Butterflies & Bows Photography | Newborn Session Prep Guide | North Port, FL Newborn Photographer

Newborn Session Prep Guide | North Port, FL Newborn Photographer

September 30, 2016  •  3 Comments

Newborn Session Prep Guide


The first few moments of life are so magical and so fleeting.  They will go by faster than you could ever imagine.  I feel truly blessed to be able to capture those moments for you so that you can hold onto them forever.

Book Your Session

I recommend booking your newborn session before baby is born.  This gives me time to plan a fully customized session for your baby.  I only book a limited number of newborns per month, so the sooner you book, the better!

Baby’s Big Arrival

I know you are just as excited as I am about capturing all those tiny little details of your newborn baby.  Within the first couple of days after birth, when you have a second to catch your breath, shoot me a text, email, or even call and let me know baby has arrived.  I can then schedule an official date and time for you and baby to come to the studio.

When scheduling your session, the earlier, the better.  Newborn sessions normally take place during the first 21 days of life.  We do NOT turn away older babies!  However, younger newborns, typically between 5-7 days, tend to do best as they are still super sleepy and don’t fuss quite as much from all the posing and positioning.

If you have an older newborn, don’t stress!  Not only am I photographer, but I’m a mom!  My experience in both area has taught me tips and tricks for soothing even the feistiest little princes and princesses.  Extra baby snuggles are key!

Location & What To Bring

Newborn sessions take place in my studio.  I have everything needed, so don’t stress about props or outfits for baby!

Please bring a pacifier with you even if you do not plan to use it every day.  They can be a lifesaver during these sessions.  Don’t worry, I won’t force it on your baby and I won’t use it unless I really need to.

Bring some extra diapers with you.  You never know how many you’ll need!

If baby is formula fed, be sure to bring enough with you for multiple feedings.  If you are breastfeeding but baby will drink pumped milk from a bottle, please bring some with you.

It’s Going To Get Hot

In order to keep baby comfortable, we need to crank up the heat.  The studio is going to be 80 degrees and we will also have a space heater that will be in the shooting area.  Dress cool!  If you are going to be in pictures with your baby, you can dress in layers or feel free to bring a change of clothes with you.

It Could Take A While

Newborn sessions last from 2-4 hours.  It could be shorter, it could be longer, it all depends on baby.  Feel free to bring a book or magazine with you.  Some parents even use this time to catch up on sleep with a cat nap!

Due to the length of these sessions, we ask that you do not bring anyone with you, especially children, that is not being photographed.  Little ones tend to get very restless and very hot which can be disruptive to the calm, peaceful environment that we try to maintain for baby.

If siblings are being photographed, we will shoot these portraits FIRST.  Please make sure everyone is dressed and ready to go.  Once we have taken the family and siblings shots, it’s best if dad takes the other kiddos out for a snack or to play at the park.

Sleepy Babies

Babies do best with studio posing if they are in a deep sleep.  The best way to accomplish this is to make sure baby is exhausted.  Keep baby awake for 1-2 hours prior to our session together.  I know this is easier said than done, but there are some things you can do!

Play with baby.  Tickle her little toes and sing songs.  Music and toys can be stimulating and fascinating.  Give baby a bath.  There will likely be tears as most newborns are not fans of bath time, but it will help to stimulate baby.

We know it can be hard to do this, especially when you are a sleep deprived new parent, but if baby sleeps soundly before our session, chances are she won’t sleep quite as soundly during the session.

Hungry Babies

Feed your baby 2 hours before our session.  Once you arrive at the studio, I have a comfy sitting area where you can give baby a full feeding.  Exhausted babies with full tummies are great sleepers!  If we can accomplish this, our session should go smoothly!

Nursing Moms

If you are a nursing mom, there are some ways you can help to make sure baby is comfortable and a good sleeper for our time together.  Be sure to avoid spicy foods or eating/drinking acid citrus juices and fruits.  They can upset the baby’s little tummy and they could end up with uncomfortable gas bubbles.  Also try to avoid caffeine for 24 hours prior.  I know this is hard, especially for sleep deprived mama’s, but it will be worth it for those adorable little baby shots we are working so hard for. 

Keep It Loose

Dress baby in loose, comfortable clothing to help prevent red marks and indents on the skin.  Button up or zip up pajamas are a great option!  Just please nothing that goes over baby’s head.  If s/he is sleeping, we want to try to keep it that way!

Circumcision – The Five Day Rule

If your new little one is a baby boy, please schedule your newborn session before he is circumcised or five days after the procedure.  Baby will be very sensitive and some of the poses may be uncomfortable during the healing process.  We want to make sure baby is as relaxed and comfortable as possible!

What To Wear

Neutral colors are best for everyone, including children.  White, black, and beige are great options.  Be sure to avoid anything super bright, clothing with logos, and clothing with busy patterns.  As we mentioned before, dress in layers.  It’s going to get hot!

Check Your Manicure

There are some shots we may take that will involve mom and dad’s hands.  Even though it is only your hands, we still want you to look your best!  Be sure that your hands are clean and nails are trimmed.

Don’t Forget To Take Care Of YOU

With the excitement of having a brand new baby and the exhaustion that comes along with it, it’s easy to forget to take care of you.  Be sure to eat a healthy, hearty breakfast (or lunch) before our session.  This will help you stay comfortable during our session.  Also be sure to stay hydrated!  Don’t forget, the studio is going to be around 85 degrees.

Everyone Poops

Poop.  It happens!  Not to worry!  Part of the job description of a newborn photographer is that you will get peed on or pooped on, so if it happens don’t stress or be embarrassed!  As a professional photographer and a mom of three, it’s something I am quite used to.  Don’t stress about sanitation.  All of my newborn items are washed and sanitized before and after every baby that comes into the studio.

Safety First

Safety is my utmost priority during these sessions.  Baby will never be placed into an unsafe or compromising pose or position.  During the session I will be handling and posing baby and may even call on you to spot baby if needed.  I have lots of baby holding experience and I will care for your little one as if s/he were my own.  And you are always welcome to ask questions!


Patience is key!  Newborn session can last anywhere from 2-4 hours.  It all depends on baby’s mood and willingness to cooperate.  If your baby is fussy, don’t stress!  It happens.  Baby can pick up frustration so we want to keep the room as serene as possible.  If sleep doesn’t happen, don’t worry!  We will make it work!

I hope that this session prep guide has helped answer any questions on how to prepare for your session.  My goal is not only to provide you with beautiful pictures to cherish in the years to come, but to serve you with a pleasant and memorable experience.  If there is anything I can do for you or if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me and let me know.  Thank you for giving me the opportunity to capture these sweet newborn moments for your family!


What a great informative blog!! North port Florida is so lucky to have you
Loved this Blog! Very informative for future clients! North Port, Fl is lucky to have a photographer like you!
What great pointers! Thank you for these tips for an amazing newborn session! I'll be scheduling my appointment with you soon!
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