Your 2024 Ultimate Guide to Booking Your Newborn Session!

purple prop newborn girl sleepy hat

Welcoming a newborn into your family is a truly magical experience filled with love, joy, and wonder. Preserving these precious moments through newborn photography allows you to create cherished memories that will last a lifetime. In this ultimate guide, I’ll walk you through what you should look for when booking your newborn session and photographer, as well as all that goes into your session. Keep reading to learn more!

Why Should You Book a Newborn Session?

Have you ever noticed how quickly babies grow and change in just a few short months? It’s amazing how much they transform from a newborn to a three-month-old! Capturing those precious moments through photography can help you preserve those memories forever. Newborn photography is not only a great way to create a family keepsake, but it can also be a fun and memorable experience for the whole family. Imagine being able to show your child their baby pictures when they’re all grown up or even passing them down to your grandchildren one day. It’s a meaningful way to create a legacy for your family.

During a newborn photography session, parents can also take a break and relax while the experienced photographer and their assistant work their magic. It’s a rare opportunity for new parents to take a nap or simply enjoy the moment of celebrating the arrival of a new family member.

newborn baby girl in wicker bed boho layers

newborn baby girl on tiny bed with boho layers and bonnet

What Should You Look for When Hiring a Newborn Photographer

If you’re planning to take pictures of newborns, just having a good camera won’t be enough. There are many factors, like finding the right angles, positioning the light correctly, and using specific equipment, that play a crucial role in capturing those adorable little details. Professional newborn photographers have a lot of experience and know exactly what it takes to get the perfect shot.

When selecting a photographer, look for someone who specializes in newborn photography and has a portfolio that matches your vision. A good photographer will understand how to safely pose and handle your little one while also capturing their pure innocence and beauty. After the photo session, the photographer will edit the images to enhance them and remove any imperfections you don’t want to show. You can work with the photographer to decide on the level of editing you’d like for your baby’s portraits.

Safety is also a top priority. A good photographer will have completed training in newborn safety and will never compromise your baby’s safety for the sake of a photo. Choosing a photographer with a permanent studio can make things easier for you, as they’ll have everything set up and ready to go. You can also keep the temperature just right for your sleepy newborn and have access to a variety of props and clothing options.

If you’re looking to capture the precious moments of your newborn’s early days, it’s important to choose the right photographer. An experienced newborn photographer can bring three key things to the table: patience, safety, and a great setup.


Let’s face it. Newborn babies can be unpredictable. When they need something, they need it now. The person documenting your newborn has to know when to move your baby into a different pose and when it’s time for a break. Based on my experience photographing hundreds of babies, I know there’s always another pose that might make your baby happier. I also only schedule one newborn session a day. That way, there’s plenty of time to tend to your baby’s needs without feeling rushed.

baby girl with gold crown smiling


As the parent of a newborn, you’re likely very protective of your baby. But don’t worry! A skilled newborn photographer will expertly pose your baby in ways that accentuate their adorable features while ensuring their safety and comfort. They will have techniques to achieve those cute curled-up poses that showcase the delicate nature of newborns. When photographing newborns, safety is my top priority. I’ll be extra gentle with your little one and make sure that they’re safe throughout their newborn photography session. I’ll also work to put your mind at ease if you have any concerns about the safety of your child.

You can ask your newborn photographer questions like these to get a sense of how they ensure your baby’s safety.

  • What safety training have you done?
  • How do you practice safety in posing? 
  • What do you do if a photo isn’t working?

Their answers will give you some peace of mind so you can relax and enjoy your experience.

Even the heartiest newborns need special safety considerations. When you choose whom you’ll trust with your newborn photos, make sure they have received training on newborn safety. There are actual professional organizations that train photographers on newborn safety when it comes to studio conditions and posing.


