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  • Writer's pictureMonika Szmidt

Newborn photography tips for parents

Parents guide how to prepare for a newborn photo session.

Would you like to have beautiful photos of your newborn baby? I have photographed newborns since 2013 and would like to share with you this little Parents guide on how to prepare for a newborn photo session. It will cover the most aspects to consider prior to coming for the photoshoot.

If you are still on maternity stage, don’t forget to check out my Pregnancy Gallery


  1. When to book the newborn photoshoot?

  2. When to do the newborn baby photos?

  3. Is it safe to take the newborn photographs?

  4. What can you expect from the newborn photo session?

  5. What's happening during the session?

  6. How to prepare the baby for the photoshoot?

  7. What to bring for the newborn photo session?

When to book the newborn photoshoot?

I suggest booking after the second baby scan, I do only one photoshoot per day and generally, I'm booked a few months upfront. To provide my clients with the highest quality, and none rushed sessions, I am only taking a limited number of sessions per month.

It is important to schedule your session while you are still pregnant to avoid disappointment. This way, I can add you to the list of babies due for that month. However, if you just came across my website, and have a baby under 12 days, please contact me, I will do my best to accommodate you.

When to do the newborn baby photos?

Most of the photographers will say – you need to get your photos done within the first 10 days. Generally, yes that works best if your baby arrives as planned and there are no health problems.

What if your baby has arrived four weeks early? I’ve had parents calling me, worried they will miss the window to capture newborn photos. For this group, I always recommend waiting at least three weeks, or often until their actual due date. If the baby is under five pounds (2.2kg), I suggest waiting until they put on a bit of weight.

Is it safe to take the newborn photographs?

Safety of your baby is most important for me. I'm trained and fully insured newborn photographer. I photograph newborns for over 7 years.

I was a physiotherapist and work with babies and children for many years before I started my photography business. All of the newborn sessions are done in my home studio in Manchester, it is warm, welcoming and cosy. Everything has been created for your and baby maximum comfort. You are sure to have a relaxed and peaceful experience.

What's happening during the session?

The first thing you need to understand about a newborn session is that it takes a lot of time and a lot of patience from everyone. Most parents may think that their newborn session will be a breeze, but the truth is even the "ideal baby" will still be challenging. Please, and I stress, please don't even think about scheduling a doctor or midwife appointment before your session. This will stress out your baby and the session most certainly will not go well. On that note, newborn sessions take a lot of time, so please do not schedule anything after your session. I would hate for you to have to rush out early and not get the images you want.

We may spend up to 2-3 hours photographing your baby and wouldn't have it any other way. We allow enough time to account for your baby to eat and for those moments when your little one decides it’s time to use the restroom and we need to clean up. I expect your baby to go to the bathroom on my backgrounds and props; it's just part of the experience and happens every time. My stuff washes easily. Please don't feel embarrassed or feel the need to apologize when this happens at your session. I highly recommend bringing a change of clothes because chances are good that baby might go to the bathroom on you. It also accounts for time to change setups for different poses. We want you to have a great experience and images from our studio.

I do keep the studio between 21 and 25 degrees so you will want to dress appropriately. If I am not sweating then it is not warm enough in the studio! So, dress accordingly and maybe wear layers that can be removed if necessary. We’ll photograph your baby in the buff so please do not bring outfits for the baby. Most clothing items swallow the baby and we prefer to capture the naturalness of your baby. We believe it is by capturing the innocence of a nude baby that makes our images art.

How to prepare the baby for the photoshoot?

On the morning of the shoot, it’s preferable to try and keep baby awake as long as possible. A bath and lots of play is always good stimulation. Feed your baby 2-3 hours before the shoot. This will (hopefully) mean that baby will be ready for a feed shortly after arriving at the studio, which will equal a satiated, comfortable baby.

What to bring for the newborn photo session?

I always send the following checklist to my clients. The checklist is focused on families who come to my studio for my usual three-hour newborn photoshoot.

  • Bring a snack and water for yourself and any siblings. The photoshoot will be long and you are in the warm room.

  • If siblings are coming, bring some entertainment for them. Don’t forget some bribing material for cuddly sibling shots.

  • Bring at least two changes of clothing, one for the official family photos and one just in case any accidents happen.

  • Bring a couple of wrapping blankets for the baby, to keep them warm during feeds.

  • Bring everything for changing and feeding the baby, including any creams you use or special eco-materials.

  • If the newborn has long hair, bring a brush.

  • Any toys or props you would like to add into the photos.

  • This one can be a bit controversial, but I always suggest bringing a dummy (pacifier). I know many parents are moving away from using these, but if chaos breaks loose and the little one doesn’t want to cooperate, the dummy can help us get through the session.

  • Try to keep your baby awake on the way to the session. A good practice is to arrive, feed and get going with the session.

I hope you have enjoyed all the information here and find them helpful.

If there is anything else you would like to know or have any questions or concerns, please do contact me. I am more than happy to answer any questions you have. Check newborn gallery

I look forward to seeing you soon!


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