For our next Local Spotlight, I would like to introduce Vicky Eydelberg Irvin. Vicky is a North County San Diego family photographer who finds and captures the magic of everyday moments to help them live on for generations. We interviewed her about her favorite tips for a Newborn Photo Session.
When should I schedule my newborn photo session?
Newborn photography photo sessions should ideally be done as soon after birth as possible, preferably in the first few days of life. During this time, babies are more likely to sleep through your photographer placing them in various cute little “poses” and trying out a few different locations inside your home. This is also before babies develop their baby acne, which typically appears around 2-3 weeks after birth. Lastly, this is such a precious and fleeting stage, and it is probably the most difficult to capture on your own...so if you’re going to invest in professional photography just once during your baby’s first year, this is the most important time to do it.
How should I prepare for my newborn photo session?
One of the most important elements in newborn photography is room temperature. No matter what time of year it is, I recommend turning up the heat in your home to the point where you feel like it’s a little too warm. This helps tremendously in keeping your newborn comfortable and sleepy enough for us to move him or her around, take pictures without blankets or clothing, and generally keep him or her from crying.
What typically takes place during a newborn photo session?
Every photographer is different. Personally, I prefer taking regular, every-day moments and capturing them in a beautiful way. My goal is to help you preserve and remember the emotions of this precious time for many years and generations. I’m not as concerned with props and perfect poses as I am with capturing each family’s unique love. Therefore, I don’t bring many props, and I do not have a set of poses I always put babies in. I typically start by talking with you, playing with the baby, and looking around your home for the best natural light. With your help, I then place the baby in a comfortable position in an area with plenty of great light, and take several different types of pictures.
I always try to incorporate the parents (and, of course, siblings!) in some way, to show the joy that your family feels after adding this new little person to your lives. If you don’t feel comfortable being photographed so soon after giving birth, I can incorporate your hands, your shoulders, your lips...anything to help show the relationship. This also helps to show how tiny the baby really is, as that is often difficult to communicate without something in the picture for comparison.
When should I send out announcements, and what should be on them?
This is completely up to you, but your friends and relatives will all be begging for pictures as soon as the baby is born, so the sooner you do it, the fewer “coming soon” emails you will have to send. I typically design custom birth announcements for my clients, and have them printed on beautiful pearl metallic or watercolor textured paper. Between design, changes, printing and shipping, this process typically takes about 2 weeks.
Most people put the baby’s full name, date and time of birth, birth weight and a personal greeting on their announcement. Some also add the parents’ names as well.
One creative alternative to announcements is thank you cards. For one of my clients, I designed a card that had pictures of the newborn and a personalized thank you message for all the gifts they received.
What is the best way to present our newborn photos?
There are so many wonderful ways to present newborn pictures. My personal favorite is a gorgeous, high-quality coffee table book I design for my clients, called a Dream Book. With newborns especially, it is so difficult to decide on just a few photos, so a nice book like this allows you to display all of your favorites. The pages are 2mm thick, UV-coated, acid-free durable and easy to clean. The seamless binding allows the album to lie flat for easy viewing as you share your special memories with friends and family. The cover is made of photographic material, carefully coated so that it lasts a lifetime. You can leave it in the nice white box that comes with it and bring it out to look at occasionally, or you can display the album on an easel, turning the page every week to reveal a new set of photos.
My second favorite way to display newborn photos is in a wall gallery. A wall gallery is a set of photos arranged and grouped together to tell a story. The photos can be framed, mounted on beveled museum board, or printed on giclée canvas and wrapped around a wood frame. I love to design custom layouts that fit my clients’ homes and styles perfectly, as well as take the guess work out of figuring out where and how to display their images.
And last but not least, a great gift idea for grandparents is a small accordion mini book - these little books fit in the palm of your hand and hold about 10 pictures.
Vicky's photographs can also be found on our web site, as she photographed all of my headshots!