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What to Expect at a Newborn Session from Judy Reinford Photography

First things first, we have to schedule your Newborn session. The best time to schedule your newborn session would be during your second trimester. Preferably before your baby is born but don’t hesitate to call us if you have already had your baby, we sometimes have openings in the schedule. When you decide to schedule a session with me, we will set TWO tentative DATES based on your due date. This way you’re on the schedule. Even though the dates are tentative and based off of your due date, I understand that babies may decide to come before or way after your due date. We want to schedule you to get a baseline and have you on my schedule knowing things could change. We only schedule 3 babies per week.

Pre Session Phone Consultation. When you call we will discuss all the portraits you want for your newborn. We have a full prop room with beautiful hand made items to customize the session. Hats, tie backs, floor drops, baskets, blankets, wraps etc. If you plan on including any items that you have been given, please contact us via email with a photo of the item.  We will discuss additional family members or pets that you would like to include in the session. This is a collaboration, and as I have standards and lots of ideas that I can share, I definitely want to hear from you.  Note: I am perfectly comfortable with your children in my home. We do recommend sibling shots be done first and then a family member can take them for a treat while we finish up the session with the newborn. 

The Big Day.  Happy Happy Birthday! Once your baby is born, please get in touch with me and we will firm up our date and time. Babies are best photographed in the first 14 days of life. This gives those sleepy poses that you have seen and fell in love with on social media or from friends. My suggestion is we photograph the baby 7-10 days after birth. This allows me to capture those poses without a lot of movement from the baby. Boys that are circumcised need 6 full days of healing.  A deep sleep for a baby during a newborn session is best and is our ultimate goal.  If you are scheduled for or ending up having a c-section I understand how this could is more difficult and we will schedule based upon how you are recovering and how you feel. We have had great success with 3 and 4 week old babies.

Where?  All newborn sessions are done at Judy Reinford Photography Studio located Allentown, Pennsylvania.  My studio is climate controlled to a constant temperature of 80-83 degrees to ensure the warmth and comfort of your baby. Newborns are used to being warm all bundled up. This will ensure your baby is comfortable to assist us in getting the shots we have discussed. The waiting room is cooler for mom and dad to be comfortable. You can relax, have a snack, coffee etc and let us take care of everything.

How To Prepare for Feeding. If you are nursing, be careful what you eat! Feed baby RIGHT before you leave the house and make sure he/she has a nice full feeding. If you are supplementing with formula at all or bottle feeding with pumped milk please bring that with (it's just usually quicker than nursing- but this isn't necessary if you are exclusively breastfeeding) PLEASE bring a pacifier even if you aren't using one. This can make a huge difference. This list is a helpful guide of common foods to avoid while nursing. These foods typically affect babies under 6 weeks. As they get older, introduce foods one at a time to see how they are affected. Every baby is different, so be sure to consult with your Pediatrician.

Guide by Dr O'Connell : Citrus Acidic foods and drinks such as: Cranberries, pineapple, grapefruit,  oranges, lemons, strawberries, all berries, tomatoes or tomato products,  chocolate (rarely affects babies) peanuts, nuts in general, pizza, spaghetti,  chili, tacos, anything spicy, ketchup.

Restrict foods such as: Soda, Coffee, tea, wine & beer. Beer can help with breast feeding but consult your lactation consultant.

Gassy Vegetable such as: Asparagus, onions, cucumbers, pickles, broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, cabbage. Avoid if possible for 48 hours prior to photo session.

Soothing Needs. Here are a few tips that will help your session flow more smoothly. If at all possible please consider pumping and bringing 3 bottles to the session, also bring a pacifier.  There will NOT be nipple confusion for one day utilizing these techniques. I want to get as many great images as I can for you so we really want baby to be good and comfortable. Keep baby awake for an hour or two that morning before the session. Give him/her a bath.

How To Dress Your Baby? Dress him/her in something easy to get off. Zip/snap up jammies are great. Sleeper PJ's are really good! Skip anything we need to take off over the head. Once you arrive, baby should be good and sleepy in his car seat. I'll take him/her out and get started right away. I photograph babies in their birthday suits.  I have yet to photograph a newborn in clothes and hope that I am never asked to do so.  Newborn babies just don’t fill out clothes properly.  They are so much sweeter without all that bulky fabric.  I would be happy to schedule another session down the road to photograph your baby in any special outfits, especially christening / blessing outfits.

How Long Does It Take? Newborn sessions start at 2 hours. Sometimes additional time is needed. This could depend on the baby, siblings or pet that is included in your session. It all depends on your baby. This is a process. 

Relax. I will provide you with drinks and snacks through out the session to keep you ready to go and fueled for the day. It’s ok to feel exhausted. If you need a little time during the session for you, we will accommodate that. I’m here to make this an easy and enjoyable experience for everyone involved. (Please be sure to alert me to any family food allergies so I may be prepared).

Don’t Get Frustrated. All babies will be fussy, they are babies and things are new to them. Babies can sense if you’re frustrated. Don’t worry, we will work it out and figure how to best handle each situation that comes up. 

Birthday Suit. Your baby will be in their birthday suit, naked, for most of the shoot. They don’t know they are naked without a diaper. “Things” are surely to happen. Don’t sweat it, it is all ok.  All of my blankets and props that we will use are washed between all sessions.

Props and Accessories. I have a collection props and accessories that will help us create a beautiful environment. From bowls, baskets, blankets, knit hats and headbands that I will use during your session. I always encourage if you have any family heirlooms, toys, hats, props, etc. that you would like me to use in your session please bring that to my attention when we discuss your session. We love to include those things that are special to you and your family.

Safety FIRST. Your baby’s safety comes first! At all times there will be trained assistant close by to the baby. If there is ever a point where you become uncomfortable, please speak up! I take every measure of care to ensure that your baby will never be in any kind of danger. At all times there will be an assistant or parent close by. 

What do family members wear? Soft muted colors are nice, most the portraits are photographed from the waist up. Sage green, beige, ivory, slate blue are all examples of muted color. Young children that are being photographed with the newborn will be sitting on the backdrop or lying on a posing rug. Please no logos, stripes, bright colors etc. Texture is fine. We have a wardrobe selection here for little girls and some dresses for mom. On our website we have a family newborn portfolio which might help you visualize better. Please feel free to contact us so that we can better assist you with your clothing choices.

A review appointment will be made with you where I have gone through the images from your session and have selected the best of the session. I usually narrow it down to 40-50 images. At the review session you will make your decision on the photos that you would like and determine any packages and additional photos.