As a new or expecting mother, there are a million and one decisions that you have to make. Which car seat should I pick? Which pediatrician should we use? Do I want to work with a doula? What color do I want to paint the nursery? What brand of diapers should we use? Deciding to have a newborn photo session can feel like just another thing to add to the never-ending list of to-dos. With the prevalence and quality of camera phones, it might seem like a waste of time, money, and effort to schedule a newborn photo session. Especially when you know you’ll be taking a million photos of your little one every day.

So why should you bother to add another thing to your busy to-do list and book a newborn photo session? And if you decide to have a newborn photo session how do you even start planning and preparing for it?

I’ve got you covered. Welcome to my Newborn Session Series where I will be guiding you through the entire process of a newborn photo session. From deciding to have your newborn photo session, all the way through what to do with your photos once you have them, we’ll be covering everything you need to know to make sure you end up with beautiful photos that you will cherish forever. 

Feel free to bookmark this post and come back to it as all of the posts will be linked here as they are released.

More in this series:

  1. The Top 5 Reasons To Book a Newborn Photo Session – Even If Feels Overwhelming
  2. The 20 Most Important Questions to Ask Your Newborn Photographer Before Booking
  3. What To Wear For Newborn Photos: The Complete Family Guide
  4. When To Take Newborn Photos: The Complete Guide
  5. 5 Tips for An Easy In-Home Newborn Session
  6. The 8 Best Newborn Photos At Home

Today we’re starting with the most basic question – why should I have a professional newborn photo session? 

There are so many reasons to have a professional newborn photo session but I only want to tackle the top 5 today. As a busy mom, I know that your time is valuable. My goal today is to cover the most important reasons and give you all the information without the fluff. I’ve included the table of contents below so that you can jump to any section that particularly speaks to you

1. A newborn photo session makes sure you don’t miss a moment.

The newborn phase is such a blur of sleepless nights, googling questions about your baby, and figuring out what life as a new parent looks like. Add into that all of the important moments and details that you want to capture before your sweet little baby grows and changes – it can feel overwhelming!

Having a professional photographer step in and capture your newborn photo session can ensure that you don’t miss a thing. The tiny perfect details of your baby’s face. How their little fingers curl up under their chin when they’re asleep, The little wisp of hair on the top of their head. The details that you so lovingly selected for their nursery. The adoring look on your face as you gaze down at your new baby. The way they fit so perfectly in your arms. 

3 photos from a newborn photo session - the top of a newborn's head with his mother's hand cradled around it, a newborn swaddled in a white wrap, a mother wearing a white dress and holding her newborn

When I arrive at your home for your newborn photo session, I already have a list of photos that I will make sure to capture at your session. Each session is unique with a different story, different moments, and details. In addition to completing the list of “must-have” photos that we have created together, I am also always on the lookout for other moments that unfold organically during your newborn photo session.

My goal is to capture all of the sweet moments of you and your newborn together so that you can look back on the fleeting newborn phase and remember it fondly. 

2. Expertise in safely capturing delicate and unique moments

Having a professional photographer for your newborn photo session is incredibly important to ensure that your baby is in good hands. Newborns are very fragile and safety is always at the forefront of my mind during every newborn photo session. 

I will save my post about newborn posing for another day, but the TL;DR is – if you are working with a newborn photographer who does extensive newborn posing (such as the “Froggy pose”), please, please, please ensure that they are well trained and that they have a very well trained assistant working with them. These poses can rapidly become very dangerous for your newborn.

I use a posing style called “Baby-Led posing”. This is a very safe posing approach where I guide your newborn into gentle poses that they would typically put themselves in. For example, on their backs with their arms stretched above them. 

newborn photo session 1

Even these safe poses are done with extreme caution to ensure your baby is as safe as possible.

