I am often asked; "why does a newborn session take so long?" or "why is a newborn shoot 4 hours?"
There is many reasons why we schedule out 4 hours for a newborn photo shoot, each session is bespoke and tailored to your requirements, from the styling and chosen colour schemes to the props and poses.
Newborn sessions are entirely baby lead, and some babies do get the sleepy memo before their photo shoot and the rest decide it's playtime and they don't want to sleep.
1. Settling your baby
Settling your baby can take time, some babies require lots of soothing and cuddles to relax them and fall into a deep sleep, some don't. Which ever category your baby falls into this part isn't rushed, your baby may require a feed to help settle or to be rocked to their favourite lullaby. I have had some baby's settle in a few minutes and other in an hour. Each baby is different and different methods work.
So we have your baby settled and posed on the beautiful cream backdrop which matches your home decor perfectly when bam...... a cascading waterfall of poop and pee happens, lucky for you if it is on the backdrop and unlucky if it is on me or you.
Accidents always happen in the studio when you have baby's with no nappies on - but we crave for those cutesy naked pictures of our baby, so with nappy free time - expect little accidents on the way.
3. Feeding Time
To keep your baby happy a full tummy is always best (even now I am the same - happy when fed). Once your baby has had a good feed and full tummy and all of the wind burped from them we are always good to go.
Often during their photo's I will sometimes re-position baby which may disturb them but it's nothing a quick suckle on a dummy or a top up milk can't sort. The newborn session is longer than regular sessions to allow plenty of time for baby feeds during their visit to the studio.
4. Family Pictures
Your newborn session has plenty of time for family pictures - your first professional portrait as a family of three, or even four or five! If older siblings are to have their pictures taken with their new baby brother or sister - these do take time. Prepping the baby so younger siblings can hold them safely to getting toddlers dressed into their photo outfits.
5. Props and Posing
You see all of the rustic props available in the studio? well some of these props (especially the swing) these have to be photographed in a special way to ensure baby safety whilst using this certain props. The photo's have to be capture in a way so I can safely composite them together in photo shop, or edit away hands or supporting fingers.
Some props require baby to be inside it in a certain way, sometimes baby wriggles out of that pose an we have to start again, or they startle and jump out of position as soon as I pick up the camera!
The studio is full of beautiful outfits, headbands and bonnets, and parents can select any of these to use during the session, so it takes time making these changes during their session too.
Relaxing your baby back into the previous position can take time, uncurling their little fingers again, and posing them. I have Netflix in the studio should you wish to watch a film or box set, or even bring along your favourite book, the time does pass rather quickly even if you sit there watching from start to finish - enjoy the experience of watching your baby have their pictures taken.
I only book in one newborn session per day. This is so we have plenty of time to settle your baby for their pictures and all of the above.
Please don't plan anything in on the day of your newborn photo shoot, appointments with the midwife, or registering your baby or even a nail appointment, having plenty of time helps for a relaxing environment.
Some babies might not settle 2 - 3 hours into your appointment (and believe me - this does happen), having plenty of time assures us we have enough time, and no pressure on making your baby 'perform' as like you and I, babies can have off days too, they are human and no matter how much time they have, sometimes that day may not be their day and in these instances we choose another date.
If you have any further questions about newborn sessions or you are looking to book yours please do get in touch with me Sarah, at firstname.lastname@example.org
"What happens if my baby doesn't behave?" is a question I am asked over and over again with newborn photography, and yes it does happen from time to time, your baby isn't bad behaved... it is a baby and doing what babies do.
A skilled baby photographer will have a back up plan in place should your baby arrive to their photography studio unsettled for whatever reason.
A few reasons your baby may not be settled on their photoshoot day:
Babies have growth spurts frequently and this can disturb your baby's feeding routine - you may notice they cluster feed quite often and are a lot more alert, this is your baby growing and trying to take more milk for their growth.
These growth spurts can affect the session only by the extra feeds and settling, and each session is totally baby lead just in case this happens.
When you book your newborn photography session with me, we have an initial phone consultation (either before or when your baby has arrived).
With my preparation guide I discuss with parents lots of handy hints & tips on preparing for your appointment, and send you a copy of the guide to you.
