I often remind first time parents during a session that the reason why I spend two hours (and sometimes more) with them is because I factor in all the minutes or time blocks when a baby needs to be fed, changed, or soothed. This is all normal and expected during a newborn shoot. The last thing I want new parents to feel is stress, anxiety, or pressure during a session to be "on" the entire time I'm there. You already got through labor, a c-section, or the tedious adoption process so I want you to simmer into the momentum of becoming a new parent without any more weight than you already have in your hands! Here are a few things I suggest not to worry about during your session:
A perfectly clean space!
Though I do recommend families clear their living room, bedroom, and nursery of excess clutter, if you aren’t able to get around to doing so, do not worry! I can help you arrange furniture, quickly vacuum, or move those everyday trinkets out of the way. I have no issues getting hands on during a session so I see this as a collaborative process. As a mom of two girls, my bathroom or common spaces are rarely ever clean or as neat as I want them to be…so do not feel you need to clean for me like I’m a guest!
Long nursing sessions or exposed body parts
Too often, a new mom apologizes to me while feeding for more than a few minutes or when she can’t quickly click that nursing bra back into place after a feed. I am quick to say “absolutely no need to apologize!” I’ve had two babies so I completely understand and want to normalize the nursing process that is still so stigmatized in front of others. If you're not nursing, do not feel the need to withhold giving your baby a bottle if they are hungry or you know getting some extra milk will help calm them down.
Stress tied to having a gassy, frequent pooper, colicky, or hard to soothe baby!
As mentioned, a baby’s main form of communication is crying so I expect them to be doing this more than gazing cutely into the camera lens when awake! I encourage new parents to take their time soothing their newborn and to not feel a pressure to get them to quiet down quickly for the sake of photos. Remember, we have two hours and all we really need is a few moments of calm in between everything else to get a great set!
Lack of fancy or pre-selected outfits and makeup!
I like to capture real people, in their real homes, in their REAL clothes! A good portion of my clients truly want non-advertisement type photos that focus on the reality of who they are. This means wearing either outfits you already have in your closet or what you'd be wearing on any normal maternity leave day. I think being comfortable and wearing what you want is very important in addition to presenting yourself authentically. For my own personal newborn session, I literally stayed in my nursing clothes, didn't put on any makeup, and just made sure my hair wasn't all over the place. I showed up as myself without any regrets and I encourage clients to do the same!