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Making Memories - Tips for planning the perfect newborn baby portrait session

Updated: Sep 8, 2023

As seen in Pregnancy Bump & Baby Magazine - Issue 15

Recently Pregnancy Bump & Baby Magazine asked me for some tips to help parents get the best photos from their newborn baby photoshoot. The magazine also printed another of my images alongside an article on building a bond with your new baby. Many thanks to my tiny clients Rafferty and Zoe who starred in the images published!

Pregnancy Bump & Baby Magazine has loads of useful information for pregnant mama's and new parents and was the winner of the 2022 'Best Mother-to-be Platform" at the Lux Parent & Baby awards. You can check it out online or in your local bookstore.

Tips for planning the perfect newborn baby portrait session

#1. Book early in your second trimester to ensure you get your first choice of photographer. Many photographers are fully booked 4-6 months in the future, so get in as soon as you can to avoid disappointment. Most newborn sessions take place in the first couple of weeks after birth to capture those early days when your baby is sleepy and still curly from being in the womb. You will be amazed how fast they change - even in the first month!

# 2. Find your perfect style. Choose a photographer whose work aligns to the “look and feel” you want for your images. Most photographers have developed a personal style with consistent colour tones and poses so when you look at their portfolio online you will get a good idea of what to expect. Make sure you check their client reviews. If you have more time, baby expos are a great place to meet photographers and see their work in person.

#3. Safety first. When choosing your photographer check what training and safety qualifications they have. Being a great photographer is not enough when working with newborns - they also need to understand the physiology of babies bodies to know how to pose them safely and comfortably. Not all images you see online are suitable to be done by amateur photographers. Be aware that some images require a lot of professional tricks and techniques to be done safely. Photographers who are accredited with APNPI or have completed the NZIPP newborn safety qualification are a good place to start.

#4. Don’t worry that your baby won’t sleep, might cry or generally won’t be the perfect model. We’ve seen it all and have strategies for working with all babies. Some of my favourite images (with lots of personality) have come from unsettled babies who were wide awake for the whole session.

#5. Don’t over-plan your session. It’s great to know what you do and don’t like, and your photographer will want to know what style of images you are drawn too. However, much like your birth plan, consider your ideas as a flexible set of options that can be modified to suit your baby. All babies have their own preferences and may not be comfortable in all positions. Your photographer will understand what works for your baby and adapt accordingly.

#6. Relax and enjoy the moment. Your baby is only this little once, so try to drink in all the new experiences and bank some beautiful memories. We’ve found that babies with relaxed parents, tend to be pretty chilled themselves, resulting in a lovely session all round.


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