Thursday, July 19, 2012

the Newborn Experience

The Newborn Experience. 


A session for  me is so much more than just taking a picture of something I see. For me, it is creating works of art from what I feel. I desire that each photo will reflect the little spirit and soul of who your tiny one is and who they will someday become. When I hold them, I am holding God’s most magnificent creation and all of your heart in my hands. I am so honored to be a part of each baby’s journey that I photograph! 

Babies are authentic, pure, honest, soulful and so much deeper than we realize. They are such tough little bodies, with such fragile hearts that require a great amount of gentleness. I hope to connect with the qualities that are similar and unique to each baby I have the pleasure to capture. Everything that God created to be gentle, lovely and overpowering love is shining from these tiny souls – it is something I strive to capture to the best that I can. It is a miracle.  

Your baby is the guide for the session. They will smile, nourish, cuddle, sleep, dream and love. It is true joy that I am grateful to experience. We will be patient and kind; and wait patiently as your precious baby takes his or her time to fall into a deep sleep and allow me to capture the beauty.


Newborns are best photographed about one week of age (5-10 days old), in order to achieve the sleepy, curly and creative photos that you see in my portfolio and capture them so tiny and fresh. At this age, babies are still very sleepy, their skin is clear and they are not easily disturbed out of their dreaming. The older they get, the more easily they are disturbed and the longer they stay awake to listen and view the world around them. 

It is best to reserve your due date (2 weeks before and the  3 weeks after) while you are still in your second trimester of pregnancy. Contact me within the first three days of your baby’s arrival earthside, so that we can plan a session date and time.


I never rush a newborn to settle and spend a lot of time with them to ensure they are comfortable, full and feel secure. I will take as much time as we need, allowing the baby to be the lead of the session. Therefore, sessions can take up to 4 hours to complete. I want you to feel relaxed and comfortable; there is no need to rush to finish and you can just sit back and enjoy the pleasure of having absolutely no time limit or pressure on the baby to be a perfect model. They are most always waking often to eat and snuggle with mommy and I am very used to sitting back and waiting for a nursing baby who just wants to cuddle up in your breasts rather than be on a blanket by themselves.  This is perfectly normal and natural and your baby is perfect just as they are, cooperative or not. 

Did you Know? A newborn stomach capacity on day 1 is 5-7 mls (size of a small marble) day 3 is 22-27 mls (size of shooter marble) and day 10 is 60-80 mls (size of a ping pong ball) That is one of the reasons newborns are such frequent feeders!


Sessions are done in your own home for you and your baby’s comfort. If you wish, we can find another location if you desire. In the warmer months, I love to take babies outside; so please if you are open to that make sure to let me know! The warm sun and fresh air is so healthy and relaxing for a fresh baby – they love being outside!


We will start off our time together by exploring your house for the room with the best natural lighting available. I will then set up all my goodies while you feed your baby in their diaper only. (unless, of course, they are already sleeping.)  After baby has had a good feeding and is sleeping or almost asleep, we will wrap them up in a swaddle and allow them to fall into a deep sleep while I take a few photos of them all snuggly. A heater and white noise machine that I bring with me will help accomplish this. Then I will undress the baby slowly and spend time taking photos and maneuvering them around into different positions they are most comfortable in, while capturing sleepy smiles and tiny details. I will switch backgrounds/blankets a few times and baby may wake up for some more Mommy cuddle time or to fill up that tiny belly again. We usually do family or mother and baby photos near the end of the session – so that Mom has a few minutes while baby is sleeping and being watched by me to get ready and feel freshened up. I love to include a hanging pose at the end and/or another ‘prop’ photo.  Siblings will be called in to snuggle with their new family member as it balances to work with the baby and their temperament and willingness.

Newborns are extremely flexible and not as fragile as we imagine they are. Every ounce of care goes into their safety and comfort during the session. I have had the pleasure of working with many many newborns, and can say with certainty that I am confident in how I handle and pose your baby. I can sense they are not very fluid into a pose or that they need a bit of comfort or touch to settle into a comfortable position. It is more of an ‘baby sculpting’ art than just ‘posing’. Please feel free to ask questions and watch me as your baby is being photographed. Also feel welcome to leave the room if you wish – this is the perfect opportunity to finish getting ready or accomplish something around the house that you are behind on. A few of the poses I may need an extra set of hands; and I love it when the mother and I work together to calm and sculpt the baby. Warn dad that he may get bored if he just sits and watches the entire time, and that we will let him know when he is needed for the photos or help with posing.

You can expect to most likely have some adorable baby poo or pee on you at some point during the session, all for a wonderful purpose. Don’t stress if your baby poos or pees on any of my clothing/self or props – I am very used to it and it’s not a big deal at all.


