Are you the type of newborn photographer who is always nervous or worried before leaving for a newborn session? I know that I am!
Perhaps you frantically ran out of the house and forgot your favorite newborn prop…
Or maybe your own baby was up all night sleepless & your exhausted or you are just wondering if your newborn baby you are going to be working with will choose to be fussy or in a good mood ready for photos.
Either way, one can never have too much newborn photography training and tips to ensure proper preparation and stack the odds in your favor of having an amazing newborn session!
Today I am going to share with you my top 3 tips on how to prepare for a newborn photography session!
1. Timing is Everything!
Even though you may have already mentioned: “please contact me shortly after the baby arrives” to your client, it never fails that many parents forget to do so. It’s easy to understand why, becoming new parents is a huge life change and they have so much on their minds in these early days of parenthood. Even if they didn’t forget, they might think of you and then realize their Wi-Fi doesn’t work and they can’t email you or find your number but plan to contact you later which can easily turn into 7 days etc… you get the idea 😉
Here is what you should do
Make it as easy as possible for your clients by texting them a message to their phone so they can easily save your phone number. Also, as their due date approaches, I send a nice email checking up on them; seeing how they are feeling, and letting them know how excited I am to photograph their little one. In this email, I remind them to text or call within the first 1-3 days of the birth. It’s also a good conversation to have because many times you can get a feel for their birth plan (whether it is waiting until 42 weeks or inducing for high blood pressure, pre-term labor, etc.). The conversation also helps keep me at the top of my client’s minds and with my number already saved in their phone, its super easy for them to contact me.
My goal is to photograph babies by the 7th day and ever since I’ve been doing this, scheduling newborn sessions has been much easier.
2. What Should They Expect at the Session?
Of all the newborn photography tips, without a doubt at the top of the list is how to set your clients expectations. During the phone consult, I advise my clients on how long the sessions usually take, what we will be doing at what point, how I will handle any messes, etc. By having these conversations in advance of the session this will make your clients feel so much more comfortable on the day of. If this is their first newborn session, they are surely not familiar with much slower of a pace newborn photography sessions are.
When I was a newer newborn photographer, many parents spent the entire time apologizing or hovering over my shoulder thinking the slow pace was a nuisance and not normal. It was such a great change once I started sending my “what to expect” document a few days before the session. Parents became more comfortable and seemed to just enjoy the process a lot more. Many couples have only experienced a professional photographer for their wedding or family/engagement portraits which is such a drastically different process.
3. What to Expect in their Gallery.
One of my favorite tips I can give for newborn photography is related to how many photos they can expect to see. It is crucial to understand that clients are used to seeing 50-100 images in portrait galleries so when they receive a newborn gallery with only 20-30 images, there is the potential for them to feel a little deflated. I tell clients at least 3 times in the process that my newborn galleries usually contain 20 images (although I shoot for 30 to impress them). I explain why it is less than a typical portrait session – how it takes a while to capture the images (calming/feeding/posing/etc.) and I also explain why the editing process takes a lot longer (individual Photoshop work vs. global Lightroom adjustments). I talk about my editing philosophy and why editing is such an important step for newborns. This is not only interesting to most clients, but it also shines some light on the amount of time you are investing in their final product.
As with any type of photography, it should always be your goal to impress your client at every point of contact they have with you and setting the correct expectations is key – especially in newborn photography because it is so drastically different than most portrait sessions. I hope you’ve found this newborn photography training post helpful and you can implement them into your own workflow with your clients. Want some additional tools & tips for newborn photography?
There is no better complete resource then our Newborn Photography Workshop. With lifetime access you can easily watch and learn at your own pace and always refer back to it. Simply click below to learn more and get your FREE Newborn Lightroom Presets!
Do you have any tips & tricks that help you prepare for a newborn photography session? If so, let me know in the comments!