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Behind the scenes of my newborn photography sessions

The first few weeks of your baby’s life are precious and going by so fast! Many parents want to capture the moment in a photograph but might be curious or even anxious on what to expect when hiring a professional photographer.

Let me give you an insight into what really happens behind the scenes of a newborn photoshoot.

Also let me share with you a tip: the biggest thing is safety! This should be your and your photographer’s number one priority.   You wouldn’t ask a friend to deliver your baby just because they’ve had one themselves, nor you would ask your sibling to cut your hair because they own a pair of scissors.  It’s important to research how a photographer aims to capture the moment.

Newborn photoshoot is an experience!

One day this amazing new mum booked a session for me to capture images of her brand new baby girl.  I realized this particular mum is also an artist, a painter, and a talented one!  I instantly fell in love with her stardust painting and wanted to make sure that that the images I capture are as artistic. 

I wanted to do a good job!    

During  the session, as I was going through my posing workflow, I noticed that the mum started taking photographs of me taking photographs of her baby. 

And this is when I realized, new mums don’t hire a newborn photographer solely for the images to cherish years to come… it is not just about someone taking good photos of your baby, it is about the entire experience of the photoshoot, and the pure joy and love new mums, and dads, have for their offspring.  

And gosh, that tiny baby can be hypnotising!  

A photo one of the mums took during the session 🙂

Make your session UNIQUE

I’ve started involving mums more in the entire process.

Whether it is to make a choice of an outfit, a matching tieback/hairband or colour of the wrap. 

Before the session, during the booking process, I often ask about any special requirements. Few mums requested to include a family keepsake, nana’s bracelet or even their pet in at least one of the shots. I also had a dad ask to include a hurley or a baby in a sports shirt since his family has strong connections to GAA. 

These little unique add-ons are what makes the image special and once documented, frozen in the photograph, it becomes an endless memory for you and your family to look back on.

Dad requested we incorporate a GAA jersey, present from a family 

What can you expect at the beginning of the session?

Safety safety safety and comfort of the baby is my first priority.  When you arrive at my garden studio, and have settled in, we start by undressing your little bundle – navigating a labyrinth of sleeves, openings and endless buttons! 

As a mum (or mum-to-be) you know that babies feel most comfortable and secure when wrapped. During a newborn session, this also ensures safety throughout and helps them fall asleep faster. 

I will wrap your baby in a quality 4-way stretch fabric, specially selected from established newborn photography suppliers.  Majority of my wraps are sourced from specialized newborn wrap and prop vendors  (I have a serious shopping addiction). 

Dad requested we use his hurley and this is what we came up with! Note: the baby is not really hanging mid air 😀 It is another composite of two photos merged together: 1) baby lying on dark background and 2) dad holding a hurley

If your baby is settled, I will more than likely start with a few awake shots on my posing bed. If the baby is unsettled (or after the awake shots), we will take a feeding break, pick an outfit and/or an additional wrap, after which I will soothe and shush your baby to sleep. To properly start the session we need a sleepy baby; mainly for the following reasons:

1. Sleeping baby is cute and the images just turn out angelic, portray that innocence and freshness of a new little human.  You could just stare at a sleeping baby forever! (Tell me it is not true! J)

 2. Newborns do very well for posing when they are in deep sleep.  There is also a safety aspect to it; while wide awake shots are super sweet, it is not going to be easy to pose a newborn in a prop or on a posing bed if they are awake. 


Awake shots – sweetness overload

Baby Sleep-whisperer?

Creating a calm, safe, warm and soothing environment is an essential part of everything I do.

My entire studio is built with you and your baby in mind.

During the session, you will hear my Alexa speaker play ambient music with sounds of the ocean, forest, snowfall or some classic acoustic covers to name a few.  

Next to me you will find a shusher playing sounds of the womb, heartbeat and sometimes a sound of a hairdryer or a vacuum for the tougher babies 😉  I’ve also got a heater going to keep your baby warm. 

To help ensure the baby sleeps like a baby, I recommend keeping your little one awake at least two hours before your scheduled arrival (including car ride). 

If you are comfortable with this, bringing a pacifier/dummy could make things a little easier and speed up the session. But, as a mum, you know your baby and what’s best for them… so there is absolutely no pressure! 

There are many ways to soothe your baby, and the session is scheduled to ensure there is enough time for it to happen naturally.

Safety before the image!

The above image is a composite of two images, skillfully merged together in PhotoShop. 1) baby on a posing pillow and 2) digital background

What's my workflow?

Once your baby is in a deep sleep you’ll see me starting to
snap photos away!

I go through my posing workflow that I selected specifically for your baby (which is mainly dependent on your answers to my questionnaire I asked you to fill in before the session). 

My go to poses are baby in a wrap (peanut pose), lying on the side, tummy up and hands on chin (in the selected outfit).  

I mentioned that the baby should be asleep during the session, but does it mean we need him or her to sleep the entire time?

Absolutely not!

As I work through the poses, you might notice that the baby wakes up briefly or adjusts the way they are lying. This is absolutely normal and part of the process.

Sometimes, babies need a fed top-up or can be soothed back to sleep with their dummy.

All of my sessions are baby led, which means my workflow is dictated by your baby’s needs and cues. 

Finally we move onto parent poses: mum plus baby; dad plus baby; mum plus dad plus baby. Let me know beforehand if you’d like to include siblings in the shots so that we can make a room for them. 

What happens after you've gone home?

And now to, probably, the most exciting part of your newborn session experience: seeing your photos!

After the photoshoot I will carefully edit the shots to create your final gallery, which will be ready in approximately three weeks. 

If you signed my Model Release form I will post a few sneak peeks on my social media while you wait.  Most parents like to share them with the family and friends and why not! If you do, this helps me and my business grow and I can’t thank you enough for that. 

Please note, the images posted on Social Media are low resolution files.  While you can use them as a profile photo, please do not download these copies.  Your gallery will include the high-resolution files, which you can download, share and even print, just be patient.

Once the gallery of your images is ready, I will schedule a viewing appointment with me where you can pick one of my packages, wall art and additional art work. 

You will also receive a link to your gallery where you will be able to download the images. Feel free to share the link with friends and family who want to view your images.

If you’ve chosen package includes products or prints, I will notify you separately once they are ready for collection. Most of my products are custom made by specialised labs in Ireland or Europe. 

Thinking of booking with me?

If you booked or are thinking of booking a newborn session with me to celebrate the new life you’ve created, I have included some more information on what to expect and few tips for you to consider on my website here: https://belladaly.com/newborn-photography/.  

8 Replies to “Behind the scenes of my newborn photography sessions”

  1. What a wonderful page! Thanks for sharing insights into
    your newborn work and sharing images with us. I appreciate your photographical approach and image
    style. It’s artists like you that remind me why I’m so enthusiastic about infant photography.
    Keep up the fantastic work!

  2. Truly stunning images! The way you are capturing photos in your maternity photoshoots
    is absolutely incredible. I truly adore the image looks.
    Thanks for offering these insights with the audience. Best wishes, Anja

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