As an Edmonton Newborn Photographer, I know first hand how stressful your newborn session can seem.
But it doesn’t have to be.
I work hard to help my clients prepare for our time together long before baby even arrives, so that our focus can be on capturing that beautiful bond during our session. All of my clients receive a planning guide prior to our session, which is outlined with each and every detail for planning a successful newborn session. Because newborn photography requires quite a bit more preparation, I always recommend parents take some time to prepare ahead of time— and find a photographer who will help— so that there is little to no stress once baby makes their arrival.
Here are my best tips for ensuring a smooth- and stress-free- newborn session from start to finish.
Babies are known to come on their own schedule, so it can be difficult to predict when, exactly, they’ll make their appearance. I recommend sharing your due date with your photographer and ensuring that they’re available before and after that date by at least a week. Personally, I’ll never take on a newborn with a due date that may possibly conflict with extended travel, as I want to be sure that I’m available during the peak newborn snuggly phase.
Each photographer has a different preference here, and many newborn photographers will agree that babies are often snuggliest, and easiest to capture, during the first three weeks of life. If you’re hiring a studio photographer who will require that baby be asleep, you’ll likely be asked to shoot within the first week of life. For lifestyle photography, we can work within a wider window of time, as our focus is on a more lifestyle approach where a wide awake baby can be snuggled and soothed by mom or dad.
We know what photographs well, and most Edmonton newborn photographers will hold your hand (and even dress you!) to ensure that you not only feel beautiful in your newly changed body, but also photograph well on the day of your session. If you’re part of the Kahla Kristen Photography experience, you have access to over 30 beautifully curated dresses in our client closet for mamas, as well as some growing children’s pieces for our first year babies. Most photographers— myself included— will also provide a handful of beautiful, neutral swaddles and wraps to take the stress out of dressing baby. Which leads me to…
Newborns look perfectly sweet, natural and timeless in a simple swaddle or wrap. Most new babies don’t fit perfectly into outfits anyway, and these can make it hard to show off their itty bitty newborn features. Go classic and simple, and it’s one less person you have to dress!
We all know how little sleep new mamas get, and it can be hard to feel beautiful when you’re running off of little to no sleep— not to mention being achy all over and still getting used to your new body. Having a professional come to your home and do the hard work for you takes one (very big) thing off your plate the morning of your session, and I promise you’ll love the results. With the Kahla Kristen Photography experience, I work with an extremely talented makeup artist who will make you look and feel beautiful, natural and refreshed— and you’ll love the final outcome in your images. (And the best part? This is totally complimentary for all newborn sessions!)
Your newborn photographer is not looking for dust bunnies in your home, so don’t stress about having a perfectly clean space! Ask your photographer which spaces they’ll be shooting in (for me, I always shoot in the master, nursery and sometimes the living room) and declutter those spaces. And if this doesn’t happen before your session (because we know you have a lot on your plate), your photographer will likely make themselves at home and move anything out of the way that will distract from your love. I’m always joking that my clients will have to search for their apple charger after I leave, as I always take the time to unplug and hide it under the bed! (Among other bedside table treasures!)
I often advise my moms to plan to finish feeding just as I’m arriving or shortly after. From there, we’ll get you in your freshly-steamed dress and begin photographing your beautiful family with (hopefully) a milk-drunk, sleepy babe. That said, many newborns will still need to feed throughout the session, may resist sleep or be extra fussy— and it’s all good! Newborn sessions run at a slower pace to allow baby to take as many breaks as needed. And sometimes, the best images come from these candid moments!
I know that this one is easier said than done, but your photographer is here to help! Remind yourself why you’re doing this— to remember these hazy, first days for a lifetime. Your photographer is well-equipped to handle any challenges that come her way, and she knows first-hand how unpredictable newborn babies can be. The more you lean on your photographer to take on some of the stress, the more you can allow yourself to relax and the better your images will be. It’s hard to conceal a stressed face and demeanour, so try your best to enjoy this time and find magic in the chaos. You’ll be so glad you did.
All film scanned by The Canadian Film Lab
Hair and Makeup for mama by Robyn Scheer Makeup
Mama’s dress and baby’s swaddle are from the KKP Client Closet
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All images by Edmonton Newborn Photographer, Kahla Kristen Photography