Peach fuzz, peeling skin and that ever sweet newborn smell … argh!!!
Newborn sessions are ideally held between the ages of 4-14 days at my Carine home studio. (That excludes fresh 48 and in home lifestyle sessions of course). Rest assured, I always take the utmost care with newborns. I will never rush a session and take as much time as we need. I allow your baby to be my guide. A full newborn session can therefore take hours to complete. I do offer mini sessions that do not take as long but are as equally caring. My aim is to have you feeling completely relaxed and enjoying every moment of your session without feeling rushed or overwhelmed.
To ensure we don’t miss a moment I use a combination of posed and lifestyle photography letting your baby take the lead. Poses are womb like and moments are real. I cannot wait to capture these moments for you.
What to Expect from a Fresh 48 Session
A fresh 48 session is for new families who want the first few hours of their newborns life captured without having the entire labour or birth documented. Like the name suggests, these sessions are held within the first 24 – 48 hours of your baby’s life. The session is candid and perfect for remembering your baby’s first day forever. Your baby is changing so fast – hour to hour, day to day. Fresh 48 sessions document all the firsts. Shots include your little one’s first yawns and cute little newborn feet and fingers. Dad’s first nappy change, mum breastfeeding, the first bath, meeting siblings and family members – all the goodness. I can capture you going home from hospital or simply gazing at each other!
What to Expect from Posed Newborn Sessions
I adore brand new babies – their smell, fuzzy hair, soft skin, teeny tiny fingers and toes. So naturally I love newborn photography! This beautiful stage is fleeting and an important time to capture. My posed newborn sessions involve patiently waiting for baby to fall asleep. We then gently pose them on a soft beanbag to look like a little doll. I also work with some worn, rustic props to create timeless imagery. Typically I include a mixture of lifestyle and womb like posing to make sure that no details are missed. All full sessions include parent shots, sibling shots if there are any and of course baby portraiture.
These sweet images will melt hearts for years to come but they are not easy to get. A posed session may take from 2 up to 4 hours (entirely depending on your baby). To keep your baby happy we must shoot in a heated room – around 28 degrees! Your baby has been living in a 37 degree womb so they actually find warmth very comforting at this young age. The session length allows plenty of time for feeds, settling, nappy changes and importantly lots of comforting hugs.
I have found the first two weeks after birth to be the best time for these photos. After this your little one starts to wake up and explore the world around them. It becomes a little more difficult to get them into that beautiful relaxed sleepy state. However, it is never too late to capture your little one – you just need to adjust expectations accordingly to the age of the baby. Older babies will not fold into womb like poses. So pictures of older babies involve more awake, wrapped and parent holding images.
I start shooting newborn sessions at 10am as I find babies and siblings are most relaxed then. And a big feed just before we start helps. Once they have a full belly and are kept warm, we should start to see them relax.
As I have mentioned, I strongly encourage photographs of your newborn with older siblings and as a family. These images are most parents favourites. Just remember we need two adults present if you have siblings coming to the shoot so they can keep them occupied when they are not being photographed. I generally do all sibling and family shots straight away so that your older children are then free. I actually strongly recommend you have a plan for either dad or another carer to take siblings from my studio after they have been photographed. The session can feel like forever to a little one who most likely is also sensitive to the newest addition and having to share parental attention.
What to Expect from Lifestyle Newborn Sessions
For those with a fussy baby or for couples wanting more candid family images, a lifestyle session might just be the perfect thing. Lifestyle sessions are photoshoots that capture your new bundle of joy in natural poses and in a natural setting. Popular choices for lifestyle images include baby held in daddy’s arms. Mum, dad and baby together. Photos with the family pet and/or siblings and larger group shots. My lifestyle images are taken with natural light, generally in a number of rooms around your house with lots of light flooding through the windows.
A lifestyle session is casual, relaxed and quick – taking no more than 2 hours. I truly love these sessions as much as the posed newborn sessions. Why do they hold a special place in my heart? Because your home is where you create and collect memories that will last a lifetime. It is a place that holds your families real life chaos, milestones and love. So why not have newborn memories documented where it means the most! I focus heavily on the connection between subjects and all the details that make this time and your little one so precious.
