Thank you for choosing Jessica Neumann Photography for your Newborn Session! What I love most about these sessions is that you will look back on these images for many years to come and you will be astonished that your little one was ever that tiny. They grow SO fast and it is such an amazing time to capture. Below you will find all the information you need to know to feel relaxed and prepared for your session.
Right Before the Session: I ask that you try to keep your newborn up for about 30-60 minutes before you leave for the studio (easier said than done, I know!). This helps to ensure we get some sleepy time when they are here. This is a great time to give them a bath, get them dressed, etc.
Full Tummy: This can be a little tricky for new parents; however a full tummy is always best before a photo shoot. A well-fed baby will give you a content, sleepy, little one, ready to pose for the camera. We usually recommend feeding before you leave for the studio and then we will add any needed feedings throughout the session. If your baby is getting bottles, make sure to bring extras to the session since sometimes we will feed the baby while still on the set so they can drift off to dreamland still in position and we can get right back to work.
Essentials: Of course, don't forget the essential baby supplies. I encourage parents to bring a pacifier (even if your baby is not taking one) because using a pacifier throughout the session helps the babies stay asleep as we move them through the poses. Though I do understand the concern over nipple confusion in breastfed babies (being a mother who has nursed two babies herself), I can ensure you that having a pacifier briefly through the session will not lead to any issues for that brief time. Please bring burp cloths, wipes and diapers with you though I do have extras here in case you need them! Being prepared for all scenarios will keep you and baby calm during the first photo session.
Your Involvement: You can be involved as little or as much as you would like to during the session. The majority of my parents like to take advantage of the quiet time and take a nap on the couch or enjoy some coffee and some TV. However, I do have a couch right next to your baby that you are welcome to sit at and watch. I may ask you to nurse your baby (if you are nursing) through the session or briefly hold the baby for me while I change a set up. The only other involvement you have will be as my safety partner, which I talk about a little more in detail below.
Safety: During your session, you will notice safety is the number one priority. I never leave the baby unattended and may ask that you sit next to the baby while I grab something or I may ask you to be my spotter. This means that while you see some adorable images of babies in buckets of propped up on their hands on my website, these images are not always as they seem. Since safety is my number one priority, during the majority of these shots, your hands will be on your little one at all times. During the post processing of the images (aka Photoshop) I remove your hands or merge two images together to create the perfect, adorable and SAFE image.
Newborn Clothing Choices: Most of the newborns I photograph are in their birthday suit for the majority of the session. I do have wraps and accessories in the studio that we incorporate throughout the session. However, I do recommend that if there is a special blanket, hat or object you want incorporated that you bring that with you. Please dress your newborn in something that is easy to get off when you come so that in case they are sleeping we can just begin working right away (nothing over the head).
Parents Clothing Choices: My studio stays very warm to accommodate your baby and the fact that they will be nude the majority of the time. I encourage those attending the shoot to dress in layers to ensure your comfort as well. If you would like to be included in the images, please choose neutral clothing such as a plain solid shirt (avoid white if possible), which adds simplicity tot the image and allows the focus to be on you and your baby. I sometimes do skin to skin shots with you and the baby so if you are comfortable with that and like the way it looks, please make sure to let me know during the session. Also, please remember to bring a change of clothes with you in case you get pooped or peed on.
Siblings: If there is an older sibling you would like in the images, please have a caretaker bring them to the studio either in the beginning or the end of the session (we can discuss) to incorporate. I have found having sibling stay for the whole session can sometimes be difficult for them (and the parent) since they tend to get bored. The goal is to have a relaxed, quiet environment for the new baby (and Mom or Dad) so sometimes having big brother or sister there just for their part of the images works best.
Relax: This is key during your shoot. I create an environment in my studio that is perfect for relaxing, so take advantage of it! Patience is key during these sessions and while your baby may not be sleeping right away, poops on my backdrop or need an extra feed IT IS OK! I am very experienced with newborns and nothing phases me. All babies have their own agenda and I always get the images we need. The thing to remember is that each baby has its own plan and we are just along for the ride so we need to be flexible with feeding, etc. Your baby will feed on your mood and energy so be sure to stay relaxed and calm.
Lastly, I ask that sessions are for immediate family only. I strive for a quiet and serene environment for the baby, as that tends to generate the best pictures. Additionally, I ask that no personal pictures are taken during the shoot.
My studio address is 10004 Prestwich Terrace, Ijamsville, MD 21754 and my cell phone is 410-916-2741. When you arrive at the studio, please pull all the way up to the left in the driveway and come to the front door. Cannot wait to meet you and your little one!!