Reading and following the guide means we should get the most from your baby at your session on the day.
As an experienced newborn photographer I have a selection of 'go too' poses I do during any newborn session if baby appears to be unsettled or having lots of 'awake time' I will work this into your photography session until your baby is ready for their nap time.
Some babies just prefer a lot more cuddles than others, and they can also pick up on tension and stress so try and relax during your photoshoot, and give off those sleepy vibes.
All newborn sessions are completely baby lead, if your baby isn't happy on their tummy then I won't pose them on their tummy.
I check temperatures often too, sometimes babies are unsettled if they are too hot or cold and this is monitored during the whole session when baby is in wraps or in just skin.
In the many years I have been a newborn photographer, not all baby sessions go to plan and in the odd occasion I have re-scheduled a couple of sessions, normally when this happens baby comes back to the studio settled the second time after their 'practise' run ;-)
For information on availability call: 01772784499
Covering Clitheroe, Longridge, Blackburn, Preston, Chorley and Blackpool
Oren visited me at my studio in Preston, along with his big brother and sister so everyone could be involved, and not miss out on the fun of their first official family portrait together - I couldn't of asked for better models in my studio.
Sometimes it can be challenging managing little people in the studio, so I make it as much fun as possible but - these kids smashed it. The only hard bit was deciding who could hold Oren, they were both equally amazing at it so they both held him for pictures.
Oren's parents selected more neutral and rustic colours and tones for their pictures - dad is very handy with wood work so the rustic wooden back drop only seemed perfect to fit in with his interests.
In fact I have tapped him up to hopefully create some bespoke wooden props for my photo shoots..... watch this space.
I was so excited to use some new props I recently acquired in the studio (psssst don't tell my husband) - I am in love with this little bed set up on the rustic backdrop, finished with creams and neutral fabrics, whilst Oren sleeps peacefully, I didn't want to disturb him. This cute little bed was a favourite with both mum & dad.
I also include beautiful, timeless portraits in Black & White - these photo's are created using the parents hands, you will look back on these pictures in years to come wondering how your baby once curled up in your hands when you watch them running around the garden - or when they leave home to venture to university. When people say they grow so fast...... they really do.
How perfect are these three? these pictures are my most favourite once to capture in the studio - my heart melts so much.
Pictures are so precious - they are only this small ONCE.
By Sarah McLean Photography based in Longridge near Preston, Lancashire
What to take to your newborn baby photo shoot....
As a parent myself I understand how it can be a challenge to get out of the door with young children or a young baby – you feel as everything but the kitchen sink is packed in your bag ready for your outing, and we have all been there when we realise what we have forgotten too!
I have put together this handy check list of items to bring along with you to your newborn baby's photo shoot to help relieve the stress of forgetting an item off the list.
I send a helpful prep guide to parents when they book me for their newborn session, here are my top tips on what to bring to your newborn session.
To find out more on Newborn sessions, for your baby photo's in Lancashire - click below.
Sarah McLean is an award winning photographer specialising in Newborn Baby Photography.
Introducing a new baby to your toddler.
However you approach the way to tell your Toddler about your news, it will depend on your toddler how the process the information of the arrival of a new baby brother or sister.
I have put together some handy tips for when your new baby arrives and dealing with your toddler below.
Please see our FREE printable photo checklist of must have hospital photo's for dad to take CLICK HERE
Sarah Mclean Photography
14a Berry Lane, Longridge, Preston PR3 3JA
Specialist Maternity, Newborn Baby and Family photographer based in Longridge, Preston, Lancashire.
Surrounding areas: Clitheroe, Blackburn, Chorley, Leyland, Blackpool
Congratulations, your pregnant!
Pregnancy is such an exciting time in any ladies life - every day is a step closer to meeting the little bundle of joy you are growing patiently inside of you.
Maternity sessions are so much fun, and towards the end of my pregnancy I remember I practically lived in jogging bottoms and t-shirts, and nothing fit, and I was tired and hadn't actually got dressed up for quite a few months.
My Maternity sessions not only capture and record professional photo's of your baby bump as a keepsake reminder, but my sessions are designed to make mam's to feel super glam and amazing!
