A step-by-step guide to planning your newborn’s photography session

A step-by-step guide to planning your newborn’s photography session

Those first few weeks with your newborn are unforgettable. Their little features, adorable movements and sweet baby smell — your love is so big for this tiny human who snuggles so closely to you! This is a life-changing time that you'll never forget, which is why it's also a wonderful time to plan newborn photography.

That quintessential newborn look doesn't last long, so capturing those sleepy angelic moments is something to prioritize in the first six weeks. JCPenney Portraits is here to make your newborn's first photography session an enjoyable experience for both you and baby, capturing this truly special chapter with images that you'll cherish forever.

A simple guide to your newborn photography session

Step 1: Schedule your newborn session when baby is between one and six weeks. Consider scheduling while you're still pregnant and it's one less thing to think about when baby arrives. If baby is here, try to select a time, keeping in mind feeding and napping schedules.

Step 2: Decide on outfits, keeping in mind simple is best. The best newborn photos often feature babies in little to no clothing, so pack a onesie, diaper, swaddle and stocking cap in colors that complement baby's complexion. Elaborate outfits with lots of layers tend to overwhelm an infant. Let your newborn's perfectness shine through in minimal clothing. See what other people have done and be inspired by exploring the Baby Gallery. Remember, all JCPenney Portraits locations have a variety of wraps for babies and the photographers are happy to provide styling suggestions.

Step 3: Prep yourself to be in some images. You may not feel thrilled at the idea of getting photographed, but so many moms and dads look back at newborn images and are happy they were part of some of the poses. You don't have to dress over the top either; a simple outfit is all that is needed. The bond between you and your child is sure to be the star of the image. What's more, consider images with both parents and siblings, too!

Step 4: Don't forget your hands. Is there anything more precious than those 10 tiny fingers so perfect in every way? When those fingers wrap around your hands, it just melts your heart. Close-ups of your hands cradling your baby's hands, head and feet are so special, so make sure your hands look nice for these unique images.

Step 5: Coordinate sibling outfits to baby's attire. Images of big brother or sister with the new family member are sure to be favorites, but to keep the bond the main focus of the photography, don't overwhelm with clothing. Dress siblings in light colors that complement what baby is wearing. Solid neutrals or pastels are best bets.

Step 6: Pack some props. If you have something special you'd like included in some of the newborn images, feel free to bring it to the session. This could be grandma's hand-knit blanket, dad's baseball glove, a special stuffed animal or anything meaningful that will personalize your images.

Step 7: Pack comfort and convenience items. That cozy blanket, extra diapers, a pacifier and feeding supplies — infants can be unpredictable, so bring along the essentials to keep them calm, clean and cute!

Step 8: Before you leave for your session, feed your newborn at home. This allows their little bellies to settle before the session starts and also reduces the chance of spit-up ... something you'd rather leave out of photography!

Step 9: As you head out, keep in mind items that may leave imprint marks on baby's skin and avoid them if possible. Things like mittens and socks leave lines on delicate skin. Also, remember to have the diaper on loosely to help reduce lines on the tummy.

Step 10: Don't worry. You're in good hands with the photography professionals at JCPenney Portraits. They know modern poses that bring out baby's best while also working around quirks unique to infants. Even if baby is fussy, they have some useful tricks to help keep the session on track so you get images you love.

Step 11: Schedule other milestone photography sessions now. As a new parent, when you have opportunities to simplify, take advantage of them! Schedule your milestone photography sessions now while already at the studio for three, six, nine months, and of course, the big first birthday. You'll be surprised how fast that first year flies by, and with sessions already on the calendar, you'll make sure you capture all that growth without missing a moment.