I can clearly remember the first time I ever tried to capture newborn photos. Fortunately, it was not a paying client as I was honestly a bit of a hot mess. LOL! Working with a precious new baby can be intimidating and overwhelming. I did a lot of research on newborn session tips in advance of my first few sessions. I am very glad I made the decision to mentor with another photographer after working with a handful of babies. While I am a firm believer that in person mentoring or eduction is the best way to learn, there are a few simple things you can do to set yourself up for session success.

Nestled Workshops Newborn Session Tips

1. Communication is Key!

Before any session, it’s important to clearly communicate with your client on what is expected from them and what you will deliver. I have put together a welcome packet that each client receives prior to their session which includes my “Sleepy Baby Tips.” I also conduct a pre-session consultation with them over the phone before their session takes place. I encourage moms to feed their baby right before the session if they live close to the studio. If they live more than an hour away, I tell them to arrive a few minutes early to feed baby upon arrival. A full baby is usually a sleepy baby. During the initial consult, we also discuss when family/sibling photos will take place (if applicable). Answering as many questions as possible before the session will help eliminate problems or confusion on the day of your appointment.

Newborn Photography Welcome Packet

2. Control the Environment

Whether your a studio photographer or travel to your client’s home for newborn sessions, it’s important that you control the environment around the baby. During my sessions, the room is kept toasty warm at approximately 85 degrees with two space heaters. My favorite heater is the Lasko 5309 (affiliate link). I also make sure that all of the supplies I will need for the session are within arms reach. This includes props, my cart of supplies, and a changing pad for baby that I use when switching backdrops. I have found that my sessions go much smoother when parents remain at a distance. I do allow my clients to peek in during my sessions, but I ask that they stay behind my light (about six feet back from where I work). If baby is extra wakeful, I will politely ask mom if she can step outside the room. Newborns are especially attuned to the scent of their mamas, and sometimes this can keep them up.

Behind the Scenes Newborn Promo Video

3. Have a Game Plan

The biggest mistake I made as a new photographer was not having a clearly defined game plan for each session. I would pull out props I wanted to use, but I found myself having too much of a “go with the flow” mentality when it came to posing. About a year into my journey, I realized that my sessions would go much better if I developed a plan – or workflow – that I would try to follow for each session. Start by creating a list of the poses you really love and can execute with most babies. Put them in an order that makes sense based on the type of supports you use under the blanket to achieve the pose. I start with the pose that uses the least amount of supports, then order the others after that one. Quick tip – try not to flip baby from front to back lots of times. Constantly turning baby will make them wakeful.

Before each session, I will grab a scrap of paper to jot down my everyday workflow plus I will make notes of where I might want to try new angles or a new pose should baby be extra cooperative. I then organize my props in a small basket in the order I will use them in my posing workflow. For my prop images, I will lay out the prop, stuffers, wraps/headbands all together as shown below.

Prop Shot with Trench Bowl Newborn Photos

What happens when baby won’t cooperate with your plan? Great questions! This happens to even seasoned photographers. Make sure you keep extra wraps on hand in case baby needs to be swaddled. Don’t be afraid to modify or eliminate a pose if baby resists your attempts to pose them. Remember – the comfort and safety of your little client should be your number on priority!

4. Maximize Each Pose

Here’s a great example on how to maximize a pose with a baby that is more wakeful. This sweet princess preferred to have a wrap on her at all times. I was able to deliver a full gallery to my client by switching up the wrap, headpieces, and angles. In the first image, baby’s arms are in the swaddle to help her feel secure and settled. Once she was sleepy, I carefully worked out one of her hands. For the third image, I added the bunny and pulled the outer portion of the wrap up to hold them together. At this point, she became pretty sleepy so I could work out both of her hands, then flipped her over for the tushie up pose. The last image is created by getting over and close up to her face to capture her sweet profile. For any pose you attempt, try to get a pull-back, close-up, and profile view of the baby.

Newborn Posing Tips

5. Mind the Details

What separates beginner from established newborn photographer? You may be thinking lots of practice, but I venture to say it is actually attention to details. Here are some things to ask yourself before pressing the shutter:

  1. Is my backdrop smooth as it can be? Do I see any lumps, bumps, or fuzzy stuff?
  2. Are baby’s fingers straight and relaxed?
  3. Is baby’s mouth closed?
  4. Are the eyebrows relaxed?
  5. Does baby look comfortable?

By taking a few seconds to pause and run down this checklist, you will save yourself lots of time and frustration in the long run!

I hope you have enjoyed these tips and tricks! For more information on Nestled Workshops, please contact me at nestledworkshops@gmail.com or (336) 688-8723. Each session is limited to two photographers, and you will have the opportunity to customize your time with me to include maternity posing, newborn posing, or a combination of both.

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Welcome to the world sweet Ruby! I am honored that her parents chose me as their Easton MA newborn photographer. I felt a connection with Ruby’s mother right away during our pre-session consultation. She described her style and color preferences to me with eloquence. I love the muted, coral tones she chose mixed with plenty of warm creams and barn wood texture. This palette was a little different for me, and I loved it!

In addition, Ruby’s mom sent me several fabric swatches that she was hoping to use in their nursery decor. There was a unifying theme of twigs, berries, and small birds. I knew it would be essential to incorporate these items subtly into the images.

My team of awesome prop vendors helped me bring my vision for Ruby’s session to life. I loved the outfits from Pooks & Lulu, backdrops from Roses & Ruffles, and headbands by Vanilla Lullaby which helped bring my vision to life. The mute coral bonnet from Stitches by Sarah is new to my collection and worked perfectly with mom’s desired color scheme. My barn wood floor drop from Intuition Backgrounds by Becky Gregory completed the set.

