Newborn photo shoots: 5 lessons learned

Mom and dad with newborn

Mom and dad with newborn

As a gift for my son’s grandparents, I recently organized a photo shoot with a professional newborn photographer. Though I’m thoroughly pleased with the results, there are a few things I wish I had thought of beforehand to make it go more smoothly.

We had only an hour to squeeze in newborn photos, plus shots of both sons with each grandparent and parent. Our location was limited, as we were on a tight timeline to get the photos done before the grandparents departed, so we had to meet our photographer where she was just wrapping up another shoot. We had to do it outdoors.

Lesson #1: Don’t try to do your newborn photos outdoors

It was cold, and we watched nervously as the photographer arranged our barely covered baby amongst all her props. We had wanted to do some naked shots, too, but we gave up when we saw he was shivering. I really don’t know what I was thinking. (Chalk my unrealistic expectations up to sleep deprivation, and next time talk it over with someone first… Wait, there will be no next time. Last baby for us!)

At least I had two cute baby hats from Beanie Designs on hand! Big brother is seen here in the Navy,

Brothers

Brothers - little brother in his Two Poms Hat from Beanie Designs

Olive & Brown Visor and little brother is wearing his Two Poms Hat, which I also reviewed recently.

Lesson #2: Speaking of blankets, bring lots

We had all the baby’s clothes off, since we had wanted to do some shots in the buff. We didn’t end up doing those, but in the meantime, he peed on all his blankets. We ended up doing all the subsequent photos with him wrapped in my nursing shawl. Thankfully you can’t tell

it’s not a nice blanket, and it matched our color scheme!

Lesson #3: Choose a flattering color scheme

If you have everyone dressed in a similar color scheme, it’ll give a nice pop to your photos. We had done some before with us in white and navy, and while they looked good, my red hair was probably the thing that stood out the most. This time we used aqua and brown and throughout the photos it created a really nice effect. We didn’t match exactly, but the color theme was there in some form for each person.

Big brother in his striped visor hat

Big brother in his striped visor hat and Automoblox car

Lesson #4: Feed your baby in advance

I fed him and then drove to the location, so he was well settled when we arrived. If you end up having to feed him at your photo shoot, you’re likely to run overtime. Plus you’ll possibly be dealing with spit up and more diaper changes than if you’d taken care of it beforehand.

Lesson #5: Talk to your photographer in depth

We had corresponded with our photographer only via email. She showed up with some great props and blankets of her own. We had to try to figure out what shots to do after arriving and surveying what she’d brought. I’m not sure they fit our taste, though they definitely made for cute effects. It would have been much smoother if I’d taken the time to call her.

I’m sure there are plenty of other things to keep in mind. Did you do photos with your newborn? How’d it go? Any advice to share?

Mom and newborn

Mom and newborn - my favorite photo from the shoot

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Comments (4)

  1. Jessica Beard

    When I got my son’s 3 month pictures done, I was bit surprised at how well the photographer did with him. He had many cute props (even though I brought a lot with me) and was able to get my sleepy newborn to smile. One picture he wanted my son to be propped up in a wicker rocking chair (little kids one). I had to say no to this, because I could imagine the little pokey things poking at my son’s head which would therefore make him cry. All in all it was a great first photo shoot (it was inside).

  2. Yacine

    very sweet family photos Lisa. Big brother really look like his a caring brother.

    • Lisa

      Hi Yacine, yes, Rohan dotes on his little brother. He just helped us give him a bath, washing his feet and dumping water over them! But he’s been getting a lot of attention from the grandparents, too, so we’ll see how he does when it’s just mommy and the two boys at home during the day!

  3. Lisa

    I think the age is also really important. We did photos when our son was 2 months old and he wasn’t quite smiling consistently yet (and the big camera kind of scared him) but he also wasn’t sleeping. We have some cute photos of his “concerned old man” face but we probably should have done them either earlier or later.

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