Updated: May 12, 2021
Booking and planning a newborn session is a super exciting time for most parents! Especially us momma's who love and get lost in all of the adorable Pinterest themes and ideas. At the same time, this can be so overwhelming! With all of the cuteness, how can we possibly choose and narrow it down?! This is where your photographer and their expertise will come in handy. Most photographers have learned from past sessions what works in photographs and during a session and what does not. The following tips will be super helpful to new parents when thinking about items to bring for your session, though most photographers do not require it.
...Let's talk about the Don'ts first!
Don't purchase the adorable knit diaper covers/outfits/bonnets from stores such as Walmart, Target, Marshalls, etc. specifically for your session. Are they cute? Absolutely! Are their professional portrait status cute? ...Well, No. Why though?! Let's just call these "costumes" - 10 out of 10 times, these precious little knit outfits that say "newborn" size are more fit for a 3-month-old baby. They are always HUGE and your sweet little babe is suddenly over-taken by this ginormous costume. When you have a huge, chunky knit outfit on a sweet little newborn baby, it just looks sloppy...still cute, of course! But most parents aren't paying for sloppy props. I still encourage my clients to buy these outfits for a cute little session at home but leave them behind for your professional session.
If you are wanting a certain outfit from home to be included, don't bring more than one for use during your session. We want a sleepy, snuggly baby in order to execute a successful session! An awake baby, though still possible, is difficult to pose. Changing numerous outfits can be disruptive to their sleep and can even irritate them setting us up for failure. The time spent in the studio with your photographer is not the appropriate time to play "dress-up" with your little one even though the outfits are so adorable (...which, they are!) but it is important to only pick one and, preferably, an outfit that does not include any text as most often not all text will be seen in the photo.
Do not bring anything with super bright/neon colors or glitter/sparkles. This WILL cause a "color cast" onto baby which will turn their skin slightly to the color of the object due to the reflection. Glitter/sparkles can do the same, but with light - kind of like when your diamond ring is blingin' in the sun in the car and lighting up your car like a disco ball! ...This also goes for parent/sibling outfits. Avoid bright/neon colors and glitter/sparkles.
...NOW! Let's talk about the Do's! Yay!
Do bring a small, sentimental item. These have meaning to you and your family, and we want to include these. I've had moms will bring a vail or sash from a wedding dress, a small item from a grandparent, even a special blanket to be incorporated. Military, firefighter, and police officer items are often requested to be brought in as well and can be incorporated as well.
Vintage items can often be incorporated as well and photograph beautifully. Think vintage laces, doilies, or even a vintage pocket watch was brought in at one time and was beautiful!
If mom endured any fertility issues and would like IVF needles, certain ultrasound images, etc included - these are always welcome! Just please ensure every single needle is safely capped.
Do reach out to your photographer when in doubt! After all, they are professional and with a simple photo of what you would like included, they can determine if it can be incorporated in a tasteful way for the session.
In this photo, mom brought in the sash she wore with her wedding dress and we tied it around the bucket.
This sweet baby girl was a blessed miracle for her moms. They saved every needle and struggle to be incorporated into their session and I absolutely love how it turned out!
For this image, both mom & dad were medical professionals and, of course, had a stethoscope in the car that we could incorporate!
This sweet girl was a Rainbow baby! We definitely had to incorporate that into the session so mom brought in these beautiful felted hearts - they were absolutely perfect!
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