Here are a few tips for preparing for the session and ensuring it goes smoothly:
-          Trim baby’s finger and toenails for those close-up macro beauty shots.
-          Turn your heat up (or the air down) to keep the house cozy warm for a sleepy & naked baby. 80 degrees is suggested. I bring my own heater to have going close to the baby to keep them extra warm and cozy. The warmer they are, the harder and longer they sleep!
-          Enjoy breastfeeding your baby and having a part in the process of their session. It is so very normal and natural that they like to just sit at your breast or eat frequently and often or for long periods of time – it is their nature and it is perfect.
-          If baby has flaky skin, I suggest avoiding any harsh chemicals in lotions or shampoos (general brands such as J&J, Huggies and etc have these). Coconut oil is an amazing natural skin care tool – and will keep your babies skin soft and it is 100% safe for their little bodies. It works wonders for dry skin or skin impurities. For more info on Coconut oil, click {here}. I almost always bring some with me, so if you want a free sample or to use some at the session, please let me know and I will be more than glad to share with you!
-          Open up your blinds/shades, pull back the curtains and have rooms as naturally lit as possible. I never use artificial lighting.
-          Try to avoid feeding or supplementing baby with formula, as it usually causes upset tummies and generally makes them more restless and uncomfortable during the session.
-          Write down, have in mind, and/or send me posing ideas you love and ones you want to avoid. I want to make your session unique to you, your baby and your family.  

Breastfeeding is a natural, beautiful and extremely nourishing part of motherhood. Breastfed babies are healthier and happier than those fed artificially. Breastfeeding is also an art, that must be learned by both the mother and the baby. The first hour after birth is critical in establishing a good start in your breastfeeding journey. With the proper help and education from trained and experienced lactation advocates, almost every mother can breastfeed her baby successfully past a year. Be aware that caring people around you might be presenting myths to you in the form of helpful advice. They, of course, are not intentionally doing this; but our culture is very misinformed about this amazing art of motherhood. Even the majority of healthcare professionals that you may be in contact with have not learned properly about breastfeeding and how to ensure a good nursing relationship. I hope that you will seek out further education for yourself and your baby – it is not something you will ever regret!  In our ‘Resources’ page you can find many links and great breastfeeding education sources for free.

During the first few days after your baby is born, you may feel overwhelmed at how much they nurse from you or worried they are not receiving what they need or that by snuggling too much they will become ‘spoiled’. I have a great article that I suggest all mother’s read. It is eye opening and soulful and will educate you and also touch you at the same time. Click to read: “A baby explains – normal newborn behavior.”

My style is intimate and natural.  I love to take away all the complex things of the world and just leave what’s left: beauty, love, intimacy, friendship – the soul. Often it’s easier to expose your inner self by getting as natural as possible with wardrobe. This means only covering your private areas (whatever that means for you), and leaving things like the shoulders, upper chest, back, arms, legs, etc exposed. I strive to make pictures intimate but not sexy; and I am always sensitive to your preferences so please express them to me honestly! You are more beautiful than you think and being a mother is the purest form of that beauty on Earth. 

I also like to achieve intimate and natural pictures by putting you or your baby into nature – or adding natural elements like wood, fur, etc. The clean, ‘modern’ look is also a favorite of mine: simple but elegant. 

I love natural, close and womblike poses. When I do pose you, I try to make sure that you are comfortable and natural to your normal selves – so that your love for each other and your baby will come through in the picture. So remember at your session that I may pose you, but it isn’t a strict command. Just relax and work with me and we will make sure that you look amazing and natural. I will move you if something doesn’t look right – but I don’t expect you to be perfect either – those little details of your own are unique to you and are what make your photographs yours. 

Don’t be shy to suggest ideas to me – I love working with my clients, I am not the lead director – these are your photographs after all.

I want your session to be unique to you. So please bring anything that is super special to you: like jewelry or keepsakes that we can in cooperate into the photos. If there are any ideas that you have for your photos, write it down and/or send it to me. I love clients to work with me on ideas – it makes your photos completely custom, which I adore. 

Keep an eye out for anything in your home that we can use for props/backgrounds/accessories. Some ideas are: baskets, wood bowls, rugs, fur, blankets, hats, booties and pillows – just to name a few! If you have the time and resources, maybe even stop at a thrift store or two and look around. also has some adorable baby hats and accessories – ranging from $10-$40 in price usually. View our Resources page for links to retailers and shops. 


Simple is best. Have a tube top or strapless bra ready for some bare shoulder poses. I also have small pieces of fabric to wrap around you to keep you covered, but as simple and bare as possible. A neutral colored tank top (nothing bright or distracting) is also an essential. A summery, comfortable dress is also a good option. Be sure to stay comfy and just wear some yoga pants or other stylish but comfy pants – no jeans are necessary. Dad can wear a comfortable, close fitting t-shirt or men’s tank. If he is comfortable with it, bare chested/no shirt poses are a must. If you have any specific questions, please contact me so I can assist you in your choices. Stay away from bright or distracting colors and anything with text or brand names.


I hope that this has helped you prepare and know what to expect for your newborn session! If you should have any other questions, you can email me to discuss them. I cannot wait to capture the delicate soul God has blessed you with!



Post a Comment