What I bring for you!
First off, the things that need the most preparation are the things that I bring along for my Newborn Photography sessions! This includes my giant newborn beanbag which I cover with around 8 blankets, finishing with a white blanket which you see as a beautiful neutral backdrop in a lot of my baby only photographs. I also bring a range of newborn wraps to gently pose baby in, some headbands, knitted bloomers and a few onesies if you need them. As well as this I bring a rattan basket which I often use in my phtographs as well. Oh and client wardrobe dresses for Mum if you would like them - nice flowy ones which many are great for breastfeeding in.
Getting the siblings ready
If you have older kids (and this is especially catered to the 2/3/4 year olds) - let them know I'm coming, what my name is, and that I'm so excited to meet them! Even though we call it a Newborn Photoshoot, I often spend a lot of time with the siblings too, making them feel important, meeting their favourite toys etc! Let them prepare a book to show me or a toy that they love so we can become buddies.If they have something they are desperate to wear that you aren't quite that keen on for the photos (eg Spiderman costume/Unicorn Tutu), let them know we will do some special photos for them at the end in their outfits. Lastly, have a little treat incentive for them - something you can pop them in between photos to let them know they are doing a great job.
Outfits for the Fam
For the siblings, go with timeless, neutral pieces. Boys in chinos or jeans with button down tees or linen-y shirts, girls in a dress they can twirl in, or nice top and pants. Avoid anything fiddly or ill fitting- so you don't have to be constantly pulling up straps,moving frills away from their faces etc, and pop some bloomers or little shorts on with dresses and skirts.
For the Dads- simple, unpatterned, nologos clothing always works best, and either shoes or bare feet, no socks! Think of the adults as the backdrop to the baby, earthy neutral tones will help baby shine! A plain tee in a beige/cream/grey or a soft collared shirt, with jeans or chinos is the perfect outfit.
For the Mamas - have a look through my 20+ Client wardrobe dresses that you are welcome to wear as part of your newborn photoshoot - lots of them are flowy and comfy, fit a wide range of sizes and are suitable to breastfeed in. Jeans and a linen-y shirt can be a great timeless look too if you want to keep things more casual. Be comfy, and have a back up in case you get spit up on.
Getting your newborn baby ready
Number one rule is that there are no rules - newborn babies aren't expected to be on any sort of schedule, so while I can make recommendations on things like when to feed, I totally don't expect you to HAVE to meet these! This is why we have up to 3 hours for a newborn session, so that there is ample time to feed/change/settle and hopefully minimise stress for you :). But here are a few things which can help us along! I generally aim for a 10am start for my Newborn Photography sessions - so if you can plan to feed around the start time, with baby in a neutral onesie that you would be happy to be photographed in (and a bib to protect it), then they will often fall asleep feeding around the time that I arrive and set up. Not sleepy? No dramas at all - we can start with the family shots where it's lovely to have them awake! Keep your house nice and warm for the shoot too, you should be hot enough to wear shorts and t shirts!
Things that are meaningful to you
Please keep out anything that you would like included in the photos this might be something like a bassinet which has been in the family, or some newborn booties, blankets etc that have been gifted or made by family members.
Please don't feel like you have to declutter or clean the entire house for me! Usually I shoot in your bedroom, in the lounge and sometimes in baby's room so keeping those areas cleanish and free of anything you don't want in the photos would be fab. If you're anything like me you might shove all the stuff you don't want out into a spare room or garage for the photoshoot. We can do little reshuffles of things if needed while I'm there too. Things that I will often get you to move for some family photo shots are tissue boxes, charging cords, beauty products etc. For the main bedroom we shoot in, neutral bedding in a light colour always works best for the family shots on the bed, but we can also use throws or blankets if needed. You don't need your home to look like a hotel room though, feel free to keep things out that are meaningful to your kids and family, as these photos will be little snapshots of your first week as a new family :)
What not to worry about
Part of my job is to help you not have to worry about anything! I've lived through two newborn stages myself, and I know how stressful it can feel at times! But part of the beauty of the length of the session is that we can really play things by ear, and go with the flow of baby (and their siblings). If the night before the newborn photoshoot or the morning of the shoot hasn't gone to plan (as is often the way!), we can conquer these things together, and feel free to reach out to me leading up to the shoot so we can chat through any concerns.