I have photographed a few families expecting their first baby, shooting the traditional pregnancy style photo's wearing casual clothes, and maybe your partner's shirt, and I still capture these as part of your maternity session, but I want to my mama to be's to look and feel......GORGEOUS!
Do something for you, before you time is taken up with your new baby when he or she arrives into the world.
As females, we always feel that we need to have an occasion or an excuse to do something and never much for ourselves. Maternity portraits are often overlooked because of the impending arrival of your baby - maybe you don't feel nice, or your scared of feeling huge - why not celebrate this magical time of what your body is doing...... creating life!
Your body is changing, so embrace those curves and feel super confident and stunning in front of the camera, get those 'WOW' pictures for your facebook or Art work for your home.
I provide a selection of stunning slips, dresses and lacy garments for you to wear during your session
you can wear as many of the items as you wish to change up your looks during your time in the studio, and you can wear as much or a little as you want.
My most requested maternity pose is an implied nude in black & white showing off your new baby bump curves - your body is amazing!
I know how to flatter and poses ladies to look their very best.
Partners and baby's siblings are more than welcome to be involved in your maternity session, making your images much more intimate and special with your family.
Your pregnancy is a very special time, and much like the newborn baby stage, it's an irreplaceable time too.
Nothing to wear?
Don't worry - choose from our ever growing collection of slips, dresses and gowns to wear at your shoot.
Maternity sessions all take place at my studio based in Longridge Nr Preston, Lancashire.
The studio is warm & welcoming with a growing selection of slips, gowns & dresses to wear during your photo shoot.
With a private changing area, you can try on as many of the dresses as you wish to choose the perfect one for you.
I have contacts of local Make up artists should you wish to have your hair and make up professionally done before your shoot.
If you are still un-decided about booking your maternity photo shoot - why not take advantage of this amazing opportunity.
For all ladies who pre-book their newborn baby photo shoot on or before 30 weeks pregnant, you will receive a complimentary mini maternity session at around 36 weeks.
Then simply view your baby bump pictures together with your newborn baby ones, and combine your favourite images into your chosen package.
Some of my client's opted for the complimentary mini maternity session option, and when they saw their images they were happy they had the option to do it as they would not have considered it otherwise and they are so glad they have these memories.
Find out more CLICK HERE
Sarah Mclean Photography
14a Berry Lane, Longridge PR3 3JA
You have the hospital bag packed, your ready to meet your new baby as those final days are ticking down to your due date.
Your fully charged camera is packed in your bag so you can capture your baby's first moments when they arrive into world.
If it's your first baby, the experience of what happens during delivery & labour is very new so it's easy to get caught up in whats going on and forget about recording those first moments.
Here I have put together a list of must have hospital pictures to capture those important first photo's for your family album, and to make it even easier you can download and print off the handy check list for Dad, so he doesn't miss any of those special shots too.
1. Final bump picture
Capture your last ever bump picture - this may be easier to capture if your going in for a scheduled C-Section than if your already in full established labour, this shot males for a final memory especially if you have been recording your bump growth over the last 9 months.
2. Hospital Room / Delivery suite
Really capture the room details such as the door name/number, and the room your baby is going to be delivered in.
3. The Time
Capture a picture of the clock when your baby arrives, what better way to capture the exact time your baby entered the world.
4. Your Baby
It's entirely up to the individual of what part of your baby being born is captured, once your baby has been delivered they will be lifted up and wrapped in a blanket, this makes a beautiful first photo even if they are crying. Your baby will be then weighed so a snap of them on the scales if possible is a memorable picture.
5. Hospital Tags/ ID Cards
Your baby will be given an ID tag, usually with a name and their D.O.B. Capture a close up of your baby wearing their tag. Other information is recorded on a card for their bedside cot such as their length and head circumference.
6. Meeting mummy
This is the most precious photograph you can possibly capture, there will be so much emotion when mum meets her baby for the first time.
7. Meeting daddy
This is a sure 2nd after your baby meets mummy, is when your baby meets their daddy for the first time, and again lots of emotion.
8. First family picture
If this is your first baby, asking the midwife to capture your first family photo is a must. If you don't want to look straight at the camera, look down at your precious baby for a more intimate picture, and convert it into black & white for a more timeless photo.
