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Preparing for Your Newborn Photoshoot with Amanda McCollum Photography

Carving out the time to document and recognize the beautiful transition to parenthood is one of the best things you can do. As your photographer, I am here to support you in any way I can. This guide will answer your questions, calm your fears, and address your uncertainty. I am thrilled to be a part of this journey and can't wait to meet your little one! Congratulations! This guide is my way of saying, “I’ve got you.” Scheduling Your Session During the first three weeks of their lives, newborns are squishy, sleepy, and malleable. This is the best time to schedule your session. Simply give me your due date, I’ll loosely plan around that, and give me a call when they’re born to lock in a concrete time. If we need to schedule your session for a later time, no stress! We can still make it work. How to Prepare Bring your baby to the session slightly tired and hungry. Fifteen minutes before we start, I’ll get you to feed them. The idea is, they’ll fall right asleep and we’ll have a nice chunk of time to get some photos of them all curled up in a post-milk stupor. If we’re shooting at your house, turn up the thermostat so that the room we’ll be shooting in reaches a balmy 80ºF. This’ll keep your little one warm, and will prevent them from feeling shocked during outfit or swaddle changes. Bring some extra blankets, throws, and clothes. Make sure diapers, wipes, and pacifiers (if you use them) are on hand. What to Expect Expect to snuggle! And, be prepared to be in some of the shots. Sometimes I’ll ask you to pick your baby up to soothe them, and this is the perfect opportunity to get shots of you together. When shooting outdoors, bring bug spray, sunglasses, and lots of different options for clothing should the weather fluctuate. If your baby poops themselves, please don’t stress. We’ll get them quickly cleaned up, put them in a new wrap, and just continue on capturing beautiful moments. Sometimes, lil baby might need a bit of extra loving. If they do, we’ll stop to feed, to change a diaper, or to give them a little pep talk before continuing on. Don’t worry. This is all a part of it. How to Dress Put your baby in a front-fastening, cosy sleep-suit so that when we’re ready to start, it’ll be easy to get them out of it without waking them up. Be mindful of bundling your little one up too tightly before the shoot as tight clothes can leave marks on their skin. If you’d like to prevent any spills by keeping their diaper on, consider bringing a diaper cover or using a cute reusable diaper. Gravitate towards gentle colors. Bright colors often look intense on the delicate complexion of newborns. Parents: come expecting to be in some of the shots. Try to complement, not match the colors baby is wearing. Wear neutrals with texture, like knits, linen, or cotton. If you’d like to learn more, let me know and I can send you my What to Wear Guide. Siblings If you’d like to capture your little one with their proud new bigger siblings, you’ll probably need help. If your partner or one of your parents is available to come to the shoot, bring them! I like to have as few people as possible on set to try to cultivate a quiet, tranquil space for your newborn. So, I’ll be asking your support team to look after the bigger siblings elsewhere (but close-by) until the end of the shoot, when we’ll bring them into the calm baby zone for the final portion of the session. Location The easiest location for a newborn photoshoot is in the comfort of your home. It doesn’t need to be perfect, it just needs to have a window and some natural light. I will make it work. Outdoor newborn photography can be incredible! When considering this option, the variables that we’d need to consider are: Weather. Outdoor shots are only possible in warm weather. We don’t want your bundle of joy to be so bundled that we can’t see them. Noise. We want your babe to be relaxed and sleepy, and too many distractions would make this difficult. Bugs. Babies, unfortunately, are mosquito magnets. That being said, I love outdoor newborn sessions and if we are shooting in your home, I love venturing into your yard for some shots to create diversity in your gallery! Safety I will never put your newborn in a position that is unsafe, unstable, or uncomfortable. I often do a lot of the posing and positioning, but I always do so with the utmost respect. I know that sometimes a lot of photographers can get caught up in wanting to “get the shot,” but I will never prioritise the shot over your baby. To help things run smoothly, I would love for you to be an active part of our session. With you sitting right outside the shot, you’ll be able to check in and monitor your baby's comfort level. I will regularly touch base with you and let you know what’s coming next, discuss how we’ll transition to that pose, and narrate what I’m doing as I do it so you always know what’s going on. The baby is the boss at my sessions and I will always be sure to allow the baby to lead. After the Session I’ll send you some sneak peeks 24-48 hours after your session via text, and the full gallery within three weeks via a downloadable web gallery. You’ll be able to create favorites lists, share online, or download your images to use for baby announcements, family newsletters, and cute framed images for your home. These photographs are going to be incredibly sweet. I can’t wait. I imagine you’ll have a few questions bouncing around your head, so shoot me a text and let’s talk it through. Thank you for choosing Amanda McCollum Photography! Fayetteville North Carolina Newborn Photographer

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