Customize Your Newborn Photos


December 29, 2022

Okay, so you’ve booked a studio newborn session with Liz Viernes Photography! Now it’s time to make some decisions! This blog post is going to walk you through how to customize your newborn photos so that your gallery is exactly what you hoped it would be. We aim to please over here so if there’s something you definitely want to include (within the realm of LVP’s offerings) we’ll include it. And if there’s something you definitely DON’T want to include, we won’t!

DISCLAIMER: Every baby is an individual and will be treated as such. Ideally every baby would sleep through their entire session and contentedly be posed however we wish but that’s not always the case. In the event that your baby has a plan that’s different than our plan, your baby is boss and I will yield to his/her comfort. In that case, our best laid plans will be set aside and I will do what I can to get a gallery for you, even if it is not the posing or prop selection that would’ve been your first choice. I will, of course, communicate that to you as the session is unfolding and you will be aware of everything that is happening. Thank you for understanding.

Solo Baby or Family Shots?

In every newborn session there is the opportunity to go baby only or to add family posing in which will greatly customize your newborn photos. I honestly love either option. Obviously if we go baby only, there will be greater opportunity for variety in posing and props and I can feel freer to settle in and work a little longer on some of the poses that might take a bit more work to achieve. However, we do then miss out on documenting the family unit, which many people want. So when you’re thinking about how you want to customize your newborn photos, the first question is are we solely focusing on the baby or are we doing family posing as well?

Family Shots

If you elect to include family, you’ve got some decisions to make. What combinations are you looking for? Check out these family posing combinations, not only for ideas but also for locations within the studio. The white flooring area is great for standing photos and photos of larger families. The bed is used for seated shots, which tend to be more lifestyle in nature (more looking at the baby, interaction between family members, less smiling for the camera). The bed is also better for smaller family units (mom, dad, and baby) because the space is smaller and because the lighting is not as powerful and it’s harder to get more sets of eyes in focus. The location will be dictated by the size of the family so, while your input is certainly important, the final decision will be made by me based on that information.

Is mom planning to breastfeed? Would you like this sweet stage documented? As a former postpartum and newborn nurse, I am a huge breastfeeding advocate and I adore documenting this fleeting time. These photos are classy and beautiful and range from far pullbacks to detail-filled close-ups. Please rest assured that these photos will be private. You will not see them on any blog or social media *unless* you give me permission to share. Your comfort with the process is a big priority for me. I do have some “rules” about breastfeeding photos, however. The setup is very feminine and light-filled so it calls for some attention to outfit choice. Jeans don’t really convey the same ethereal vibe as a flowing, light-colored dress, so if breastfeeding photos are a must have and you need to discuss wardrobe with me, please let’s do that sooner than later. I’m happy to chime in with an opinion on any outfit you’re considering. I want these photos to be ones that will make your eyes well up with tears (in the good way!).

Okay, so maybe you thought that family photos were something you wanted to do and then the morning of the session arrives and you’re sleep-deprived and don’t feel your best so you decide to change your mind. If you still want to have yourself in the photos somewhere, parent hand shots are a great compromise in this instance and an excellent way to customize your newborn photos. Obviously, hand shots can be used in addition to parent and family posing, not just in place of them.

Table Workflow

My table workflow is pretty standard across the board. There are 4 main poses that I try to do with every willing newborn (head on hands, side-lying, bum up, and egg wrap). If I have a super sleepy baby on arrival, I will attempt froggy but that’s not a given and some parents don’t prefer the pose even if the baby is willing!

This blog will show you the four main (and optional froggy!) poses. It also includes some overhead shots (what I call “Muscleman” and “Sleepy Baby Freeform”) that can be done on the dog bed (which has never been touched by a dog – its only purpose is for newborn posing!). “Muscleman” can be done on an awake or sleeping baby but obviously the “Sleepy Baby Freeform” really does best with a fast asleep baby. Let me know if there are any you *don’t* prefer so we can customize your newborn photos to your exact taste.

Prop Shots

Prop shots are another way to capture your perfect newborn baby. Parent preferences can range wildly when it comes to what you’d like to hang on your walls so, rather than guess at whether you’d like the bucket shot or the newborn bed shot (which is what I *used* to do), I’d like to give you the opportunity to customize your newborn photos by choosing which props I will use for your baby’s session.

In a typical newborn session, I won’t have time to do more than 2 prop shots so I definitely will ask you to prioritize what you’d like to see…I can’t do seven props shots unless we forgo table posing. With that said, sometimes the entire gallery has to be prop shots (and *specific* ones) if your baby is wide awake for the majority of the session. Wide awake babies most often need to be swaddled in order to be happy babies so that’s when all of our best laid plans are set aside so I can do whatever I have to do to get you a gallery. (Please see Disclaimer at the top of the page.)

I used to have a mini session offering for newborns which is no longer available but I kept the blog post to show examples of the prop shots you may choose from. In addition, here are the latest props I’ve acquired. Let me know which prop shots appeal the most to you so that we can customize your newborn photos. (And here is the swing prop since it’s a new offering since I wrote the blog post)

Customize your newborn photos with the swing prop

Color Preferences

LVP prides itself on its light and airy aesthetic. To that end, I obviously love using light-colored backdrops and fabrics with my newborn posing. However, I also have a wide range of colors that can be used to customize your newborn photos as not everyone is a fan of whites and creams and sands.

While I am totally happy to take this off your plate and choose your colors for you (sometimes my creativity is really flowing when I’m setting up or I have a new idea I want to try), I also want to give you a chance to customize your newborn photos to have images that will match the colors of the baby’s nursery or the decor in your home.

I started to try to document every color of backdrop that I have in the studio and, after an hour of work, realized just how futile the effort was. Not only was it maddeningly time-consuming and not really coming together the way I had envisioned, I realized that my inventory is constantly changing and that it would be way harder to keep this blog up-to-date with all the options than I have time for.

Once I came to terms with the realization that I wouldn’t be able to share all the options, I decided it would be WAY easier to just have clients tell me what colors appeal to them and I would make choices based on that. It’s not really necessary to differentiate between every single shade of white or purple…most people don’t really care if I have 11 shades of pink or not….they just want pink. Not everything has to be as hard as I try to make it 😑 With that said, tell me that you want sand, or blue, or mauve and I’ll do the best I can! Here are some color grids to help if you need inspo – while I definitely do not have all of these colors (and specifically not the vibrant ones like the greens or the pinks/reds), I can do my best to be in the color family of what you’re looking for:

Well there you’ve done it! You’ve made some amazing choices to customize your newborn photos so that your gallery is exactly what you hoped it will be! Now let’s make some magic! Contact me to schedule your newborn session.

Liz Viernes Photography is based near Dayton, MD, and specializes in maternity, fresh 48, posed and lifestyle newborns and first year milestone portraits.

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