Newborn Session Plans: An Oxymoron

A caucasian newborn baby laying on it's side on a blanket. The baby is smiling and playing with their fingers. The photograph was taken at a photography studio near Johnson City, Tennesseee.

True or False: Everything goes perfectly to plan at all newborn sessions. FALSE! In fact, in all the sessions I’ve been a part of over the years, there hasn’t been a single one that went “perfectly.” Why? Because the newborns run the show during these sessions!

Despite our best efforts, sometimes new babies have very different plans! (And since they tend to be louder than I am, I let them win!) All sessions start out with the best intentions. We have several different backgrounds and poses planned, adorable props laid out, and family color schemes perfected. But then it always goes wrong! It’s just the nature of the beast. Sometimes the baby doesn’t sleep well enough for the planned poses. Sometimes that perfect outfit gets left at home. And, of course, there’s always poop. Poop happens a lot and its almost always on the setup we were looking forward to the most! BUT- none of that means the session is ruined!

In fact, just like I tell my wedding couples when their day goes wonky, “It’s all just part of your story.” Come on, who doesn’t want to have a funny story about your kid peeing all over the photographer or how you had to flip your shirt inside out for photos because the baby drooled milk all over you? The fact is, we work with all kinds of crazy situations during newborn sessions and they always result in beautiful photographs full of memories.

For example, take sweet baby Arlo’s recent session. He didn’t want to sleep at all. Like none! And the second I got a wrap on him, he’d punch and kick his way out of it! But, with a little patience and several breaks for yet another bottle, we still got great shots!

Another thing that didn’t go as planned was the family portraits. Mom and dad ran out of time to get ready before the session, but that didn’t mean we couldn’t do some photos anyway! It’s very important to me to get the grown ups involved in newborn sessions too. After all, these babies are growing and changing so fast, we should make every effort to capture how small they are in their parent’s arms. Even when the planned, posed photos didn’t work out, we were still able to capture some amazing and sweet moments without focusing on mom and dad too much!

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