When I prep for a newborn session, I always have a Plan A, Plan B and Plan C. Its a 50/50 chance of me using Plan A or B. Plan C is for those babies who either don’t want to sleep at all or are Baby McCranky Pants that day lol!
2 weeks out from my client’s due date, I have an automated email that gets sent to them that holds a newborn questionnaire. (If you aren’t using automated emails for *some* client communication, I highly recommend Dubsado! You can use my affiliate link HERE!) In that questionnaire, I ask them important questions like, participating family members ages and names, what colors they love, etc. I also ask what they DON’T like. This will help save me a ton of time picking colors that they won’t end up loving and I won’t spend 15 minutes trying to get baby into Froggy pose if they aren’t fond of that pose either. I also ask them if they’re planning on bringing props of their own. I provide absolutely everything necessary for the perfect newborn session, but sometimes parents are gifted items that they wish to be photographed. This is fine as long as it as kept at a minimum because depending on the prop, it may disrupt my essential workflow which is critical for getting an entire gallery. If it’s an outfit they’re planning on bringing, I ask that they be sure it fits their baby properly. We all know a 0-6 month onesie/outfit doesn’t fit a newborn so well, haha!
The day of their session has arrived! I get to the studio an hour prior to their session. I make sure the studio is nice and tidy, the baby’s name is written on my chalkboard to welcome them, the fridge is stocked and my snack basket is replenished. I set the temp to 80 degrees, pull all their color choices out, pick out coordinating hats and headbands, if applicable. By knowing their preferences beforehand, it’s easy for me to set up props and the beanbag. I also get set up for the sibling shot if they have one. I already know the sibling ages so depending on that, I have 3 ways of doing a sibling shot. For this session, I knew big brother was still really young so having him lay and hold his 2-day old sister was NOT happening. I prepped a crate for Brielle to lay in. I’ll have to write another blog on sibling photos! I have everything ready to go so I don’t have to waste precious time setting up a prop while the baby is there sleeping. When the baby is sleeping that’s when its time to roll! Every minute counts while the baby is out.
Plan A is everything I have set out. Plan B is a variation of Plan A. For example; I get a bucket setup for baby to be forward-facing in it or a bed setup where the baby is laying on their tummy on it. Baby comes in, I know from the start whether the baby is a Plan A babe or a Plan B lol. If they’re a Plan B, I just switch the way I will be using the prop. So I will ditch the forward-facing idea and just wrap them up and place them face up in the bucket. If they’re a Plan C baby, I make sure I use a lot of backdrop colors and get really creative in my wrapping lol.
After I’m all set up, I enjoy a few minutes of quiet in a nice warm, inviting studio. I am usually looking at other newborn photographers’ work to gain some inspiration! Scroll down to see my favorites from Brielle’s session! Be sure to peep those macro shots at the end!