We cannot wait to capture your sweet baby. There is something about a newborn baby that just fills you with wonder isn’t there? You brought a life into this world! It’s amazing, overwhelming, awe-inspiring, intense, and sometimes hard. Not to mention that the sleep deprivation can make you feel like you’re walking around in a haze. That’s how we felt after the birth of our son anyway. Even equipped with all the professional photography gear and skills, the sheer mental, emotional, and physical exhaustion of it all meant our official newborn photo session didn’t happen right away. We also didn’t take nearly as many photos as we had planned those first few months, which means I cherish the ones we did take even more!
There may not be a more special time in life than right after a child is born, and it is such a fleeting phase. For me, this is one of the biggest reasons I consider it a real privilege to document your growing family.
Our Approach to Newborn Photography
If you’ve been following our work at all, you know that JC loves studio set ups and articial lighting to make his subjects look picture perfect. However, when it comes to newborn photography, we generally take a different approach – more leaning towards my own style which tends to be more documentary in nature. I think capturing life just as it is, real and raw, is the most beautiful way to make a photo. That means if baby needs to stop to feed or get a diaper change, or a change of clothes, I’ll probably discreetly follow you around with my camera and capture those everyday real moments too. In my opinion, some of the best photos out there are unscripted and unposed.
Usually, we use mainly (and in some cases only) natural light for in-home sessions. Juan may bring a very minimal lighting set up to give your pictures a studio feel because, well, he can’t help himself. 😅 If all that sounds like a lot, don’t worry. We’ll bring all the stuff, set it up and give you plenty of guidance on how to position yourself and the baby along the way. Plus, we’re always ready to capture all those little, natural moments in between that often go unnoticed too.
Please review our portfolio gallery to make sure you feel connected with our shooting style before scheduling with us. (But since that’s under construction at the moment, here’s a little sampling for you.)
You can see more of our work on Instagram too. Check out @ashriffophoto and @riffojc.
How to Prepare for Your Newborn Photo Session
The Day of the Session
When we arrive, we will take a quick tour of your home and scout out the best areas for family and sibling photos, as well as baby and mama photos. Depending on the lighting situation in your home, we may use the living room sofa, your baby’s nursery, or a master bed. Please don’t feel like you need to clean your house before I arrive. You just had a baby, and we don’t want this photo session to add stress to your life in any way. We’re happy to help you clean up just the area we’ll use for photos.
Your baby is absolutely perfect just as he or she is. We can use props, lights and poses or we can skip them – either way your baby will be beautiful. Try to feed your baby about 15 minutes before we arrive, but if it doesn’t work out, no worries. We recommend a plain white or neutral colored onesie with no distracting words or images on them. (Maybe have two ready because hey, spit up happens!) We will probably take it off at some point and get some nude or diaper-only newborn photos too. If you have a favorite swaddle, have that on hand too to wrap the baby. And that, my friend, is all you’ll need.
We’ll let baby guide the session, meaning if they aren’t feeling laying on their back or stomach or side, we won’t force it, and if they are awake or want to sleep or prefer to stay in your arms the whole time, that’s fine too. We will go with baby’s flow. Keep in mind that newborn sessions can take some time and that is completely fine. We always schedule ample time for this kind of shoot and we’ll never be in a rush.
You just had a baby, which means both of you are probably ecstatic and exhausted. Your emotions may be all over the place and I totally get that, I’ve been there. Please don’t worry too much about your appearance. Just like your baby, you are perfect just the way you are. Especially after having brought a new life into this world! This is a unique time that won’t be perfect, in fact it will likely be filled with a whole host of new challenges, but it is most certainly beautiful and we aim to capture that.
Brothers and Sisters
A new baby means a big change for any siblings in the house, which is why we’ll take a go with the flow approach here too. We’ll do whole family and sibling photos first to get them out of the way before the kiddos lose interest in us and the session. We may make suggestions to your kids or toddlers, but we’ll never force them to do anything if they aren’t feeling it. Simply let them know ahead of time a friend is coming to take some pictures of the family for best results. 😉
Clothes and Accessories
Next, I recommend keeping things simple wardrobe-wise. Neutral colors and minimal accessories will make the session more relaxed and highlight the naturally beautiful dynamics of your family. Your clothes will never be more beautiful than you are!
As you may know, my husband and I generally do shoots together. With JC as a secondary photographer, you get two vantage points on your family and photos that come from two unique styles and perspectives. Plus, if you have a large family with lots of kids, a second photographer can really help to capture moments a solo photographer might miss. And even though our styles differ, we edit our images harmoniously, so you get a gallery that still flows well as a whole. That said, if for any reason you feel more comfortable with just one photographer, please let us know. We are happy to work with your preferences.
Newborn Photo Session FAQs
How old should my baby be for newborn photos?
This is really completely up to you. A baby is considered a newborn for the first three months, right? So anytime you feel ready is fine by us. There are pros and cons to taking shots the first week of life, the first month, or the third. If you really want to document that new, just-arrived-home baby we can schedule as early as the day your baby is born. We’re happy to be on call and meet you at your home birth, the hospital or birthing center. On the other hand, if you are feeling too overwhelmed right after the birth, just wait a little longer. My husband and I didn’t do an official lifestyle newborn shoot of our son until right after he turned three months.
What if I want to do newborn photos somewhere besides my home?
Let me assure you, we are flexible as all get out. If you want us to meet you somewhere else, let us know and we can work out the details. Just make sure the place you choose is somewhere you can feel comfortable with your family and a brand new baby.
What if my newborn is fussy or crying?
Kids always seem to wake up on the wrong side of the bed the day you have a photoshoot scheduled. Honestly, this does not bother us at all. It can be tough for two adults to make it through a one-hour engagement session without feeling worn out, so we don’t expect a child or baby to feel differently. We take a very chill approach with kids and babies and can generally get some beautiful photos evein if they cry or don’t seem to be cooperating. One of the main reasons I love family photography is the children. They never pretend to be anything they aren’t just because there’s a camera in the room. It delights my documentary loving soul.
Here’s a few shots from a session where baby girl was just not in the mood, but we got some great ones anyway by just slowing down and taking it easy:
I have another question. Can I contact you?
Absolutely! You can find our phone and email info on our contact page. Seriously, reach out with any questions you have. We’re happy to help whether you hire us or not.