Since we generally swaddle babies for comfort and safety, I also swaddle my newborns for their solo portraits. I use safe positioning for wrapping your baby in the swaddles and place them on flat, secure surfaces like my posing pod or a bed.

newborn photo session 3

Being a mom of a toddler (and also a nurse!) I always wear a mask when working with your newborn. Especially if we photograph your newborn session in the 5-10 day range. It is very likely that your child has not had their vaccines when I come to your home. I would never want to introduce any germs that could be dangerous to your newborn (or the rest of your family). From the moment I walk in the door to the moment I leave, you will find a mask on my face. 

Having a professional photographer photograph your newborn photo session will give you a sense of ease knowing that your baby is being properly and safely handled during their session. 

Pinterest is amazing for inspiration for your newborn photo session, but I strongly urge you to reconsider a DIY approach and instead work with a professional newborn photographer who has extensive experience in safely working with you and your newborn.

3. Professional equipment and techniques for your newborn photo session

Cellphone cameras and filters have come a long way and are an incredible option for daily photos. However, having your newborn photo session photographed on professional equipment truly makes all the difference in the outcome of your photos. 

The high quality of professional-grade lenses ensures tack-sharp images. Macro lenses allow the photographer to capture the tiniest details with ease. The large sensors let you print full-size, high-quality photos for your wall. Lighting equipment brings with it the ability to make even a dark, rainy day feel like a bright sunny one.

detail photos of a newborn taken at a newborn photo session. image 1 shows an upclose image of the baby's eyes and nose, image 2 shows a close up of the baby's hair, image 3 is a close up of the baby's ear.

Having a professional photographer photograph your newborn photo session will give you the ease of mind that your photos will look incredible for generations to come. 

4. A chance to relax and feel pampered as a new mom

 The postpartum period is a wild roller coaster of emotions. It can feel overwhelming and isolating – especially if you are the first of your friends and family to have a baby. Some days remembering to eat lunch can be a huge achievement – forget about showering and putting on makeup!

Have a newborn session is a great opportunity to take a little time for yourself. Knowing you have photos ensures that you will have a least one day where you make the time to shower, do your makeup and hair, and put on an outfit that makes you feel beautiful. It’s those little moments of feeling like yourself again that are so important. 

three photos from a newborn session all featuring a mother wearing a white dress, sitting in a chair by the window with her newborn baby.

Using my Client Closet is a great option to relieve the stress of planning outfits for your session. I have a collection of beautiful, flattering, comfortable dresses that you can choose from to wear during your session. I bring them to you the day of your session and all you need to do is slip into the dress and we’re ready to go. 

During your session, I love taking the time to listen to your experience if you feel comfortable sharing. I have heard so many stories of grit, strength, and profound love, and letting you have the chance to tell your birth story is one of my favorite parts of the newborn photo session. 

As a new mom, it’s so easy to question every choice, doubt every decision, and feel like a failure. Having another mom on your side to support and encourage you can be incredibly helpful.

5. Creating Tangible Memories For The Future

Let me tell you a quick story. This year for Christmas, my husband and I digitally scanned 14 boxes of old film slides for my husband’s family. These were photos that his grandmother and grandfather had taken starting on their honeymoon all the way until my husband was 6. There were over 60 years of photos.

Everything was beautifully organized but had been stored in the slide reels – unviewed – for years because their projector no longer worked. We spent a few days scanning every side, organizing them into folders and getting them on external hard drives for my father-in-law and his siblings. 

On Christmas Day, we gave them each a gift bag that had the hard drive with all of the scanned slides as well as a pile of printed photos that we had picked out for each person. Photos of them with their parents as babies, photos of their vacations as a family, photos of them with their cousins, at graduations, on Christmas.

I heard them say so many things while looking at those photos. There was laughter, there were so many “oh my gosh, remember this!”, there was “Wait, who’s car was that?!”. They were so thrilled to have these photos, these memories, to hold in their hands. There was so much joy in being able to see their parents again after so many years. 

