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How long is a newborn session: DFW Newborn Photographer

If this is your first time having newborn portraits taken of your little one, you probably have a lot of questions!  How long will the session take?  What happens during the session?  Are there special things I should bring with me?  I’m often peppered with these questions as a DFW newborn photographer!  This journal entry will answer all of your newborn session questions!  (And maybe a few more you didn’t even know you had yet!)

newborn baby under white blanket with arms outstretched

How long is a newborn session?

Unlike other portrait sessions, newborn sessions tend to be a bit longer and can run anywhere from 1.5-3 hours.  It is so important for your little one to be fully fed, plenty warm and incredibly comfortable so he can sleep soundly throughout our time together.  I don’t want anyone (especially a new mom and her little baby!) to feel rushed or stressed.  That’s why there is plenty of time built in to each newborn session.

At the beginning of a session, Mom can comfortably and peacefully feed her little one and if baby needs a little snack later on- no problem!  Unexpected poops and spit ups may take some time to clean but that’s already been accounted for.  Plus, new environments can often peak the curiosity of your little one.  Therefore, lulling them to sleep may take some extra care.  Some newborn sessions can take as little as an hour to an hour and a half.  However, some babies need the extra cuddles and feedings so those sessions can extend to 3 hours.  The important thing is your baby comes first and everything works around what’s best for her!

Newborn girl wrapped in white blanket sleeping by DFW newborn photographer

What happens during a newborn session?

We can all assume that photographs are taken during a newborn session but how does it all play out?  What can you expect to occur after you arrive for your session?  If you’re like me, you want to know what you’re walking into before you arrive so this section is for you!

Black and white picture of sleeping newborn with only a white diaper on

The Start of your Session

When you arrive at your newborn session, the first thing we do is sit, put everything down and just exhale!  Prior to life with a newborn, our minds could never imagine the act of arriving at our destination could be exhausting.  But once you’ve had a baby, you know that the mere act of getting into your car can take a new parent down!  So- our first order of business is to just sit, exhale and relax.  You made it here.  You brought your baby.  Those are big wins!

The next step is to have mom start feeding baby.  I have a peaceful, private room, complete with a feeding chair, Boppy and changing table.  I ask that you hold off on feeding your little one at least one hour prior to your session.  This allows your baby to have a full feeding right before we start.  And a full belly means a sleepy baby is not too far behind!  After the feeding, I’ll start changing your newborn into a white onesie and beautiful white wrap.  If mom is getting her hair and makeup done, the hair and makeup artist will begin pampering mom while I answer any questions you may have and explain our plan for our time together.  Once baby is all set and we are all on the same page, I’ll begin photographing your little one.

Newborn girl with white blanket around body and legs

During your Session

If your baby is very sleepy in the beginning, I’ll start photographing him.  If he is awake at the start, we’ll begin with pictures of mom and dad or siblings.  Everything depends on your little one because his comfort and safety is paramount.  We’ll get all of your favorite portraits.  It just may go in a different order than originally planned.  Once we’re finished, I’ll change baby back into his own clothes and your session is done!  It’s truly a relaxing and peaceful time together, all focused on your incredible little bundle of joy!

Brother and sisters around newborn baby

What should you bring to a newborn session?

I’ve created my studio to truly provide you a peaceful and relaxing environment.  Therefore, I have just about everything you and your little one may need while you’re at your session.  However, there are a few things that can help ensure our time together runs smoothly.  Here are some items I recommend bringing:

  • A pacifier
  • Extra bottle of milk or formula
  • Spare clothes for your little one’s trip home
  • A sentimental prop (an heirloom receiving blanket, small rattle, etc.)
  • A book or magazine for mom and dad, quiet toys or coloring book for baby’s siblings
mom's hands around newborn's bottom as he sleeps on his belly by DFW newborn photographer

What if my baby…

The “what-if”s” are often the questions parents DON’T ask but desperately want the answers to!  What if your baby poops?  Is the the session ruined if my baby cries?  Sometimes my baby doesn’t fall asleep after a feeding. What if my baby is awake?  These are all such great questions. Don’t worry!  I have planned for all of these scenarios and your baby won’t be the first (or the last) to do these things. Poop is normal and I have plenty of extra wraps, onesies and diapers.  Babies also cry- and it’s normal for them to be unsure in a new environment!  As a DFW newborn photographer and a mom of two little boys- I have plenty of wonderful ways to soothe, calm and get your little one to relax.  Plus, while your little one is awake, I use that time to take sibling and mom and dad portraits.  When little eyes are open, the connection is so precious and perfect!  Please do not worry about anything- I’ve seen it all and I’m completely prepared for any situation.

Mom and dad holding smiling newborn baby by DFW newborn photographer

DFW Newborn Photographer

Whether you’re simply considering a newborn portrait session or you’ve already scheduled one for your little one, knowing what to expect can calm any nerves you may have.  Hopefully this journal entry answered your questions and gave you a helpful overview.  If you’d like to learn more about newborn sessions at Kimberly Gerfin Photography, please reach out via my contact sheet and I’d love to talk to you!  In addition to newborn sessions, I also photograph babies and children and below are some helpful journal entries about those sessions.

Baby Photography Dallas: Why You’ll love the First Year Collective

Dallas Children Photographer: The Most Important Milestones For Classic Portraits

Thanks so much for joining me and I hope you visit again soon!



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