Preparing For Your Newborn Session - courtneymariephotography

Preparing For Your Newborn Session

Congratulations on your bundle of joy! The last nine months have been filled with anticipation, and I’m sure you are glad to have finally met your little one! Newborns are by far my favorite thing to photograph, but it does take a lot of preparation in advance! This guide will help you get baby ready for their “debut” to the world!

Your Home

I prefer to visit you in your home so that everything goes as smoothly as possible and you have all baby’s needs on hand. 

• This presents a unique situation for me since I need the best lighting possible, which often means rearranging furniture! When I first arrive, I will need a quick “tour” of your home to assess where to set up. I prefer large open windows without direct lighting (sliding glass doors are great!) but we can also work with large open windows. I will take several “test shots” and might change location if something isn’t working. I will also borrow dining room chairs, etc to hold up backdrops! If this is a problem for you, please speak up so I can pack extra items!

• Although I always have some on hand, I may ask to use your pillows, blankets, and towels. If this will be a problem, notify me at least 48 hours before your shoot so that I can bring the necessary items. 

• I will provide some props, but always prefer something of meaning to your little one, so if you have a favorite blanket or other item, make sure to tell me! 
 Things to set aside: hats, blankets, booties, diaper covers (if you have them), heirloom items, favorite sports memorabilia, bows and hair accessories, and any favorite jewelry for little girls- strands of pearls or beaded necklaces looks great!

• Baby will be naked for much of the session, so please turn your air conditioning up to about 78 degrees about an hour before hand, this greatly improves the outcome of photos!

• Baby will most likely have a few “accidents” since they will be undressed! Please prepare ahead for this, and have trash bags we can lay on the floor or bed to protect carpets, etc. Also, I always bring a change of clothes, just in case, please do not be embarrassed if your little one makes a mess on me


Newborn portraits are at their very best in the first 10 days of life! My favorite days are between 5-7. This is the time when babies are still very sleepy and we can mold them into the adorable poses families have grown to love. After this time, there are no guarantees, but I will always try my best to get those adorable photos. Babies are more alert, and have more preferences as to where they want to sleep, which makes posing difficult, but not impossible! It is best to schedule “older newborn” sessions around their typical nap/sleeping cycles if they have one.

Preparing the family

Preparing Your Little One

• A well fed baby is a happy one so plan to feed just before our shoot is scheduled. Our sessions tend to make baby hungry so if you are formula feeding, make sure plenty of bottles are made in advance. Also make sure to get a good burp in, as gassy babies are fussy babies. 

• Please be sure to remove any socks and loosen baby’s diaper about an hour before the session so little lines are reduced in their tender skin. Retouching will be done, and will also take care of acne or scratches, but it’s better to start with smooth skin when possible! 

• If your baby has very dry skin, try putting your favorite soothing lotion or cream on an hour ahead as well so it has plenty of time to dry and so baby does not get cold!

Preparing Your Family

Although the session is mostly slotted for baby, this is the time to get some close ups with siblings and parents! 

• Baby will need at least one plain outfit, I prefer a plain white onsie

• Parents and adults should wear solid colors without any emblems and in neutral colors (black, khaki, or white). Pants should be dark and shirts are best if long sleeved, no tank tops please. Make sure your makeup and hair are simple as the area we will be working in might be warm. Make sure nails are photo ready as well as there will be a few close-ups.

• Siblings should also wear solid colors without large patterns or emblems, and also in neutral colors (black, khaki, or white). If there are multiple siblings, make sure their pants colors match each other (all khaki usually looks very good).


Above all else, safety is my number one priority. While looking through a lens, I may not be aware of a possible danger or risk to your child, therefore I ask that one person be designated to assure baby’s safety during photo shoots. This means you would be an active participant in the photo taking process and cannot watch other children at the same time. If you cannot do this, I can provide an assistant for an additional fee.