Newport Beach Newborn Photographer
I’m so happy to share a few images from a recent photo session. I photographed big sister when she was the same age. It’s always fun to see my newborns all grown up. Little Miss Faye was so sweet as the big sister. She couldn’t wait to snuggle her little baby sister and give her all the kisses.
Orange County Lifestyle Newborn Photographer
I loved my time with Baby Charlotte and her mom and dad a few weeks ago. There was lots of snuggling and just enjoying this sweet little girl. She was easy as can be and slept through her whole session. She even gifted us with a few sleepy smiles!
Click here to see other newborn sessions! Kristin Eldridge is a newborn / baby photographer in Long Beach, Orange County and Los Angeles.
I got to celebrate baby A’s arrival with her family at their home. At home sessions have more of a lifestyle feel than studio sessions. Clients will ask me about which is better. I advise them to think about the pros and cons of each.
A studio session has more controlled lighting and access to all my newborn blankets and props. But, keeping toddlers occupied in a small studio for an extended amount of time is difficult. Not to mention having to pack everything up and drive when you’ve just had a baby.
An at home session can be a little trickier with light. Sometimes certain areas of the house can be dark and won’t work for photos. But, if you’re willing to be flexible, you definitely feel most relaxed in your own home.
I photographed this family in their bedroom because we got good light and there was enough space for me to set up my bean bag for the baby. They even had a nice neutral wall to use for photos of mom and dad with baby.
I absolutely loved spending the morning with these three girls and their parents. We basically had a pink explosion in the studio. All the soft baby pink was perfect for brand new Baby AJ. Her sisters told me all about their favorite princesses. It won’t be long before AJ will have her favorite princess too!
What a beautiful family!
How Does a Newborn Session Flow
Anyone that’s new to newborn photography can tell you it’s harder than it looks. Babies sleep a lot, so it’s assumed that taking photos of them would be easy. All you have to do is search #pinterestfail on the subject to see how things can go wrong. Undressing a baby is a room that’s anything less than VERY WARM is the first thing that can make them mad. Not being held by an adult is a close second. Start moving them around and you’re asking for it!
So, how does a newborn session flow? How do we get the baby to cooperate and make it all happen in 90 minutes or less.
7 Tips for a Great Newborn Session
- Warm the room. I can’t stress how important this is. In your clothing, you should be sweating a little. Remember the baby won’t be dressed (or minimally dressed) so make sure they are comfortable.
- Use white noise. Even small things like talking or the sound of the shutter can stir them. So, make sure you have a good white noise machine.
- I start with the baby wrapped. I instruct parents to dress the baby in front snap or zip outfit that’s easy to remove. As I’m removing clothing, I’m wrapping them, so they’re never left with arms and legs moving around.
- Once I have the baby securely wrapped and soothed, I’ll take photos shooting straight down. I might move the wrap slightly to create different looks or add a hat. This is the point where I’ll shoot details of the hands, ears and hair.
- If parents want any basket props, I transfer the baby in the wrap to the basket and take close up and pulled out shots there.
- When I move the baby back to the bean bag, I’ll place them on their tummy start slowing removing the blanket and diaper. I’ll photograph the curled up on the tummy poses and do some slight variations in poses, plus adding hats/wraps.
- Lastly, I put the diaper back on, add a wrap and do some additional photos looking down. The baby might be awake by this time. Since the baby is wrapped, I also use the blanket to wrap around the feet and do those close-ups.
Life changes in an instant when you become a parent. You go from birthing classes and prepping a nursery to going home from the hospital with a brand new baby. And there’s no class or book that can entirely prep you for that.
If you’re like many of my clients, you’ve thought about a newborn session in the months before your baby arrived. You looked at different photographer’s websites and decided on someone whose style you love. You picked someone you’d trust to hold your tiny little son or daughter. But, as much as you’ve prepared, you’re getting closer to the day of the photo session and want to make sure you get the most out of the investment.
Once a client arrives to my studio, I tell them the hard work is over. Now it’s my turn to do what I’m best at. I’ll soothe your baby. All the wraps, hats and headbands are available and I’ll even direct you with how to hold and pose with the baby.
I’ve put together a few tips to get ready for the newborn photo session that will make everything go as smoothly as possible.
How to Prepare for a Newborn Photo Session
- Plan some awake time for your baby before the photo session. The easiest way to do this is give the baby a bath. It’s nearly impossible for a baby to sleep through a bath, so it’s an easy way to keep them awake. This will ensure, they’ll be ready for a nap when they arrive.
- Feed the baby just before the session. You can arrive a little early to breast feed the baby. Or you could bring a bottle and feed the baby just before we start. This also helps in making sure the baby is ready to sleep right through the photo session.
- Dress the baby is a snap front outfit. This will allow us to remove the clothing without disturbing the sleeping baby. If we have to pull clothing over the head, a baby will usually start to wake up.
- Bring a pacifier. I know the doctor might tell you to hold off on giving your baby a pacifier. Of course, you need to do what you feel comfortable doing. But, there are times, when letting the baby soothe with a pacifier for a minute or two will make the difference in getting more photos. (And you never have to use it again if you don’t want to!)
- If the photo session is at your home, make sure it’s very warm. I keep my studio very warm so that babies still feel like they are in the womb. When we do bare skin photos with the baby, this is extra important.
The worst call/email I can receive is someone asking if I can just meet them to take one or two photos. “All I need is one good shot of the family.” Makes sense. No one NEEDS 30 great images…you just need one or two photos. But, what people don’t understand until they’ve worked with a photographer is that the magic happens along the way. See, we’ve never met before. As we get to know each other, we find common ground. We start laughing and relaxing and things all naturally fall into place. So, I can’t meet you for one or two photos. I wish it was that simple.
Instead, we meet like new friends, cautiously at first. Guards are let down, reserved smiles turn into genuine ones and everyone walks away happy. So, as you’re thinking about hiring a photographer, invest into the person. You’ll feel and LOOK yourself and then, magic.
Bringing a new baby home when you are the current baby is hard. And what I mean by that is, it’s hard to be a toddler! Adding number four to this family was perfection…but it’s all a balancing act. All hands are on deck. And you have to juggle nap times and snacks and entertainment.
One of my little tricks of the trade is finding a fun way to ditch the pacifier for the photo. The older kids come ready to follow directions, but that youngest guy is still adjusting to this new family dynamic. So, instead of ripping away his comfort so he can ‘take pictures,’ I like to make a little game out of it.
I get everyone on the bed and then I start playing around and pretending to take the pacifier. Then, I turn it into…I’m gonna get you! I playfully yank it out and quickly snap a photo. Usually they’re laughing and I pop it back in the mouth, and repeat. This silly little game pretty much works every time and makes the whole picture taking process a little less traumatizing for toddlers who have recently become big brothers and sisters.
All the yeses to bringing your own style to the photo shoot! When clients ask me what colors to wear I always respond with soft neutrals. If you’re not sure, it’s a safe bet. Newborn skin is so delicate that I can count on these colors looking great. But, as you can see, these darker bold colors also totally work. The reason I love it is that the ensemble really reflects their personal style. Which ultimately is the goal of photography. You want the photos to be an accurate depiction of the you. So, I’m also happy to guide if a client is unsure, but at the end of the day, be YOU.