Lauren West Photography » Newborn, Child and Family Photographer in the San Fernando Valley and Conejo Valley

Newborn Sessions

Newborn Sessions

Congratulations on the upcoming arrival of your baby! Whether this is your first baby or your fourth, you will undoubtedly want to capture the very beginning of their precious life and these photos will be keepsakes for you and for them to cherish always. I feel so fortunate when hired to document the life of any family, and feel especially honored when I am the one chosen to photograph brand new babies at their tiniest!


Scheduling Your Newborn Session

The best time to schedule your newborn session is during your pregnancy–the earlier the better. This ensures a spot on my calendar while we wait for your little one to arrive. While sometimes babies do arrive weeks earlier than planned, for the most part, scheduling a session based on your due date is the best way to go. I always check in on my mommies-to-be and ask that you keep me updated at the end of your pregnancy.

The ideal time to take newborn photos is within the first 2 weeks of birth–preferably in the 6-10 day range. This is because babies at this age sleep so soundly and are more easily moved. Also within this time frame babies will still have what is referred to as the “newborn curl”, where they still can maintain the fetal position and therefore are still very pose-able. If for whatever reason we are unable to photograph your baby during these 2 weeks–do not worry! Babies are beautiful at every age, and your session, whenever it takes place, will reflect life at that time. Even if your baby doesn’t sleep a wink, you will still receive images to cherish forever.

*Please note that newborn sessions are scheduled on weekday mornings. Weekend mornings may be available if needed but will incur an additional charge.

Pre-Session Information

Whether you’ve already booked a session with me or are just thinking about it, here you’ll find all the information you’ll need to know about scheduling a session with me that will help provide a fun and successful shoot for you and your new baby. My goal for your newborn session is for you to be comfortable, calm, happy and stress-free and to accurately and capture this amazing time in your lives. I want you to look at these photos and be brought back to this very special time in your family’s life, just as it was.

Newborn sessions generally run anywhere from 2-3 hours—I am much more flexible with time for these sessions allowing for time to feed and change your baby and whatever else is needed. Newborn session are held in your home so we can take these photos not only in the privacy and comfort of your home, but to have these memories in the place you brought your baby home to.

I am a natural light photographer and whenever possible rely solely on available natural light. For this reason I will ask that you scope out your home for the room that is the brightest and gets the most indirect sunlight at the time of day we plan to shoot (almost always in the morning.) If you feel that your home does not provide the adequate light and space to shoot, please let me know and we can talk about alternative locations.

Session Preparation

Please have cleared space in the room with the most available natural light so I can set up upon arrival. I will often take photos in your master bedroom with your family snuggling together with your precious bundle, so please do have your bed made unless this is something you would prefer not to do. I also love to take photos in the nursery, if it is set up, so tidying up in there is a good idea as well. I know the chaos having a new baby can bring to your life, so please don’t worry about having a perfectly neat home (does this even exist when you have children??) ready for my arrival. No judgment, I promise!

Mom and dad are important, too! Sometimes moms don’t feel up to being photographed days after just giving birth… but regardless of how you feel, trust me when I say that you will want to have these photos to look back on, and so will your child. If you have older children we can capture some adorable images of them with their new sibling. Some siblings are more welcoming and cooperative than others and I will do whatever I can to cater to their needs.

If you have something specific that you would like included in the session such as a handmade blanket, an heirloom bonnet, your old ballet shoes, etc., I welcome them. Please have these things readily available when I arrive.

What to Wear

Your baby should be in a loose-fitting diaper when I arrive so that I can slip it off to start shooting. Taking off clothes will just disrupt and awaken them. Wrapping them loosely in a blanket is fine and helps keep them warm.

Make sure to wear colors that compliment your setting and that you feel comfortable in. I suggest beautiful light colors for a soft and gentle look. Doing your make-up will also help you feel beautiful and like yourself at a time where you’re totally sleep-deprived!

Session Day Information

  • Having your home warmer than usual is very important in keeping your baby calm and comfortable—though a home at 85 degrees may not be the most comfortable for us adults, this is crucial for the babies as they do not like being cold! I will bring a space heater with me as well. Feel free to have some music turned on in the room for some ambient noise and help to relax. I will put some white noise on as well to help keep anything from disturbing your baby.
  • When I arrive, I will set up in the room with the best light. I like to start off taking solo shots of your baby and will do 2-3 poses depending on how your baby is doing. If they are very awake when we want to start I may switch things up and start with family shots first, but most of the time they start off very sleepy and then become more awake and alert after being handled more than usual! I love to get your feedback on props, blankets, headbands and anything else that I may use, as I want you to feel like these photos will fit seamlessly into your home and your taste. I personally prefer a clean, natural look and the things I bring with me suggest that—soft colors, simple props, light and airy fabrics are mostly what I have on hand. If you would like to to incorporate a personal item of your into the shoot, please  have that out and ready to use.
  • Though I will do some posed shots with your baby, I do really love lifestyle newborn photography and always aim to photograph you and your baby in your environment. There is beauty in simplicity and I adore the natural look of your precious baby in your arms and around your home. Sneak in all the kisses and cuddles that you want!
  • Please try to keep baby awake for an hour or so before our session (or however long you can)–this will help ensure that they are nice and sleepy when I arrive and will sleep more soundly when they are being posed.
  • A well-fed baby is a happy baby—please begin feeding your baby just prior to my arrival. If you are nursing, it’s a good idea to start feeding on one side about 30 minutes prior and then feed on the other side when I arrive. We want them in a “milk coma!” Plan to nurse during our session at least once, and we will want to keep your baby as happy as possible. Some mothers prefer privacy while nursing and go into another room, and some would love for me to document nursing their baby—I will happily oblige and do whatever you feel comfortable with.
  • Be prepared for explosions of all kinds.  Poop, pee and spit up may go flying or spraying on anything around. (I get peed on a lot!) Don’t worry at all if your baby pees/poops/spits up on my blankets and backdrops. It happens every time. I wash everything right after each session so I am always using clean items with your baby.
  • Get ready to LOVE your baby even more! Watching them sleep is such a beautiful thing, especially during their solo shots when they are posed so sweetly. Sometimes it takes them a good while to get into “baby model mode” and that is ok! I will take plenty of photos while they’re awake and they almost always tucker out eventually!

Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any further questions or would like to inquire about scheduling a newborn session.