Newborn Sessions – Everything You Need to Know

Newborn Photography

It happens with so many things in life, we have an idea, it seems simple but when we look into it, the decision you are going to have to make start to unfold and it feels complicated, so we shelve it for later when we have ‘more time’. That’s the thing though, there is no MORE time, time is time, it will pass as time does (think background noise of clocks ticking).

Newborn photography is a bit like that and having worked with hundreds of newborns and their sleep deprived parents over the last decade, I’ve answered a whole heap of questions as you can imagine.  Most parents start out seeing some cute baby pictures and think “We should get some done!”, so they start Googling ‘baby photo shoot’ and after five minutes they’re like “WAIT, so do we have to book now or later?”, “Do we want the photos done at home or in a studio?”, “What age should my baby be for a newborn session?”, “What should I wear?”. The more you look, the more questions bubble to the surface.

My role in life, as it turns out, is to provide super-cute photos of newborns for their parents while giving everyone the very best and most relaxed experience possible. Unless photoshoots with newborns are something you regularly attend (Ahem), you’re likely to be a little anxious because as a new parent, we are venturing into: The Unknown.

Understandably, we want those events to go smoothly but have all heard the quote ‘Never work with children or animals”, so we think the worst will, inevitably, happen to us. By that I mean, parents worry that their gorgeous little baby will pee all over the photographers blankets (they all do that), their brand new perfect tiny human will have a huge meltdown and need to guzzle All.The.Milk mid session (they all do that) or their toddler will refuse to hold their new baby brother/sister

“Come on, hold baby Ellie”. 
“No”
“Don’t you love your baby Ellie?”
“No”…

They
All
Do
That

So let’s go right ahead (she said after waffling on for 340 words) and address the questions I hear everyday from parents before booking a session. If you’re bursting to ask something, pop it in the comments box below r send me an email and I’ll be straight on it!

What is the best age for a newborn session?

After a decade of photographing new babies of all ages, experience has taught me that we will achieve the images I love to create for clients far easier when your baby is around one week old.  If dreamy, sleepy photos are what you want then that’s the ideal. After that, I find that babies (generally speaking here) may be less likely to sleep soundly enough.  Having said that, having a baby is no small event on you physically and not everyone is back on their feet and ready to be photographed within a few days.  I do my Newborn sessions up to three weeks old, after that we move onto Baby sessions during which your baby may (or may not) have a snooze but we’ll get some great photos for you regardless.

When do we need to book our newborn session?

The earlier the better!  I am well aware that the majority of births are not predictable and that due date is rarely the birth date but that’s ok, my business is geared around that.  As I can only take on a certain number of newborn sessions per month, by booking, we pencil a session in about a week from your due date which reserves your session around that time so it’s no problem if we have to move it a few days.  Booking in advance also gives us time to talk about some things that will help you be well prepared for your session even before your baby arrives.

Where will the session take place?

As I mentioned above, my super power is making sure you have the best experience possible and not everyone wants to have to tidy their home for a photoshoot with a newborn in tow! So that I can provide a warm, comfortable environment for you and you baby (not to mention the gooey chocolatey biscuits) so that you can simply arrive and be looked after, I have a studio in Surrey.  We’re not talking white backgrounds here (hello 1998), I have an ever changing lifestyle set up in the studio with a carefully curated collection of vintage finds and sumptuous bedding to create a cosy, homely vibe for your images while keeping your baby as the star of the show. Alternatively, if you’re passionate about having your session at home, I can do that too.

What will happen during my newborn session?

Making sure you’re well prepared for your session is the key to it’s success and why I have developed my very own system to ensure the smooth running of things.  The images you will have seen on this website or my social media are variations of similar techniques I use in every session.  We’ll move through various positions making sure we capture your baby and the rest of the family in a variety of combinations, stopping whenever we need to for you to feed, cuddle or change your baby. While your baby is fast asleep, I’ll gently move them while they lie safely on a huge bed to capture the tiny details. This is a good time for you to put your feet up, have a cup of tea and a break while I work.  You will also have the opportunity to browse all the gorgeous products available to display your photos when they’re ready, from framed prints and albums to vintage style keepsake boxes.

How long is a newborn session?

I allow two hours of shooting for capturing a perfect gallery of images, you should allow another half an hour if you’d like to try on some pieces from the client wardrobe and perhaps a bit longer to give your baby a good feed before you head home. For sessions in your own home, I’ll be there no more than the two hours shooting time.

What should I wear?

By the time you’ve had your baby I expect you’re pretty fed up of your maternity clothes but perhaps not quite back into your pre-pregnancy wardrobe.  In the studio I have an ever growing collection of dresses, skirts and tops that photograph well and are chosen to flatter post pregnancy shapes.  You are welcome to pop in prior to your session and browse or just choose some options on the day. Alternatively we can chat about things that work well and I will guide you in the session planning stage with some ideas and inspiration.

When will my photos be ready?

Within two weeks your photos will be ready to view online in a private gallery and make your purchases. Some clients prefer to schedule some time back in the studio to view the images and discuss the options whilst going through the images (with a relaxing glass of wine-remember wine?) so the choosing and ordering gets done in one go.  The choice is yours and whatever suits you.

I’d love an album of my newborn photos, how does it work?

I’ll design your album for you using images from your session that I feel work best together and tell the story of your family. You will then have the opportunity to see the design as it will look printed in the album and make any changes or image swaps.  You choose the album cover and the text for the front cover and it will be with posted out to you in four weeks.

Can you do a maternity session as well?

Of course!  I love meeting mum’s before their baby arrives, it feels so complete to capture them both before and after the birth.  Maternity sessions can be in the studio entirely, we can use the outdoor studio (private land next door) or we can choose another location altogether. They are best done at around 30 weeks and are a little shorter than newborn sessions at 90 minutes.

1 Comment

  1. Becky

    Hi there,

    Last year you did a shoot for my friend Jen marshall, with her little baby Zac. I loved the photos and was wondering if you have availability for a new baby shoot in the next few weeks.

    Today is the due date, so appreciate I have left this very late to contact you.

    Reply

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Emma’s Story

Emma’s Story

The arrival of any new baby is special but Emma's case, seeing her heart filled with such love and wonderment was something else.

feel something

I am all about emotive maternity, newborn and family photography sessions for those who want photographs that make them feel something. I work with clients throughout Surrey and London to give them the images they dream of and train photographers, helping them along in their creative journey.

@jojocooperphotography