Was it a hit or miss? Looking back, it was a slight miss and a decent hit. The session itself lasted 4 hours to get what we wanted captured. When prepping for this shoot, I did a lot of research and watched a lot of YouTube videos. I studied posing and workflow as well as props needed! The hardest thing about it - all babies are different! Their temperament is different. How easily are they able to be handled. I remember telling myself that I would never do another newborn session again. Not only are they super tedious, physically exhausting, but also handling a very fragile human is super scary! I was scared for my first three or four sessions. What I've learned is that 1) practice makes perfect and 2) you live and you learn.
Things you need to know before a newborn session 1. Know how old the newborn is I like to email expecting parents and ask them a series of questions. It's great to know how old the baby is for a few reason but mainly because you want to know how fresh, malleable, and how sleepy they may be. The oldest baby that I did a newborn session for was a month old baby. That little man was wide awake during his entire session and quite squirmy but we made it work. I tell parents to message me when baby is born and then we schedule from there - hoping to get baby in when they are 3-14 days old.
2. Get a good workflow going Understand exactly what you hope to capture and make sure your client knows too. I offer a few different packages. With my smaller package, I have family photos and one basket look with multiple poses. It's super simple. With my larger package, I go from one look to the next keeping a similar theme with similar colors and poses between looks. My favorite saying when it comes to my business is "you live and you learn". What works well and what doesn't. You can easily change and adapt the next time. Posing can be hard. Keeping it simple for the first few shoots is key. Basic wraps and focusing on details is a great way to start. When I first started out, I had moms help me with posing for safety reasons. 3. Props needed Things that are a must: wraps, baskets, noise machine, and heater! You can create magic with just these items. With my first newborn session, I did not have a heater and that really cost me! As far as lighting goes, I used a flash for the first few session I did. I did not like how it would flash if a baby's eyes were open. I now use light coming in from one window and like how soft the photos look. Not only do I feel better about protecting baby's eyes but also less equipment is needed! I've linked a few of my favorite props and some must haves below!