What To Expect At Your Newborn's First Photoshoot

Newborn Photoshoot

You have a brand new baby! You look at the little tiny fingers and toes and you're just in AWE. After a few days you probably already have a hundred cell phone pics and videos but nothing quite takes the place of professional portraits. The lighting. The composition. The posing. The editing. I take your perfect little person and create beautiful portraits that you will treasure forEVER. And we do it when she's as tiny as she'll ever be. You're going to be shocked at how quickly she grows and you'll be super happy you documented this precious time.

Newborn photo sessions are typically held within the first 2 weeks. This is when he is usually super sleepy and tolerant of being moved around and also super bendy so we can get him into those adorable little poses. New babies actually find comfort in those poses...he is used to being curled up in your comfortable, warm belly. Trust that I will treat your newborn like he was my own and will not move or pose him in any way that he finds uncomfortable.

So, you've booked your session and you're super excited for your baby's first photoshoot. Now what do you do? Well, actually, not much. I pretty much do it all. I come to your home which is priceless for new parents. Nobody wants to pack up the baby and head out to a studio in those first couple of days. You're sore, sleep-deprived, maybe a little stressed out but you get to stay in the comfort of your own home. When I'm there, feel free to continue with your normal routine...eat dinner, do some laundry, or just sit back and relax. I've even had a few moms go take a nap and leave dad or grandmom with me. I'll be there for 2 to 4 hours. I like to take my time and try to get every little detail right before I click the shutter. And we may need a feeding break or a clean up break or just a snuggle break, so definitely be prepared for it to take a few hours. And be prepared for it to look like I'm moving in with all of the equipment I bring with me. I'm trying to scale back a bit, but there's quite a bit I need to bring. A big beanbag to pose the baby on, a backdrop stand, lighting equipment, blankets, props, wraps. Oh, and my camera. Can't forget my camera! :D

Yeah, I bring a lot of stuff. 

Yeah, I bring a lot of stuff. 

There are a few things that I ask of you to help the shoot run smoothly:

  • If you are breastfeeding, avoid dairy, spicy foods, and any other gassy foods for 24 hours before the shoot. The number one reason newborns are fussy is because they have upset tummies. Calm tummies = calm babies.
  • Turn off the A/C (or crank up the heat in the winter). Your baby is used to being squished in a 98.6° womb. They will be happy to be warm and toasty. We may get sweaty, but it's worth it to have a sleepy baby.
  • Try to wake the baby an hour or two before the shoot and interact with her to keep her awake. A bath about an hour before is a great way do this. Try to avoid feeding her until I get there, or right before. We want a warm, tired baby with a full tummy. This is the trifecta. It takes me about 15 minutes to get everything set up so it's the perfect time for feeding. 
  • Have the baby in just a diaper and blanket for the shoot. It's super hard to get out of a onsie and stay asleep.
  • If your baby doesn't use a pacifier, consider having one available just for the shoot. Sometimes this is just the thing to help calm a fussy baby. Then you can pack it away when I leave and pretend it never happened.
Plus we might get an adorable expression like this...this was right after we 'unplugged' her :D

Plus we might get an adorable expression like this...this was right after we 'unplugged' her :D

  • Have some towels and extra diapers near by. Chances are high that you or I will get peed or pooped on. That's what babies do. All of my wraps and blankets are washed in All Free and Clear after every shoot. I sanitize and double wash if they are soiled.  
  • If you plan on being in some photos or have older siblings you'd like involved, please dress in neutral colors. No stripes, busy patterns, or lettering/logos.
  • If there is anything specific you would like (colors, props, poses) please let me know a few days before the shoot so I can plan appropriately and bring what's needed.
  • Know that there are some poses that will require your assistance (as well as some major Photoshop hocus-pocus). My main concern is the safety of your baby and I will never put him in a dangerous situation. I may be letting out a photographer's secret here, but the babies hanging from trees, or sitting on top of a bench, or holding their head up in their hands...it's not real. Mom or Dad is right there holding the baby and lots of composites are being made in post-processing. That's what makes this more of an art and I love it when we nail it. I just want to put a "don't try this at home" disclaimer on the photos.

