How to Prepare for Your Newborn Session

A newborn session is a bit different than your typical portrait session. It’s a bit more involved and a little less predictable but with some preparation and these helpful tips, you will be ready for your newborn session with Arcadian Photography!

First and foremost…these are suggestions and guideposts. If all does not go as planned, Do Not Worry or stress! The most important thing is to get yourself and your family to the studio…I will take it from there.

Here is the address for the studio: 2319 State St Ste A, Salem, OR 97301

Before You Leave the House

Please feed baby a good long full feed before you head out for the studio. Baby can fall asleep on the car ride and I can transition into photographing right away. Please plan to have baby dressed in an outfit that comes off easily, like a zip-up or snap-on piece and loose-fitting diaper so that I can move them from car seat to photo time with minimal jostling : ) 

Try to give baby a lot of awake time before the session. Try giving him a bath, let him kick with only a diaper, tickle his toes, a little tummy time, etc. This awake time will ensure for those squishy, sleepy newborn pictures! This awake time can be super helpful, but again, if it doesn’t happen – don’t stress about it.

If you live in Portland or more than an hour away, don’t worry about keeping baby awake for the car ride. The important part is to try and give some good awake time before leaving the house.

What to Expect at the Studio

The studio will be very HOT! I’ll have it set to at least 80 degrees.

I know, I know, it’s hot!

But this makes a difference in helping baby comfortable while unclothed. Adults will be sweating it out; baby will be happy.

It’s a good idea to bring a change of clothes for yourself in case of a newborn accident so that you don’t have to wear dirty clothes for photos or on the ride home.

Sessions last between 2-3 hours. One of the easiest ways to ensure a sleepy baby is the willingness to nurse/bottlefeed off and on. 

It can be helpful to have a bottle available because we can soothe your baby on the beanbag rather quickly this way. A newborn session is a bit of a free-for-all in terms of feeding and won’t wreck any regular feeding plans.

Essentially, we want to feed baby as much as they want; this way, we ensure a sleepy and calm baby for desirable photos. Please don’t feel rushed during feedings and take your time to give good full feeds. I’m not in any hurry.

Please bring a Soothie pacifier; it’s the bendable, green/blue one, and won’t leave marks (or something similar). I also have unopened pacifiers in the studio for baby’s use. Even if you are not using a pacifier outside the session, consider allowing one during the session if needed. Sometimes a pacifier can really make all the difference in posing a baby and making them comfy.

Mom & Dad

Mom & Dad, you are a big part of the show. Photographing the connection between you and your baby is one of my favorite things. 

Wearing neutral colors and simple outfits for all being photographed is best. Whites, creams, pastel colors, grays, denim, and items with good texture are all good. Avoid plaid, graphics and logos. If I do any head-swapping on photos, a plain option always works best.

Most likely your bottom half will not be in the photos so don’t worry too much about what’s on the bottom! For sure, do not worry about shoes; those will not be in any photos.

Simple and neutral is your goal. I think mom looks great in feminine and flowy tops or dress. Mom, you are welcome and encouraged to wear anything from my studio wardrobe.

Be sure that you either have a pale nail polish color applied or not at all as your hands will be in the images. Remember a quick swipe of lip balm or gloss for your close-ups with your baby. 


Including older brother/sister in your newborn’s portraits is the perfect way to document this fleeting time in your lives.

how to prepare for your newborn session

Sister(s): I ask that girls’ hair be natural (or very simply styled). Just as with mom, no nail polish or a pale color works best.

Brother(s): A snug pair of jeans and simple neutral top is great. 

If siblings are joining you for the session, I have books and toys for them to play with at the studio. I also have drinks and snacks on hand. Feel free to bring a favorite show or movie to help pass the time! More information on Including Siblings in Newborn Photos here

Get Excited!

Make yourself at home. I’ve very good with newborns, so you will get a nice little break to relax. The session will take 2-3 hours, so please feel free to spread out, make some tea or coffee, read, catch up on social media, brings snacks, or anything else to help pass the time. 

Basil & Board, Ritter’s, Ventis, Kitchen on Court St, and Bo & Vine are all great lunch spots for after your session. During the session, if the kiddos need to run off some steam, McRae City Park is just a 5 min walk away.

I hope that you feel comfortable and at home at the studio. I am truly honored to be able to document this incredible time in your lives, and look forward to getting to know you and your sweet baby!

My goal is to have your proofed gallery ready for you to look over and order from about 7-10 business days after your session.

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