There are baby registries to create, baby showers to attend, thank you notes to write, baby items to research, nursery furniture to put together, OB/Gyn appointments, childbirth classes… so much keeps you busy!
Add to that swollen feet, a sore back and baby kicking you in the ribs. Or the bladder.
Your calendar feels too full to make any more decisions!
But you don’t realize how much busier you will be once baby is born.
It’s a different kind of busy – not as much running around, more adjusting to motherhood – and life will still feel crazy even when you’re not pregnant anymore.
And that adjusting to motherhood thing? It’s amazing and wonderful… and utterly exhausting!
Your sleep schedule will be completely thrown off. You’ll be learning how to nurse. You’ll be figuring out how to soothe, swaddle and rock a tiny baby who only wants to be held.
Trust me – especially if this is your first baby – you have so much more time now than you will once your baby is born!
Despite the busyness, here are the two simple things to do for beautiful newborn photos you’ll love for a lifetime.
First, carefully consider what kind of photo session you want
Birth, Fresh 48, traditional, lifestyle… if you’ve done much research on newborn photographers, you’ve probably learned there are more kinds of newborn photography than you ever knew existed!
I’ll briefly touch on the basics of each kind of photography:
If you want someone there to photograph the labor process and baby’s arrival, this is the route to take. Most birth photographers take a very unobtrusive approach.
They’ll photograph the labor process from time to time, but they probably won’t always just sit in the room with you. Once baby is officially on his/her way, you probably won’t even notice them there documenting the big moment.
You can choose to book your own photographer or the hospital will also likely offer to send in a birth photographer or videographer when you check in. The advantage to booking your own photographer beforehand is you’ll have time to review her work and you’ll know exactly who will be there for such an important day.
You’ll also have time to chat with her about must-have photos, any moments you don’t want her photographing, how you feel about off-camera flash and other important preferences.
– The big moment when you meet your baby is caught on camera for you to relive forever!
– Your photographer can document this incredible journey for you in a kind, respectful way that includes you, your husband, nurses, physician, family members, etc.
– You may not really want anyone in the room with you when labor starts to… ahem… get real. How will you feel when you’re in pain and someone is there with a camera? It’s all part of baby’s story, so there is no right or wrong answer.
– Are you ok with someone else being there when you are mostly naked?
If the idea of birth photography turns you off, but you still want baby’s first hours captured, a Fresh 48 session is the perfect compromise.
These sessions are scheduled within the first 48 hours of baby’s life and are held in your hospital room or in your home, if you are having baby there. If you’re delivering at a birth center, it depends on how long they normally keep patients after birth.
Fresh 48 sessions are the best way to capture exactly what brand new parenthood looks like. Most mamas don’t worry too much about hair and makeup. They usually prioritize comfort over glamour – and the result is beautiful!
In fact, I’ve had several mamas stay in the hospital bed for their Fresh 48 photo sessions, especially if they had a c-section that morning. There are so many gorgeous ways to capture new motherhood and that precious baby – getting out of bed isn’t even necessary.
– I come to you! We’ll wait until baby arrives to set a date and time for your session. No stressing over packing baby up and driving to a studio!
– Wardrobe, hair and makeup are as involved as you wish. Whether you want a fully made up look complete with curled hair or a simple relaxed new mama glow, the focus is on the connection between mom, dad and newborn.
– Because most mamas aren’t in the hospital more than 72-ish hours at the most, you need to set up your Fresh 48 session in advance.
You can view a recent Fresh 48 session here and more information about my Fresh 48 sessions here.
Sometimes photographers call these “lifestyle” sessions because they focus on authentic moments, instead of poses and lots of props.
Honestly, I came to prefer these sessions over traditional posed newborn sessions after having both done with my kids.
Some moms love tiny babies curled up in sweet positions, surrounded by props and perfect lighting, set in a studio. No doubt, the traditional posed photos I have of my first daughter are amazing.
What I don’t like is they’re not reflective of how she really looked. The session didn’t capture the way she loved to keep her fists up near her face (even before she was born). I don’t have photos of any of her signature facial expressions from that session.
But the thing I regret the most?
I’m not in any of the photos. I have hundreds of perfectly posed photos of my daughter, but none of me and my husband with her, in our home.
There’s a big difference between traditional and in-home/lifestyle sessions.
Are you looking for authentic moments that focus on the love you have for your new baby? Or, are you looking for those adorably posed shots that showcase poses, props and tiny accessories?
I’ve never met a mama who regretted the convenience and simplicity of an in-home newborn session!
You, hubby and baby stay home, in the place you’re most comfortable, and I come to you.
No rushing to get ready, plus take care of a newborn, in time for your photo session.
No loading up the diaper bag and a fussy baby who didn’t want to nurse that morning.
No driving to an unfamiliar studio when you’re sleep deprived.
Instead, we’ll schedule a session for a day and time that works with baby’s nursing schedule. If you need a few extra minutes to get ready or nurse baby after I arrive, that’s no problem! Not sure what outfit looks best? I can also help style you, too.
These sessions capture the early days and weeks in the places you’re spending all of your time: in baby’s nursery, the living room and your master bedroom.
I always include plenty of mommy & me, daddy & me, family shots and baby only photos. We can use my newborn swaddles and tiny hats, or yours.
If you decide to change outfits to add extra variety to your photo gallery, all you have to do is slip into your room and select another outfit! Or, if baby has a blowout, it’s easy to take a moment to change her and resume the photo session.
Some couples worry there isn’t a suitable place for photos in their home, or that it has to be picture-perfect in every aspect. I’ve photographed in large homes and small apartments, as well as brand new places and older ones.
What I’ve learned is that all we really need is access to natural light for beautiful photos you’ll love. So, as long as you have windows, we have plenty of options!
As far as your home being super clean and magazine-worthy, no worries, mama. I’ll send you a checklist of things to do before I arrive that makes prepping your home quick and easy, too. After all, you just had a baby!
You can view a recent in-home session here and more information about my at-home sessions here.
Second, schedule your session before baby arrives
This is the perfect, least-stressful time to book your newborn photo session – while baby is still tucked inside!
The truth is, once that little bundle is here, the last thing you’ll want to do is check your email waiting to hear from photographers, read through a photo session contract and plan what to wear for your family. The first six weeks or so, you’ll probably be in the “newborn fog” where you won’t always remember what day it is.
So, while pregnancy life feels chaotic and too busy, take this opportunity to find your dream photographer and secure your session date (you can set up your session with me here!). You’ll be so glad you did once you have a baby to cuddle!
One last piece of advice
When you found out you were pregnant, you probably didn’t make an appointment with a podiatrist for your first ultrasound, right?
That sounds crazy!
Instead, you called your OB/Gyn, because that’s who you’re supposed to see when you’re expecting a baby.
When something is really important to us, we seek out a professional who is specifically trained in what we need.
It’s no different for your newborn photos.
You definitely want to select a photographer who specializes in newborn photography.
Newborn photographers are especially skilled in posing mamas in the most flattering ways while paying attention to your comfort post-delivery.
We’re also experienced at working with delicate newborns, which is important for safe posing.
There are tons of photographers who photograph a lot of things – weddings, engagements, high school seniors, birthday parties – and they’re certainly talented!
But this is one of those times when you need someone who has a specific skillset in working with tiny babies and postpartum mamas.
Just think about how much more comfortable you will feel working with someone who has devoted all of their time and passion to photographing tiny babies and exhausted new parents!
I would love to help you celebrate the beauty of motherhood – you can contact me here!