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Harrisburg Newborn Session: 5 Tips for Making Your Session Amazing

Your Harrisburg, PA newborn session can seem daunting and stressful, but it doesn’t have to be! Follow these 5 tips to help things go smoothly.


This sweet baby boy was wide awake, but totally content during his studio newborn session in my Mechanicsburg, PA newborn studio
This sweet baby boy was wide awake, but totally content during his studio newborn session in my Mechanicsburg, PA newborn studio

Welcoming a newborn into the world is an exciting time for new parents, and capturing those precious early moments is a top priority for many. That’s why a newborn photo session is a popular choice for many families. However, as any new parent knows, babies can be unpredictable, and a successful photo session requires careful planning and preparation. Here are five ways to make sure your Harrisburg, PA newborn photo session goes smoothly:

This mama of three nursed sweet Percy during her session.
This mama of three nursed sweet Percy during her session.

Newborn Session Tip 1: Feed Baby 20-30 Minutes Before Your Session

A fed baby is a happy baby, and a happy baby is more likely to cooperate during the photo session. Plan to feed your baby 20-30 minutes before your session, to ensure they are well-fed and content during the shoot. A full belly will also help your baby sleep, which is ideal for those adorable newborn poses. We will also stop anytime during your session if baby seems hungry. Never feel uncomfortable if you need to feed your baby. Breast or bottle, there is comfortable space in my newborn studio for you to feed your baby. And if you’d like me to capture some nursing/feeding photos for you, I’d love to oblige!

Session Tip 2: Keep Your House Warm

Newborns are used to being warm and cozy in the womb, so a cold and drafty home can make them uncomfortable and fussy. Keep your house warm and comfortable during the session, so your baby can relax and be at ease. A temperature of around 75 degrees is ideal for a newborn photo shoot. I know we may feel a little warm, but of course our priority during your Harrisburg, PA newborn session is to keep your new baby as comfortable and relaxed as possible!

Newborn Session Tip 3: Schedule Your Session When Baby Is 5-12 Days Old

The first few days after birth are an ideal time for a newborn photo session. During this time, your baby is still sleepy and more likely to curl up into those cute poses. After two weeks, babies tend to become more alert and active, making it harder (but not impossible) to capture those peaceful, sleepy moments. Plan to schedule your session when your baby is between 5-12 days old.

Baby Norah just a few days old during her in home newborn session.
Sweet baby girl in a custom name swaddle from Caden Lane

My best advice is to reach out to me within your second trimester to schedule your newborn session. This serves two purposes. 1- To be sure I have space in my schedule! My Central PA newborn photography sessions tend to book up quickly. 2- To check one more thing off of your list before baby arrives! Those last few weeks before birth (and then after) can be a total whirlwind. Save yourself the stress by knowing you’ve got photos lined up!

Session Tip 4: Let Me Handle Styling

As a professional photographer, I know what works best when it comes to newborn photography. I am a pro at coordinating the perfect outfits to highlight your family for your session. If you let me, I’ll handle the styling for you, so you don’t have to worry about a thing. I have a range of dresses, outfits, swaddles, and bows that can be used to create beautiful, timeless photos that you’ll treasure for a lifetime. Just relax and enjoy being with your baby during your session.

If you don’t want to borrow my awesome clothes, I can also help you choose the best outfits as well. I love helping my clients put together timeless, coordinated outfits for sessions. Some of my favorite places to look for clothes are: Baltic Born (for mama dresses), Caden Lane (for baby gowns & swaddles), Rylee & Cru (for siblings), and J. Crew (for dad).

Big brother, baby, and big sister all full styled by Kate McCord Photography.
Big brother, baby, and big sister all full styled by Kate McCord Photography.

Newborn Session Tip 5: Schedule During a Time of Day Baby Tends to be Least Fussy

Babies have their own schedule, and it’s important to work around their needs when scheduling a photo session. Pay attention to when your baby tends to be least fussy and schedule the session during that time. For some babies, this may be in the morning, while for others, it may be in the afternoon. A happy, content baby is more likely to cooperate and be photogenic.

Sometimes I like to encourage my clients to make a day of it if they’re traveling to my Mechanicsburg studio for their newborn session. I recommend they have their session and then grab lunch at one of the fantastic restaurants located in the area. I’m located not far from the Carlisle Pike, so you can pop into Duke’s after your session and fill up on a crab pretzel and then run to Target to get some last minute newborn supplies and late night snacks!

In conclusion, a successful newborn photo session requires planning and preparation, but with a few simple steps, you can ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience for both you and your baby. Whether I am coming to your Central PA home for your lifestyle newborn session or you are coming to my Mechanicsburg, PA studio; by following these five tips, you’ll be well on your way to capturing beautiful, timeless photos that you’ll treasure for a lifetime. Remember to relax and enjoy the experience, and leave the rest to me!

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