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  • Writer's pictureLaura Miller

Prattville, AL Newborn Portrait Studio: How to Prepare for a Successful Newborn Session

This is such an exciting time in your life. You’ve now got this adorable, precious little soul and you want to document all the tiny details and these first memories in photographs. The goal at Laura Miller Photography is to make this a joyous experience for you and your family. I know how nerve-racking picture day can be, especially when you’re running on little, to no, sleep. Most people have no clue what to expect during their session. To help you out with this process, I want to share some session information and a list of preparation tips to ease some of your stress. If you have any questions at all, feel free to contact me at and I will be happy to help!

What to expect:

I have a studio full of backdrops, props, headbands, hats, wraps, tiny outfits, etc. You don't have to worry about bringing any accessories unless there is an item of significant importance to you. During your pre-session consultation we will discuss your preference on colors, props and poses.

Newborn sessions can take a few hours depending on baby's temperament and the poses desired. The session usually flows the best if the studio is calm and warm.

I play soft music or white noise during sessions to create a soothing environment for your newborn. If there are siblings to photograph, we usually do family and sibling poses first. That way one parent can take the siblings home when we are finished with that portion. It's not fair for us to ask little, wiggly ones to be quiet and still for a long time.

Newborns are used to being in a small, warm place. That’s where they’ve been the past nine months, and they are uncomfortable when they are cold. I like to keep my studio warm on session days for this reason. I will also have plenty of blankets handy for baby in between photos. I always suggest that you bring an extra pair of clothes (think clothes for August in Alabama) to change into after family photos so you'll be more comfortable.

I have an area stocked with water and snacks for you to sit and take advantage of a few baby free moments. From the start of the session I will take care of baby's needs - soothing, diapers, feeds (unless you are nursing), etc. Babies know their Mommas and sometimes they are harder to soothe when passed back and forth to Mom between shots.

Being a Neonatal Nurse for almost 14 years, safety is a major concern of mine. All surfaces and items in my studio are washed or sanitized between uses. I wear a mask throughout the session and sanitize my hands frequently. I take great care to safely handle and pose your little one and I may even ask for your assistance during certain poses to ensure baby's safety.

Preparing for your session:

There are a few things you can do to prep baby so hopefully he/she will be happy and cooperative throughout the session.

It's best to schedule your session around the time of day that baby usually sleeps the longest but most importantly, make sure baby is well fed before the session (this goes for parents and siblings too! Just try to stay away from foods and drinks that stain the mouth or teeth). A baby with a full belly, usually equals a happy baby. If baby has a period of day that he/she is awake for a good chunk of time scheduling your session at the tail end of that time would be helpful as well as baby will most likely sleep deeply afterwards.

Newborns are not very patient when it comes to outfit changes. I suggest dressing your child in a loose sleeper that is easily removed and also loosening the diaper to decrease marks and redness on the skin.

To ensure that your baby stays happy and calm during the session, I suggest bringing a light blanket that we can swaddle him or her with in between shots, as well as a pacifier. Even if you don't wish to regularly use one, it will be very helpful in calming baby during this time of potential stress. Baby is used to falling asleep and staying asleep until he/she is hungry or needs a clean diaper. During a session baby's sleep will be disturbed some as we move baby for poses and shots with you. If your baby starts to fuss and we cannot calm him/her by other means, a pacifier can be a lifesaver. Also be sure to have an extra bottle (if your child is currently using a bottle) and diapers and wipes ready to go.

Most importantly, relax Momma! Babies have a mind of their own and we will let baby guide us through the session. They will cry, fuss and poop because that's what babies do. It's all part of the process. It's completely normal for us to spend a lot of our time together feeding and soothing baby in between poses. So let those worries go and enjoy the experience with your precious, new baby!

One more important thing to note: Be okay with being a part of the photos. A lot of new moms are uncomfortable in front of the camera during the first weeks after birth, and I completely understand. I have three kiddos of my own. Yes, your body maybe a bit different and you may not feel your best. But give yourself some grace and a big pat on the back Momma. You just grew that perfect, tiny human! I promise, you and your child will cherish these memories down the road (check out my blog post on why it's so important to be in photos with your babies).

What should we wear?

If you are going to be in photos with your baby, I suggest bringing a backup shirt, just in case (poop happens). I also suggest that you wear a white, black or neutral colored shirt. In the event that we need to photograph parts of you with your child on the backdrop (for example, just your hands holding the baby) plain neutral colors don't distract from baby. Try to stay away from bright colors and loud prints or logos. They don't usually photograph well and tend to draw your attention away from the people in the images. I also suggest keeping jewelry to a minimum, as babies like to grab ahold of these items and they can be distracting as well.

If you have any preparation or wardrobe questions, please contact me. I’d be more than happy to help.

I hope you found these tips helpful and I look forward to your session!


At Laura Miller Photography, we specialize in maternity, newborn, baby and family photography. Our calendar fills up quickly, so be sure to schedule your slot early.

To book your session, contact me today. You can also check on recent sessions on the blog or follow me on Facebook or Instagram to see what’s new.

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