Everything You Need To Know About Older Newborn Sessions
So you’re thinking about booking an Older Newborn Session.
I imagine you’ve recently had a baby, so let me start by wishing you congratulations!
I’m sure you want to make an informed decision about who you choose to photograph your baby and family, and might have some questions about how it all works.
In this article I’ll explain exactly how my older newborn photography sessions work, and what you can expect when you book one.
What Is An Older Newborn Session?
An older newborn session is a photo shoot at my studio for babies aged between 2 and 8 weeks of age.
The session focuses on two things:
- Natural, timeless photographs of your baby on their own, in poses that are suitable for older newborn babies.
- Family and sibling portraits with your new baby.
Parent involvement is essential in these sessions – an older newborn session isn’t suitable for families who are only looking for photographs of their baby.
Where Is Your Studio?
My studio is right on the border of South West London and Surrey, and a short walk from Hampton Court Palace.
Most families choose to drive, and there’s plenty of free parking outside.
It’s also a short walk from Hampton Court station which is served by direct trains from Waterloo, Vauxhall, Clapham Junction, Wimbledon and Surbiton.
What’s Included In An Older 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 an Older Newborn Session and pay your session fee you’ll get:
- preparation emails and telephone calls to help you prepare and feel relaxed before your photo shoot.
- A 2-3 hour older newborn session at my studio
- professional editing and retouching of the photographs from your session.
- a private viewing gallery where you can see your beautiful photographs and choose your favourite pictures.
What Kind Of Photographs 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 photographs taken at older newborn sessions in my older newborn photography portfolio. The final photographs in your gallery will depend on:
- Your baby’s age
- Your baby’s individual preferences
- The colour of blankets and wraps that you choose
- Whether you have a sentimental item you would like to include in one of the photographs
Your Baby’s Age Will Influence The Final Photographs In Your Gallery
In each session I’m aiming to capture a mixture of photographs of your baby awake and asleep, along with a mixture of your baby on their own and a mixture of family photographs.
How many photographs there are of your baby awake, and how many of them asleep, and how many photographs there are of your baby on their own is likely to vary depending on your baby’s age.
For example, a three week old baby will typically sleep more deeply and for longer during the session than an eight week old baby. No two babies are exactly the same, but typically I find that up to around 5 weeks most babies will sleep deeply enough and for long enough for me to capture a good variety of sleepy photographs. Between 5-8 weeks it’s more likely that your baby will be awake for more of the session.
If your baby is awake for more of the session, you will have a higher proportion of family photographs. When babies are awake, they tend to be quite wriggly. So I include parents (and siblings if applicable) in these photographs which helps to keep baby calm and relaxed.
So if your baby is very sleepy during the session, around half of the photographs in your gallery will be of them on their own, and half will include the rest of the family. On the other hand, if your baby spends a lot of the session awake you’ll typically see around a third of the photographs being of your baby on their own, and two thirds being family photographs.
A Baby Led Approach To Older 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 older newborn babies will still love having their legs tucked up as they did in the womb. Others will love to stretch their legs out.
This means that no two photo shoots 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.
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.)
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 Older 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.
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.
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.
- 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.
I’ll bring the rest of the family into the photographs at different points during the shoot. I’ll include 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.
How Long Does An Older Newborn Session Last?
Older newborn sessions typically last between 2 and 3 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 are settled 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?
One to two 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. The photographs will be edited in colour and black and white.
The gallery will be live for 7 days 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.
How Much Does An Older 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 older newborn session fee and product prices here: Older Newborn Session Pricing
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!