You've done it!  You have brought the little life you created into this world! Let the picture taking begin! From now on you will be capturing pictures of absolutely everything they do.  To kick start that tradition, you have chosen to get your baby's first images done by a professional photographer. Now, we need to get you prepared and help you with what you should expect.  
Once you have booked, you will need to start planning for your session.  Here are several tips for a successful newborn session.
  1. Book your session in advance at least several months (around 20-25 weeks of pregnancy) to ensure that I have availability. Usually, my parents book their newborn session at the same time the maternity session is booked (getting the bundle discount) or shortly after. Booking ahead of time will give you priority over anyone who books last minute and guarantees your session. I have had to turn last minute parents away on occasion, but I will certainly try to get everyone in.
  2. Newborns have been in your womb for nine months, but they are ready to stretch out those little arms and legs soon after. To get the best images, I will schedule your infant session for 5-14 days after your due date. This date will be tentative until your beautiful new addition has arrived. As soon as the baby comes home from the hospital, please email me at You can also call me at 803.530.9767 so I can confirm your date. A good rule of thumb is to put me on your call list for the day you come home from the hospital. I will schedule newborn sessions up to 14 days. Keep in mind that the longer your wait on the session, the more awake your little one will be. This can limit the kind of poses you will receive.
  3. ALL newborn sessions are done at 10am on weekdays. I know it is hard to get out of the door with a new one in tow (probably the first time) so if you are a little late, do not stress or worry about it. I'm OK with that! Just get to the studio as close to your appointment time as possible, without rushing or stressing. Having mom, dad or baby feeling tension shows in images and we do not want that. However, if you will be late, please notify me as soon as possible to ensure that this will not interfere with other sessions booked on the same day.
  4. Newborn sessions last approximately 2-3 hours, but the baby is in charge! I will stop as often as necessary to allow you to feed, change or cuddle your little one. I only book one newborn per day, so don't worry about me if the session is lasting a bit longer.  The goal is to get beautiful images, and I will take my time to do it. It is best if you do not plan anything else on this day.  It can be exhausting for both baby and mommy. Someone other than mommy should drive on this day.
  5. Immediate family members, your spouse/partner and siblings to be included are more than welcome, however, please do not bring friends, extended family or grandparents unless previously agreed or if they are needed to take a sibling elsewhere after their part of the session. Be aware that the real focus is on your newborn so only a few images with others will be in the final results. If siblings are included, I recommend that we focus on these images first and then have someone leave the studio for a fun little play date while we finish the rest of your session.
  6. Posed sessions work best for newborns as they are still moldable into different fetal positions. It will take a few moments between set ups to calm and pose your little one, so do not worry if it seems your baby is not cooperating. Truly, they usually are perfect models at this age. I can not guarantee a certain number or type of poses. I do rely on my best judgment and experience in determining whether your wee one will be able to sustain a certain pose.
  7. If possible, hold off on feeding the baby for two hours before the session and keep the baby as awake as possible. Upon arrival at the studio, you will relax and feed your newborn. The goal is to get them full, sleepy and happy.  Pack your bag the night before! Be prepared with 1-2 extra bottles, diapers, wipes, and pacifiers - please do not forget the pacifiers as they are important to help your little one relax. During a session is not the time to be on a rigid schedule. We will feed as necessary to calm your little one. This is a special day and event so you will need to be flexible so I can capture your images.
  8. Remove any elastic clothing, bracelets or socks that may leave elastic marks at least one hour prior to your session so skin will be naturally smooth.  I recommend a button or zip up sleeper to reduce marks on your baby's skin.  Baby should not wear anything that pulls over the head to the session. Applying a non-greasy lotion before the session reduces the appearance of uneven dry spots or other skin problems.
  9. I have most of the items that you will need for your newborn session, but PLEASE bring things that are special to you. Baby blankets, clothing, hats, etc. Whatever it may be, I will do my best to incorporate into your session. Most of the time, the baby will be nude.  Most clothing does not fit properly, so I use blankets, wraps, and other items which will allow the focus to be on the baby.
  10. It will be very warm in my studio.  Since we have a new little one to keep warm, I have extra blankets and a heater to help keep those baby fingers and toes warm.  Be prepared to step into the reception area or just take a break if necessary.
  11. Please do not wear perfume, makeup or jewelry to newborn sessions due to the delicate nature of their skin and unknown sensitivities or allergies. I will also be free of these.
  12. Bring an extra set of clothes for baby, mommy, and daddy.  Accidents do happen, and we don't want you having to drive home "accident" covered.
  13. Mom and Dad should be prepared to be in the images, as well.  For mom, either loose and flowing white, black or creme colored shirts, dresses or maxis and for dad colors that match mom, but don't forget a dark gray or black form fitting t-shirt.  
Relax and enjoy your session!

©Marcelle Raphael / Fine Art Newborns