How to Prepare for Your Newborn Session | Arcadian Photography

How to Prepare for Your Newborn Session

March 12, 2019

A newborn session is a bit different than your typical portrait session at a park location. But fear not! I’m here to tell you how to prepare for your newborn session. I will help get you ready and guide you through it. It’s a bit more involved and a little less predictable but with some preparation, you will be ready for your newborn session with Arcadian Photography!

First and foremost…these are all suggestions and guide posts. If all does not go as planned, Do Not Worry! 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

How to Prepare Before You Leave the House

If you live in Salem: before the shoot, please feed baby a good long full feed before you head out for the studio. She can fall asleep on the car ride and I can transition into photographing right away. Please dress baby in a white onesie. 

If you live in Portland: before the shoot, please feed baby 2-3 hours prior, and then plan on feeding him/her a good long full feed as soon as you get to the studio. Please dress baby in a white onesie. Do not worry about keeping baby awake for the car ride.

newborn baby in white onesie

Please do not let baby sleep beforehand, instead try giving him a bath, let him kick with only a diaper, ticklee his toes, a little tummy time. This awake time will ensure for those squishy, sleepy newborn pictures! It is important to do your best to keep baby awake before leaving for your session. 

getting ready for your newborn session

The studio will be very HOT! I’ll have it set to at least 80 degrees. I know, I know, its hot! But this Really makes a difference in making baby comfortable while unclothed. Adults will be sweating it out; baby will be happy. (As a heads up, I will be dressed casually and for the heat and suggest you do too!) Its a good idea to bring a change of clothes for yourselves in case of a newborn accident so that you don’t have to wear dirty clothese for photos or on the ride home.

What to Expect at the Studio

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

how to prepare your baby for your newborn session

When she needs to feed during the session, I can either bring her to you to nurse of bottle-feed her if you provide a bottle. I prefer to have a bottle available because I can soothe baby on the beanbag rahter 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 he wants; 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 am not in any hurry.

how to prepare for your newborn session

Please bring a Soothie pacifier; it’s the bendable, green/blue one, and won’t leave marks. I also have unopened pacifiers in the studio for baby’s use. Even if you are not using a pacifier outside the session, please allow 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. 

newborn baby with mom

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. Do 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 whats on bottom! Simple and neutral is your goal. I think mom looks great in feminine and flowy tops or dress. 

Moms, 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 baby. 

I aim to photograph using flattering angles and light to bring out the natural beauty in your family.

newborn baby with family poses
how to prepare your family for a newborn session


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 please.

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

If siblings will be joining you for the session I have books and toys for them to play with at the studio. I also have drinkgs and snacks on hand. Feel free to bring a favorite show or movie to help pass the time!

newborn baby with older sibling

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. Also, diaganally across the street is Salem’s Latte – walk up or drive up to her window – she makes a mean stumptown latte!

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

newborn baby being held by dad who has tattoos

My goal is to email you a proofed gallery in about 1 week after your session. 

Have you grabbed my Ultimate Hospital Bag Checklist yet?


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