Inside my Newborn Session
Newborn photography is rewarding but also difficult, especially when studio style is involved. I belong to many Facebook closed groups for photographers and actively participate in all sorts of discussions. Almost everyone agrees newborn photography is one of the most challenging categories. Why? So many unknown factors: newborn behaviors, parents emotions, siblings (and very often they are at young ages)cooperation, safety, settings, posing, props, timing…it takes lots of practice to get it done right.
I am still pretty new to studio style newborn photography. I am not going to lie about it. Then why people want to choose me? Well…everyone needs to start somewhere. Your portfolio on other young children, your reputation, your personality, or perhaps even consider build your portfolio by gifting a few sessions followed by offering a nice trial discounts for the next few subsequent clients…can attract the ones that really have faith in you. Then…practice at home with a doll, take training classes, read books/blogs, participate in discussions…all these can help you better prepared for a studio style newborn session.
The best time to conduct a studio style newborn session is when babies are within 2 weeks old. Otherwise, babies tend to be more alert and therefore more difficult to be posed. My goal is to provide parents a completely stress-free session experience. Therefore, I conduct sessions on location at the comfort of the clients’ houses. I also provide all props. I never told parents to go all the way preparing for a newborn session because understanding how tired they already are and how unpredictable a newborn session might be, I do not want to make the parents feel more frustrated when they follow all instructions then things still don’t go quite right. However, it is important to make them understand newborn session does have a timing constraint so that they can confirm booking with you as soon as possible. Ask them to identify an area about 5ft x 5ft with plenty of sunlight available to set up the bean bag, etc. Do inform them about controlling the surrounding temperature to be around 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Plan workflow prior to the session is very important.
Newborn usually gives a smile-like reflex during a session. I love to capture that. Sometimes, Moms might have tricks to make them smile as well.
To add more varieties to the session, use different accessories.
Be very patient with your newborn session and also set the same expectations for the parents as well. On average a good newborn session will take about 3 to 4 hours. You should expect several feeding in between, plus time for burping, and diaper changes. Babies might get uncomfortable with gases and become fuzzy. Allow parents take time to soothe them. It is very likely babies will choose to release themselves or vomit on your props as well. Therefore plan wisely. For rugs that are difficult to clean, consider choose a prop that allows the baby to wear a diaper. Do let parents know all these are normal.
While parents are soothing the baby, why not take some candid/lifestyle moments?
If there are siblings, try to take some solo for them as well while baby is being fed or comforted.
And…don’t forget to capture a various combination of images such as siblings and baby, Mom and baby, Dad and baby, the whole family, etc.
What did I learn from this session? Be prepared, be patient, be communicative, make every single moment worthy, and safety first. Newborn session is about helping the family to document the very early moments of the baby’s life. It is not about trying to gain yourself personal fame as a photographer. Put your clients’ concern above yours. Show them that you care. Practice good hygiene – tie your hair up, trim your nails, wash your hands frequently throughout the session, and be sure to sanitize all equipment and props prior to the session. Understand your own limits, never force or push too far. When posing babies, allow them to fall into their favorite position. My philosophy is there is no need to attempt advanced posing in order to impress. Instead, fill it with loving candid moments. Gain your clients’ trust with your professionalism, high ethical standards, and a loving heart.
To book newborn session, visit Baby’s First Year Plan for more details.
Interested in finding out what the parents say about MuSen? Read their testimonial here.
- ZHAO FAMILY
We have gotten many compliments from visiting guests. The photos you took are candid and captured true moments of joy. The product has amazing quality and yet very easy to install. I can’t wait to get another great collage for the upcoming family shoots. Thank you Karen.
"We absolutely loved the wall collage you designed for us. It has become the focal point of our great room"
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- JESSICA JACKSON
She listened to what type of photos we were looking to achieve and offered suggestions since she is in fact the professional! Karen was always very responsive if I had any questions leading up to the actual photo shoot and was an absolute pleasure to work with the day of our session. Everything went very smooth, and our proofs were delivered very quickly. After the selection process, our final images were delivered also very quickly and looked so amazing. We have received so many compliments and will be using Karen again in the future. I highly recommend MuSen Photography to anyone looking for quality professional photography!
"Karen was amazing to work with from the very beginning through to the delivery of our final photos"
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- SUE COLON
I hired her to do my daughters first birthday party photos and she captured the moment perfectly. I was so pleased with her work I hired her again to do a mother and daughters photo shoot for Mother’s Day. She NAILED IT one of the most beautiful photo shoots I have ever seen. Karen picked the location, lighting, told us how to pose her eye for perfection is beyond words she saw my vision and made it come true. She also was very easy to contact and communicate with. The turn over time to receive the photos was fast and easy. Karen is also very sweet it was truly a pleasure working with her. I highly recommend her and if perfection is what you seek Karen is definitely the one. I look forward to working with her again. Thank you so much Karen you rock .
"Karen is absolutely amazing."
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Truthfully from the beginning when we met in the diner to the very end of our day to stay to capture all of our memories. You were a pleasure to work with and we will be using you again for sure for our family photos and every event we have. I love most about you that your attention to details and making sure you get everything right and perfect for us.
"Karen what can I say but you are fabulous"
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