How to Prepare for Baby Photography
Our little ones will grown up much faster than you can imagine! After giving birth, before you know it your bundle of joy will be staying out till the early hours of the morning and asking to borrow your car.
Before all that ‘joy’ is experienced, the early days of birth are a perfect time to capture moments of bliss to look back on for the rest of your lives. The key is to prepare early. Most good baby photographers are booked out well in advance, and rightly so because baby photography is an art. I referred to our baby photographer as nothing short of a baby whisperer, manipulating and adjusting our baby into positions I never thought possible, all while our baby slept peacefully.
You want to find the right baby photographer for you, and you want to start early.
Start Looking Early
Start your search for photographers in your city early, no later than 6 months into your pregnancy, but preferably earlier. Some photographers only shoot one baby a day, and that means they can easily booked for months in advance and you can miss your window.
Once you’ve narrowed down your photographers, check out their work online and schedule a call. You want to have a natural rapport and fondness for the photographer, because in the end there has to be a great deal of trust placed in them as they handle your brand new little human.
‘A portrait shoot normally ranges from 1-2 hours. Newborn sessions can take 3-4 hours as we work in with your new bub’s feeding/sleeping pattern. Please note newborn shoots are most successful when done within the first 10 days of life; it is best to book in advance so we can plan a shoot for when your baby is still brand new.’ – littlelovephotography.com.au
On the Day
- Age of the baby: 5–10 days is preferred
- Temperature of the room: 80–85 degrees
- Boys and circumcision: Schedule at least five days after procedure
- How long the session will last? Approximately two hours
- What to dress the baby in: Nothing over the head; zip-up or snap-up onesie/sleeper
- Feeding ahead of time: Within a half hour of the session
- Home décor and colors: Favorite colors and colors to avoid
- Clothing for parents and siblings: Simple, solid colors; avoid logos
The common thread here is to begin early and take your time with who you pick. Some of you may think you can just take your own photos and they’ll be fine, which in some cases can be true. However if you’re able to afford the investment (which can cost upwards of $1000 for 20 or so pictures, depending on the photographer) you will hopefully be left with images that are worthy of a photographic art gallery. They really can be that beautiful.
Finally, here are some tips and preparations for the day, for mother and father, taken from www.parttimephoto.com…
- Hair – If you’re getting a hair cut for your shoot, do so about two weeks beforehand, just in case it goes wrong – you just never know. For men, a fresh cut a couple of days before the shoot is fine.
- Hair accessories – If you’re shooting outdoors, be ready to put your hair up and make it look nice in case of a windy day. Bring bobby pins, hair clips, headbands or any other favorite accessories.
- Glasses – If folks wouldn’t recognize you without glasses, you want to wear glasses in your shoot – however, the glare on glasses can detract from your eyes in photos. You can have your lenses removed from your frames for your shoot (don’t worry, it’s what Hollywood does to avoid glare in movies). Ask your eye doctor to loan you a pair of similar frames, or you can also visit an inexpensive company online like Zenni Optical and buy a suitable pair of duplicate frames on the cheap.
- Red eyes – Visine is your friend. Not getting drunk the night before your shoot helps, too.[Don’t think I kid, I’ve shot plenty of hung-over clients.]
- Lips – You will probably wipe or lick your lips during your shoot, so bring fresh lip gloss or lipstick to do touch-up. Use lip balm for a few days in advance of your shoot to make your smoochers look their best.
- Teeth – If you want to brighten your smile, start your treatments about two weeks before your shoot.
- Breakouts – Start using African Black Bar Soap for a week in advance of your shoot to help reduce and limit pimples and blemishes. Equally important, don’t cake on a lot of make-up to try to hide blemishes – it’s almost always easier to Photoshop away pimples than to clean up overdone make-up. For fever blisters, avoid getting them in the first place, then use Abreva if one pops up anyway.
- Make-up – A subtle application of make-up can really soften your skin and accent your facial features. But make sure you know what you’re doing, and make sure it matches your skin tone or your face may look orange compared to the rest of your body.
- Facial hair – Men, be freshly shaved with a new razor, shaving cream and a moisturizing after-shave lotion to avoid bumps and redness. Trim up your beard, sideburns, moustache or goatee, especially looking for wiry stray hairs. Ladies, even if you have some light facial hair (particularly around your lip or chin), indulge in a waxing in advance of your shoot – even barely-there light facial hair will be noticeable in your photos. Men and women both, pluck and clean up those eyebrows.
- Moisturizer – Dry skin can really detract from a great photo shoot. Start moisturizing nightly one week in advance of your shoot. When you get out of the shower, dry off until lightly damp, and slather on moisturizer. Focus on your arms, shoulders, neck, face, hands, anywhere you’ll be exposed to the camera. This includes your legs if you’re shooting in shorts or a skirt. Pro-Tip: For dry skin on your face, especially around your nose, use a sugar scrub. Mix a cup of sugar with about a quarter cup of olive oil, or just until it looks like wet sand. Scrub your face with it anywhere you have flaky skin, wash it off, then wash with soap to remove the oil. The sugar paste shouldn’t be oily, just wet enough to moisten the sugar. Also, be sure to use a facial moisturizer on your face, not a thick body moisturizer, or you could break out. [Us men, of course, are most in need of this advice, especially around the face and hands.]
- Nails – A fresh coat of nail polish will make a world of difference in your photo shoot. Pick a neutral color that won’t distract in your shoot or clash with your outfits. Freshen the morning of the shoot, then be careful not to scuff it while prepping. [I see this most often with high school senior girls, to whom half-gone nail polish seems to be a popular fad.] Your photo shoot is a great excuse for a fresh manicure, but if you can’t go to the salon, make sure your nails look tidy and clean, including the cuticles.
- Bloating – Ladies, avoid high salt and high fat foods for two to three days in advance of your shoot. Being bloated will sap your confidence and comfort in front of the camera.
- Undergarments – Bra straps won’t do anything to help your outfit look its best. Be sure you bring a set of bras and strap-adjusting accessories to work with any outfit you want to shoot in to keep those straps well-hidden.
- Sun burns and tan lines – If your shoot is booked for Saturday, don’t go to the beach on Friday. If you plan to tan before your shoot, do so at least a week beforehand and don’t get burned. Be mindful of clothing tan lines, sunglass tan lines, hat tan lines, etc.
- Ironing – If you iron, iron the night before and then hang the clothes for your shoot. If you’re wearing something that wrinkles easily, don’t wear it in the car on the way to the shoot – just change at the location.
- Shoes – Ladies can’t go wrong in heels or wedges. Men, clean’em up! Dress shoes are best[or boots down here in Texas], but as with most things, let your momma or your wife decide.
The most important piece of advice is to have fun with your photo shoot!
For more related articles read our other posts: