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February 24, 2021

How to Prepare for Your Newborn Session in the DC Area

newborn

DMV Newborn Photographer - new mother lays on bed in Maryland newborn session

As a newborn photographer here in the DMV, I help all my clients prepare for their session so they can approach and leave their session feeling comfortable and confident. The vast majority of the work associated with photo sessions is done before the session, not the session itself. As part of the Marie Elizabeth Photography experience, all of my clients receive a planning guide in the mail before their consultation so they are prepared for that first meeting.

Newborn photography requires a little extra preparation compared to a family or maternity session. The star of the show runs on their own schedule, after all! Not to mention the lack of sleep most new parents are running on…

With well-thought steps, you can be fully prepared for your newborn session. As a DMV Newborn Photographer, below are my best suggestions to prepare for your newborn suggestion.

DC fine art newborn on black and white film

1. Schedule your DC area newborn session within the first two weeks.

Newborns are sleepiest during their first two weeks, so photographing them during this time period will allow your session to run smoothly. After two weeks, babies can begin to get gassy and develop baby acne, so I find the first two weeks is the magic window.

I recommend you schedule your newborn session in your 7th or 8th month of pregnancy within 14 days of your due date so you can cross it off your list. Many photographers offer a baby plan, so you can even schedule a maternity, newborn, 6 month, and 1 year session all at the same time. You definitely don’t want to worry about scheduling your session when you’re in the midst of newborn fog, so scheduling it early is always a safe bet.

DMV Photographer - baby toes on a bed during a DMV newborn session

2. Give yourself extra time to prepare on the day of your session.

You will most likely need more time than you think to get ready for your session. Babies can be unpredictable and want to be fed or changed frequently – and often at the most inopportune times! Add in any wardrobe malfunctions, and you’ve lost a solid 30 minutes.

You will thank yourself later when you factor in extra time when determining when to start getting ready.

Baby on bed during Bethesda newborn photography session

3. Clear out the brightest areas of your home.

As a photographer here in the DMV, I always encourage my clients to clear out space in the brightest areas of their homes. I shoot with natural light, so I often find myself photographing in rooms with large windows or doors leading outside. The more light, the better!

You will want to remove phone chargers, water bottles, mail, etc. from any of these brightly lit areas to they do not appear in your images. I often will still move things around to achieve optimal light, but removing the basics will give you a great place to start.

Newborn photographers in DC

4. Refer to your DMV newborn photographer on wardrobe.

Chances are your photographer will advise you on what to wear so you feel confidence during your session. My clients have access to my client wardrobe, a boutique selection of dresses for all sessions.

Every photographer photographs and edits with a different aesthetic. I adore natural and earthy tones, so I usually have my clients wear flowing dresses in an organic palette. I find this style photographs beautifully and communicates a whimsical aesthetic – my favorite!

Regardless of what your photographer’s particular style is, he or she will be able to guide you in wearing what will be flattering and beautiful on you.

5. Make a cozy space for your baby.

Babies will fall asleep easier when their space is warmer and they hear white noise in the background. Turn on your baby’s white noise machine and increase the heat in your space so your baby knows it’s time for rest. This will just allow the session to flow smoothly.

6. Feed baby directly before your session.

Feed your newborn about 15-30 minutes before your session to give your baby enough time to eat and fall asleep. There is nothing wrong if your baby is awake for your session – in fact, we can often document your baby’s personality that way. However, a sleeping baby will allow the session to flow smoothly, and who can resist those cuddles!

Of course, newborns run on their own schedules, and if you need to pause throughout the session to feed or change your baby, that is totally fine. In fact, this is one of the reasons I love in-home newborn sessions. Babies are in their safe haven with you, so not only are you more comfortable – they are more comfortable, too.

DMV Newborn Photographer – Marie Elizabeth Photography

DMV Fine Art Newborn Photographer

Marie Elizabeth Photography specializes in fine art Maternity, Newborn, and Family Photography based out of Washington, D.C. She also serves the areas of Arlington, Alexandria, McLean, Falls Church, Vienna, Bethesda, Potomac, Chevy Chase, Kensington, Silver Spring, College Park, and Riverdale Park. 

It is always an honor to serve as your DMV Newborn Photographer. I provide a custom, luxurious experience to lead you every step of the way, beginning with a planning guide to make you feel confident and prepared, a consultation to achieve your portrait goals, a client wardrobe, hair and make-up artists, and finally, artwork to adorn your walls and preserve your memories forever. Let me be a part of your story today.

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