What to do when your baby cries during your session

This is a fear of most new mothers when they schedule their newborn photo sessions: what happens if your baby cries? The last several newborn sessions haven’t been “easy” ones, meaning the baby didn’t sleep during the session and we took 6 or so feeding breaks. But this doesn’t mean you don’t have options and can’t get beautiful images. Here are a few things that will help your session go smoothly when working with an unsettled newborn.

  1. Be confident. You are a professional and that is why they hired you. Have a list of go-to poses and confidently work them into your session. Everything goes better if you have a plan.
  2. Be flexible. Newborns are unpredictable and this is what makes their sessions so beautiful. You can’t ever repeat the exact same thing again. Don’t become flustered if older siblings are wanting to touch your equipment or want to help. My camera lens has been licked before. Little children are curious so give them “important” jobs to do and this will keep them out of your frame without telling them they are doing something wrong. Your mother will be very grateful for respecting her child, no matter how small.
  3. Communicate. Keep telling your client when they are doing great, looking great, and you are capturing great images. This gives them confidence and everyone starts having a good time. I always let them know when “I’ve got the shot!” Also just telling your client ahead of time what to expect is a huge help on the actual day.
  4. Smile. There have been times I have felt out of control and toddlers are having meltdowns, but I keep smiling. It tells your brain you are ok, and also shows your clients they will be ok too.
  5. If for some reason a newborn will not stop crying, place them in Mom or Dad’s arms. You can get beautiful portraits, details, and moments when a baby is cradled by a parent. Then add in the other parent for a few shots. Ask the family to gather around and get a full shot, get close for a detailed image and then ask the family to hug or kiss the baby. Boom! 5-10 different images in a matter of 5 minutes.

I hope some of these suggestions help and you can implement then into your sessions in the future.

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