Preparing for your newborn photo session | Dr. Z Photography | Youngstown, OH

Newborn sessions are a little different from most other types of photo sessions (because newborns have their own agendas that may not include posing for photos!). These types will help you make the most of your newborn photo session so we can get the sweetest, snuggliest, most adorable photos of this amazing time in your baby’s life.

newborn photography - youngstown, ohio - Dr. Z Photography


  • Please try to book your newborn photo session before your baby arrives–once your retainer is paid and your contract is signed, I’ll send you a questionnaire to complete that asks about the type of images you’d like for your baby’s photos. This questionnaire helps me plan photos that are perfect for the style of your family and your home. The earlier you can complete this questionnaire, the more time I have to collect props in the colors and styles you like and to come up with a vision for your photo session.
  • Please let me know as soon as possible after the baby arrives, and we’ll schedule your session! The ideal time for newborn photos is when the baby is 3-14 days old, but later can also be okay–we’ll talk about the right time for your session once your baby is here and you’ve both settled in a bit. The ideal time period is usually 3-7 days.
  • Newborn photo sessions normally take 2-3 hours because we break for feeding and diaper changes, and sometimes it takes time to get the baby to sleep and/or posed. Feel free to bring a snack for yourself!
  • If your baby boy is circumcised, please try to plan your photo session to be held before the procedure or about 5 days after to make sure the baby’s not uncomfortable in tummy or other poses.

newborn photography - youngstown, ohio - Dr. Z Photography







Before your session

  • A sleepy baby is a baby that’s easy to pose. Try to keep your baby awake for at least 2 hours before the photo session–play with her, give him a bath, whatever it takes to keep them awake so they’re tired and ready to sleep when you get to the studio.
  • If you’re breastfeeding, please try to avoid spicy foods or acidic juices/fruits for about a day before your photo session to avoid upsetting the baby’s tummy. If you’re bottle feeding, please be sure to bring extra formula in case baby wants to eat during the photo session.
  • Please plan on feeding the baby when you arrive at the studio so they’re nice and sleepy right from the beginning.
  • Loosen diapers or tight clothing about 30 minutes before the photo session to avoid marks on baby’s skin. Please dress baby in a zip-up or snap sleeper so it’s easy to change them out of it when you get to the studio.
  • Feel free to bring any props you like to special heirlooms, clothing, etc. you’d like to include in the photos.
  • Please complete your pre-session questionnaire as early as possible so I can plan your session.
  • Even if you don’t use one regularly at home, please bring a pacifier to your photo session–it can definitely help with a baby who’s fighting sleep!

newborn photography - youngstown, ohio - Dr. Z Photography

During your session

  • The studio will be very warm for newborn sessions (because the baby will be undressed for some of the session and we want her/him to stay comfortable and sleepy!). It does get very warm for adults, though. Please plan on dressing in layers and feel free to step out of the studio if you need some fresh air!
  • Every single baby pees or poops on my props and blankets (and on me). I am completely expecting this, so please don’t feel bad if (when) this happens. Everything that touches the baby gets washed right after the photo session.
  • If you’d like to have older siblings in the photos, we’ll do those pictures first so big sister/brother doesn’t have to wait for hours in a hot (and tiny) studio. If possible, plan on bringing someone (dad, grandma, a friend) who can take your older child home after we do the sibling photos. Please dress older siblings who will be in the photos in solid colors.
  • If you’d like photos of mom/dad with the baby, please dress in simple clothing in solid colors (t-shirts or camis are fine).
  • Please note that my home studio is VERY small. You’re welcome to bring grandparents or other people to the session, but they may be more comfortable sitting in the adjacent room than in the studio itself. I have bottled water and coffee available–please help yourself!
  • I’ll never put your baby in a position that is dangerous or uncomfortable. Not all babies like all poses. It may take up to 20 minutes to get a baby into a particular pose. If it seems that your baby is uncomfortable or really resistant to a particular pose, we’ll move on to the next pose.
  • Please note that absolutely no other cameras are allowed at the photo shoot (this includes cell phone photos). Please be patient and wait for the fully edited finished product!
  • RELAX! Please don’t stress out if your baby pees, poops, won’t sleep, won’t “cooperate” (what newborn even knows what that means?)….We will almost certainly get beautiful photos no matter what (as long as baby is full and feeling well). If it looks like baby is just not going to be happy, we can reschedule your session–totally not a problem. Don’t stress out about anything during the session–I promise it’s all fine. 🙂

newborn photography - youngstown, ohio - Dr. Z Photography

After your session

  • About a week after your photo session, I’ll contact you to set up a time for your “Reveal” proofing and ordering meeting. This meeting will be your first (and only) opportunity to see your proofs for the first time and to order any prints or products you’d like, so please make sure that everyone involved in making decisions about prints is able to attend this meeting.



Ready to book a newborn session? Have more questions before you book? Contact me and I’ll get back to you right away!