Everything You Need To Know About Newborn Photography Sessions

newborn photo shoot guide

So you’re thinking about booking a Newborn Session.

I imagine you’re either expecting a baby or have recently had one, so let me start by saying congratulations!

I’m sure you want to make an informed decision about who you choose to photograph your baby, and might have some questions about how it all works.

In this article I’ll explain exactly how my newborn photography sessions work, and what you can expect when you book one.

Surbiton, Surrey Newborn Photography

What Is A Newborn Session?

A newborn session is a photo shoot at my studio for babies aged 5 to 14 days.

The session focuses on capturing natural, timeless photographs of your newborn baby so that you can remember exactly how tiny they were, and all of the little details that were there when they were first born.

Each session allows time to take family and sibling photographs too.


Where Is Your Studio?

My purpose built home studio is close to Hampton Court, right on the border of South West London and Surrey.

The studio is warm, comfortable and has everything I need to safely photograph your baby and family and make sure you have a relaxed, comfortable experience.

Most families choose to drive, and there’s free parking outside. The studio is also a short walk from Hampton Court station which is served by direct trains from London Waterloo, Vauxhall, Clapham Junction, Wimbledon and Surbiton.

is two weeks too old for a newborn photo shoot?

What’s included In A Newborn Session?

Booking a photo shoot with me is not just about turning up on the day. 

It’s important to me that you have a relaxed, enjoyable experience and have a set of photographs that you love at the end. So you can expect a lot of communication and support from me before and after your photo shoot.

When you book a Newborn Session and pay your session fee you’ll get:

  • a telephone consultation with me so that we can plan your session, and tailor it to your baby.
  • preparation emails full of lots of information to help you feel relaxed and prepared for your session.
  • a newborn session at my studio, including time for family and sibling portraits.
  • professional editing and retouching of the photographs from your session.
  • a viewing appointment to see your beautiful photographs and choose which ones you’d like to order. 


What Results Should I Expect From The Session?

When you view the gallery from your session you can expect to see a gallery of about 25 unique images, each edited in colour and in black and white (around 50 images in total.)

All of the photographs will be in my signature, natural style. With the focus on your baby and family rather than props or complicated sets.

You can see lots of examples of the style of photographs you can expect in my newborn photography portfolio. The final photographs in your gallery will depend on:

  • The colour of blankets and wraps that you choose
  • Your baby’s preferences as I take a baby-led approach
  • The gorgeous details that make your baby unique
  • Whether you have a sentimental item you would like to include in one of the photographs


Before Your Photo Shoot You’ll Choose The Colour Of The Blankets and Wraps

At the studio I have blankets and wraps in soft, neutral colours that I’ll use to lie your baby down on and wrap them in during the session. They’re freshly laundered before each session.

I usually use one colour throughout the session to make sure that your photographs have a cohesive feel and will sit together nicely should you choose to display some together on your walls at home or in an album.

Before the session we’ll discuss which colour you would like to choose, and if you’re not sure I can help you with your decision.

Choosing this colour will also be helpful as you choose outfits for the rest of the family to wear (more on this later on.)

Claygate, Surrey Newborn Photography

A Baby Led Approach To Newborn Photography

As I work through the session I’ll take a baby led approach. Noticing what your baby’s preferences are and working with those.

For example – some babies naturally love to have their hands close to their face when they are sleeping and others will prefer to have their arms wrapped. 

This means that no two photographs are exactly the same – I’ll work to your baby’s preferences and I’ll never force them into a position that they’re not comfortable in. My priority is to make sure that your baby stays comfortable throughout the shoot.


All The Gorgeous Details That Make Your Baby Unique

During the session I also aim to take macro (or close up) photographs of the gorgeous little details that make your baby unique. From their gorgeous little feet, to their teeny tiny finger nails.

Macro Newborn Photography

Including Sentimental Items In Your Photo Shoot

My style of photography is very natural, and I don’t use props. So the focus of the photographs will be on your beautiful baby.

The exception is for special, sentimental items such as a blanket crocheted by Granny or a special soft toy. Sometimes families ask me to incorporate these items into the shoot and I’m very happy to do so.

If you bring one of these sentimental items along I’ll work them into one or two of the photographs with your baby.


Do I Need To Bring Clothes For My Newborn Baby To Wear?

You don’t need to bring anything for your newborn baby to wear during the session – just an outfit to take them home in afterwards.

During the session I’ll use the blankets and wraps you’ve chosen from my collection to wrap your baby and keep them feeling comfortable and secure.

Oxshott newborn portraits

What Should The Rest Of The Family Wear?

When you’re choosing clothes for the rest of the family I recommend bearing these three things in mind:

1. Choose a colour scheme

Having a coordinated colour palette to base everyone’s outfits on can really help to bring your photographs together, and give them more impact.

