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Booking, Preparing & During a Newborn Session

Congratulations on your new baby boy or girl!

 

Nothing tugs more at our heartstrings than the tiny little newborns we photograph. There is nothing more magical than the birth of a child, and capturing and preserving the tender innocence of your brand-new baby is a privilege.

 



 

Booking your newborn session:

 

We understand that new parents have many needs and are very busy, especially in those first few days after the birth of a baby. However, one highly recommended event is to bring your newborn in for a newborn photography session. We don’t need to tell you how fast children grow from infant to toddler, and then before you know it your child will be getting on the school bus. The moments click by almost as fast as the shutter on our cameras.

 

With so many things to do right after you have your baby, it’s important to schedule your newborns session well before your little one even arrives. I encourage you to schedule your session sometime in your second trimester. Newborn photographers fill up fast, and it can be difficult to find one if you wait until the last minute.

 

How do you know what day to schedule your session for? Do not worry! Ashley Klaasen Photography schedules all newborn sessions on the baby’s due date as a place holder with the understanding that the little one might come early or late. Once your little one arrives, message me and we’ll schedule the actual newborn session and time.

 



 

Preparing for your newborn session:


I want your newborn session to be as enjoyable for you as possible. Every time you look at your baby's newborn image, I want you to feel an overwhelming sense of love and fondness from your experience. I want you to remember their tiny fingers and toes, chubby cheeks, pouty lips, sweet sleep smiles, and dreaming pouty face.  I absolutely don't want you to look at those images and think of a stressful frazzled morning trying to get to your photo session and arrive already feeling behind.

Leaving the house with a brand-new baby is an adventure! It takes some getting used to and often coming to your newborn session is one of the first times you have even left the house with your newborn.  Getting the diaper bag and family wardrobe ready the evening before can help you have a relaxed stress-free morning. Staying in communication with me will also help. Being mom of two, I understand trying to get everyone out the door just to have a blow out happen. If you’re running behind, text me; I understand and plan, accordingly, knowing this new adventure your family is on.  Remember, when mom and dad are relaxed, the baby is much more likely to be relaxed too! 





Newborns sleep a lot, and their sleep schedule will shift and change each day as they adjust to this new world. Establishing a sleep routine will be helpful to keep baby sleeping during their session. Don’t decide the night before that you are going to change everything up and change your newborn’s sleep times; do this the night after your session if you need to. Giving your baby a warm bath in the morning before your session is a great way to prepare.  Warm water is very soothing and will help put the baby into a comfortable sleep.  Not to mention they will be nice and clean!  Newborn babies tend to have very sensitive skin, so right before a photoshoot might not be a good time to try out a new soap!  Red patches, baby acne and dry flaky skin are all very common for newborns.  If you want to use a mild moisturizer before your session, go ahead, but please make sure to apply it at least an hour before our session so it has time to absorb into the skin.  Dry flaky skin can be edited out, but shiny skin is much harder to work with! Not to mention slippery babies don't stay put in poses Ha!  


One of the best ways to put a baby into a nice deep sleep is with a full feeding!  If you can, give your baby a little less than a full feeding 1-2 hours before our session.  If you are traveling more than 20 minutes to the studio, wait until you arrive to top them off.  If you live nearby, go ahead, and give them a full feeding right before putting them in the car seat. If you are breastfeeding, watch what you are eating the day before.  Things like broccoli, spicy foods, or beans can give baby an upset tummy which could make some poses uncomfortable.  If you are running late and don’t have time to do a feeding, I have a comfortable chair you may use to top your little one off when you arrive.







The only clothing you'll need for the baby is the outfit they'll wear for the car ride.  Try to dress them in something loose to avoid indentations on the skin. We want to move the baby as little as possible to keep them sleepy and avoid overstimulation, so don’t dress them in too many layers or tight-fitting clothes.  For family outfits during a newborn session, I recommend solid prints, neutral or muted colors.  The focus will still be on the baby and the connection and love of the family so we don’t want to have heavy patterns or bright/bold colors that will draw the attention away from that focus. I do recommend bringing a change of clothing as some of the newborn poses will be done without a diaper and there is a possibility you could get wet or worse during the session!  Most importantly, dress comfortably!  Your little love is used to a warm environment and hasn't quite figured out how to regulate body heat yet, so the studio will be nice and warm for their comfort, and to help keep them sleepy. And when I say nice and warm, I mean it gets hot, so seriously, wear layers and bring comfortable light weight clothes!





