How to prepare for a Newborn session with Jessica Boltman Photography Orange County Newborn Photographer

newborn baby girl in a bucket smiling, Orange County newborn photographer

How to prepare for a studio shoot with Orange County Newborn Photographer Jessica Boltman Photography.

Congratulations on your new addition! What a wonderful time for you and your family, I am so glad I get to be apart of little ones first chapter of life. A new baby means so many wonderful things and it also means your world has been  flipped upside down and you are working on little to no sleep. Panicking about what to bring for your newborn session or how to prepare is NOT something I want you to do. I want this to be an easy and memorable experience for you, and to do that I have put together a little blog post on how to help us achieve this for you.

You see all those adorable little sleeping babies on my instagram, facebook or webpage and you wonder how did she get those? Well I cannot guarantee that if you follow my guidelines that we will get those shots because they may be young but newborns have a mind of their own already. Following what I have put below though will definitely help our chances of achieving those sleepy newborn pictures that we all love and admire.

When you book me I do put your due date as a pending date and ask you to shoot me a email as soon as little one is born. I know I am not the first person who you think of when you go into labor but I do like to photograph babies between 5-14 days old, and want to get them scheduled in asap. So maybe keep me on your top 10 people to tell first =)

Newborn sessions take place in my home studio where I keep it nice a toasty for baby. I have a space heater set up and ready where we will be taking pictures so that we keep baby nice and warm during the naked shots. If you have seen my portfolio then you know I like to photograph babies with no clothes. If you have any problems with that please just let me know ahead of time and I will make sure to cover baby up.

Please feel free to bring yourself some snacks and plan your day accordingly  as these sessions typically take about two hours.

I have been working with newborns for almost 7 years now. Remember that babies will cry and its OK. It doesn't bother me or stress me out at all. Babies can sense when people are feeling nervous so I want you to just relax. If I ever have a hard time calming baby I will always pass baby to you and see if they just need some mommy or daddy cuddles. Your baby may not act the same at my house as they do yours and may not go to sleep very quickly. I am very patient and nurturing and will do everything I can to make you all comfortable. I take my time and stay calm, there is nothing baby can do to upset me.

I may ask you to help during the session. When I do shots with baby either on a bed or in a bucket, I always have a spotter who is normally either mom or dad as I do not have an assistant. Please let me know if you have any problems with doing this. Safety always comes first when I am posing babies and if you are ever uncomfortable with anything just let me know.

DO NOT WORRY if baby poops or pees on my props. It happens almost every session I am more surprised when it doesn't happen. Don't worry about the mess I clean and sanitize all my props after each session.


** Before the shoot, please feed baby 2-3 hours prior to our shoot, and plan on feeding baby as soon as you arrive to the studio. Full babies sleep better and are easier to position.

** As best as you can please do not let them sleep beforehand, instead try giving baby a bath, let them kick around in only a diaper. Do whatever you have to do to keep baby awake. Newborns typically are only awake for maybe 30 minutes at a time so it shouldn't be too hard to achieve but I do understand that baby is not on a schedule. Best thing to do is not let them sleep for 1-2 hours before out shoot.

** If you can bring a smoothie pacifier that will help tremendously. Sometimes the hospitals send you home with them they are the free/pink/purple bendable ones and they don't leave marks. Please try to avoid the ones with animals attached to them. I know some parents don't like to use them because of nipple concussion when they are starting with breastfeeding. I will only be using it for a few minutes at a time for a very short time. Sucking triggers a calming reflex for babies which will help when I have them on the blanket posed but still need a little soothing.

** Please dress baby in a baby zip up or button up onesie. Having to undress is stimulating enough and we don't want to pull something over their head.

If you are breastfeeding it is best to avoid gassy foods 48 hours before our session.

Foods to avoid while breastfeeding
  • chocolate.
  • spices (cinnamon, garlic, curry, chili pepper)
  • citrus fruits and their juices, like oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruit.
  • strawberries.
  • kiwifruit.
  • pineapple.
  • the "gassy" veggies (onion, cabbage, garlic, cauliflower, broccoli, cucumbers, and peppers)
  • fruits with a laxative effect, such as cherries and prunes.

What do I need to bring:

All you need to bring is your basic essentials.

- Diapers
-Bottle and formula
-Burp rags
- Change of clothes for baby

If you have any props you would like to incorporate please feel free to bring those as well.


For Mom and Dad:

If you plan on being in some pictures please let me know ahead of time so that I can be properly set up. 

Mommy, Loose fitting tank tops or blouses are always a winner. You just had a baby, so the loose clothing helps. Keep your colors soft and neutral. No designs and NO neon colors. Be sure that you have no bright nail polish on that will take away from the image. Also, rest assured that I aim to photograph using flattering angles and light to bring out the natural beauty of your family. 

Daddy, If you prefer not to be shirtless I ask that you bring a tight fitting v-neck shirt to wear with a good pair of jeans. I typically shoot waist up but we still want to look good from head to toe. Please make sure your nails are also clean and if you haven't had a hair cut in a while, now might be a good time. Also you will be kissing baby so lets make sure to shave so we don't tickle baby with your 5pm shadow haha.


Big sister or brother, You are a big part of this show. For sister's a good tight fitting neutral colored tank top is great or of course a beautiful dress. I ask that hair be natural or in braids and free of BOLD bows, headbands etc. Stick with neutrals and just like mommy no crazy nail polish. 

Brothers, A snug pair of jeans and a tight fitting shirt is great. We can also do topless if they are comfortable with that. Hair done and clean nails.

BOTH: Clean faces, no shoes, clean nails and bring on those bribes haha

I hope these tips help ease your mind a little but if you have any other questions please feel free to reach out to me and let me know how I can help

-Jessica Boltman