My favorite time to photograph newborns is in their first 4-12 days of life. Beautiful images can be made at any age, but it is during this time that the most artful poses may be achieved. At this age babies are still almost as pliable and "curly" as they were in the womb. They also usually sleep very heavily, and it's also before the onset of any possible baby acne or colic. All of these factors make calming and posing easier, and it makes the more difficult poses possible.

Beyond about 2 weeks of age, any posese that require the baby to be in a deep sleep may become impossible.

The best time to call to schedule your newborn session is before the baby is born, in order to ensure availability- although I do leave time in my schedule to accomodate new arrivals each week.

I will pre-book your session based on your due date. Since i never know exactly when your new little bundle will arrrive i will secure the actual date once you deliver. This allows me not to over schedule the weeks surrounding your due date.

I typically spend about 3-6 hours creating in your newborn session. I am very detailed oriented and spend a great deal of time getting perfect hand/feet placement, facial expressions, ect.

This time block also allows time for feeding/nursing, changing set-ups, and calming/nursing baby back to sleep between set-ups changes.

With the booking of your session, you will also recieve a complimentary planning session to help both of us prepare for your session. This will take place over the phone. I like to get you know a little better, learn about your family, your style, ect so that I can customize your session 100% to you. Sometimes with the info I learn, I am able to make or procure special props or wardrobe just for your session ( hats or blankets in colors to match your decor or the baby's nursery, ect. )

Morning Appointments: The early hours are the happiest for newborn babies. Select an early appointment to ensure your shoot goes smoothly and peacefully. This is not always possible depending on the demand of your photographer, however, if the option allows, choose the morning. In the Living Dreams studio all newborns are scheduled mid-morning to ensure the optimum experience for your session.

Clothing Optional: Many parents may want to spend hundreds of dollars preparing for their newborn's photo shoot. Yet, buying an entire new wardrobe is not necessary. The 'bare baby' picture is usually the favorite one of parents and one that will be treasured for generations to come. Consider using a variety of accessories at the photo shoot. Special blankets can provide colors and textures that will enhance the photo's appearance and just add to the heirloom nature of your portraits. Though it's the fad at the moment, many props are generally not necessary as you want the focus on your baby.

Full Tummy: This can be a little tricky for new parents; however a full tummy is always best before a photo shoot. A well fed baby will give you a content, sleepy, little one, ready to pose for the camera. I usually recommend feeding before you leave for the studio and then i will add any needed feedings throughout the session. Be sure to bring an extra couple bottles if you have them though all baby photographers will give time for nursing if needed as well.

Turn up the heat: Keeping room temperature in mind is important for baby's photo shoot. Your baby will be more comfortable with a warmer temperature. A warm baby will curl up and pose for a picture perfect session. I usually say if the adults are sweating then the baby is comfortable ;) so dress light or in layers.

Essentials: Of course, don't forget the essential baby supplies. Be sure to have pacifiers and bottles. 'Clean up' items such as burp cloths and wipes are also necessary for this shoot but typically i will provide these items. Being prepared for all scenarios will keep you and baby calm during the first photo session.

Relax: Yes, everyone wants the perfect holiday card or birth announcement. However remember, sometimes wide awake babies create the most precious and memorable shots. Let your baby decide if he or she feels like smiling or sleeping and go with it. You'll love the pictures no matter what. Your baby will feed on your mood and energy so be sure to stay relaxed and calm.

Keep these tips in mind as you prepare yourselves and baby for their first photo shoot. It's a momentous occasion that will last forever, however sometimes the more natural the better. Have fun and enjoy this special occasion with your new baby!