How to Prepare for your Newborn Session | Pure Natural Newborn Photography
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Ottawa Gatineau Belly Birth & Baby Photographer

How to Prepare for your Newborn Session

Of course these are only guidelines and not rules, but in previous experience the sessions are a lot smoother when the guidelines are followed. Feel free to make recommendations of things to add to this list. We are always looking to make things easier on new parents & babies!

  • first things first, RELAX! the last thing we want is for you to be stressed out over a photoshoot
  • it is recommended to prepare your wardrobe a few days before your session to make sure everything is cleaned, ironed, etc. and to make sure it all still fits. this gives you time to go shopping if needed.
  • don’t cut or colour your hair at least a week before your session because you want it to settle and you want to make sure you love it (otherwise you may regret it in your images and we don’t want that!)
  • make sure your nails are cleaned, clipped & shaped (dad too!) and avoid coloured polish (neutral or French manicure is fine).
  • if breastfeeding, do your best to avoid spicy or gassy foods or caffeine 48 hours prior to your session to avoid discomfort. (you are both more than welcome to indulge in caffeine during the session!)
  • seasonal tips:
    • avoid extended sun exposure during the week leading up to your session to avoid awkward tan lines and/or burns (and be aware of your garment shapes and straps)
    • during the week leading up to your session make sure you bundle up to stay warm and avoid the sniffles and/or frosty fingers

The day of your session

  • plan to arrive arrive at the studio between 9:45-10:00AM
  • make sure you dress your newborn in clothing that does not go over the head and it’s best to layer blankets over them for the journey over to keep warm than clothes; this ensures we don’t disturb baby if they are sleeping once you arrive at the studio and can get started right away. in the summer, diaper-only wrapped in blanket is best. in the winter, i get it; ottawa is cold!! bundle that kiddo up!
  • if possible, keep your baby up for at least an hour before you head out to the studio (with interactive activities such as bathing) as this will tire them out for when they arrive at the studio.
  • if possible, try to time feeding with arriving at the studio so that they drift off to sleep for the session (if not possible, feed right before leaving so that they are sleeping when you arrive)
  • if baby is sleeping when you arrive at the studio, the photographer will take over, which leaves you to relax (though we will need your help as spotter for safety). we will remove baby from the car-seat and get started right away with baby-only portraits. if baby is awake and needing to be fed, we will let mom do her thing and start with either family photos or grab some adorable bright-eyed baby portraits while they are awake.
  • if you are anticipating Newborn&Family portraits:
    • it is strongly recommended to arrive in two vehicles: one with mom & baby, and the other with dad&siblings, so that after the siblings and family portion is complete, dad (or a friend/family member) can take the kids home or to the nearby park.
    • we recommend bringing a nut-free snack for mom&dad to go along with our selection of coffee and tea as the session can be quite lengthy. (not to worry, we will make sure we do the parents&baby portraits before your snack to avoid any food-in-teeth mishaps.)
    • don’t worry about if you have any remaining baby-belly; being in the images with your child is far more important than worrying about it! you can either embrace what being a mom looks like (beautiful, no matter what!) OR with strategic cropping and the magic of photo editing software, consideryourself back to your usual self 🙂

For wardrobe options, here are the recommendations

The goal is to have options to choose from in case you change your mind day-of. We may not use every single outfit option, but these are the typical choices that have proven to be classic, timeless, and beautiful. Mom, it strongly recommended to arrive wearing a semi-loose shirt with semi-loose pants (the least elastic and tightness possible) to avoid any elastic marks and baby messes on your “photo clothes” before the pictures are captured.

  • bring along a strapless bra (preferably nude/beige) and a black regular bra
  • bring along a plain tank top or t-shirt (white, grey, beige, black — neutral tones)
    • for dad, we recommend a matching/coordinating t-shirt or polo, without logos or zippers, and avoid buttoned shirts
    • for the kids, we recommend a white/cream/beige dress for the girls, and white tee for the boys
    • for baby, nude is best (we’ve got outfits in-studio, if desired).
  • bring along dressy yet comfortable pants: jeans, black yoga pants (the newer the better so they are still black and not ‘bally’)
    • for dad, we recommend either dressy jeans, beige or grey khakis, or dress pants (light-medium neutral colours)
    • for the kids, we recommend jeans or beige dress pants/khakis and no shirt for the boys and
    • for baby, nude or diapered is best (we’ve got outfits in-studio)
  • feel free to also bring along a fancier top for everyone, making sure to keep things to natural tones (nothing too bright in colour) and patterns to a minimum (avoid logos).
  • for outdoor sessions, you will likely only use one (maybe two) wardrobe options; we recommend the dressy and/or casual options (arrive to the shoot location in your desired outfit)

The idea is to make sure your baby is the star of the image, and to make sure you all look like you’re going to the same place (whether it’s a coffee date, pic-nic, rodeo, diner party, or couch day, etc.). If mom is wearing jeans and a tank top, dad should also be wearing jeans and a neutral top. However if she is in a fancy bra and yoga pants, odds are that dad without a shirt wearing jeans is the best pairing. Not to worry, you will be guided in-studio, but make sure you bring your preferred wardrobe options! Check out our inspiration board for ideas!

Don’t have anything nice to wear, mom? No problem! The studio has a selection of garments ranging from fancy bandeau bras, simple dresses, extra tank tops, and a large selection of wraps that can be make-shifted into bandeau-style strapless tops or dresses. We also have a wardrobe stylist who would love to work with you in finding the perfect coordinating outfits for your session!

If you’ve booked the add-on for professional hair & makeup stylists

  • arrive with freshly washed and moisturized face (try not to use any abrasive cleansers or scrubs less than 24 hours prior to your session)
  • arrive with freshly washed and dried hair, without any product (air drying is recommended)
  • bring a few pictures of yourself so that the makeup artists can make sure the look is ‘you’ (photoshoots are not the time to experiment with completely different looks)
  • feel free to create a pinterest board with hair & makeup ideas to send to the stylists in advance for inspiration
  • session start time doesn’t change, we will simply do baby-only portraits first while mom gets pampered. enjoy 🙂
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