9. Meeting siblings
If your baby has brother's and sister's their first meeting with their new baby sibling is a photo to treasure.
10. Meeting grand parents
First granchild or not, capturing your newborn baby meeting their grandparents for the first time is another special keepsake photo for the family album.
11. First Outfit
Once your baby has arrived they will be dressed in their first outfit, usually a sleep suit and hat. Capture photo's of your baby in their new outfit, and asleep for those adorable new baby photo's
12. Going Home
It's time to take your baby home, and usually a going home outfit is prepared in advance for this special occasion, remember to capture their first photo in their car seat as you leave the hospital.
Don't forget to arrange your professional newborn baby photo's too - a lot of photographer's become booked up in advance with the unpredictability of when babies actually arrive so they take advance bookings.
I cover Longridge, Clitheroe, Preston, Chorley, Blackpool areas in Lancashire - if you require newborn baby photo's in these areas please click the link below to check our availability.
Download and print of this handy check list so you don't miss any of those must have first baby photo's.
Sarah Mclean is the owner of Sarah McLean Photography
As a newborn photographer I get asked this question quite often by client's who are looking to book in their newborn photo's.
"what happen's if my baby doesn't behave?", or "My baby is always awake!"
To be honest babies & children are unpredictable, from one day to the next.
As a newborn specialist I do have an idea of when to expect babies to have their growth spurts and cluster feeds, although this does vary from newborn to newborn as they develop at different rates, so I plan my sessions accordingly.
I have many babies in my studio for their newborn photo's and some will arrive asleep, and stay asleep, and some will take a little longer to settle as they require more milk & cuddles - no baby is the same.
I have a variety of poses which help settle babies, and you may be surprised on how many photo's I can achieve with your baby in those poses.
I have lots of fabric wraps available to keep your baby nice an snug whilst they are awake or asleep, I can place them inside one of our baskets for those adorable above baby shots.
Our adorable rompers are nice and snug, for your baby to be photographed in too, like this one below.
Our Bespoke sessions allow plenty of time for your baby to settle, our studio is super comfy and relaxing which helps your baby settle so much easier.
To find out more information about our Newborn Sessions, CLICK HERE
For our Newborn Session FAQs CLICK HERE
Newborn Baby Specialist Photographer
Based in Longridge, Near Preston, Lancashire, 10 minutes from the M6
Studio: 14a Berry Lane, Longridge PR3 3JA
Clitheroe, Blackburn, Longridge, Preston, Chorley, Leyland, Lancashire
Congratulations! your new baby has arrived!
A much awaited arrival after patiently waiting to meet him and her.
You have been so busy with prepping for your new arrival, deciding on which pram to purchase, what colour to paint the nursery, not to mention stocking up boxes upon boxes of nappies - that you forgot to book your little one in for their professional newborn photo shoot.
So after searching the internet you are finding that Newborn photo shoots have been booked in advance so there is no sessions available, or you may be even told that a 3 weeks your newborn is too 'old' to be photographed for a 4 hour bespoke photography session.
You only want a few keepsake pictures of your baby at this fleeting time, and every day your baby is growing and changing.
Don't fret! here at Sarah McLean Photography, we have designed a new all inclusive package for busy mums in mind.
Our shortened down Newborn session is 'Pure & Simple' - just focusing on the most important part of - Recording your newborn baby as a set of timeless portraits before they grow and change any more.
These sessions also do not require advanced booking unlike our bespoke session, and can be booked when you have a spare hour one afternoon (subject to availability).
This session is suitable for babies up to 12 weeks - perfect for those who missed the initial fleeting two week newborn phase.
The Pure & Simple package also includes your favourite Five images as Hi resolution digital files, which are perfect for printing ans sharing your new images with family & friends, and this complete package makes an ideal Gift for someone who is expecting a new arrival or just had a baby.
All of the sessions take place in our baby friendly studio in Longridge, near Preston where you can sit and relax whilst we capture your babies first portraits.
With over 7 years experience in the speciality of Newborn Photography you can be guaranteed your baby is in the best hands for having their baby pictures taken.
