The more detailed answer? Keep reading!
It does indeed take a great deal of patience during a newborn session. You can’t make a baby do anything they do not want to do, so it’s all about going at their speed and picking up on their cues to hopefully arrive at these adorable photos.
Babies sleep A LOT when they are first born, and those first two weeks of life are when they will pretty much sleep through anything- including being posed during a photoshoot. Once babies get older then 2 weeks, it becomes much more difficult for them to stay asleep for these types of photos, which is why I only do these photos for newborns 2 weeks or younger.
I always ask that you have the baby nice and full before I come. A good feeding right before photo time induces a lovely milk coma that makes them happy, sleepy and comfortable. Exactly what we’re looking for!
These little guys are used to be snug and warm inside their momma, so we are trying to create a similar environment. My secret ingredient? The space heater. This keeps the area nice and warm and creates some nice white noise- something the baby is also used to hearing inside the womb. Raising the temperature in your house a few degrees also ensures a conducive environment so the space is warm, snug and quiet. Turning off the TV, making sure energetic pets or siblings are not running around in the space is helpful for a peaceful place!
I promise I’m not moving into your home- although it may feel like it when I arrive! This bean bag serves as a large and comfortable surface for the baby to lay on, while allowing it to mold to the baby’s shape. I will have a number of different blankets to choose from as backdrops and we try to get through at least 2! Everything is washable, and yes, accidents are part of the process sometimes!
HOW TO BEGIN
I recommend starting the baby out in a tight swaddle with their diaper on. The swaddle keeps those flailing arms and legs at bay and is yet another way to remind the baby of being snug and held tightly together in the womb. Once the baby is in a nice milk coma, we’ll lay the baby on the bean bag and begin to slowly unravel the swaddle. This takes time and I will take photos at each stage in case that is the last stage we get to! It’s not always possible to get a baby completely naked, but patience usually gets us there!
Once the swaddle is off I will get the baby into a popular pose on their stomachs and remove the diaper. If that baby stays asleep, this is our golden moment to try all sorts of fun hats and angles for photos. I will bring a few hats and bows to try, but if you have anything you’d like to use, please have it ready!
Once we’ve gotten these keeper photos, we’ll tempt fate by switching out the blanket, or moving the baby to a basket. Sometimes this wakes the baby up and we need to take a break, while other times they stay sound asleep through the whole thing!
We’ll diaper the baby up before family photos to keep everyone safe (!) and just use strategically placed hands to try and hide the diaper as much as possible. Dark shirts work well against bare baby skin, and we’ll get some photos with each parent and as a family.
If the baby is fussy or not calming down, have no fear- this is typical! Sometimes they need a little more food, or need a burp, or just to be held for a little while until they fall asleep. They run the show, so these breaks are completely fine and absolutely part of the process!
So that's the secret revealed! :)