7 tips to prepare your clients for their newborn photography sessionNewborn photo shoots often take a lot more time than family photo shoots. And we all know why… Baby is BOSS ! It is crucial to meet the needs of a newborn baby quickly, and there is no way around it, you have to work around your little client’s needs (or you will end up with a very upset baby and crappy photos, and no photographer wants that…).For this reason it is best to prepare your clients. They may be familiar to family shoots, but newborn shoots are completely different. A better prepared client will be a happy client. And your client can make or break a session. If you’ve been there, you know what I’m talking about !I have compiled a list so you don’t have to learn the hard way.
Here is what to tell your clients before they come to their newborn photo session with you :
DON’T PLAN ANYTHING ELSE ON THAT DAY
Depending on what images you are going to take, if you are doing lifestyle or posed photography, if the photos are going to be of baby only or also include siblings and parents, your photo shoot can last anywhere from 2 to 4 hours.
As there is no certainty as to when your photo shoot will be finished, it is best for your client to not plan anything else that day. If you don’t, you might have clients constantly looking at their watch as they have another appointment. Just let them know that their session will take time and they will enjoy their time with you.
TALK ABOUT YOU <the photographer> TO THEIR OLDER CHILDREN
Tell them to tell their older children about you. Where they are going, why, and your name, so that they have an idea of what’s happening. They will be more prepared, and come in to have beautiful photos taken of them to put in their bedroom.
THERE IS A PLAYGROUND NEARBY
Let your clients know of this fantastic little park with playground. Offer the Dad to take their older siblings once you are done with the sibling and parents shots. Hand him a printed map with the address on it.
Alternatively if you have a space dedicated to play you will show them where it is so they can play, supervised.
BRING SOME SPARE CLOTHES
Tell your clients to bring some spare clothes for everyone. When taking photos of the mother or father or both parents together with their new baby and an accident happen, they will be glad you asked them to bring some extra clothes.
You can explain that nappies don’t look nice in a photograph. They are also bulky and not comfortable for bub during those parents shots where baby is curled up in their arms (they can dig on their little tummy). For this reason baby will often be naked for these photographs, but you will pose them so that their privates are not showing.
DRESS IN LAYERS
Newborn shoots are done in a very warm environment, around 28-30 degrees C (82-86 degrees F). Their baby will be very happy, but they will be hot ! Ask them to come dressed in layers so they can remove them easily once they step in your studio.
BRING WATER AND FOOD AND EVERYTHING THEY NEED FOR BABY
Ask them to bring water bottles for everyone so they all stay hydrated and fed ! Specify to not take glass for safety reasons.
You want their shoot to be an enjoyable experience, not one where they are starving waiting for you to finish your job. Ask them to bring plenty of snacks or even a few sandwiches, this will keep them going.
Also ask them to pack a bag for baby (even if you have nappies and wipes, some parents like to have their own), bottles, formula, nappies, wipes, including a pacifier if their baby uses one, burp clothes and receiving blankets.
This is probably the biggest one. Newborn babies tend to pick up on stress. If you and your clients are relaxed, chances are, baby will be, too !