For further information on our Newborn Baby Photo sessions, please call Sarah at the studio on: 01772784499
Or feel free to pop in for a chat over a coffee and have a look around.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Your Newborn Baby Portrait Photographer
Studio: 14a Berry Lane, Longridge PR3 3JA
Guest Blogger – Maureen Burton
The Benefits of Baby Massage
I am delighted to have Maureen Burton as our guest blogger to share her hints & tips of the benefits of her baby massage sessions.
Maureen Burton is the founder of Maureen Burton’s Baby Massage and Support Group based in Preston Lancashire.
Maureen is 62, and a mother to two adult boys, and has worked alongside the Health Visiting Team for 16 years, using baby massage as part of the post natal after care to new mums.
Over the years her passion for Infant Health grew and I focused on providing mums with a Baby Massage & Support centre at two local venues in the community – Grimsargh Village Hall, and Ribchester Club in Preston, Lancashire.
Maureen’s sole aim was to not only help mums bond with their babies, but to also create a meeting place for mums and parents to meet and have a network of friends and extra support. The need for support is greater after the NHS services were reduced.
Adjusting to life as a new mum can be a daunting yet such an enjoyable time with your new baby.
Maureen’s Baby Massage classes not only give you that crucial bonding time with your new baby, Maureen also shares tips on other popular topics such as weaning and sleep routines, and can signpost Mum’s to G.P’s for any medical advise.
A little more about Baby Massage
What is baby massage?
Baby Massage originates from old Indian Culture and evidence has found that baby massage has been practised dating back over 3000 years, as routine part of childcare from the moment of birth until the baby is weaned and walking.
Since the late to mid 1900s baby massage has become popular here in the U.K and more emphasis on the physical bonding between the parents and baby that more and more professionals are encouraging parents to make baby massage a part of your daily routine.
Your baby has spent 9 month’s growing inside your womb with constant touch and contact on their skin, even during their birth your baby is still experiencing contact, and touch therapy has benefits to both parent & baby.
What are the Benefits for me and my baby?
There are many additional benefits from practising baby massage – such as;
Maureen’s Baby Massage class teaches parent’s how to massage their baby – Here you learn essential massage strokes which soothe colicky babies and help relieve that stubborn trapped wind & constipation.
Babies from as early as birth start her classes, and attend up until they start crawling.
Her massage moves and strokes are sequenced with popular Nursery Rhymes which your baby will come to recognise the more they develop and one of Maureen’s moves which is set to the Rhyme ‘Pat-a-cake’ brings your babies arms out and opens the chest which helps your baby’s respiratory system.
"I enjoy coming to the baby massage group as it is a chance to meet new parents, it is fantastic bonding time with me and my baby, and also she really enjoys it and has a long nap after!"
Maureen’s excellent support group is an added benefit of attending her classes where mums can come and socialise with other mums, and make lots of new friends.
“Even when their babies have grown up and start nursery or even school, its lovely seeing the mums still keeping in touch, they have created lasting friendships”
After attending one of Maureen’s classes I got a first look on how beneficial her classes and her friendly advice given to the new mums who attend.
Maureen’s group also enjoy organising evening’s out, and meet ups so mums/parents can enjoy getting dressed up and socialise with their new friends – it’s such a friendly network of new parents.
Find more information on Maureen's Baby Massage here on her facebook page below.
Maureen Burton - Baby Massage & Support Group
"Maggie absolutely loves baby massage!
"The chance to learn Baby Massage and talk to like minded mums"
Following on from Maureen’s Baby Massage classes, are her “Learn through play” classes.
These classes differ from your general playgroup and toddler groups – they focus more on early learning development, using interactive toys to develop your toddler’s co-ordination and social skills with other children.
Using sensory objects that are sticky, tactile or varied textures helps in your toddler’s next stage development.
The Baby Massage classes start Mondays at 10am – 12 noon at Grimsargh Village hall, Grimsargh. Lancashire
and Wednesday’s 10am – 12 noon at Ribchester club. Ribchester, Lancashire
There is no pre-booking system, Maureen likes parents to be able turn up as she understands that appointments and family life can sometimes clash with class days, all up-to-date class information can be found on her facebook page.
Maureen Burton - Baby Massage & Support Group
Sarah McLean is a newborn portrait photographer providing her service to the Ribble Valley & Lancashire. She specialises in Newborns, Babies, Children, Families .