I recommend choosing a maximum of one or two colours that you will base everyone’s outfits around.  In general, neutral colours work best for newborn photographs – greys, whites, creams, and navy work really well. Black also works well in the studio environment.

Once you’ve chosen your colours, choose an outfit for each person that fits into this colour scheme.


2. Keep it simple

It’s best to avoid patterns, and clothes with writing or pictures on them as these can be distracting, and will age your photographs more quickly. 

We want the focus to be on you and your baby.


3. Coordinate, rather than match

When you’re choosing each member of the family’s outfits bear in mind that the goal is to coordinate, not match. 

You don’t need everyone to wear the same thing, just for everyone’s outfits to coordinate.

What Do We Need To Bring With Us?

At the studio I have some of the things you might need during the session – a changing mat, feeding pillow, nappy bags and Water Wipes. So you don’t need to bring these things unless you want to.

The things that I do recommend you bring are:

  • Nappies – bring more than you would normally use in a morning, just in case your baby is having a day where they go through lots of nappies, or we have a few accidents.
  • If you’re bottle feeding, please bring a few extra feeds; again, more than you would normally use in a morning, just in case we need them.
  • If you’re using a dummy, please bring that along, because it can be useful to settle you baby between shots. I don’t use a dummy very often but sometimes it can really help, if it’s something your baby’s used to.


What Happens On The Day Of The Session?

On the day of your session we’ll usually start by getting you all settled into the studio and we’ll have a chat about how the session will flow.

I will have given you some tips for preparing your baby in the morning so that they’re relaxed and settled when you arrive. To make the most of this settled time I’ll get started with photographing your baby on their own.

At the end we’ll photograph you all as a family. I’ll take photographs of each parent with baby, sibling portraits if you have older children, and pictures of the whole family.

At the studio I have a selection of organic teas and coffee, and plenty of biscuits for you to tuck into whilst I’m photographing your baby.

I also have samples of all of the albums, prints and framed items I offer. And you may like to look through these too.

Surrey Newborn Photographer Clare Murthy

How Long Does A Newborn Session Last?

Newborn sessions typically last between 2 and 4 hours.

The reason that this time is so variable is because every baby is different, and every day with each baby is different! 

Sometimes babies snooze through all the photographs. Sometimes they need a couple of breaks for a feed, nappy change or cuddle with a parent in which case it takes a bit longer.

I work to each baby’s pace and particular needs.


How Do I See The Photographs Afterwards?

Around 1 to 2 weeks after your session I’ll send you a link to a private online gallery where you can see the fully edited photographs from your session and choose what you would like to order.

The gallery will be live for a short period whilst you choose your photographs. I’ll be on the end of the phone to give as much or as little help as you need. I can help you design albums and gallery walls, or choose the best way to display your new photographs. I promise that there’s no pressure or hard sell – that’s just not my style.

This is the time that you place your order and make payment. Once payment is received, digital images will be delivered within 24 hours and printed items will follow 4-6 weeks later.

Newborn Photography Studio in East Molesey

How Much Does A Newborn Session Cost?

I work on a session fee plus photos basis – you pay a session fee upfront, but don’t need to commit to any particular number of photographs or packages until you’ve seen the photographs after the shoot. 

Once you’ve seen your photographs you can choose from printed items, digitals or a package that includes a mixture of both – whichever is right for you.

You can find my current newborn session fee and product prices here: Newborn Session Pricing

Surrey Newborn Baby Photo Studio

When Should I Book My Newborn Session?

It’s best to book your session before your baby is born, to make sure I will be able to accommodate your session within the 5 to 14 day window. You can book any time after your 12 week scan.

When you book I’ll make a note of your due date, and ask you to let me know when your baby is born. We’ll confirm the exact date of your session after your baby’s birth to ensure it’s within the 5 to 14 day window.

If your baby is already here please get in touch to check last minute availability. I may be able to squeeze you in if other babies have arrived a little earlier or later than planned. If your baby is already more than 14 days old you may also like to consider my Older Newborn Sessions for babies aged up to 8 weeks.

That All Sounds Great. How Do I Book?

To book your session please send me a message here letting me know when your baby is due (or their date of birth if they’re already here.)

I’ll get back to you within 24 hours. Once we’ve settled on a date I’ll send you a booking agreement and invoice for your session fee, and when these are returned your session is confirmed.

Then we can get started with planning your session!

london newborn photographer

Picture of Clare Murthy

Clare Murthy

I’m a newborn, baby and family photographer working with families from South West London and Surrey. I specialise in timeless, natural photography with no props or unnatural posing. I photograph babies at my studio, and families in beautiful outdoor locations. I'm based on the Surrey / London border, close to Hampton Court.
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