Congratulations on your new baby! Thank you so much for trusting me with the amazing and rewarding opportunity to photography your newborn in their first few days of life.
As one of the most popular newborn photographers in Melbourne, Niki Sprekos Photography will ensure she will create beautiful memories that will last forever.
To help, we has created a newborn preparation guide to ensure we have a successful session and memorable experience. I really do want to stress that this is a guideline only and may not work for all families but please read it all.
MUMS DIET BEFORE SESSION
It is super important, if you’re breastfeeding, to watch your diet 24 hours before your session. What you consume may affect your little ones tummy and their digestion. If it does, they can become super irritable when posing, have wind, reflux and be unsettled.
Generally when newborns are unsettled and can’t sleep sometimes feeding helps but in this case feeding can cause more pain in their tummies. Some foods that may cause upset tummies are spicy food, broccoli, cabbage, herbs and garlic.
HOW TO PREPARE THE MORNING OF YOUR SESSION
Location – Plan ahead of time and use google maps to determine how long it may take to arrive at the studio. Also take into consideration any morning traffic that may affect travel time before your newborn photography session.
More awake time – If possible, try to give your baby more awake time that morning, try a bath, a massage, tickle toes, etc . This can help prepare them for a sleepy session and generally ensures that we get those beautiful sleepy pictures. BUT if your baby is very tired, needs to sleep and/or hungry please go with that. Every baby has different needs so we understand one rule can never apply.
Baby prep – That morning, dress your baby in a loose zipper jumpsuit with no singlet. That way when you arrive, I don’t have to peel anything over their head and I can start shooting easier. Also place their nappy on loosely too, that way we can avoid the red mark on their cute little bottom. No nappy bum barrier cream (eg Sudocrem) as this can be difficult to remove later in Photoshop.
If your baby has a few patches of dry skin on the day of the session, that is fine. Please do not apply oil to your baby’s skin, only moisturiser. It is much easier to retouch flaky skin than to fix excessive oily shiny skin in Photoshop.
Feed – If you can feed your baby 2-3 hours prior, and plan on feeding him/her as soon as you get to the studio. Or if you live close by a good full feed at home just before you. That way your little one is full, sleepy and ready for their session.
It is super important to bring additional bottles of formula if you are not breastfeeding. Due to the heat and extra cuddles babies tend to drink a lot during a photo session than they may at home. If you are breastfeeding and have expressed milk, you may also bring this along too as they may just want a little top up mid shoot.
WHAT TO EXPECT
The temperature in the studio can range from 23 to 28 degrees, so please dress appropriately. Wear layers, that way you can adjust as the temperature changes. As your baby will be nude for the majority of the session, I have to adjust the room to ensure they are more comfortable and can sleep soundly.
When you arrive bring the baby in the capsule (if you have one) and I can remove them when we’re are ready. From there I will quickly discuss what will occur during the session and get you excited by showing you all the gorgeous props and things we will be using.
I will then ask you when your baby had their last feed and see we need to top them up before we start. Then you guys get to relax while I take over. You would be surprised how settled they become when I handle them. And that is because I don’t smell amazing like mummy. So this is a time you guys can catch up on emails, relax, get onto socials or just enjoy your baby’s first photoshoot. If you want to catch up on a little sleep, I won’t judge, it has happened before!
Sessions can last between 2-3 hours, sometimes longer if baby is a light sleeper, very alert or hungry! Sometimes extra feeds, cuddles and settling may be needed and that is ok. This is why extra milk is key to bring. In addition, please bring a dummy to your session. I generally try to not use them but if your little one is unsettled and just wants to drink or use mum as a dummy, it can be a lifesaver when posing them. Trust me they will not become reliant on it when they leave the studio.
Your baby will mostly be naked during your session and of course it won’t be long before nature comes calling! Please do not feel embarrassed if your baby does a wee or poos on me, the blankets or props. I’m quite used to it and it’s one of the “occupational hazards” as a newborn photographer!
WHAT TO WEAR
We really encourage you to have a few pictures taken as a family. Photographing the connection between you and your baby is one of my favourite parts of the session. These are the pictures your baby will cherish most in years to come.
I always tell clients to coordinate their outfits for the family and sibling photographs. A great idea is to lay the clothes on your bed to ensure everything compliments each other. You don’t necessarily have to have everyone in the same colour, as long as you all complement each other.