I’ll work with you and your baby’s schedule to book a time that works for everyone. Lifestyle sessions can be taken with babies of any age. If you want the “studio look” with newborns posed in props you should book the posed newborn session in my studio as I do not bring props along to in home sessions.
A few Points to Consider Regarding Older Siblings
In my experience this can be a difficult time for siblings. Specifically toddlers or children under the age of 3-4. Welcoming a new sibling into the family is a big deal for them. They have probably just had time away from mum while she was in hospital and now have to share her attention with the baby. Luckily I have found most siblings do adore their new baby but they are often keen to be seen as their own person (especially to a new person like me). They are not always interested in “playing” with baby at the session. It’s important to keep these things in mind when approaching the session.
Firstly, it may seem logical to bring clothing for siblings and dress them at the session. But I have too often seen a toddler put their foot down which snowballs into a melt down. I would suggest dressing them at home after they have eaten and just before jumping into the car. I would rather remove a smudge on a shirt in photoshop than have a sibling in a tearful tantrum.
Secondly it is really important that parents remain calm, keeping it casual as children pick up on our anxiety and tension. Siblings not wanting to co-operate is totally normal. I will work with what happens on the day, but we have to respect them as little people and not push them too far. I am a big fan of bribery in these situations (ha ha)! But be careful to use it at the right time because once it’s out it can be hard to put away and most likely won’t work a second time.
Most importantly I will never force siblings to hold their new baby or pose them in a way that is dangerous. I will ensure that you and they are 100% confidant. As much as I really really want the beautiful looking at the camera shots for parents I will not put anyone at risk to achieve this. Some siblings are very co-operative and this is easy, others not so much. We are all different and this is quite normal. I almost always manage to capture some moments and precious memories so please don’t “stress” about this at all.
What to Wear
Wear cool and comfortable clothing, as the studio will be nice and warm to keep baby happy. Delicate neutral, pastel tones set the perfect scene for your newest family member. Think pale greys and blues, or the softest shades of pink and blush. White always looks clean and crisp. Skin to skin contact also creates beautiful images. It is a good idea to bring a change of clothes in case of any accidents.
Dads – I ask you to bring a tight fitting neutral t-shirt to wear with a pair of jeans or pants. Avoid any logos or strong colours.
Mums – I recommend a simple top keeping the colour neutral and design simple, delicate textures suit the pastel tones well in my opinion. I aim to photograph using flattering angles and light to bring out the natural beauty in your family so please don’t be self conscious of your baby weight.
Siblings – Including older siblings in your newborn’s portraits is the perfect way to document this new relationship. For sisters, please bring along a snug fitting top in a neutral colour or a dress. I ask that the girls hair be as natural as possible without too many distractions. For brothers, a simple pair of shorts/jeans and either shirtless or a snug t-shirt with no logos works well.
Newborn – For posed newborn sessions your baby requires no “wardrobe styling” as I will provide all wraps, bonnets and headbands required. For in home sessions I recommend simple clothing for baby please. Oce again, neutral pastel onesies are ideal, we don’t want anything that will date too quickly style wise or has distracting pictures that detract from baby.
What to Bring
If you are comfortable using dummies for your newborn, they are a great help in settling your baby. Even if you aren’t planning to use a dummy, think about bringing one. The short amount of time we will be using one should not effect any habit-forming behaviours for your baby. My goal is to help your baby remain happy and calm during their session.
Whether you are nursing or bottle feeding, having extra bottles and/or milk is suggested. Some babies tend to eat more than usual during their photos sessions. It’s best to be prepared! And importantly bring snacks and water for yourselves as well – breast feeding mums can be very hungry and thirsty, as well as the bored siblings. With the extra feeds during the session you will need to bring extra nappies.
If you have an heirloom nursery item you would like photographed please feel free to bring it along – a special toy, rattle, knitted blanket … these are all things that help create the story of your baby’s first few days of life.
Perth Newborn Photography