How to Slay Your Newborn Session

Steph Masat is a wedding and portrait photographer photographing the poetry of everyday people, one beautiful story at a time.
Browse these stories and peruse these tender memories. 
 Based in St. Louis, Missouri. Available for travel.

How to Slay Your Newborn Session

You’ve waited 9 long months to meet your sweet baby, and now you want to capture your little nugget with some beautiful images so you can forever remember this life altering, mysterious change your family is experiencing. I LOVE newborn sessions and the honesty they convey, whether capturing one of dad’s first diaper changes, or the wrinkly skin on your baby’s feet. They are raw and organic and vulnerable. I’ve had lots of clients ask me how to prepare for their session, there’s always a little bit of apprehension because they want to rock their session and make it go as smoothly as possible. I get it! Here’s a few of my tips for how I coach clients on what to wear, how to prep rooms, what to expect from older kids and so on. It’s a good read so keep going!

what do we wear to our photo session

What Do We Wear?!

  1. Parents (and other kids)! This is probably the number one question I get asked! People want to look good in their photographs, and I want them to be comfortable, so it’s an important question. My newborn sessions are natural and authentic, the clothing should mimic that.
    • I encourage my clients to stick to neutrals (not including black, that’s the only neutral color I don’t suggest.) Greys, whites, creams, light browns.
    • You can add colors that are pale, light blue, mauve, pale pinks.  All of these reflect light well and create pretty skin tones.
    • I encourage new momma’s to be comfy, that means loose linen pants, simple leggings, sweaters, loose fitting tops or jumpers. You’ll probably need to nurse while I’m there, so something that’s easy to navigate, that you feel pretty in, and can easily be adjusted to comfort a fussy baby.
    • Jeans are totally cool, and socks or no socks, that’s up to your personal preference! We want to depict a “cozy-Saturday-morning-snuggling-in-bed” vibe, so think along those lines.
    • Kids! For any older kids, just keep things normal and neutral like you! No red shirts or anything super bright and loud. Try to stick to simple t-shirts without any big logos or pictures. If you can’t no worries, remember this is about YOUR family, exactly how they are!
  2. Babies! I know you’ve gotten some super cute baby outfits you want to show off, but my suggestion for your newborn session is to keep it simple. We want to focus on your baby, not on a cute saying on a onesie.
    • So, in order to depict a sweet, little baby best, I suggest keeping your baby in a simple white, tan or light grey onesie.
    • Keep accessories to a minimum or none at all. Let’s face it, they aren’t super natural or realistic for an everyday morning in your home. We want to be as close to authentic and natural as we can get! We can throw on a bow or two, but let’s focus on your sweet baby’s wispy hair and widow’s peak instead of a cute hair bow! You’ll thank me in 20 years when you’re looking back.
    • Pull out a few simple blankets to swaddle them in, I’ll bring a couple wraps too.

How to Prepare Your Home

  1. Clutter! Let’s face it, most homes are just that, homes, where people live, do life, fight, love, and exist together. We don’t want to change that, but one thing that will take your photos from awesome to AMAZING is reducing clutter just a little bit.
    • That means cleaning up any loose papers on tables, making your beds, folding and putting away the laundry as best you can, etc.
    • Even doing something as simple as the dishes in the sink can make sure that any images we get in the kitchen are un-distracting and focused on you and your family.
    • That being said, I’ll walk through when I arrive and make any small adjustments that you may not have seen, it’s what I do at every session. After all, you’ve hired me for my skill and creative eye, so trust it! And know that nothing I move is a reflection of anyone, (you should see my home) it’s simply just to help create a better photo and story for you.
  2. Windows! We’ll be traveling around your home throughout our session looking for amazing light! That normally means utilizing your windows! So sometimes taking a quick spray of windex to them, and making sure your curtains are good to go is really helpful!
  3. Details! Pull out the hospital wrist bands little things you came home with. Or grandma’s heirloom bonnet, or whatever family keepsake you want to incorporate. I love the details!

how to find a newborn photographer

What to Expect From Your Older Kids

  1. Newborn session with older siblings are so, so sweet. I love documenting the silent wonder of older brothers and sisters getting to know their new sibling. It’s beautiful. However, it can be really stressful for mom and dad, who want their kids to act like perfect human beings while I’m there. Let’s just cut to the chase guys! THAT’S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN! And, I don’t expect it to! The other little humans in your home are beautiful and I can handle them, I promise.
    • Let me be in charge of getting them where they need to go, you stay smiley, calm and patient. Nothing makes a session go south faster than a 4 year old who thinks that mom or dad is mad at them for not listening. These sessions are strange, and we’re asking your little people do sit still, or be calm for a few pictures while all they want to do is show off for me. That’s ok! I’ll work their story into your family’s story and capture their personalities in the process. Let your older kids be apart of the process, the diaper changing, the snuggling, the calming.
    • You’ve hired me for my experience and expertise, so let me wrangle your kids! Your job is to be happy, no matter what happens, keep calm, reassuring to your kids that this process is safe and they’re accepted for who they are.

when to photograph newborns

That’s It!

These few simple tips will get you on a great start for nailing your newborn session and will hopefully minimize any anxiety you may have! Remember, that your little nugget is the reason you want these images. You want to remember. Don’t lose sight of that and you’ll rock your newborn session!

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