Holding your little bundle of joy in your arms, it’s hard to imagine that after several months, he’ll begin crawling, and then walking. And soon after, he’ll want to spend more time playing with friends.
Some parents overestimate babyhood, forgetting how quickly kids can grow up. Before you know it, he’s quickly becoming his own person, trying to assert his independence at every opportunity available.
And while it is impossible to freeze time and let your child be a baby as long as you possibly can, you can take a snapshot of his most important moments through a newborn photoshoot.
Managing the baby during the photoshoot
Unlike toddlers who can be reasoned with or cajoled into doing something, newborn babies do not have the facility for such. To a certain extent, you’ll be tied to his needs, whether he wants to feed, nap, or a change of clean diapers.
Although working with young children, including infants, can be a tough task for both parents and professional photographers, there are a few things that you can do to make your baby more comfortable and less irritable during the photoshoot.
When is the best time to schedule a newborn photoshoot?
Ideally, the photoshoot should be done within ten days after your child is born. Babies tend to spend their initial ten days sleeping around. In between these, they just feed or have their diapers changed.
Apart from that, infants also tend to curl up like they usually do while inside their mom’s womb. If you want to capture your baby in this pose, it is imperative to follow the recommended schedule.
Inside a woman’s womb, the temperature is more or less even, typically at 100 degrees Fahrenheit. In short, babies can easily relax when the temperature is warm. Whether the shoot is going to be done at home or the photographer’s studio, it is crucial to set the temperature to warm, at about 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
Being unfamiliar with the world, babies can be easily startled by strange sounds, especially loud noises.
During the photoshoot, it goes without saying that loud sounds should be avoided, or at the very least, be kept at a minimum.
Apart from that, you might want to consider playing an ambient sound or white noise to put your baby at ease. Sounds that mimic the heartbeat are considered to be the best. You can even download apps that play these sounds.
Another way to keep your baby warm and cozy during the photoshoot is to swaddle him, tucking his arms and legs a little bit tighter.
After swaddling him, you should walk around and gently sway him in your arms to make him feel sleepy before proceeding with the actual photoshoot.
In posing and positioning, your baby’s comfort is the number one priority.
Generally speaking, babies tend to be startled or fussy when they are laid on their backs while their limbs are kept free.
The best pose for infants is to allow them to lie on their bellies. Just remember to tuck in his toes for added comfort and to hide his private parts.
Do not worry if your infant begins crying in certain poses. It is just his way of telling you about his discomfort. In such a case, try to calm him down and move on to a different pose. After a few minutes, you can go back to that pose for another try.
Also, if your baby is awake during the photoshoot, do not worry. If he is not being fussy, most likely, he is already comfortable in that pose. You might also want to take advantage of his waking moments to capture his facial expressions and his other movements.
For the parents
While it is crucial to ensure your baby’s comfort during the shoot, parents should also be mindful of the energy they exude. Your baby can pick up on your energy.
For example, if you are feeling tired or stressed, it is more likely for him to become fussy during the photoshoot. And conversely, if you are relaxed and at ease, it will become easier to manage your infant for the newborn photography session.
Once you have scheduled the photoshoot, be sure to ask your photographer how to best prepare. A few days before your appointment, make sure that you prepare everything that your baby needs to minimize the need to go out of your way to find what’s missing while the photoshoot is ongoing.
Catch up on your sleep, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Arrive at the studio a few minutes early so you and your baby can settle down before the shoot.
Making the baby stop crying
You can avoid potential setbacks by planning the photoshoot with your photographer early on, especially in terms of the poses you want. The faster you finish, the better for you and your newborn child.
If your baby doesn’t stop crying, try to ascertain what’s wrong. Typically, that would mean that your baby needs to be fed, burped, or changed. Babies also find having their backs gently rubbed quite soothing.
With adequate planning and preparation, your baby newborn photoshoot should go without a hitch. Once the photos are ready, you know you have artfully crafted memories of your child’s first few days forever.
Stefanie Descheemaecker is the Studio Manager at Stu Williamson Photography at The Palm Jumeirah – Fairmont Hotel in Dubai. She has been with the company for almost 3 years and is the driving force behind the success of the business. A keen amateur photographer, Stef combines her natural creative eye with a strong business acumen to help Stu Williamson Photography become the most trusted and successful photography business in the UAE.