Jennifer Wilkerson Photography

Tips for a Successful Session

 
 

Tips for a Successful Session

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First of all, let me congratulate you on your precious new addition. Becoming a parent is one of the most defining moments in our lives and also one of the most exhausting. Trust me, these details you want to soak in and remember forever are best captured and printed. The visual impact of a photograph can literally transcend time. 

 
 
 
Newborn Session

When is the ideal age for a newborn session?

Without a doubt within the first 7 days of life. By the time your baby reaches two weeks, they are already more alert and aware of their surroundings but we work with babies up to three weeks. They also wake up easier from sleep during their transitions. Enough said. 

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Can parents choose poses or request special shots?

 

So this question has a couple of answers. Of course you are welcome to suggest favorite poses or bring in personal items! We are customizing this session for YOU! With that being said, we also have a workflow that we try and adhere to that minimizes disruption to your sleeping baby while maximizing posing variations. Each baby is different and each and every baby leads their own session. We do not promise to get every shot you want or use every prop you bring, but we do shoot with your end images in mind. Meaning we will do our best :)

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Prior to your session....

I know new moms and dads are exhausted and trying to adjust to life with a new baby calling all the shots. But in order to minimize the time spent in our session, please keep your baby awake for about an hour prior to your session and for the car ride. Plan on feeding your baby upon arrival to help settle them into a nice cozy slumber. If you are nursing, please don’t worry about being modest. I have nursed four children and promise to give you some private time if you require it. If you are bottle-feeding, please bring a bit more than you would expect to feed, as some babies need an extra snack during their session. We just love well nourished babies, no matter how you plan to feed. *Simple Tip- If nursing, avoid dairy 24-48 hours prior to your session to decrease chances of an upset tummy. Many little digestive systems are not yet mature enough to handle the proteins found in milk. This is a suggestion- not a requirement.

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DURING THE session...

Your baby is the boss and sets the pace for our session. My job is to keep him or her happy, safe and comfortable. And that means its warm in the studio. We keep the temperature at about 82 degrees to help your newborn maintain their body temperature. So i advise either dressing in layers or bringing in a change of clothes so you can be comfortable. also a change of clothes in case of little accidents isn’t a bad idea :) Bring a book, watch me work or kick your feet up and rest on our couch!

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Sorry, Not sorry

Poop happens! Your new little person may have accidents- on me or the studio props. Please do not worry! We wash our items with each use and keep a change of clothes. It’s the nature of the art and I (usually) think it’s funny. Bring a few extra diapers as we often use a few extra than you would normally carry.

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Helpful Items

Nursing moms- don’t punch me but bringing a Soothie brand (the round green with a hole in the middle) pacifier can make or break some sessions. I will not be giving your baby a pacifier the entire session but it sure does help for: transitioning poses, using the hole for my finger to help move baby’s head comfortably, babies with strong rooting reflexes and more. I use it for mere minutes but it is a life saver. Also, extra diapers are a must. A brush or comb and hairspray for mom and dad to freshen up is a great idea too. 

newborn photography tips

What to wear

For everyone: Trim and tidy your nails and apply lotion to any dry skin. Luminous primer is fab for looking refreshed. bring a comb and hairspray to freshen hair. 
For dad’s:  Long or short sleeved knits are best, fitted clothing is better and my fave is simple short sleeved tee’s (no logo) to show those bare arms agains baby’s soft skin.
We suggest you not wear button down shirts, solid colors are preferred, make sure your t-shirts are free of logos/ writing, and fit bits, apple watches, wallets and keys be left in the diaper bag. Wrinkles do show up in photos, so please make sure all clothing is ironed or steamed.

For mom’s: It’s easier than you think. I don’t typically photograph your bottom half, so yoga pants are totally acceptable. Your top is most important- creams and neutrals are a classic and f you aren’t a fan of your arms, wear longer fitted sleeves or a cardigan. If you are good with whatever, a tank or tube top is a way to really break it down to the simplest portrait- and dad’s are even welcome to go shirtless if comfortable. I love skin to skin in our portraits. We can also do a mix of intimate skin to skin and clothed. Don’t be afraid to ask! Another great and comfy alternative is a knit, neutral or soft colored dress.