Arriving at the studio:


Once you arrive at the studio, I will have everything set up and waiting. As you enter the studio, you’ll see that it’s small but mighty. Just come in and make yourself comfortable anywhere. Place items on my desk, hangers, shelves, and floor. I’ll have bottled water, snacks, and most important chocolate available.

If your newborn is sleeping when you arrive, do not take them out of their car seat. Let them sleep while we get settled and comfortable. If they are awake a fussy, feel free to get them out once you’re settled and top them off with some milk/formula. I have blankets for privacy if you need it and a comfortable chair for feeding.

There will be a shelf full of props with the majority used specifically for newborn sessions. I have different colored wraps, blankets, hats, headbands, furs, and backgrounds as well as many different posing containers. At your newborn session, there will be a newborn posing table, buckets, baskets, bowls, and more to place your newborn in. Throughout the studio, I’ll have different combinations prepared that I will go over with you. If at any point you’re not happy with something or hate a set up completely, please let me know. I am not easily offended as I believe photography is subjective and my goal is for you to be happy with the experience and final product.


The newborn session:


Once settled in, I like to shoot sibling and family portraits. Newborn sessions take up to 3 hours depending on how many feedings and snuggle breaks your baby needs. While siblings are welcome to stay, there is limited seating, and the older children will need to play quietly.  I have building blocks, coloring books, and internet at the studio but I also encourage a quiet, relaxing environment.

Doing the sibling and family portion of the session first will allow for the older siblings to leave when done. It is suggested to have one parent or another adult available at the studio to take the older kids home or for a walk if they become restless.  Being downtown Kalamazoo, I am within walking distance of the Kalamazoo Mall, Bronson Park, Kalamazoo Public Library and so much more. If having an extra adult is not an option consider bringing tablets with headphones so that the volume of their music, movie, show, or game is not competing with the calmness of the studio environment. In my experience, having anything loud or startling will affect your newborn photos and potentially extend your newborn session if we are constantly trying to relax the newborn.




 

Once sibling and family portraits are complete, a shuffle around the studio will happen. Depending on how long sibling and family portraits too, I may ask you to feed baby again. While I understand this may be outside the normal feeding schedule, keeping baby full also keeps them happy and sleeping. This slight adjustment to their schedule will not throw them off too much and I appreciate your willingness to being flexible.

 

While you are either snuggling or feeding baby, I’ll be cleaning up from the family portraits and preparing for the small newborn setups. By this point, I’ll have a bit of a better idea of your baby’s temperament and will decide the order of each set up.

 

As I’m wrapping, posing, and moving baby around, feel free to watch over my shoulder. I’ll have big umbrellas and reflectors around us that may block your view from a chair. I do not mind if you are right up next to me. If you’re in my way, I’ll kindly say excuse me! I want this to be a great, memorable experience so please, if watching everything makes you happy do so! If sitting back and taking a nap in the chair, do that too!

 


 

The newborn is truly the one to tell us when they are done and over being photographed. Many get to about the 2 hour and 30-minute mark and are more difficult to keep in a pose or place in a wrap. At this point, I’ll start finalizing my shots and only capturing any must haves before the baby is in an all-out revolt! If we haven’t gotten through every set up, you’ll have to forgive us. I promise we’ll have many beautiful images to choose from and you’ll completely forget what we didn’t get to.

 



 

Knowing how to prepare for your session and understanding what will happen once you’re at the studio, you’re ready to book your session! As you prepare the nursery, purchase those tiny clothes, and anxiously wait for the arrival of your new little love, remember to book your newborn session too! Contact me today and let’s capture and preserve the tender innocence of your brand-new baby once they arrive.

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