6 Ways to Prepare for a Newborn Session
Hi! I’m Natalie Balen-Cinelli, owner and operator of Lolabean Photography. I’m in my 5th year as a full-time newborn photographer and, like many of you, I discovered my love of photographing newborns and children when my oldest daughter was born. I quickly became obsessed with documenting her every move. Fast forward two years, and I took the leap to build my own business, leaving behind a successful career in brand management, and I’ve never looked back. I love the completely unaffected nature of newborns and children and I don’t think there is anything more beautiful than the bond between parents and their new little loves.
Here are a few tips on how I prepare for a newborn session, during the week leading up to the session, and right up to the night before:
The Week before a Session:
Touch Base with the Client: I’ll usually ask the client to add me to their welcome email, or to designate a close friend or family member to give me the big news – this way, I can pencil in a few options for a session date and give new parents a minute to catch their breath before contacting me. Once I connect with the client we discuss what type of images are important to them, any inspiration they’ve seen and would like to try, and a review of wardrobe options.
Newborn Prep Sheet: I’ll email the client a brief document with tips for getting the most out of the session, including how to best prepare baby the morning of the session, as well as big sisters and brothers (especially big brothers and sisters!).
Get Inspired: I have a flow of poses that I always keep in mind when shooting a newborn session, but I also try to gain new inspiration by searching online resources (mainly Pinterest and Instagram). Inspiration can come from various sources – art, interior design, fashion – whatever moves me to double tap! I try to find at least one new pose or set up for each session to add to my shot list so I can keep my images as fresh as possible.
The Night Before/Day of the Session:
Make sure all wraps and blankets are neatly folded and organized for the day. Since I travel to clients’ homes with my mobile set up, ensuring all items are clean, packed, and nothing has been left behind is constantly top of mind.
Message the client to let them know how excited I am to meet them and their new little love tomorrow; confirm time and address.
Mentally Prepare: I try to keep in my mind that although this is what I do every day, the birth of a little one is the single most important event in their lives and I have the privilege of the capturing this memory for them. Remembering this helps me in some small way create a little of those nervous butterflies and reminds me to keep pushing, keep creating, and most of all to keep aiming higher and higher.
As a natural light photographer, Natalie Balen-Cinelli loves working with neutrals and soft pops of color. Whether shooting indoors or out, she strives to make each session as unique as the family she’s photographing. Natalie gets giddy about her clients taking a first look at their photos, and she hopes they love them as much as she does.
napcp contributor meet Katie Mitchell
About the Contributor: Katie, our Editorial Manager, is our wordsmith and communications extraordinaire! After college and graduate school, she worked in the nonprofit world, and briefly in politics. She realized she'd be quickly burned out, and started writing for various lifestyle websites. Before landing at NAPCP, Katie shot product photography for Etsy shops and other small business owners. Katie also works with Pinterest, as a member of their Pinfluencer team. She is passionate about making the world a happier, more beautiful place! Katie lives for her husband and two children, updating their totally 90's home, and finding joy in the small things. Even washing dishes.
An Emotional Documentary Newborn Session & FilmInspiration I was inspired in this session by the emotional connection between the mom, dad, and baby. From every angle, there was an emotional connection and strong bond. A sense of pride, excitement, and deep love came pouring from this family. I really did not have to do much directing — these are my favorite […]
Golden Hour: A Family Session at the BeachThe inspiration for this photo session was to capture my two favorite things: children and the beach. And not any beach … Redondo Beach, California. It’s my happy place; to me it’s pure magic, and the sunsets here are stunning! In California, the land of “forever summer”, sunset beach sessions are a daily possibility. My […]
A Joyful, Refreshing Family Session1. Inspiration My newborn session style is soft and airy, and I would love my outdoor family sessions to match them. I always advise my clients to wear light, monochromatic, neutral colors to coordinate the color palette of the whole family, because they look best in the field. This family looked perfect from head to […]
The Art of Photographing Older Children1. Inspiration I truly believe that so many have portraits taken when their kids are young. It feels natural to have them done every 6 months or so. They are changing so much when they are little. As children get older, they don’t seem as though they are changing as much, but they still are. […]
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