This is what I want for your family. For them to be able to hold those memories in their hands and be able to see you with them. They won’t care for even a second about what you looked like that day. They won’t care that you thought you still needed to lose the baby weight, or that your face was too puffy. They will simply care that you were there with them.

Another reason to print your photos? What if I told you that simply having photos of your family on the walls in your home would increase your children’s self-confidence? 

A 2009 study by Venture New Generation Portraits found that by having family photos in the home growing up, children had higher self-esteem and felt a sense of belonging. 

Imagine having beautiful images from your child’s newborn session printed in an heirloom album for them to look through whenever they want. They would be able to see how much they were loved from the moment they were born.

image scaled

My goal is to get printed photos into every single one of my clients hands. Hard drives crash, passwords get lost, iphones get dropped in lakes, technology becomes obsolete. While there is no guarentee that a physical print won’t suffer damage as well, it is a technology proof way to preserve your memories.

Bonus Tip: Having a newborn photo session will prevent regret down the road.

I wasn’t able to have newborn photos done for my son for a variety of reasons. COVID, a NICU stay, and a 3,000 mile move in the first 2 months of his life all contributed to us not being able to have someone else come in and take those precious photos. While I did take some newborn portraits (and obviously a million and 4 photos on my phone!), one of my biggest regrets was not being able to have someone else come in and take beautiful photos of me with my sweet boy.

I love my husband, but he does not have a photographer’s eye – or a mother’s brain – when it comes to photos. He either simply doesn’t think to take a photo of my son and me together, or when he does… Well, let’s just say it’s usually not the most flattering angle!

I truly wish we had had someone come to take photos so that there were more of me with my son. A way for me to see just how tiny he was in my arms. A way to see his little fingers wrapped around mine. A way for him to see the adoring look from my new mom eyes as I stared down at the perfect little miracle I was holding.

So many of my clients have said the same thing. As COVID moms, many were robbed of the opportunity to have newborn photos. I have had many families come to me for family portraits or a newborn photo session with their second child and tell me how THIS session is the makeup for the one they couldn’t have the first time around. 

While it may feel totally overwhelming on the giant list of things to do, having a newborn photo session is something that you will most likely regret not having done. That sweet little baby will grow and change so quickly. One day you will blink and they will be walking and talking. Taking the time to have a newborn photo session will give you the ability to hold that moment with your tiny baby in your hands forever.

“Kate, we are THRILLED with the pictures so far and with our experience yesterday. You are amazing! My husband and I are not the most comfortable people in front of a camera, but you made it so effortless and easy. We are so excited to see the rest of the pictures in a few weeks

Thank you so so much!” – Amanda

newborn photo session

“I’m so glad that I found you and we had so much fun today. Truly was not sure we’d be up for it in the middle of all the new craziness but you made it so easy/seamless and well worth it!!! ❤️” – Danielle

a newborn photo session featuring a mother sitting on a bed holding her newborn daughter

Now that you have decided to book a newborn photo session, the next step is thinking about what you want from your session. Do you want an in-home newborn photo session? Do you want a lifestyle newborn photo session? Are you in love with the look of a tiny newborn all wrapped up and posed in a basket?

Check back next week for the next post in this series where we’ll cover all of the things to think about when starting to look for your newborn photographer.

In the meantime, feel free to bookmark this post and sign up for the VIP list. This is my monthly newsletter that includes style boards for your photo sessions, things I’m loving as a mom, a round-up of the month’s blog posts, and exclusive access to events and promos.

If you’d like to learn more about booking your newborn photo session with me, you can click here to read more about the experience, or click here fill out the contact form and I will send you more information and get the process started!

As always, thank you so much for your support – I can’t wait to share more of this series with you!

Kate Voda is a New Jersey Photographer specializing in in-home newborn lifestyle photography sessions and lifestyle portrait photography sessions. Kate serves Central New Jersey and the surrounding areas.

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Serving New Jersey, pennsylvania, and New york 

Effortless Maternity, Newborn, & Portrait Photography