So you've looked at the photographs of all of the newborn babies on my website and online. You admire how beautiful they are and how peaceful the babies look when they are sleeping during their newborn photography sessions, then you look at your baby and try to imagine how that is even going to be possible when your baby only sleeps for about half an hour at a time.
It is completely understandable that now you have booked your newborn session with me and your baby has eventually arrived that this very question is something that might be playing on your mind right now. Am I right?
If I am then I am here to reassure you! Please, please don't worry about your baby sleeping during our newborn session.
This blog is to tell you more about how I approach my newborn sessions when baby is awake.
Firstly, I specialise in newborn photography as well as being a Mum to three myself so I have a mass of experience with newborn babies and over 5 years of experience as a newborn photographer since I started my Somerset newborn photography business in 2012. In that time I have photographed literally hundreds of newborn babies and 99% of them spent some time awake during the session.....This is how I like it!
It gives us the perfect opportunity to capture your baby with their eyes open! Many of my past newborn photography clients have chosen an "awake" photograph as their favourite image from their session so I always aim to capture your baby awake as well as asleep!
I very often keep your baby wrapped during the awake stage as it keeps them nice and warm, comfortable and prevents them from startling themselves, scratching themselves and also covers the nappy as I keep this on during this stage as well to catch any toilet accidents!
I have many props, poses and setups which are suitable to use when your baby is both awake and asleep so sometimes if sleep doesn't happen at all during the session it's not a problem as I already have enough images and variety for your gallery by capturing your baby awake.
So please don't worry about sleep, it really isn't a problem if baby decides to stay awake for the whole session!
My approach to newborn photography sessions is always to be led by baby. I create an environment in the studio that is relaxing for both baby and parents using a mixture of controlling the room temperature to suit your baby, white noise to help create the same secure feeling your baby had when in the womb, chatting with you, the parents to help you feel more at ease and using cuddling and rocking movements to settle your baby.
My experience as a mother and a photographer has taught me that babies to pick up on any stress in the room so I always remain calm and creating a relaxing environment for Mum and Dad helps them to remain relaxed and calm too.
If your baby is still unsettled we will work together to find out what it is they need. Maybe they have wind, they are hungry or they didn't like being unwrapped. Whatever it is, it will all be par for the course when it comes to settling babies enough to promote sleep good enough for me to put them in those cute, sleepy newborn poses.
Most newborn sessions last around two hours but I always allow 4+ hours for the session and I only do one newborn session in a day. This gives me plenty of time to settle your baby enough for both the awake and asleep poses but allows extra time for feeding, cuddling, winding and settling. This means that you don't need to watch the clock or feel rushed during your session with me. You can sit back and relax while I take care of the hard part.
It's important to remember that all babies will fall asleep eventually but that doesn't need to be at the session. If I have enough shots of your baby awake and you're happy with that then there is no pressure for you to stay to get more. At the same time, there is no pressure for you to leave as soon as I have enough for a gallery, I will continue to use all of my tactics and settling techniques to get your baby to sleep so you have a mix of awake and asleep poses for your gallery.
In very rare circumstances, if your baby is very unsettled, perhaps they are having a colic flare up or a growth spurt on the day of the session then I will discuss other options with you. This could mean rescheduling for another day or adopting a more lifestyle approach to the session to include natural photographs of you holding your baby, feeding your baby, changing their nappy, soothing and that kind of thing. Whatever we decide, capturing your precious newborn while they are still so little is the main priority, babies change so much so quickly that I know you want to capture them before they outgrow the newborn stage.
Take a look at this video of Aila's gallery. Aila wasn't very sleepy for her session but we still got some beautiful images for her family to treasure.