Gorgeous baby photos and what to expect
Delivering to you gorgeous baby photos is my job...oh, and what a lovely job it is!
Many parents arrive with their gorgeous newborn and I can see and feel the nervous feelings starting to arise when baby doesn't want to sleep. All I want to say to you is that this is fine! Getting gorgeous baby photos for you is my job and we will take our time. I allocate two hours to a newborn photo session and generally I will say, regardless of whether baby is awake or asleep - this is enough. So long as baby is happy, I can continue to work. They don't need to be asleep for all of the photoshoot. In fact when baby sleeps the whole way through, most parents are disappointed that baby wasn't awake for some of it. And vice versa. However the photoshoot goes, it will be absolutely perfect I assure you. Each session is unique, just like your baby.
The best advice is really - do not come to the photoshoot expecting baby to sleep through it. I am really careful to not disturb baby but inevitably I will. They may stir and wake and generally they will be extra hungry! So come armed with lots of milk!!
But there are obviously other things we can do to help baby settle more.
When you arrive, bring baby into the studio in their car seat. Ideally I will take them out of the car seat and then if asleep will place them on the bean bag. The reason I ask to do this is because I can usually get them out of the seat without disturbing them. Please do not dress them in something difficult to get off and please do not worry about them ruining their baby grow on the journey. I have spares. Please dress them ready to start straight away. If they are sleeping and wearing something completely inappropriate on arrival, by changing them, we are going to wake them.
Again, if baby is awake - this is fine. But we try to minimise waking them unnecessarily.
When you feed baby, try not to make a big fuss of them, simply feed, burp them and then give them a cuddle. Lots of times parents start engaging in chat and baby then wakes fully. Again, if baby is awake and happy then that is fine but sometimes we just need to do what we can to minimise overloading their senses!
Sometimes, particularly with breastfed babies, Dad is the best person to burp baby. Generally they have no expectation for daddy to fee them and so then tend to settle quicker.
If baby does get upset when they are with me, I do not take over the situation. Lots of photographers will tell you to sit back whilst they get your baby back to sleep. I am firmly against this. They do not want me. They do not know me, they won't recognise my voice or smell or touch. They want and need you. So please be prepared to come down to the bean bag and settle, even just your touch or voice can make a big difference.
If you need to pick baby up, please do so. I try and make the most of all opportunities and so if you are stood up and giving baby a cuddle and reassuring kiss, this makes for beautiful natural images. So do not feel awkward if you see me clicking away! Carry on!
Regardless, your images will be beautiful and will reflect your baby's unique personality.