The Ultimate Studio Newborn Session Prep Guide | Minneapolis, MN

by | Apr 5, 2024 | Maternity, Motherhood, Newborn, Sessions

Having a Newborn is Enough Stress Without A Ton of Newborn Session Prep!

I know you’re hearing this everywhere you look as a new parent, but… it’s hard. Been there. I know the feeling! There’s a lot going on, and everyone wants to meet the new baby, and you’re taking on new roles as human beings if this is your first… it’s a LOT. And so the last thing you want to do is add in a stressful newborn photo session to your schedule right when you’ve brought baby home.

And I get that. But… this time is only going to come once. When your little one grows and isn’t little anymore, you can’t turn back time. No matter how hard we want to! So even though it can feel like a lot… you should DEFINITELY still have a newborn session.

The good thing, is we can make the whole process easier for you! I’ve outlined the ULTIMATE list of things you need to know about a Minneapolis in-studio newborn session, so that you can feel completely prepared. Because feeling prepared? It makes everything ten times easier!! And I mean, no one can feel fully prepared for parenthood. So feeling prepared for your newborn session is just kind of a nice little distraction in those first few weeks!

wiggly newborn boy in a striped onesie wincing and crying

When to book?

To truly guide you through the process it has to start at the beginning – and I’ve talked about when to book your newborn session before, but as a review… you should book as soon as you know you’ll want one! But BOOKING and SCHEDULING for newborn sessions are actually two different things. Well, that is, unless your little one has already joined the family. Then you’d likely book and schedule at the same time.

But as long as you’re in the maternity phase and you’re waiting for baby to come into the world, book as soon as you know you’re going to want to have a session. Your photographer will ask you a few questions – the most important one, is when your due-date is. That’s what they’re going to use for step two!

Mother and daughter counting the toes of their family's newest member

When to schedule?

Once you’ve booked a session with your favorite photographer, you’ll have to actually schedule your session. I’ve talked about this before too, but scheduling newborn sessions works a little differently than scheduling other types of sessions. I mean, it kind of HAS to be, since the actual subject of the session (your baby!) may not have joined us yet! So when you book, your photographer will ask for your due date, and then that’s around when you’ll reach out to schedule your session.

When baby joins the family, email/text your photographer and let them know you’re ready to book in your session time! If your photographer doesn’t hear from you around your due date, they’re very likely going to reach out to you. But when you remember it’s time to talk to them… pop through an email! It’ll help make sure you can pick a time that makes the most sense for everyone involved.

Your session will end up scheduled within the first few weeks of baby’s life. There’s a reason for that! Newborns are the squishiest and sleepiest in those first few weeks. After that… they get wigglier and wigglier! And though I TOTALLY recommend having three-month, and six-month milestone sessions for your little one (they change SO MUCH in those first months!!) their newborn session should really be as soon as you can have it, that way we get those sleepy, squishy newborn poses!

What to bring with you to your Newborn Session

Today we’re talking about studio newborn sessions, which does mean bringing your little one out into the world. In fact, for a lot of families, outside of going to the pediatrician’s office, your newborn session might end up being one of baby’s first outings overall! But what coming to the studio means, is bringing things with you.

So, what should you bring to your studio newborn session?

  • Obviously, your newborn
  • If there is a special outfit you’d like your little one to wear, include that
  • Any personal props you want involved in the session
  • An extra set of loose fitted clothing for your little one
  • Extra diapers
  • Wipes
  • Whatever your little one eats (whether that means bringing Mom, or it means bringing bottles)
  • Snacks for parents
  • Snacks for siblings (if they’re coming!)

The first item on the list isn’t really an item, it’s a human! Obviously, you’ll need to bring your newborn with you. You’ll also need to bring any props you want involved in the session! Your photographer might have things in their studio to use as well, but most photographers will allow personal items to be used in newborn sessions, upon request.

You’re also going to want extra diapers and wipes, though most photographers who offer newborn sessions will have at LEAST wipes in their studio! But if your little one has sensitive skin, or you want to be careful about using a specific brand, it’s best to bring them with you. By the time you bring your little one into the studio though, you’re going to be used to bringing those things with you everywhere you go! And if this isn’t your first rodeo… you already looked at those items in the list like “um… duh.”

Bring Snacks!!

Then last on the list is making sure you have snacks! Now, my newborn sessions are usually pretty quick. I make a point of keeping things simple and streamlined that way you’re not in the studio for ages in the weeks after creating a whole person. I mean, obviously I want you to have gorgeous photos, but I also want this to be a nice experience with very little stress. But snacks? They’re ALWAYS a good idea. And don’t limit that to food for baby, either! Bring snacks for yourself, and for siblings who are coming along. This is another one of those items where parents who have older kids are sitting there like “yes, this is obvious”. But remember… you were new to this once too! And we all need a reminder every once and a while.

At-home steps for Baby

So, once you’ve made sure you’ve got the things you’re going to need collected, and your session is scheduled, there are a couple of at-home steps for baby, before you come into the studio. They’re for the morning of your session, and they just help things go smoothly!

Step one, is to make sure that the diaper you use for your little one stays a tiny bit loose the day of the session, and to clothe them in loosely fitting baby clothes too. The reason for this, is we don’t want any red lines on your little one’s skin during the session, if we decide to do any naked newborn poses in the studio!

Step two, is to make sure baby is fed just shortly before the session. A full baby is a sleepy baby! If you have a long-ish drive to the studio, then you can always talk to your photographer ahead of time to make sure you can arrive a little bit early so you can feed baby in the studio before your session!

a sleeping baby wearing all white in a Minneapolis photography studio

At-home steps for Family

Baby isn’t the only one who needs to be prepared for your in-studio newborn session. YOU also need to be prepared!! And so do any other family members who are going to be there. For you, Mama, I recommend a few things. First, make sure you’ve thought about your outfit. This is an opportunity for you to feel like YOU, or at least as much as you can in those first few weeks. Choose something you love – but that’s also comfy! Depending on the studio you work with, you might even be able to borrow a gown, if that’s your vibe. So make sure you talk to your photographer ahead of time if that’s something you think you’d like to do!

One big thing I hear from moms after their session, is that they wish they’d done their nails, because your hands end up in the photos, depending on how your session is structured and the kinds of images you want to have! So I know it’s not the first thing on your mind after bringing a whole human into the world… but consider having a little self-care moment, if you can. Either head to the salon and have your nails done, if that’s your style, or do them yourself! Not only will it make sure that you have extra-pretty hands for your session, but it’s another one of those little things that helps you feel like YOU. And like a real human instead of a milk-machine. If you know you know.

a sleeping baby wearing all white in a Minneapolis photography studio

Got more questions?

As long as you follow the instructions above, your newborn session will be as smooth as possible! There are always going to be surprises, and that’s okay. But if you have any questions at all, remember you can reach out to your photographer (me?) and we can talk about it! It’s very important to me that you feel completely comfortable with the steps you need to follow before coming into the studio. A simple session is the BEST session! Especially for new parents.

Jessica Strobel holding multi-colored doughnuts over her eyes, smiling wide

Hey! I'm Jessie - 

And I'm so glad you're here!



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