Preparing For Your Newborn Session
with Kelly Morin Photography
Newborn | Bringing home baby, for the very first time
As real as it gets. Your life with your latest addition. Newborn sessions focus on documentary images of both the family and baby alone. Either in my open studio or throughout your home, you’ll be able to recall all the tiny details that will be gone too soon, and that you’ll forget before you know it
Before Your Session
One of the big questions I get asked, is since babies arrival date can vary, when do we schedule your session? Once you have signed your contract and paid your session fee, you are offcially on my calendar! I book only so many sessions per month, and since due dates can vary, I ask that you send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) before you leave the hospital to let me know the baby has arrived! Letting me know in the first 48 hours is preferred so that I can give you my availability for the following two to three weeks.
Since things don’t always go as planned, I do ask that you keep me in the loop if you are planning to have a c-section or if your doctor decides to schedule you for an induction we can go ahead and schedule your session at that time before babies arrival.
If things don’t go as well as you had hoped during your delivery or recovery, please don’t hesitate to contact me about changing your session date. I do prefer to hold sessions during the first 2-3 weeks after baby is born, but we do have some wiggle room since sessions are more lifestyle in nature with more natural documentary style posing. While I don’t want you to miss the newborn window, I have photographed little ones in the home as early as a few days old, and as late as six weeks old.
Please know that newborn sessions take place on weekdays only during the morning or afternoon. Weekend sessions are not available for your newborn session. Evening sessions are only available for summer/fall outdoor newborn sessions and must be booked in advance. Please keep this in mind when scheduling your newborn session, so if we need to hold your session before your spouse returns to work, we can do so.
Both in-home and studio newborn sessions last between 1 and 2 hours.
Day of session prep | In-Home sessions
I have photographed families inside homes only a few weeks after they have moved in (and they still aren’t unpacked!) as well as a wide variety of other random scenarios and situations! Please, do not over stress yourself on the appearance of your home! Do your best to eliminate any clutter or distracting objects you don’t want to be photographed, and leave the creativity to me. Rooms I typically utilize are the parent's bedroom, living room, and nursery. However, wherever you have large windows with lots of light or unique design elements, may get used!
I do ask that you turn your heat up (or the air conditioning down, if it’s summer) the day of your session. Our primary concern is keeping baby calm and happy for photos, and a baby who is cold is more likely to wake up and fuss. While your baby does not need to be sleeping during every picture, I do prefer they don’t cry, and I am sure you will as well.
I also ask that you feed the baby as much as possible before I arrive. A hungry baby will not photograph well! Whether you are nursing or bottle feeding, please try and give the baby a full tummy and make sure they are clean, burped and ready right before my arrival time.
When I do arrive, I try and take a quick run through of your home and choose the best spots for photos. At that time I will make a game plan and share it with you as to what order we will photograph what and where. Because babies are unpredictable, I try and be as flexible as possible. Please allow up to two hours for your session.
Try to keep baby awake a little more than normal in the hours before your session. If you let baby sleep too much before your session, they likely won’t be as sleepy during the session. Regardless, we will take time for you to feed baby when necessary. And I’m more than happy to help rock baby back to sleep when needed.
Day of session prep | studio sessions
Studio Location: 1330 Quincy Ave, Suite 300, Minneapolis, MN
We are located on the third floor of the Architectural Antiques Building. There is free parking available in front of the building.
Please text me when you arrive and I will meet you at the front door and help you carry things up. There isn’t an elevator available but I’ll help you bring everything upstairs.
I also ask that you feed the baby as much as possible before leaving home. A hungry baby will not photograph well! Whether you are nursing or bottle feeding, please try and give the baby a full tummy and make sure they are clean, burped and dressed in clothing that can be unsnapped and not pulled over their heads. Babies often get fussy when having clothing pulled over their heads. I also love incorporating plain white or your favorite onesie so feel free to have baby dressed in that and we can start with those images.
Try to keep baby awake a little more than normal before your session. If you let baby sleep too much before your session, they likely won’t be as sleepy during the session. You can let baby fall to sleep on the drive over and hopefully they will continue to sleep once you arrive at the studio so we can get started right away. Regardless, we will take time for you to feed baby when necessary. And I love to hold and rock babies back to sleep as well.
Please bring an extra bottle and the hospital issued pacifier in the event baby needs some extra soothing.
Siblings at a newborn session
I typically try and start with siblings and the entire family (if there are siblings!) because I know how short attention spans can be. If I can get family photos and sibling photos finished in the first 30 minutes, the kids are free to go and roam and play! Then, if we need or want them we can always add them back in to participate here and there. Overall though, I try and be flexible and open minded with siblings.
My suggestion for parents is to stay calm and try and relax. The more stressed the parents are, the more stressed baby and any other children will be. If kids are fussy and uncooperative, I do ask that you try and refrain from disciplining them during the session to avoid meltdowns. If an older brother or sister is still uninterested in the latest addition, I suggest trying not to force them. Forcing kids usually only backfires. Instead, I try and leave them be and let them come in and out of the session as they want, and take breaks to play or wander o at home. A baby is a massive change and adjustment for everyone in your house, and siblings are no exception! I am personally not against bribery if you aren’t, but please, unless you want your iPhone or iPad in your photos, do not resort to shows on tablets or devices, as kids will want to hold them and then most likely, won’t give them up before I leave.
What should we wear?
For newborn sessions though, a good rule of thumb is to keep things simple, classic and neutral! We want the main focus to be on baby, and your family as a whole. I am sure you have read me say this somewhere already, but try and avoid, graphics, logos, text and brightly colored clothes! Neutral and classic is my go to for newborn portraits.
Who can be in the photos?
Newborn sessions are for immediate family only. So baby, parents and any siblings are all welcome. Please let me know if you’re planning on having any grandparents present. There is no additional cost or charge for family photos during an a newborn session.
Do you use props/backdrops?
The short answer here is, no. My newborn sessions are really supposed to be more relaxed, documentary and capture your family just as you are. With that being said, I do take photos of baby alone in their crib or on your bed. Studio sessions include images of just baby on a simple white backdrop or on the studio bed. I do kindly ask that you try and remember that these sessions are supposed to be relaxed, and refrain from getting your own props for me to use.
Newborn Session checklist
Notify photographer of babies arrival within 48 hours to schedule appointment
Turn the heat up in your home a few hours before photo time!
Feed baby as much as possible right before the session
Pump and have a bottle on hand if possible (just in case!)