Mums: I always tell new mums to wear something that makes you feel comfortable and beautiful. Keep it simple and don’t over think it too. The focus will be on your little baby and they will be covering the majority of your clothing too.
Keep the colour neutral and design simple. Even a plain white/cream top or a nice white/cream dress. You can wear black but sometimes it can look more harsh in images.
I do have a variety of maternity outfits (dresses and tops) which can be borrowed during your newborn session. If you want to borrow these outfits, just ensure you have suitable underwear (strapless and non-strapless bras) in white and black. I have also created a Mums Styling Pinterest board for inspiration.
Please ensure nails are clean and use a natural colour polish (or none) as your hands will make their way into the images.
Dads: Bring a plain fitting t-shirt to wear with a pair of jeans or chinos. You can bring any colour but a nice clean white/cream colour always looks best. Additionally, a simple shirt with sleeves rolled up is also nice. If you wanted to have skin to skin images with babies this can also be accommodated. I have created a Dads Styling Pinterest Board or some inspiration.
Newborn: You do not need to bring any outfits for their newborn session. I have all the wraps, headbands, bonnets, etc for their session. They will be mainly nude as well so additional outfits are not required.
Siblings: Including older brother/sister(s) in your newborn’s portraits is the perfect way to document this fleeting time in your lives. For girls bring a pretty neutral outfit or dress. I can also provide a wrap that will act as the perfect top. For boys a pair of jeans with t-shirt or shirtless is best.
Everyone will be barefoot in the shoots so there is no need to bring clean shoes.
Take a few moments to chat with your little one a day before the session. Make it sound exciting and mention that aunty Niki is great fun!
HAIR AND MAKEUP
In order to help with having a successful shoot some things to consider are:
- Making sure your hair is blow waved how you like, (if possible with waves or volume to make images really shine!) Alternatively if you prefer straight that is fine too.
- Apply makeup. It doesn’t need to be a full face but keep it classic and clean. Wearing a little foundation, blush, eyeshadow and mascara always makes you feel great and alive.
- Make sure your nails aren’t chipped or have nail polish chipping away. Remember your hands will be touching your baby and therefore in the shots a lot.
- Remove all watches before the shoot to ensure no marks are there. Keeping things simple is always best, we do not want to be taking the focus away from your new baby.
A FEW MORE DETAILS
If siblings will be joining you for the session feel free to bring their iPad, books, and toys to keep them entertained as the session can be long. Don’t forget to maybe download their favourite movie on Netflix.
Another great thing to do is bring food to feed yourselves and your little ones as well. Just try to bring things that don’t stain their mouths (if they eat before photos). I am also happy if you decide to order Uber Eats during the session.
I have received so many testimonials on how relaxing and stress free Niki Sprekos Photography’s newborn sessions are. In most cases, this will be your first outing with your baby. Don’t worry, your baby’s in great hands. Enjoy these stress free few hours to put your feet up and relax. It’s a time to chill, chat and have you feeling comfortable, like home.
I am truly honoured to be able to document this incredible time in your lives and look forward to getting to know you and your sweet baby!
If you have any questions at all, please contact me.
See you soon, Niki xx
- Either feed baby right before you leave or plan to feed baby when you arrive. That way your baby has a full tummy at the time we get started.
- That morning dress your baby in a loose zipper jumpsuit (with no singlet underneath) for an easier transition.
- Always have additional milk the newborn. Formula or expressed milk. Sometimes all they need is that little top up which can perfect your session. The more the better.
- No nappy cream or talcum powder on your baby before your session.
- Bring a dummy. I avoid this where possible but sometimes this is required to sooth them into different poses. If you don’t have any I always have pre sterilised dummys for you to keep.
- Bring lots of nappies. I use them between poses and so they tend to go through a few during the session.
- Bring snacks for everyone just in case your shoot is long. Trust me you will all get hungry.
- Bring some entertainment for the siblings. Alternatively, if you have a toddler and live close by we can do sibling/family images first. Maybe plan for them to either go home in a separate car or head to the local shops, park or McDonalds!
- Bring a change of clothes for yourself and also your partner in case your baby does a wee or a little vomit. It can happen during feeding or posing.