When you pick a photographer for your newborn session, remember to keep things simple for yourself. Choose a photographer with a permanent studio so you don’t have to worry about prepping the house for in-home photography. There are a lot of perks to a studio setup. You can keep the temperature just right for a sleepy newborn, and ideally, the photographer will have a closet full of clothes and props for you to use.

Things to Consider When Booking a Newborn Session

baby boy with bear lovey

Schedule Your Session Ahead of Time

When you’re getting ready to give birth, you have a lot on your mind. You’re making sure you have everything in place for your new baby, current family members, and you for those hazy early days of new parenthood. Given all of that, you might be tempted to put off scheduling your newborn session. Even though you might want to put it off, I recommend scheduling your session sooner rather than later. You won’t want to think about it when you get home from the hospital. Unlike wedding photographers, newborn photographers are sometimes available to book closer to a session date, too. 

As soon as you know which photographer you want to work with, reach out to them. The best time for newborn photos is in the first few weeks after your baby is born. This is when they’re most predictably at their sleepiest, which makes posing them with props easier. If you know for sure when your baby will be born, get on a photographer’s calendar sooner than later. I sometimes have families call me from the hospital before bringing their babies home. Once you get home, you won’t want to worry about scheduling the photo session on top of caring for a newborn.

What is The Best Age for a Newborn Session?

Typically, the best age for newborn photos is within the first 14 days after birth. The reason is that your baby is generally very sleepy and still flexible enough to mold into those tiny, cute little poses. Usually, around the two-week mark, baby acne and colic can rear their ugly heads, so we want to avoid having to balance that if we can help it. Although some babies never experience these things at all.

The best way to ensure that we can get your baby in for their newborn photos in the desired timeframe is to pre-book with your due date. I only take a certain amount of due dates per month to allow room in the schedule should the baby be born early or late. These little babes can be unpredictable on when they will arrive (unless you are having a scheduled c-section). I want to ensure I have time within those first 14 days of birth if possible. However, it is not always possible to bring the baby into the portrait studio immediately following birth. If the baby has an extended hospital stay, we will arrange a date that is best for your little one.

If your baby ends up arriving prematurely and is required to stay in the NICU for a while, don’t worry. We can just plan for the session after your baby goes home. I have photographed many preemies right up to 8 weeks old, and they have been just as sleepy as a 7-day-old newborn. The main goal of the session is to get beautiful newborn photos that you will cherish for a lifetime.

Baton Rouge newborn photographer

Pick The Right Style of Photography for You

Every photographer has their own style. They all generally fall into the categories of Fresh 48, Lifestyle, and Studio. 

  • Fresh 48 photos are taken within the first two days of a baby’s life. This can be great or inconvenient depending on other factors, such as recovery from birth and childcare for other kids.
  • Lifestyle photos are taken at home. If you’re very attached to your home, this can be a nice way to document it. We’ve all seen those pretty Instagram pictures of newborns photographed at home. So much goes into those photos that you don’t see. Imagine being sleep-deprived with a week-old baby and having to get your house and your whole family presentable for a photographer.
  • Studio newborn photos are where you get classic images of babies snuggled in wraps, tucked in baskets, and sleeping with lovies. Often, families choose to work with a photographer in a studio because it’s convenient for everyone. A studio has a lot of advantages for your newborn photography session. Your photographer makes sure the space is ready with everything you could need in one place. Some studio photographers even provide outfits that coordinate with backdrops. They can control the environment, including the lighting, to get those soft photos consistently. In a studio, you don’t get unwanted noise or distractions from other family members, kids, or pets wandering through. It’s just plain cozy for you and your little one.

How Do You Want to Customize Your Session?

Even if you do newborn photos in a studio, there’s no reason they need to feel generic. Your little one is one-of-a-kind. You can personalize your photos more by bringing family heirlooms or objects that hold special meaning for you. Your photographer can help you brainstorm ideas if you feel stuck. The following are things that can be brought to the session: extra bottles, wipes, receiving blankets, gripe water/oval drops (if your baby is gassy), and a pacifier. Even if your baby hasn’t taken a pacifier, it is still a good idea to bring one, as this could make or break your session. The goal is to help keep the baby happy and calm during your session and is only used if assistance is needed to capture certain poses and won’t create any habit-forming behavior.

You can have a studio session that feels deeply personal. After all, this is your chance to establish part of your family’s legacy. Your pictures can include clothing or items that matter to your family. I have seen first responders include their uniforms in their children’s newborn sessions, for example. You could even include an heirloom. The idea is to give future generations an understanding of who your family is and what matters most to you.

How Much Time Can You Dedicate to Your Session?

Newborn photo sessions are different from other types of photography because babies can be unpredictable. During the session, your photographer will need to be patient and follow your baby’s lead. Newborns are at an age where they can’t wait for anything, whether it’s food or a diaper change. So, it’s essential to let the session be an experience rather than a task to cross off your to-do list. Sometimes, the photographer may have a pose in mind, but the baby may not like it. Don’t worry; there’s always another pose to try.

In addition, the studio will have tools to help calm a fussy baby, such as a vibrating mat and low lighting. To ensure the best experience for you and your family, I only book one newborn session each day at my studio. It’s important to clear your schedule for the day of your session so you’re not feeling rushed or stressed. Try to give yourself enough time to get ready and coordinate with any family members who will be involved in the session.

What to Expect at Your Newborn Session

Whether you’re thinking about booking a newborn session or already have a date on the books, I’m sure you’re a bit curious about what, exactly, goes on during a newborn session. How do you get those peaceful-looking images? How involved are the parents in the shoot itself? Is it actually possible to “pose” an infant? Below, I’m pulling back the curtain about what actually happens during a newborn photography session.

When families first arrive at the studio, we take time to settle in. I show them the setups I’ve prepared and make sure they’re what the family envisioned. Parents can take this time to change their baby into their outfits and check if they’re hungry. A full baby is a happy baby in photo sessions.

After that, the baby runs the session. That might sound odd, but in my experience, adjusting our plans according to the baby makes for the best experience for everyone. When the baby is sleepy, we do more complicated poses. If they wake up and want food or cuddles, we stop until the baby is ready to keep going with different poses. I prioritize poses that parents ask for, but the baby sets the pace the whole way.

Composite Photos

Composite photos are key for achieving some poses. Have you ever seen a newborn photo that looks impossible? Maybe you’ve seen a photo that looks like a baby is sleeping in a swing hanging from a tree branch, or they’re propped on their elbows with their chin resting in their hands. A photographer takes several photos with the baby in safe poses and then puts them together to create one (composite) image. That way, the baby stays cozy and safe, and the photographer is able to create those adorable images.


A lot of posing in newborn photography uses props. These can include:

  • Wraps
  • Buckets and baskets
  • Blankets and pillows
  • Toys
  • Family heirlooms

An experienced newborn photographer knows how to use all of these props with your baby’s safety in mind. If you want something very specific incorporated into the session, like a personalized blanket, toy, or family heirloom, I’ll happily work it into your newborn’s photos. Otherwise, most professional newborn photographers will be able to provide you with the props you’ll need for your baby’s photo session.

A newborn baby snuggles a teddy bear in a Lafayette LA photographer studio.

Prepping Your Family for Your Newborn Session

To maximize the chances of capturing amazing photos and ensure your baby’s safety during posing, here are essential instructions to follow before your session.

