camera Cleveland Photographer

Newborn tutorial : The prep

Friday, June 15, 2012Morgan



Preparing for a newborn session can be incredibly nerve wracking.
"Do I have everything?"
"What if I need.....?"
"Are the parents prepared?"
"Will the sessions go smoothly?"


There are a few things you need in order to pull off a successful newborn session.
  • Heat - whether it is from a space heater, heating fan or just cranked up temperature: baby is used to being in a body temperature womb for the last 9 months, so being exposed to room temperature is quite uncomfortable for them. Keep them warm and comfy.
  • White noise - it can be in the form of an app on your phone, a specialized machine or even a pre-recorded noise such as a vacuum or blow dryer in action. Remember the womb...it was noisy.
  • Wipes - everybody poops (and pees) especially babies. You will need these on hand for baby as well as anyone and anything in contact with the baby...it will happen.
  • Soft blankets - you can use them as padding in baskets, on the floor and anywhere else you need them. Make sure they do not have a sheen to them - as this will result in a glare on the blanket.
  • Bean bag - there are lots of posing bean bags (these are ideal), but for those just trying to see if it's is their niche or even if you just don't have the funds yet - a cheaper bag from your local store will suffice. The bag should be filled! I cannot stress that enough, it needs to be completely full to the brim - if you do not have bean fill you can put blankets/pillows inside to plump it up or use a hair tie/zip tie to pull it tight.
  • Back drop stand - if you are doing posed newborn shots you will need one to clamp the backdrops to. 
  • Blankets - you can go to your local store and buy throw blankets with great texture to use as newborn drops, or you can even go crazy at your fabric store - you want about 3 yards in order to have space to work with.
  • Adequate light - whether you are using natural light or artificial you need to be aware of the lighting conditions and plan accordingly. (natural light sessions will go more smoothly, as the baby isn't exposed to flashes.)
  • Inspiration - when you are trying to explain a pose to the parents you may need them to participate in you may want to bring an image example so they know what to do.
  • Assistant - you will 100% need one. You can use one of the parents, a friend or an actual assistant - either way you need one. Reason being is that newborn safety is paramount and should not be compromised just to achieve a shot. The assistant should be close to baby at all times (within arms reach).
  • Props - if you choose to use props, such as hats or headbands you will want to be prepared. First, when you purchase the props for wear make sure that they are very soft to the touch. Baby has very sensitive skin and a little abrasion to us is painful for them. My rule of thumb, if it feels like a cloud - it's a go.
These are the basic things you will need for a newborn session.
Next week we will touch on client preparation for the newborn session.
Go view it now>

Thank you to Rachel Brenke for snapping this at her son's newborn session at the Jewels Avenue studio.


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15 Comments

  1. Thanks Morgan for the great tips!

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  2. Thanks for the awesome advice Morgan!

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  3. Love this advice! Thank you so much, it will definitely be useful if I ever book a newborn session!

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  4. fabulous tips! Thanks for sharing a great post!

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  5. Great advice Morgan, thanks so much for sharing!

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  6. Thank you!! Great tips, excited to utilize at my next session!

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  7. Awesome tips! I need an assistant for my newbie sessions!! ;)

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  8. Great tips! So glad your back

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  9. Even though I've made up my mind that I will probably never be a newborn photog, these are some super informative tips. Thanks for sharing!

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  10. Love this! Especially since I'm about to attempt my second newborn session tomorrow. Gulp.

    Thanks, Morgan!

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  11. You are so full of great info!! :)

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