laurel belle


The Real Truth About Newborn Sessions (There May Or May Not Be Baby Side Eye)

I'm about to get real, real with you guys. Are you ready for it?

Newborn sessions are the single most glamorized type of photography session there is.

I know what you're thinking, "You mean to tell me that my newborn baby will not voluntarily get into a swing suspended from high atop two trees + smile peacefully?"

Think about it. You are forcefully putting someone who literally just opened their eyes 3 days ago into the single most terrifying experience of their lives while dressed as a giant peacock. They are not only not going to be very happy with you but this is legit the part of their lives where they first learn how to show you a side eye.

charlotte lifestyle newborn photographer

Now you're thinking.. "This photographer is telling me NOT to take photographs of my baby. Am I a bad parent for wanting to take precious photos of my little one?"

No, definitely not. I very much want you to have professional portraits taken of your newborn. Capturing this moment is capturing time + bottling it forever + is very important. However, I meet so many sweet new parents who so badly crave the Anne Geddis style portrait (baby is a butterfly, baby is a swan, baby is a trapeze artist...) + there are definitely amazing photographers in Charlotte who will give you just that but I want to go into detail with you parents-to-be over the ways you can make the most of your newborn session by choosing to go LIFESTYLE (this translates to not torturing your sweet baby + yourselves). I'm going to give the facts + the truth about getting great images + what a newborn portrait session is REALLY like (bring diapers, lots of diapers)!

Before I begin the tips, you should know there are 2 main types of Newborn Photography: Traditional + Lifestyle. Traditional would be studio style, super posed newborn photography while Lifestyle newborn photography is more natural + much less posed. I am a lifestyle newborn photographer however I believe all of the tips below apply well to either style of photography.

charlotte newborn photographer

TIP #1: Your newborn should be well fed + be napping as the photo session begins. The best newborn portraits are taken when he or she is happily sleeping. (Exhibit A: See Max above, smiling in his sleep).

charlotte lifestyle newborn photographer

TIP #2: Your newborn thinks of you as his or her safety net. She or he is already used to your smell + your gentleness with them. Take this time to take portraits with your baby as he will want to be as close to you as possible.

charlotte newborn photographer

TIP #3: Get Dad in the picture. Sometimes fathers tend to get left out of newborn portrait sessions. This is super important bonding time for them too + just as baby loves your smell, he loves Dad's too + will be at peace taking portraits in his arms.

charlotte lifestyle newborn photographer

TIP #4: Your newborn will likely cry. Your newborn will likely have a few accidents. This is normal + to be expected. Don't worry. Don't be embarrassed. And, above all, don't worry about the photographer, her time or what she's thinking. This is her (my) career + I have seen it all. As someone who constantly worries about how I come off to other people, trust me, I am not worried a bit about your baby crying or having to take a break. When photographing newborns, I only schedule one session a day so I have lots of time to devote to you + your family. No need to feel rushed or upset.

charlotte lifestyle newborn photographer

TIP #5: The order of outfit changes is critical. Go from fully clothed (hat, accessories, booties) to less clothed (take off hat, change outfit), to swaddle. The more your little one is moved around the less happy he or she will be with us.

charlotte lifestyle newborn photographer

TIP #6: Despite what may have seemed like a rant above, props are totally welcome for your newborn. The key is going low-maintenence with the prop + knowing that even though the portrait might not be your newborn surrounded in a field of flowers, one small, beautiful prop (like the angel wings on Max above) can make a beautiful portrait.

TIP #7: Don't go into Pinterest overload. Pinterest is amazing + full of wonderful ideas for newborn portraits. However, the key is realizing that your photographer knows what she's doing + will deliver you beautiful portraits that will not be a direct copy of an image seen on Pinterest. Attempting to copy images often results in Pinterest fails through the fault of no one. Art can never be truly duplicated + it's important to trust your photographer in getting beautiful, natural images like one of Max above.

charlotte lifestyle newborn photographer

Tip #8: Your love for your newborn will shine through in every image. The cool thing about newborn portrait sessions is that you never get tired of smiling or looking at your little one. Even if he kept you up all night the night before, your new love for him is so pure + so beautiful that he will steal your heart in every portrait.

Have questions for me about lifestyle newborn portrait sessions? Your session can take place at your home or at my natural light portrait studio. Send me an email to talk about your needs.

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