Recently, I've been sharing about the various items on the checklist I use during the phone call with every family a few days before their session. You can read through the list HERE. Most of the items apply to every session, but this one towards the end is JUST for you expecting parents.

Before I give you a peek at that "nearly game time" chat, though, let me review two things.

1. WHEN should you reach out to schedule your newborn session?

I only need a few lines for to answer this question. Believe it or not (but believe it – I would know 😉 ) -- once you see those two pink lines that confirm you’ve got a baby on board, it’s time to book your photographer. Yes, that means maybe even before you spill the beans to your family and friends. I even had one mom call me before she gave her husband the news. (It's true! I was honored!) The truth is that the best photographers book up VERY early, so whether it's me you want to memorialize that special time or someone else, make sure you don't let this fall between the cracks.

2. HOW OLD should your baby be for his/ her newborn session?

This one requires a few more words (and even two full galleries of pictures!) to answer well. I've done so in a separate post, HERE.

If you've already booked your session with me, we've already talked through the answers to those question. Let's talk now about how to prepare on the big day.

(Remember - all the regular things on the list also apply here, so definitely take a peek.)

Now onto HOW to prepare ...

Try to have baby fed, but expect fussiness.

If possible, please feed baby before I arrive. The goal is to have her full and content. That said, you should expect that baby might fuss while I'm there (she's used to being left alone when she's sleeping!), and might need to eat some more to settle while I'm there. This is OK, of course, and we'll talk about whether you'd like for me to take photos of you either nursing or bottle feeding if that's what you end up doing.

Keep your house warm.

Your house does NOT have to be a sauna, but the truth is that baby likes it cozy. If it's winter, consider tapping that thermostat up a bit and if it's summer, definitely turn down the AC.

Have baby dressed in a diaper and a simple onesie and swaddled in a light, neutral blanket.

If baby is happy to let us play while I'm there, I'm more than happy to play dress-up, so have all those special outfits (and hats and blankets) ready to go, but ... we will be following baby's mood here. If baby does NOT want to be messed with, a simple onesie and a swaddle will work best for all the shots you want the most -- individual portraits, images with siblings, family images, and detail shots.

Baby drives the bus.

This one is easier to chat through on the phone (and of course, there's no bus - it's a figure of speech!), but the gist is this -

If baby is sleeping soundly and perfectly happy to be moved around, I'll take advantage and orchestrate all the shots that are best taken in that situation -- baby in the bassinet, solo photos of baby, baby with siblings, etc. If baby wants to be held or needs to be walked or needs a new diaper or a fresh swaddle or a feed, I'll capture all of that as it happens and we'll squeeze in any 'must have' shots quickly in between when we can. We will NOT spend the whole time trying to get baby do any specific thing, and ultimately baby will decide what we capture. (And it'll be beautiful!)

Try to relax.

This is true for every session, but especially with newborns -- the goal is to go with the flow and be as relaxed as possible. There's never any time pressure. In the unlikely event that your new baby wails for the first 45 minutes after I arrive, it's OK. I'll capture all the ways you and your family members lovingly soothe him, and we'll take calm photos after that, when baby has tired himself out. I get more specific about this when we chat, too!

Other things ...

Other things we'll talk about include what you (mama) should wear, how to prepare big siblings, and even how to prepare your partner. Since those are more specific, I'll leave those for our chat. Of course, if it's not covered here OR in my checklist, there will also be plenty of time to talk through any other questions or worries you might have as well. The goal is to have your as prepared and relaxed as possible. We try to set ourselves up for success, and then we roll with the punches (there are no punches! -- that's another figure of speech). And we capture whatever happens - your beautiful story.

Thanks for looking,I hope you've enjoyed this tiny peek at this phase of my session process. As you can see, much of the "work" work to make a family photography session at home run smoothly is done in advance. Don't worry - I'm here to make it easy. Check back as I update each item on the list!


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