How to plan a successful newborn photoshoot

By the time the parents of newborn clients see their portraits two short weeks after their session, their little one will ,already, have grown and changed, so much.  He won’t fit exactly the same way in their arms; he won’t stay quite as curled up in that adorable newborn position.  And it won’t be long before he’s lifting his head, and rolling over on his own.  

This is the reason newborn portraits are such a wonderful gift.  This magical stage is fleeting, and I love presenting families with portraits that they will never be able to get again.  They look at me and say, “Wow, I cannot believe how much my baby has changed!”  And as they do, their newborn portraits will become an ever more valuable gift.

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let’s talk about what you need to know in order to plan a successful newborn portrait session. 


book early

Be sure to contact me during your pregnancy.   The best time to reserve your Newborn photography session is during your pregnancy before you reach 30 weeks to ensure availability. Although I will try to accommodate you at any stage, please don’t wait until your baby is here to schedule your session!. During your pregnancy, I will reserve a tentative session date based on your due date. After you deliver, reach out to me as soon as possible to let me know that your little one has arrived, and we will finalize your session date for the soonest possible opening within the first 14 days.

schedule your session within the first 30 days

Since I offer lifestyle newborn session there is no need to schedule your session within the first 2 weeks. My goal is to focus on you as a family and your connection with your precious baby, I will not pose your baby or you, I will however be there to guide you before your session and during it to help create stunning photographs of your family.

don’t forget maternity portraits

Of course, it’s all about the baby. But, documenting your own journey into motherhood is equally important in your life story as the arrival of the baby.  Maternity portraits are usually scheduled between 28-34 weeks, and sometimes much later (37-38 weeks) to ensure the belly is nice and round.  With a twin pregnancy, there are additional considerations. Twin maternity sessions are recommended at 28-30 weeks (no later than 30). Carrying a child is one of life’s greatest gifts. Take a portrait that you can pass along to that child, which brings me to my next and most important point…

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be patient

Newborn sessions require between 2-4 hours. You may want to bring a book or your laptop, and be prepared to hang out with me for a while. There will likely be several breaks in order to feed, change or calm the baby during the session; the baby will dictate.  Often there will be accidents to clean up. This happens all the time and is fully expected. 


 consider the future value

Newborn portraits are invaluable because you can never get them again, and they become more valuable as time passes. Today they’re important to you, in 18 years when that child leaves home, they will likely be even more important, and in 40 or 50 or 60 years, those portraits will be one of the most valued images that child has as they look back over their life remembering you.

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discuss prints and products during the initial consultation

A custom Newborn portrait session is a luxury investment. The session fee includes the initial consultation, your 2-4 hour session, the photographer’s time and talent, and the presentation of your portrait proofs during an in-person Ordering Session. 

Be mindful that prints, products, and digital files are not included in the session fee. These can be purchased separately after viewing your proofs. All photographers structure pricing differently and offer a wide array of products to purchase. Similarly, each photographer will offer a different level of quality and customer service. With this in mind, ask for our product catalog, and make sure that you love the products offered. Review the product guide before you reserve your session to ensure that you know exactly what to expect of your total investment. For extra information about our products, have a look at our social medias for extra information about our style and make sure it suits you and your family. We offer high quality, natural light images that showcases love within families and couples. 

Consider what you would like to do with your portraits. How do you want to see them every day? Do you want a large canvas in the nursery? An archival album that you can pass down to your child? A beautiful folio collection box on display in your living room? Gifts for the holidays or grandparents? Let’s talk about the products you really want in advance, so that we can work together to achieve the best possible end result. We may shoot differently for an album versus a large wall portrait or gallery-wrapped canvas. 


think about your baby’s first year

Newborn portraits are quite possibly the most important portraits you will ever purchase. Of course, there will be many more milestones to capture throughout the first year including tummy time, sitting up, crawling, and taking those first steps. Consider joining our First Year Baby Plan with a series of sessions to ensure that you will never miss a milestone. Compile your Milestone sessions into one beautiful fine art album or folio after the first year, or purchase boutique prints and products with each session. Newborn clients join the plan at a special rate. 


choose a photographer with a portfolio and a style that you love

Hire a professional who is aligned with your artistic sensibilities. Photography is highly specialized. Posing a newborn in a studio is not the same as coming into your home for a lifestyle session; each requires a different skill set. Every photographer has a unique style which will influence their selection of props, setup options, color choices and overall aesthetic. For the best results, choose a photographer with a portfolio that you absolutely love, and expect images that look like the photographer’s portfolio. 


 print your portraits

I believe that photographs are best presented in tangible form and not buried on a hard drive. Invest in tangible, archival, art products that will become family heirlooms. Digital files are not archival, but a printed image will outlive everyone in the photo. Technology quickly becomes obsolete. Files can be erased or become corrupted. Computers crash.  When you’re no longer here, will your children be able to recover digital files saved to your computer hard drive? Probably not. But they will cherish those old family photo albums. We can always make a digital negative from a printed 8×10 image, but we cannot make a print from a corrupted digital file. It’s so important to get our photos off our digital devices and bring them into our lives. Give your children the joy of thumbing through a box of old photos and passing them around a room. 

Sugarlight Photography is a natural light, lifestyle photographer in Singapore, specializing in maternity, newborn, children, & family photography.

Sugarlight Photography is based in Singapore and travels to surrounding areas in South East Asia and Stockholm, Sweden.

Please contact me if you’re interested in booking your lifestyle session with Sugarlight Photography.