Newborn Photography: What to Expect


Before The Newborn Photography Session


Having a new human in your home causes enormous changes.  One of the biggest changes is your schedule.  Your schedule is no longer completely controlled by you.  It is now controlled predominantly by your adorable new addition.   Those first few weeks of being a new parent are a blur for most people.  However, it is important for you to understand how much your baby changes in those first few weeks of life.  During that first week or two babies are still extremely sleepy and more cooperative for a photography session. They are more easily posed and less likely to stretch out once they are curled up. In the second week newborns start to wake up a little more and are often hungrier than they had been the week prior.  After 21 days, most babies are more alert and more resistant to posing which causes them to become a bit more challenging to photograph (though it certainly can still be done).  So, even though you are sleep deprived, sore and possibly even a bit overwhelmed it is very important to contact me as soon as possible post-delivery so we can schedule your session in those first two to three weeks.  I always encourage parents to add me to the hospital call/text list so that I am not forgotten and our session can be the most successful newborn photography session it can be.


What To Do: Show up.  Bring me a newborn.  And relax.  117 North 5th Street, Columbia, PA.  Please park on the street and not in the parking lot next to the building. Text me if you are running behind: 717.368.3733.


What To Bring:  Obviously, a baby.  Hopefully a sleepy, milk drunk baby who can be easily undressed, fed one more time and photographed peacefully.  If you baby is not sleepy or not milk drunk, this is NOT a problem.  Just bring me a baby.  Also, please bring a pacifier for your baby even if they have not used one.  I try not to use them often unless a parent has introduced the baby to one already, but they are a very useful tool in soothing a baby who is not feeling comfortable and cooperative.  A pacifier makes a difference.  When using a pacifier it generally takes me less than 2 hours to get through 5 set-ups and the result is a gallery full of peaceful, sleepy baby poses.  A session where a baby just wants to suck and is not permitted a pacifier often takes over 3 hours and I don’t usually get through all 5 set-ups because we spend so much time soothing and feeding an unsettled model.  I do have a fridge full of water in my studio, but feel free to bring yourself a snack.  Sessions can sometimes take up to 3 hours and as a new mom, especially a new nursing mom, you need to keep your energy up.  Take advantage of the time I am spending with your child to refuel.  Also, feel free to bring any special props that you’d like me to use.  I don’t promise that I can always use them, but I certainly do my best.

What To Wear: I prefer to photograph newborns naked, swaddled or wearing outfits I provide.  Clothing tends to distract from the baby and cover up all those adorable tiny new human features we want to capture before they grow bigger.  If mom or dad would like to be included in the session, I suggest wearing solid neutral colored shirts (beige, tan, gray).  Patterned shirts tend to take the focus away from the baby.  I encourage Dad to be shirtless if he is willing.  I also have a supply of gowns that are available for you to wear if you chose.  Please just bring/wear nude panties and bring a nude strapless bra if you own one.  Again, please dress siblings in solid colors (beige, tan, grey) for their part of the session.  Depending on the age of the sibling, removing their shirt can be an option as well.  If you have questions about outfits, PLEASE feel free to contact me prior to the shoot.  That is why I am here.newborn-photography-lancaster-pa

Siblings: If you have older children who will be part of this session I do have an area of small toys and books where they can entertain themselves, but I also do my best to incorporate them into the session at the beginning, just after I get your newborn settled, so that they can either leave with a friend or family member or relax and play without any further expectations.  My studio is not large, so if you are able, I do advise that you bring along another adult who can take the sibling(s) home or entertain them quietly while I work with your baby.

During Your Newborn Photography Session


Temperature: The temperature of my studio will be very warm (80+ degrees).  We want the baby to feel relaxed and comfortable and by increasing the temperatures we will be mimicking the warmth of the place where they spend the last 9 months.  Turning up the heat in the room to 80* is still necessary since most of the photographs will be taken with your baby completely undressed or lightly wrapped. Please keep this in mind when dressing yourself for the session.  Feel free to bring your make-up bag or flat iron in case you need to do some touch-ups after sitting in the humidity throughout your session.

Studio Lighting: I use studio lighting for all studio sessions so I can produce higher quality images for you.


Noise: In order to more closely replicate the environment your baby enjoyed while in your belly, I use white noise when necessary.  Though the sound of a vacuum running or a hairdryer blowing loudly may be annoying to us as adults it is an important part of keeping some babies calm during your newborn photography session

The Boss – As a newborn photographer I have learned that there is only one person who dictates how each session will go and it is NOT me.  Your baby will call the shots.  We will be taking feeding breaks and I will be spending a good bit of time holding the baby in position until he/she relaxes.  It is important to know that your baby will cry.  It happens almost every time.  It’s ok.  I am a world-class baby shusher.  I will also wear your child’s DNA at some point.  That’s ok as well.  My clothes and blankets are all washable and get cleaned between every single session so it is really fine if they soil my props.  I promise.

Safety First: It is important for you to know that there is the utmost importance placed on the safety of your baby. Your baby’s safety is my top priority.  I will never force your child into a position that is not completely safe.  A word of advice, I have learned through my years in newborn photography that sometimes they fuss a little when transitioning from one pose to another.  You have my word that it will never be because of pain or discomfort. As I said above, all linens used will be washed after every single shoot. All props will be wiped down using natural cleansing products.  I will not photograph your baby if I am sick.  I will contact you to reschedule as soon as possible.


After The Newborn Photography Session

Once the session is finished, you can expect some previews throughout the days following your session via Facebook and/or Instagram unless you have indicated you prefer I not share your images on social media in which case I will reserve all image viewing for you only after your gallery is ready.  Your personal online gallery will usually be emailed to you within approximately 3 weeks of your session.  Instructions regarding how to proceed after you receive your gallery will be included in your email.


FamilyTales Photography specializes in newborn photography and family photography for Lancaster, PA and York, PA as well as surrounding areas