How to Prepare for Your Newborn Session

The most frequently asked question I get as a newborn photographer is, “How do I prepare for my newborn photos?” It’s always a little intimidating to have your picture taken, even if it’s just a photo on an iPhone that is taken by a friend. We want to look nice, and make sure nothing is in our teeth and our hair is behaving. Add in a few kids and it can feel overwhelming quickly. I realize preparing for your newborn photos can be a little overwhelming. Here are some tips that will make the preparation more manageable!

How to prepare for your newborn session

Newborn Photo Outfit Tips

I offer all Brooke Elisabeth clients access to my monthly curated outfit guides that are directly linked to where you can find the outfit. If my clients choose to not go through the monthly outfit guides, or use the included client wardrobe, then I suggest that you don’t try to match. Try to pick outfits and accessories that coordinate instead.

Most patterns are okay, however, graphics are not favorable for portraits. If you’re wearing a pattern make sure it’s not overwhelming and distracting. Tiny horizontal strips are not recommended.

Empty your pockets! Literally. You don’t want to have key chains or phones in your pockets for your photos.

Most clients choose to put baby in a simple onesie or swaddle (avoid cliche outfits, costumes, and props)

Wear nude Spanx and undergarments. If we are meeting on location arrive in clothing that is easy to change in and out of in case you are changing in cars or public bathrooms.

On your nails, a pale shade of pink or neutral french manicure looks best! Do not get a spray tan or apply fake tanner – when one person is way tanner than the other it makes getting accurate skin tones very hard.

Dads look best in chinos that are either khaki, light gray, charcoal gray or navy with a neutral button down or henley style shirt.

Preparing Children for your Newborn Photo Session

Make sure your children take a nap if they are of napping age, or plan the session around their nap schedule and when they are usually happiest. For most, this is mornings or mid-afternoon!

Feed babies right before the session (I typically build in plenty of time to nurse/feed as baby needs during the session.

Simple foreshadowing goes a long way, so talk up how much fun we are going to have and how excited your photographer is to meet them.

Be ready to roll with whatever happens. Small children are very sensitive to our energy; if they sense frustration, things can go south quickly. If we all stay upbeat and excited, we’re more likely to have happy kids.

General Tips for Newborn Photos

Studio newborn photos

If you opt for an in-home session, remove clutter on tables, clear off countertops and nightstands and tuck distractions into closets.

Keep your home nice and warm so the baby doesn’t get cold! At the studio, we may use a space heater at times.

Look for moments to connect! I want you to be intentionally affectionate! Hold hands, kiss foreheads nuzzle together, give Eskimo kisses, and snuggle up close!

Photo Day Checklist

  • Nude spanx and undergarments
  • Your child’s favorite blanket / paci / toy
  • Snacks / rewards that won’t turn mouths funny colors or melt on their clothing. Puffs or smalll white marshmallows, cheerios work well
  • Touch up makeup
  • Comfy shoes to walk to location if applicable
  • Change of children’s clothes in case of an accident

To see a more in-depth post about what I recommend wearing for newborn photos, click here!

I hope this post gives you an insight on how to prepare for your newborn photos!

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I'm Brooke.

hello, there!

You will never regret taking the time to find the perfect photographer to capture all the details of your family in a way that feels like a true representation of who you are. Photos are, after all, the only thing you have to remember your moments by. As for me, I’m a believer that moments big and small are worth photographing, from your maternity moments and baby’s first year to those just-because moments.

captured with LOVE.

Incomparable photos,

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Natural light photo studio and Family photography

Minneapolis, minnesota