad she wanted a sibling for Ember and I after documenting Ember’s arrival, I could not wait for baby number 2.
2020 seemed to take so much from so many people and this was one of those calls I HATED getting. A miracle was brewing though and in the fall, I got the call that I had been waiting for!!!! A RAINBOW BABY was on the way!!!
Kayla’s at home maternity session did not disappoint and I am SOOO in love with these photos. The last photos with your “baby” before the new baby arrives are full of precious moments. We snuggled, Ember showed me her “baby belly” and we had a blast jumping on the bed. At home sessions are so organic and no two are the same. Big sister was all about soaking up snuggles with mom and dad. When she was “all done” with the camera, Kayla and I had some fun of our own.
Kayla put so much trust in me and we JUMPED out of the box and did some fun empowering shots of her alone on the bed. These maternity boudoir shots are some of my absolute favorite and I squealed when I saw the back of the camera. I get it, as a mom of 3, I hated all the extra weight I gained during pregnancy but I still think pregnant mamas are the most beautiful! Thank you to Kayla for trusting me and getting some seriously sexy shots of her bump. THOSE EYES…damn girl!
If you are interested in learning more about Maternity or Newborn Photography, let’s chat. I would love to make your vision come to life!
One of the perks of being a birth and newborn photographer is being up-to-date on all the latest and greatest must-haves for new parents. I wish some of this stuff was around when I was having my babies! The other month, I shared the BEST baby shower gifts for the mamas in your life. I used Instagram to crowdsource some of the answers and figured I would do it again with the best apps.
These apps are helpful for tracking feeding, sleep, sharing photos, and keeping up with milestones! I knew most of these, but a couple came highly recommended by my Instagram fans.
Meet the Must-Have Apps for New Parents
Here are the 5 must-have apps for new parents as they navigate the newborn phase! These aren’t in any particular order, so read through them and see if you think any will help you!
Baby Feeding Log – This super simple newborn breastfeeding app helps you track every feed. Keeping a log of the feeds will make sure your baby is eating enough and is easy to share the information with the pediatrician. They will ask how much the baby is eating at every appointment and you’ll have the answer! Download the app.
Baby Tracker – This is the next level from the Baby Feeding Log app! This tracks feedings, diapers, and milestones. You can make sure the baby is eating enough and producing the right amount of diapers! No more wondering or trying to remember. Download the app.
Huckleberry – Meet the sleep expert in your pocket! This app helps you track your baby’s sleep and receive expert sleep guidance. Instead of guessing if the baby is ready for sleep, the app will actually tell you the sweet spot to lay the baby down. It’s super well designed! This one was recommended a few times on Instagram! Download the app.
TinyBeans – If you’re wanting to share photos of your sweet baby with family and friends, but don’t want to post them all on social media, this app takes care of that! You can upload photos to privately share with your loved ones. They can download the app as well or simply sign up for email digests of recent photos. Download the app.
Wonder Weeks – Why does baby seem fussier than normal? What’s baby learning this week? This app answers all that and more! You enter some information about your baby and this app calculates your baby’s development schedule. It will tell you when baby is entering a development leap and what signs to look for. This is a game-changer!Download the app.
Capturing the Newborn Phase
These apps all promise to help make the newborn phase (and beyond) easier. While the newborn phase is anything but easy, it really is such a special time that goes by way too fast. Investing in newborn photography and booking earlier will help you slow down and capture this season of your family. I’d be honored to be part of your journey – drop me a message and let’s talk about your newborn session.
As a new mom, the idea of packing up a new baby to head to a studio for photos can be stressful. This is why I offer newborn sessions at your home between 7-14 days after you bring them home from the hospital. There is no need to stress about what your house looks like, as a mom of 3, I get it. I often tell mamas that cleaning up after children is like brushing your teeth while eating Oreos – it’s impossible.
When I arrive at your home, I walk around to see where the best light is and we get started. For this session, we did the entire session in their beautiful master bedroom. I helped Austin change some sheets to get the perfect color pallet. We took advantage of Owen being PASSED OUT to get some cute detail photos. Placing him in the center of the bed shoes just how little he is! This is one of my most favorite shots to take. From there we invited the rest of the family and big brother James was more than happy to come snuggle his new BFF.
Toddlers tend to want to get in and out quickly (same with dads). I basically warm them up, get as many shots as possible as a family and sibling shots then let them move on. If they decide to come join us again, great! If not, it’s ok too. Their world has just been rocked so it is my philosophy to be their ally…we tend to be silly and I never pressure them for the perfect shot. 9 times out of 10 it just happens. Some of moms favorites from this session are the boys just staring at each other and I couldn’t agree more!
Austin & Jimmy were so excited to welcome Baby Owen into the world in early March 2020 via a repeat scheduled c-section. Her 9am appointment got bumped to noon and then to 2pm and finally after what seemed like DAYS, Austin was wheeled into the OR at 3:30pm. Hungry, excited and a little nervous, she had the best staff who was joking about “getting dolled up” for the photographer (ME) and they were excited to see the images of them hard at work.
Everything went amazing until baby Owen took a gulp of fluid and needed a little oxygen. He was immediately brought over to be looked at by the on call pediatrician and taken moments later to the nursery for observation. Everything turned out great and Owen is just fine but my heart ached for this mama who was unable to even see her baby until the next morning.
The nurses and doctors atExeter Hospital were AMAZING and gave access for me to capture so many “firsts” that she may otherwise have missed – big brother meeting his new best buddy, Owens first cries and everyone in the waiting room who was holding space. (This was all pre-pandemic of course).
After many tries to get out of bed to be wheeled in to meet her baby we knew it was not going to happen that night so with the help of a little technology (FaceTime), Austin was finally able to see baby Owen.
The next day, we captured their reunion and one of his very first feedings. It was magical! Birth is birth no matter what and we can’t always plan for the outcomes. In this case, mom & dad were so grateful for a happy and healthy baby and I was happy I could help to fill in some of the rest.
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.
Join hundreds of other Seacoast mamas on my VIP newsletter! Twice a month, you’ll see my smiling face in your inbox with tips and offers I don’t share anywhere else! I would love to have you on there. Please click here to join.