Are you’re searching for beautiful and timeless baby images AND a relaxing, stress-free baby photoshoot with parents experience?
Then this blog post will help you to set up your baby photoshoot for success.
If you have a pregnant, I recommend reading this blog post. And if you already have a newborn baby, this blog post will be very helpful.
The most important priority for your baby photoshoot with parents: plan it around your baby’s nap time
Do you want images of genuine smiles and your baby’s personality shining through? The easiest way to get it is by ensuring your baby is well rested.
For this reason, I encourage you to set your baby’s nap as your main priority on the day of your session.
Typically, the best nap is the first one in the morning. This is the nap babies tend to fall asleep the easiest and wake up feeling rested and happy. So, when planning for your baby photoshoot, the ideal is to start your session right after she or he wakes up from the first morning nap. This is when your baby will be most cheerful and engaging.
To prevent a stressful experience, I highly recommend that you choose a photographer who is flexible about the starting session time. And who takes your baby’s nap into consideration during the planning phase of your photoshoot.
Be prepared for a feed
One way to help your baby feel cheerful during your baby photoshoot with parents is to offer him or her a feed if you notice your baby starting to get cranky. Feeding your baby either by bottle or nursing gives a great opportunity for real-life (documentary) images to complement your final gallery.
If your baby is already eating solids, make sure to bring/set aside a non-messy snack. Snacks can be particularly useful to get older babies to sit still for a moment during baby portraits
Pick the ideal location considering your baby’s personality
An in-home baby photo sessions offer the most flexibility and can be timed according to your baby’s nap. This option is especially ideal for babies with an irregular nap schedule. That is, sometimes the nap lasts 30 min and other times 2h. Like this, the session can be adapted to your baby’s sleep.
Scheduling an outdoor session with a baby involves more of a ‘dance’. Because a baby outdoor photoshoot requires some level of flexibility from families. We need to find the right balance between your baby’s nap time AND when the light is the most beautiful. Plus, we need to find the best time when the temperature is fresh and pleasant (for summer sessions).
Embrace chaos with humor and snuggles during your baby photoshoot with parents
Young children are usually not fond of being told to “pose”, stand still, or smile. Crying is a normal part of working with babies during a photoshoot.
So, my best advice is to expect a good cry to happen during your session, no matter how well you plan for it.
Babies typically look at their parents as a guide on how to respond during emotional situations. So, the best way to de-escalate a meltdown is for you to keep yourself calm, joyful and with a big smile on your face. And offer your baby a snuggle. Your baby will follow your lead. Also, moments of snuggling time between a parent and a baby are beautiful to capture.
Remember that your behavior as a parent will set the tone for the session: your baby will follow your lead
- Come to your family session willing to be PLAYFUL, LOVING, and OPEN to all sorts of emotions and natural moments. Let go of expectations and “Pinterest shot lists” and embrace whatever comes your way
- Get down to your baby’s level to play, be silly, engage, and be fully present
- Be “EXTRA” affectionate, playful, present, silly, or whatever you do to show love and connection to your baby and your partner/spouse. Imagine that your session day is like that very special celebration, like your anniversary or the day your baby was born. A reason to go the extra mile to connect with your family
- Partners – don’t forget each other. Before becoming parents, you were first a couple. Try to find a quiet time to connect on the day before your session. And remember to be affectionate towards one another during your session
- When you arrive at your baby photoshoot, try to “press” the RESET bottom. Leave behind anything or any emotion that does not serve you. And embrace all the love you share for your family
Consider the needs of your toddler too
If you also have a toddler, keep his or her needs in mind when planning your baby photoshoot with parents.
Tantrums typically happen when toddlers are hungry or overtired. To prevent it, make sure you have a non-messy snack your toddler loves + water.
Also, consider his or her nap when planning your session.
For families with a baby + toddler, I find that the sweet spot is at 10 am. It allows for your baby to take his or her first nap, even if you need to cut it a little shorter or adjust it so your baby takes it earlier than usual. But it is still early enough so your toddler is not too tired. In my experience, a photoshoot scheduled at 11 or 12 pm with a toddler is more likely to result in tears.
The same goes for an afternoon photoshoot, when both babies and toddlers tiredness has accumulated and is likely to result in crankiness.
Also, bringing your toddler’s trusted “friend” (favorite lovey) can also do wonders when your toddler starts getting upset. And to reassure him or her that the photoshoot is meant to be a safe and fun experience.
Lastly, with toddlers it is important to embrace more documentary moments of everyday life, like playing and reading books.