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An adorable baby in a striped shirt looks at the camera during a newborn photography session in the Bay Area

Newborn Photography Session: How To Prepare

Written By:

Maryam Salassi

Jul 27, 2020

A newborn photography session is the perfect way to preserve this sweet and fleeting phase of life. So much changes during these first few days, weeks and months. While it may feel like time has slowed down in the moment, it ends up feeling like it passed by in a flash. You’ve probably heard all this before but trust me, it’s true!

A father holds and kisses his cute newborn baby on the cheek during a newborn photography session in San Francisco

As a Bay Area newborn photographer, I love capturing families in their element with their new babes. I also understand that a newborn photography session can be a bit overwhelming for new parents, especially if they don’t know what to expect. Here’s how to prepare!

Newborn Photography Session: Which session should you choose?

When it comes to booking your newborn photography session, you may be presented with a few different options. These are the Bay Area newborn sessions that I offer:

Fresh 48 Newborn Session

Fresh 48 Sessions take place at the hospital or place of birth, and occur within 48 hours of the birth. The goal is to really capture all the new squishiness and these sessions are perfect for parents who want to remember every little detail of those first chaotic couple days. 

Two women hold and look down at their new baby together during a Fresh 48 newborn photography session at the hospital

These sessions tend to be emotional and produce beautifully raw photos. Most parents will pair this session with a newborn lifestyle session. Even though they occur within weeks of each other, it’s amazing to see how much babies change in such a short time! 

Fresh 48 Sessions aren’t currently being offered by Bay Area Newborn Photographers due to COVID-19 — I will be sure to update this when they become available again!

Newborn Lifestyle Session

Newborn Lifestyle Sessions are a little different from the typical posed newborn photography session. They’re more relaxed, capturing your family and newborn in a candid setting. The goal is to really capture life at this time, including feedings, changes (if needed), snuggles, and details of their nursery. I won’t put your baby in a basket, but I will have your baby being loved and held and generally pampered as a baby should be.

A candid photo of a happy couple with their two dogs and baby during a newborn lifestyle photo shoot at home in the Bay Area

Another great thing about Newborn Lifestyle Sessions is that there isn’t a hard timeline to follow as far as scheduling your photoshoot goes. More posed, traditional newborn photography sessions typically need to be booked within 10 days of the birth for optimal posing. However, since lifestyle sessions are much more casual, they can be booked anywhere from a week to 2.5 months from the birth.

An adorable baby in a striped shirt smiles at the camera during a newborn photography session with Hi + Hello Photo in San Francisco

There’s also less concern about fussing, since that’s all part of it! Newborn Lifestyle Sessions are really for parents who want to look back and remember the details of early parenthood and what it was like caring for their little one. Nothing is off the table, and crying photos do happen but I promise you’ll love them as much as the sweet ones!

Newborn Lifestyle Sessions are currently available at home (in some Bay Area counties), as well as outdoors in all counties. 

Newborn Sessions: How long do they last?

Newborn photography session lengths can vary, but mine are typically about an hour long. Since they’re lifestyle sessions and you’re able to tend to your baby throughout the shoot, there is usually minimal fussing and when there is, that’s just part of the experience! Even crying babies are flippin’ cute. We capture it all!

A father holds up his baby daughter and kisses her on the cheek at a beach newborn photography session in the Bay Area

For me, newborn sessions are very chill and I go with the flow of the family. Plus, I usually come to you for the session, so you don’t have to worry about leaving the comfort of your home or getting to a studio on time. 

Newborn Sessions: What parents should do during the session?

You’re just as much the star of these photos as the baby is!

A man and woman sitting on their bed with their baby, posing for lifestyle newborn pictures with Bay Area newborn photographer Hi + Hello Photo

Feel free to act as you normally would. Practice your swaddling skills, rock and play with your baby, feed if you need to, and so on. I will direct you when needed, but since the emphasis of this session is on what life is like in this moment, I probably won’t interrupt too much.

Newborn Sessions: What kind of outfits should we have?

There are plenty of cute newborn outfits out there, but I typically suggest putting your baby in a plain white or solid-colored onesie for your newborn photography session. Outfits that are too busy or fussy can take attention away from the baby, which of course is what this session is all about!

A newborn photo of a baby wearing a striped cap and wrapped in a swaddle covered in cute footprints

That being said, it’s totally okay to be more adventurous when it comes to swaddles, blankets, other accessories and the parents’ clothing. 

If your Bay Area newborn session is outdoors, keep in mind that it can get chilly and to bring a few more layers than you think you need to make sure sure that everyone is cozy and comfortable.

A mother holding her newborn baby wearing a cute bonnet during a family photo session

If you’re interested in booking a newborn photography session with a Bay Area or San Francisco newborn photographer, let’s chat!

  1. […] one type of maternity session, which is 45 minutes long. However, it can also be bundled with a newborn session, which I highly […]

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