What To Expect & How To Prepare For Your San Diego Newborn Photography Session

They are only in the newborn phase for such a short period of time. They change rapidly and quickly and we really only have ~ 3 weeks to capture this stage. Newborn photography is one of the most difficult branches of photography. It takes care, patience, meticulous attention of detail, patience, a deeper understanding of light and skin tone, patience… oh and did we say patience? HAHA! A newborn session typically takes 2-3 hours. There is a lot of rocking, waiting, swaddling, patting, etc. 

W H A T   T O   E X P E C T 

Chad and I are passionate about San Diego newborn photography. We care deeply about delivering a gallery that is timeless. We want to give you photographs that you will look back on in 10, 20, 30, 40+ years with great love and fondness. Safety is our number 1 priority. There has been a lot of training and studying hours put in over the years. We clean and prep everything prior to handling your baby and I scrub in before sessions with a deep, thorough hand washing. Chad and I are both vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19. We are up to date on our pertussis vaccines and we get annual flu shots. We have good ventilation in our studio space with 2 open areas creating a cross breeze + we have a HEPA filter going at all times and a fan to ensure circulation continues even if the breezes die down. And for now at the time I’m writing this blog, I (Lindsey) wear a mask as I’m the one that handles the babies. This may change in the future as things improve, but for now, I still wear a mask. As I said. We take safety very seriously. 

H O W   T O   P R E P A R E

So how can you prepare to set your family up for a successful San Diego newborn photography session? Here are some helpful tips!

• Try to keep baby awake a couple hours prior to the session. This will increase the likelihood of a sleepy baby for our session. 

• Give your baby a nice full feed right before the session. 

•Dress baby in something that is easy to take off. Something that zips off is perfect. This way, we don’t have to disturb baby too much when we undress prior to swaddling.

•If you have and use a pacifier, bring it! Anything to help soothe your baby is going to be helpful. We keep the studio space warm and have a space heater. In addition, we have a heartbeat/white noise track playing, which soothes babies well. 

• Bring a diaper bag with a few extra diapers just in case. 

•Don’t stress!! Even with full preparation, some babies will have difficulty settling. This is okay. We have lots of tricks and ways to still get beautiful shots. Also, if a potty accident occurs, do not worry. This can happen and we clean thoroughly after every session. 

• If siblings are going to be included, be prepared to do the family and sibling shots at the beginning of the session and then plan to have 1 parent take the sibling/s home or to the park if they are younger. Toddlers tend to get restless and bored when the session transitions to focusing on the newborn. It is much easier for the parents to divide and conquer with 1 parent that takes the siblings out for the rest of the session and 1 parent that stays behind. 

W H A T   T O   W E A R 

• You don’t have to bring anything for the baby unless there is something special and sentimental you want included in the photographs. Otherwise, we will provide the wraps that photograph beautifully and we have headbands if parents want these included in the shoot. Our style is about simplicity. We don’t do costumes, elaborate sets, etc. We aim for simple, classic images.

• When planning what to wear for parents and siblings, stick with mainly solid colors if you can and avoid lots of patterns or graphics. 

• Avoid very bright/neon colors. These tend to cast color on both you and the baby.

• If there is a large height discrepancy between mom and dad, mom should bring a pair of heels to slip on to close the gap in height a bit. 

• Pure white tends to be difficult to photograph. Creams are much preferred and add some warmth. 

• The family clothing should not match perfectly. Example: all white shirts and jeans. Outfits and colors should complement each other, and outfits should be on the same level of formality. Let me explain… Mom should not come in an evening gown while the toddler is dressed in a t-shirt and drawstring shorts. And on that topic, it’s best not to be too casual or too formal. Somewhere in the middle is perfect. Like this:

•Also, please have all family members come dressed and ready. Sometimes clients come and want to change or change the kids at the beginning of the session. This can cause up to a 30 minute delay and we have a designated amount of time to get all the shots we need.

• When toddlers are going to be in the family portion, sometimes shoes will be in the photos if they are held. Be sure to bring shoes that you would want in the photograph that match the clothing and the formality of the clothing. Example: if a toddler boy is in a button down shirt and khaki shorts, but has neon spiderman sneakers in the photos, it can be distracting. A lot of times parents opt for no shoes on the toddlers in the photos.

• Sibling shots with toddlers can be very difficult. Come prepared with the bribery of your choice and prepare siblings prior to the shoot by telling them what is expected. Show them these pictures and tell them they will be doing something similar. Get them excited!!! Sometimes videos they love or songs they like are helpful, so have these ready to go if needed!

Bear in mind these are just tips. Dress to express yourself at your comfort level. You can wear whatever you want. These tips are just given to help guide you with what we know photographs well!!! Do not hesitate to reach out with any questions!

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    Zoetic Photography

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