Babies can sense our energy. Have you noticed that calm people tend to have calm kids, in the same way high-energy people tend to have high-energy kids? When I’m doing a newborn session, I try to make sure that I create a soothing environment. Sometimes, babies are still settling in to this world. Most are under 14 days old when they see me in the studio. Isn’t that amazing! They’ve only been in this world, breathing the air, listening to the sounds and feeling the texture for a handful of days.
Here are a few things that I do to help create the right environment for a newborn photo session.
1. My studio is heated. The studio is a small guest house with central air/heating, so I’ll turn on the heat a moderate amount to create a comfortably warm space. If it’s a summer afternoon, I won’t need to turn on the heat, it’ll naturally be warm enough. If it’s a chilly day, I’ll use a space heater to direct more heat toward the baby. Why does it need to be so warm? Babies have been living in the womb for the last 9 months where the temperature was a cozy 98.7 degrees.
2. I use a white noise machine. This $20 device from Target is a life-saver. Sometimes older siblings with loud voices will be in the studio with the baby. Other times newborns are so sensitive that the sound of my shutter will startle them. The white noise machine is set on a soft heart beat sounds and it muffles all the noises to create an environment like they were used to in the womb.
3. The decor of my studio is very soft in color and pattern. I want parents to walk in and immediately feel comfortable. While I love color and pattern in my other photo sessions, a newborn session should be soft and sweet. Colors and patterns will compete with the sweet newborn baby instead of complimenting their skin tones and soft features.
4. Before the session, I make sure that I’m not running around trying to get things done. I like to come in with a calm demeanor. I’ll light a candle with a very soft scent. I like Voluspa candles in the studio. Just make sure to select a scent that’s not too over-powering. I want to make sure that I am personally in a space where I won’t get frazzled if a baby is fussy or a toddler sibling doesn’t want to cooperate. If I come from a calm place, I’ll be able to think clearly and problem solve to make sure to get the most out of every newborn photo session.