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FIVE Tips to Prepare for your Newborn Photo Session

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It’s a warm fall morning and you’re gathered around your newborn as you and your partner lovingly stroke your baby’s soft skin and express thankfulness for this new stage of life. At that moment you think to yourself, “I wish someone was here to photograph this moment!” That’s where Laura Mares Photography comes in. 

These precious moments of your newborn’s first days in the world are rare, and deserve to be documented so you can remember these sentimental moments forever. Whether you decide to book a lifestyle newborn session or a studio session, the focus remains on your little one and your growing family. 

Chances are, as you’ve researched newborn photo session opportunities, you’ve increasingly become worried or anxious about doing everything “right.” I’m here to shatter that myth — as there’s no such thing! Your Newborn Photo Session is about capturing your unique child and family in whichever way is most authentic. 

Here are my 5 tips to keep in mind as you prepare for your Newborn Photo Session so the process remains stress-free and fun! 

1. Schedule ahead of time

Most Newborn Photo Sessions take place in the first few days or weeks of your little one’s life, so it’s best to book ahead of time so you don’t need to stress about scheduling your photo session immediately after your baby makes their grand entrance. 

It’s a good idea to reach out to the photographer you like around the 2nd semester, letting them know approximately when your little one is due so that you are able to choose your photographer based on style, not whoever is available because your favorites photographers are booked. 

2. Think about nap times 

You want your baby to be sleepy during the session so that they fall asleep for pictures. As a general rule of thumb, it’s better when your little one is sleeping during the photos, or sleepy / happy as opposed to wide awake because they might then become overstimulated or overwhelmed during the shoot. We don’t want enraged, red-faced baby pictures! So, make sure to keep your baby awake before the photo session so that they easily fall asleep while we’re taking photos.  

3. Feed your little one 20-30 minutes before the photo session 

Nothing is cuter than a milk-drunk infant! By being strategic about nap-time and when you’re feeding your little one, you can optimize their cooperation during the photo shoot. So, try to hold off on any big meals until right before the shoot, so that your newborn doesn’t become distracted and hungry during the session to the point where we have to take a food break. But, no worries if nursing is necessary during the session! Be sure to bring a bottle along if formula fed. 

4. Think about props

I strive for a minimalist approach that emphasizes the raw beauty and uniqueness of your little one, but I like to add sentimental little details. Maybe it’s a hand-made, knit blanket from a family member of your little one’s first stuffed animals, but don’t be afraid to bring those fun props! It’s great to have a variety of photo options, and adding in those original props can tailor the newborn portraits to you and your baby. 

5. Relax and enjoy the moment!

Newborn photo sessions are as much about the experience as the final photographed product. Take the time to enjoy a break from your daily routine and enjoy setting aside the time to simply enjoy this stage in life. You and your newborn are in great hands, and the session, whether in my at-home studio or your own home, will emphasize celebrating this major mile-stone and where you and your family are at this point in your lives. 

I hope these 5 tips help you feel prepared for your Pittsburgh Newborn Photo Session. The main takeaways are to schedule ahead of time, strategically plan nap and feeding times, consider what props to bring, and most importantly, enjoy it! 

Looking to schedule a newborn portrait session?

I’d love to work with you!


Hi, I'm Laura Mares! I'm thankful to be a wife, mother and Pittsburgh lifestyle photographer. I photograph because I believe that life is simply beautiful and every person has a story worth telling. I'd love to tell yours.

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