Prep for Baby:

  • Awake Time Before Session:
    • Give your baby some awake time before the session to facilitate a deep sleep during posing.
  • Feeding Preparation:
    • If the baby is bottle-fed, please bring extra bottles of baby formula. If breastfeeding, please try to avoid eating the following foods 24 hours prior to the session as it may upset the baby’s tummy: spicy or gassy food (such as broccoli, beans etc), heavy dairy, caffeine, and chocolate. Follow the provided feeding guide based on your travel distance to the studio.
  • Undress and Play:
    • Undress your baby and allow them to kick and play in a warm room for a bit.
  • Relaxing Bath:
    • Give your baby a nice, long bath in a warm room to ensure a deep sleep during the session.
  • Lotion Application:
    • After the bath, moisturize your baby’s skin with lotion to keep it soft for photos.
  • Comfortable Dressing:
    • Dress your baby in a loose-fitting onesie with a zip-up, snap, or magnetic closure, avoiding clothes that go over their head.
  • Car Ride Preparation:
    • Put your baby in a car seat and head to the studio. The car ride often induces a deep sleep, making posing easier.
  • Pacifier Tip:
    • If possible, bring a pacifier, as it can be helpful during the session. We have individually packaged ones available if needed.

new parents with newborn baby girl photo shoot

For Mom & Dad:

  • Dad’s Attire:
    • Soft, neutral-colored T-shirts work best.
  • Mom’s Attire:
    • Choose a neutral-colored and simple designer gown. Avoid nail polish or opt for soft colors if wearing nail polish.
  • Color Palette:
    • For family photos, stick to nude/tan, cream, gray, and blush colors to keep the focus on the new baby.

For Siblings:

  • Sisters:
    • Dresses are available, or a snug-fitting tank in a neutral color works well. Keep hair natural or in braids, and avoid bows or headbands.
  • Brothers:
    • I prefer snug jeans and a shirtless look or a neutral-colored shirt.

Creating Artwork From Your Newborn Session

At the end of the process, your newborn photographer will provide you with photos and products of your baby that you’ll be able to cherish forever. They’ll also provide you with some unique ways to show off the incredible photos that they’ve taken.

You can use your newborn portraits to create an album you can flip through, wall art for your baby’s nursery, or gifts for grandparents. I offer a selection of hand-crafted albums, canvas and acrylic wall art, fine art albums, and other items that will showcase your newborn portraits beautifully. Regardless of how you want to display your photos, your newborn photographer can guide you to the right options for your family. Your newborn photography is your chance to create family heirlooms that will be cherished for generations. I wish newborn photographers had been around when my children were born. Images from their early days would be priceless to me. You have an incredible chance to preserve this moment in your child’s life and family’s history.

A newborn baby boy with jeans on a blue back drop on a horse

Planning for Sessions After Your Newborn Session

When you’re in the midst of planning for a new baby, it’s hard to imagine how fast the first years will go. A lot of families start out diligently documenting the early days, but life has a way of getting in the way of keeping up with those incredible photos. The solution? Milestone sessions.

Milestone sessions are an amazing way to preserve sweet moments in your baby’s development. By the time they’re three months old, they’re not a newborn anymore. They’re smiling and interacting with you in new ways. They can usually hold their head up for different poses, too. Many babies are able to sit and play between six and seven months old. They’re easy to please (in other words, they will smile for the camera). They can even sit up, making it possible to use new props and poses.

Even if you opt not to do photo sessions at three and six months, a one-year birthday photo is the perfect accompaniment to your newborn photos. You won’t believe how much they’ve changed in a single year! Having those pictures side by side will mean the world as your child continues to grow.

Fortunately, milestone photo sessions don’t have to be any more complicated than newborn ones. My studio includes everything my clients could need. I keep a wardrobe of outfits and bonnets as well as props and cake pedestals. One perk is that milestone sessions are shorter than those for your newborn. As your baby grows, they’re eager to explore the world. We keep these sessions shorter to catch them at their best.

A sibling lays beside a newborn baby on a white rug

Let’s Get Your Newborn Session Booked!

It is so easy to get lost in the craziness and forget what a joy motherhood can be. As a mom and “Nay Nay,” I get it! That is why I love getting to connect with everyone I work with and help them with blogs like these! So check out more of my work and other helpful tips in the links below. Reach out today to schedule your dream newborn session booked.

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