Ruby was about one week old at the time of her session. I was in love with her delicate features and long eyelashes. And can we just stop for a moment to look at that hair?!? Amazing! She love being snuggled up and curled into what we refer to as the “taco pose.”

During her feeding break, I had a chance to visit with her mom and dad. Turns out, her dad and I graduated from the same alma mater and her mom’s family owns a vacation home in the town where I grew up. What a small world!

I hope you enjoy my favorite images from Ruby’s session. If you would like more information about reserving a newborn session for your baby, please feel free to call me at (336) 688-8723 for a complimentary consultation. I would love to discuss how we can bring your vision to life.

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Nestled Workshops for Photography BusinessI have been a little quiet on the blog over the last month with lots of new and exciting things happening behind the scenes. In a few weeks, I will begin welcoming other photographers to the Plymouth, MA studio under the umbrella of Nestled Workshops. These mentoring opportunities are designed to assist photographers in perfecting their maternity and newborn posing while also building a strong business foundation.

Along with preparing for these workshops, I have been working hard throughout the winter months to think of ways I can improve client experience in my own studio. There’s always room to improve! Before updating any of my systems, I brainstormed three keys I feel are essential to delighting your clients.

  1. Communication is King: Learning how to effectively communicate important information with your clients is the first key to a successful business. We all experience difficulties in our businesses from time to time. If we are honest, most of these challenges probably began with a communication failure. I am a huge proponent of speaking with my clients on the phone first, then following up with written communication.
  2. Exceed Expectations: If your business is anything like mine, most of our clients are busy moms with multiple obligations on their plates. They are used to putting everyone else before themselves whether this is their first or fifth child. Being a mom can be exhausting! This leaves a great opportunity for you as a boutique business owner. Look for opportunities to surprise and impress your clients in even the smallest ways.
  3. Keep It Personal: Deep down we all have the desire to feel loved and wanted. We want to be remembered and feel like someone truly cares about us. Photography sessions by nature can be very intimate and a big investment for our clients. It is critical that you show them the attention and give them the appreciation they deserve.

Keeping these three objectives in mind, I looked at my client experience workflow. One thing jumped out at me immediately and became one of my first tasks. I needed a photography welcome packet! In this internet age, we inundated with emails, websites, and social media. I wanted to create a beautiful, custom welcome folder that I could physically mail to my clients.

Newborn Photography Welcome Packet

My photography welcome packets have been designed to provide helpful, yet concise session prep information. The studio magazine allows clients to see all of the beautiful products I offer and helps them brainstorm ways to include images throughout their home.

Client Magazine for Photographers Newborn Workshop

Lastly, I make sure to include a hand written thank you card and a small gift in each packet to communicate to my client how much I appreciate their trust in me as their photographer. I feel confident I have touched upon the three keys listed above.

Hand Written Thank You Note from Nestled Workshops

I enlisted the help of my amazing graphic designer – Leslie of Leslie Vega Design – to help me create some custom pieces that would work with these welcome folders from Design Aglow. I had previously purchased the Modern Minimalist Templates and incorporated some of their professionally written text into my pieces. Leslie also created my gorgeous studio magazines which I had printed through MagCloud.

Business Mentoring for PhotographersWelcome Packet for Photographers Kraft PaperNestled Newborn Workshops

I love that I have a physical representation of my brand that I can put in the hands of each and every one of my valued clients. The feedback I have been receiving is phenomenal, and I am confident this project was a worthwhile investment. I hope you have enjoyed this first “Business Basics Blog Post!” Feel free to leave any comments or questions below.

For more information on newborn workshops and business mentoring, please feel free to email me at nestledworkshops@gmail.com or call (336) 688-8723. Introductory rates are being offered through August 2016.

NOTE: Some of the links above are affiliate links. Please note, I would never share a product that I didn’t personally use and completely love.

 

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I absolutely love my work as a Cambridge newborn photographer, and today’s post is extra special for me! I am pleased to introduce you to my handsome little nephew – Davin Leo. On New Year’s Day, I had the opportunity to snuggle this sweet little guy while moving him effortlessly from pose to pose. He gave me some amazing eye contact and had quite a few hiccups along the way, but once he fell into a deep sleep he rocked his newborn photo session.

Davin is named after two very special men. My sister-in-laws father passed away unexpectedly about four years ago. Davin is the Hebrew derivative of his name – David. His middle name – Leo – is my maternal grandfather’s first name. I always love learning the meaning behind each baby’s name.

For his session, we chose a color palette of tans, blues, and creams. I was able to use some of my all time favorite props and backdrops from Roses and Ruffles and Pooks and Lulu along with wraps from Dolly Priss. I enjoyed combining traditional and natural poses through the workflow. He also gave me some amazing eye contact!

At the end of the session, my three munchkins came to the studio for some cousin photos. As you can see, Miss Adeline was in her usual fine form and did not want to hold still. A photographer’s child through and through! I hope these four will form a deep relationship with one another as they grow.

Our family is a circle of strength, founded on faith, joined in love, kept by God, together forever.

Without further ado, I hope you enjoy these images from Davin’s newborn session!

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I love the faces these little babies make during their sessions! I caught little man in mid-sneeze, then he went right back to staring at me like nothing had happened.

Braintree Baby PhotographerQuincy Newborn PhotogapherParent Newborn PhotosBoston Family Photographer

Thank you very much for taking time to read this post! If you would like more information about securing a newborn session for your family, please contact me at (336) 688-8723 for more information and to begin your exclusive portrait planning experience today!

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