Congrats on your new little one on the way! What an exciting time for your family. Booking a newborn session while also preparing for your world to add another person can seem daunting (along with all the other 1000 things to do to prepare) This page is here to help answer some questions and give tips on how to make your newborn session a wonderful experience for everyone.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How soon should I book my session?

Due to the time-sensitive nature of newborn photography, booking in advance is recommended. The best timeframe for newborn photos is 5-12 days old and to ensure your spot on the calendar booking your tentative spot will ensure those early days will be captured! Obviously, baby’s arrival cannot be perfectly predicted but securing that spot will ensure we don’t miss that sweet spot for portraits. I only book a select number of newborn sessions per month to make sure there is plenty flexibility in the schedule for when baby arrives.

I’ve booked a session… now what??

Keeping me up to date with any changes in the baby’s arrival plan is very helpful in me being able to keep the schedule free for when the baby arrives! Feel free to keep in touch via email or text. My number is 616.291.7901

Where will the session take place?

We can shoot at my studio where there are many backdrops and prop options, you can view the studio at this link.  For these, you’ll want to be sure to pack “what to bring to my session” items listed below.  The second option is the lifestyle at-home newborn session. With this option, we get more of the feel of those first days at home with baby, the nursery, the snuggling in the rocker, and we’ll still get the posed baby shots. I do bring a handful of props to the at-home sessions. Never feel you need to have a perfectly tidy home for the home session, we only need small spaces for the photos and as a mother of three no mess you have could scare me.

When is the best time to schedule my session?

The best timing for newborn sessions is within the first 5-12 days of age. These earliest days are when the baby is most likely to sleep during the session and allow for the most options for the session. If you’ve missed this window please don’t be deterred ‘older’ babies can take a little more time to settle into a deep sleep but the effort will be well worth the darling images of their sweet newness.

Newborn sessions are scheduled Monday – Friday, usually late morning as this is typically when we can get the most cooperative baby, where the babies will be easier to soothe and settle into the poses.

How long will the session take?

Newborn sessions take about 2 hours. Sometimes they go really well and we wrap up at one hour but I always schedule 2 hours of time just in case extra breaks are needed to soothe the baby. This seems like a long time for a session but most of it will be taking care of baby and keeping them comfy and sleepy. Parents get many snack and relaxing breaks too.

Do you bring the props and outfits for the session? 

I do! The studio has many different backdrops, blankets, wraps, buckets, diaper covers, and outfits to be used during your session. My collection is mostly neutrals and soft colors that will photograph beautifully. Feel free to bring sentimental items or your own props to use. Please note that outfits are harder to pose and photograph baby in as they tend to get a little lost in the cloth. Diaper covers or specially-made newborn photo session props work best.

If your session is at home I will bring a collection of these items to you for us to use. If there are specific colors or items you are more interested in let me know!

What should I wear??

We will start with the family photos when you first arrive. Feel free to bring your outfit to change into at the studio, there is a changing area. The studio will be kept very warm for baby’s portraits, they will be in a diaper cover only or wrap for a lot of the session so we want to make sure they are comfortable. Because of this be sure to bring layers or something lighter to change into after family portraits so you are also comfortable.

Simple neutrals with minimal patterns work best. Most images will be close-ups so don’t worry about pants or footwear.

What should I bring to my session?

For baby: Milk, pacifier (if you’re using one), diapers, wipes. For you: Due to the length of these sessions, please bring a small snack for yourself and any siblings that will be attending the session. Water and snacks will also be available a the studio for you.

Will you edit the images for skin issues?

Yes. Baby acne, discolorations, and flaky skin is retouched. If you’d prefer to not have these adjustments made in editing just let me know at the session.

When will my images be ready to view?

Your gallery will be delivered within 3 weeks from the date of your session.


Tips for a successful session

  • Please be patient! These sessions take time and most of it is spent helping baby get settled, this is very normal and is completely what I’m expecting. If the parents become stressed, baby becomes stressed. Be prepared to stay for the entire 2 hours some babies do not need this long but occasionally it does happen! We will take the time we need and enjoy the process.
  • Babies with full tummies sleep MUCH longer and harder than those who are feeling hungry. While it is understandable that schedules are being formed, please be prepared to feed baby as much as they need during the session. A few hours off schedule will not ruin your hard work… and your session will be MUCH easier as a result!
  • Siblings are absolutely encouraged to be part of your session. Please consider having one parent or an extra set of hands to take the child to the playground or for a walk around the neighborhood. Several hours in a small studio is a LOT for a young child and can add stress to the parents… which of course, adds stress to the baby! Furry siblings are also welcome to the session.

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Arrae Photography is a West Michigan portrait, engagement, and wedding photographer with true-to-life color and posing.

Serving Grand Rapids, Detroit, Traverse City, Chicago, and beyond.