10 Tips for a Successful Newborn Session by Melissa DeVoe Photography

As newborn photographers, we are all guilty of looking at other photographer’s work and wondering how they make it look so simple. After years in the business, we also all know that the best newborn sessions often start before the session ever begins. We are fortunate enough to have one of our very talented LSI Pro photographers join us on the blog to give 10 tips she feels will help set you up for success at your next newborn session. Please welcome the fabulous Melissa DeVoe Photography based in Raleigh, NC!

Family Picture

A Few Words from Melissa DeVoe…

I’m a professional photographer specializing in studio newborn portraiture. I live in Wake Forest, NC and serve the Raleigh-Durham area of North Carolina. I have a newborn studio on the third floor of my home, and absolutely love it and feel so blessed to call it mine! I’m about to celebrate my sixth year in business, and the years have really flown by! I have a very supportive husband who I’ve been married to for 13 years. And we have three little rambunctious boys who keep us extremely busy!! Their ages are 8, 6 and 1. We have a very loud, chaotic household with that many little boys running around! :)

10 Tips for a Successful Newborn Session

1. Book your session as early as possible! It can never really be too early! I always feel awful when a prospective client has their heart set on a newborn session with me but I just can’t fit them in. So I try to stress on my website, blog, Facebook page, etc. to book early!


2. Send your clients a prep guide that goes over much of what I am covering in this article. My prep guide provides pointers on how to prepare for the session, what to expect during the session, as well as the next steps once the session is over. It really helps the entire experience go smoothly.


3. Before the session, Mom should feed the baby right leaving the house. Babies almost always fall asleep during the car ride and arrive full and sleepy to me – just how I like them!


4. When possible, keep the baby awake for about an hour before feeding and leaving the house. This helps ensure that the baby will be sleepy during the session. Some tricks to doing this are giving baby a bath or undressing them down to their diaper.


5. Dress baby in a zipper or button-up sleeper to make it really easy to get them undressed when they arrive. Having to pull off onesies or complicated clothing over the baby’s head is likely to wake them. The easier it is to get them undressed and keep them asleep, the better!


6. Bring a pacifier!! This is sooooo important! Even if the baby hasn’t used a pacifier or gotten the hang of one yet, bring one anyways! Sometimes it can work wonders to pop it in for a minute while posing.


7. Bring baby into the studio in their carseat. Taking the baby out of the carseat outside ensures they’ll be wide awake. So I always stress to parents that they need to bring in the entire carseat and let me remove baby super carefully to keep them sleeping.


8. If there are any special items my clients would like the baby photographed with, I ask them to please tell me ahead of time so I can set up for that. It’s much easier to have setups ready when clients arrive, rather than spending our limited session time picking out props and setups.


9. Clients should bring plenty to do to keep them busy during the session. My sessions last about 3 hours in my very warm studio, and I don’t require any assistance from the parents. It’s a long time to sit and wait. So I encourage my clients to bring a book to read, a laptop, etc. I have cable TV and wi-fi in my studio, as well as drinks and snacks, to help with this as well. This will keep parents busy and happy.


10. Before leaving my studio, I make sure parents are well informed of the next steps of my process. For example, when they should expect to hear from me, the approximate turnaround time for their photos, all of the product options available and pricing, my policy on sneak peeks, etc. etc. Communication is key when it comes to a good client-photographer relationship. I strive to exceed their expectations in every way possible, and don’t ever want them feeling confused or unclear about my policies and processes.


If you follow these steps, you’ll be well on your way to a successful newborn session!

Check out other articles featuring Melissa DeVoe Photography…

Inspiring Interview
Inspiring Studios
Fresh Perspective

Melissa DeVoe offers newborn photography in Raleigh, NC.

Be sure to like Melissa DeVoe Photography on Facebook to see more of her beautiful work!