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Home » Mama » Here’s What You Need to Know and Do Before Your Newborn Photoshoot

Here’s What You Need to Know and Do Before Your Newborn Photoshoot

Mama Linc is so excited and thankful to welcome back Photographer Stacey Rolfe – as our guest blogger this week. She will be chatting to us all about when, how and what to do for your newborn photoshoot!! Courtney personally used Stacey for her newborn photoshoots too. If you look closely you may see her photos on our website 😉

Before Your Newborn Photoshoot

First off, CONGRATULATIONS!  How exciting that your family will be expanding soon, I am so glad that you’ve decided to capture this incredibly fleeting time.

Newborn sessions come in all shapes and sizes.  There are so many beautiful ways that you can capture your new baby and your family and it’s so important to choose the one that feels right for you.  

When should you book your newborn shoot?

It’s not uncommon for photographers to book up 3 or even 6+ months in advance so don’t leave your booking until the last minute.  Some photographers will have a very specific preferred age to photograph.  

For me, there is no perfect age, and you’ve never missed the boat.  Every age and every stage is beautiful for different reasons. It’s really just about working out what your priority is, and what you want to capture:

  • Under 48 hours – a ‘fresh 48’ session in the hospital captures the tiniest and curliest, they’ll ever be
  • 1-3 weeks – this is the ‘classic’ age to capture a newborn and many photographers will aim for this window.  Sleepy, curly, and with that newborn flaky skin.
  • 8-12 weeks – baby wakes up around this age, begins to gain weight, and will have longer awake window.

How do you find the right photographer for you?

Often, your photographer will book you in with a provisional date or hold your due date in their diary.  Once your baby arrives, get in touch and arrange your shoot.

Which photographer to choose?

It’s SO important to find the right photographer for you.  This is an incredibly personal decision.  There are so many styles, approaches, and no ‘right’ way to approach your newborn shoot.

As a mum of two, when I am choosing my photographer, here’s what I look for:

  • First and foremost, I want someone who I (and my kids) will feel relaxed and comfortable with.  Someone with little kids themselves will often be able to handle my little hurricanes, so I usually book other mums.
  • Someone whose style I absolutely love.  If you love absolutely everything that they produce, then you can throw yourself into your shoot and trust the process!
  • An established photographer.  A photoshoot is a big investment – both in terms of time and money, so it’s important to me that the photographer has an easy and professional booking process.
  • Budget.  I don’t say this lightly, but I would rather use my budget to purchase 10 incredible images that I love, than 100 images I only like.

I recommend you understand your photographer’s pricing and packages before you book – no one likes surprises.  Some will provide all digitals for a set price, while others will offer tiered packages.  Others will invite you into their studio for a viewing session where you select your favourites and design your wall display and albums.  Which of these suits you is a very personal decision.  

Many will offer a ‘bump to baby’ package if you’re ready to book your maternity shoot at the same time – and this offers great value, a consistent experience, and consistent images.

What type of newborn shoot is right for you?

There are so many different styles out there. Have a look at lots of different styles to find what you love.  

Studio portraiture, relaxed outdoor lifestyle, in-home documentary? Wrapped or natural?  Colourful or neutral? There is a style to suit everyone. 

You’ll also want to consider what works best for your family.  If you love your home, and you have a toddler who’s most comfortable in their own space, then choose an in-home session.  If you prefer the studio look and don’t have to worry about tidying up, then find a photographer with a studio.  Perhaps your kids are ‘free range’ and need space to run around – a lifestyle session outdoors might be best for you.

How to prepare

Your photographer will (should!) have lots of guidance on how to best prepare for their style and approach, and it’s very hard to generalise.  But here are my top tips:

  • Decide on your colour palette and wardrobe at least a week in advance. Your photographer might have a wardrobe to borrow from
  • Set aside all your clothes a couple of days in advance.  This includes all underwear and accessories. Include any sentimental blankets or items you want to include.
  • If your shoot is at home, clear up a few key areas, and consider your photographer’s style in preparing your home (e.g. neutral bed linen).  Fresh flowers are a beautiful touch.
  • Don’t leave it all to the last minute.  Especially if you have older kids, get the process started early.  Do your hair and make up while they nap (or book to have it done for you!)
  • Get dressed at your location, to avoid accidents en route.
  • Leave plenty of time to arrive at your destination – there’s nothing worse than arriving stressed and arguing.
  • Feed your baby right before the start of your session.  Make this a big feed, to get them as milk drunk as possible, and keep them settled.
  • RELAX.  Once you get there, just enjoy it.  Let the kids be kids. Embrace the weather. Go with the flow.  And trust your photographer!

How to pose

This is very specific to each photographer but some of my favourite tips are:

  • Relax your shoulders.  Roll them back and down, to elongate your neck and decolletage.
  • Watch your jawline – don’t drop your gaze towards your baby too much, or you’ll have a gallery full of double chins. Keep your chin high, and cast your eyeline downwards.
  • Relax your hands.  
  • Smile!

Still nervous?

I get it. I really do.  I am 100x more comfortable behind the lens than in front of it.

If you’ve chosen the right photographer, they will put you at ease quickly. 

Don’t worry about the ‘bad’ photos.  They’ll never see the light of day.  Trust your photographer, try to relax, and embrace it!

Your partner (and other children)

Get your partner excited about the shoot.  I love it when partners are fully invested, taking their own snaps from behind me, telling you how amazing you look, and making you laugh!  If your partner is reluctant, explain how much this means to you, and how great they can make the experience for you.

If you have other children, then how they are involved will really depend on the type of photography you choose. 

For me, a lifestyle photographer, make sure the kids are well rested, and have full bellies before they arrive. I involve siblings early in the session and work fast. I try to nail the sibling and family shots quickly, and then release them to play while we focus on baby’s portraits (which need a little more calm and patience!).  

Ultimately, if you choose the right photographer for you, then please trust them, their guidance and their experience.  They will guide you through the process and provide you with a gorgeous gallery full of incredible memories.  Enjoy!

Please mamas, if you live in Sydney, Australia you really need to check out Stacey and book her in. She books out quickly!! Her beautiful instagram is @staceyrolfephotographer and her website is Make sure you use code: MAMALINC50 to get some special offers!!