When we wrap it up and I go home, I immediately start the next round. I can't wait to get home and load the images on my computer. I usually get so excited I share a photo on Facebook that night or the next morning. I'll have the whole gallery ready for you to view and choose your images within a week. There is a lot of editing to be done and it's not uncommon for me to get totally obsessed and stay up 'til way too late working on the photos. But I truly enjoy that part almost as much as I enjoy the actual shoot.

I feel extremely fortunate to be invited into your home and trusted with your most precious commodity. I become emotionally attached to each baby I photograph (kind of like I did with my students when I was a teacher) and I'm grateful to have the photos to remember each and every one. You should feel confident that I will be unquestionably safe with your baby and that I will put 100% effort and creativity into creating portraits that are worthy of the tiny miracle you just created.   


Recent Reviews

"I can't recommend Jessica enough! I've been lucky enough to work with her on a few different projects and they've all gone better than I could have hoped. She is patient, friendly, so talented and has a quick turnaround with so many fantastic shots to choose from. Most recently she photographed our newborn and I was blown away. I'm absolutely in love with the pictures and everyone I've showed them to has been in awe as well. The process was easy and fun and I seriously don't think anyone else could have done a better job." - K. George

"It was such a pleasure to work with Jessica! The whole photo shoot was so much fun! Jessica did our newborn photo shoot, but she also worked very hard to get a beautiful sibling photo of our newborn daughter with her toddler sister. I was very impressed with how well she worked with my toddler daughter! My toddler is usually very shy around other people taking photos, but Jessica helped her to feel included into the photo shoot right away, which allowed her to warm up to Jessica and make the whole process smooth! Jessica was so patient with my newborn daughter and took the time that she needed to get the perfect pictures. Jessica also brought the cutest little bows, wraps, etc. to fit the color scheme that I was going for. The photos that Jessica captured will be keepsakes that we treasure forever!!" - L. Evetts

"I would give her 10 Stars if I can :D Jessica Doffing is a amazing photographer! I couldn't ask more. First of all, she answers all my ridiculous questions and tries to meet all the things I asked for a session and afterwards. Her service is excellent, can't ask more! she even made a service to accommodate my special requests! My baby was 12 days old, and she was not sleeping well, the day of shooting weather was terrible thunderstorm and raining all day. - Even these circumstances, Jessica was incredibly patient with baby and handled well, got great pictures! (she prepared so well for a session as well) . Can't wait to do another session and Growing baby picture with her again. Also, my picky husband gave kudos as well! :D Also would love to do family picture later with Jessica." - J. Leffingwell

"Working with Jessica was such a pleasure! I missed the train on a newborn session for my son and knew photographing him at three months would be a bit more challenging. Jessica was so patient, and she was still able to get the perfect sleeping naked baby pose you usually see with newborns! This was also our first family shoot, and she was able to capture beautiful moments! We are so happy with all our pictures. I would definitely recommend her services. Thank you, Jessica!" - S. Barrett

"Jessica is great! She was so patient with my uncooperative two-month-old and ended up delivering really great photos! I am thankful for her kind patience, her great skill, and the memories she was able to freeze in time for my family!" - E. Mostly

"Jessica is absolutely amazing! My baby usually gets fussy when people mess with him, but he was so comfortable with Jessica! The photos turn out absolutely awesome, and hubby and I have already decided that Jessica will be my baby's exclusive photographer from now on!" - V. Lumbley

"Not only is Jessica a talented photographer, she's fun and a pleasure to work with. She arrived on time and very prepared for our newborn session. Overall her time management and turn around is excellent, she stays true to her word. Myself and family could not be any happier with the pictures that were taken, and I would highly recommend Jessica and her services. Thank you so much for capturing these memories, they're beautiful." - J. Flora

"Amazing newborn photoshoot today!! Impeccable quality, quick, and easy! Highly recommend!!" - M. Gotfredson