Ciara Drennan Photography | Parent Preparation Guide-Newborns 2018



Below are guidelines to accomplish a successful newborn portrait session. Please share these with your spouse as well if they will be attending.

NOTE: Outside cameras, including smart phones, tablets or otherwise, as well as any other recording devices are not permitted to be used for recording or photographing at your session. You are more than welcome to take background images that contain me photographing your little one, if you share these images on social media please tag our page.I kindly ask that this policy is also shared with your spouse or partner. Thank you in advance for understanding that this is not a negotiable policy.

Preparing for your session...

• If you are nursing, PLEASE avoid spicy & gassy foods the night before ( coffee, broccoli etc)

• Bath baby and make sure they are nice and clean. Pay special attention to feet as afterbirth tends to hide in their little toes. You’ll also want to moisturise them really well so that their skin isn’t too dry.

• Please Pack an extra babygro & vest (just incase), wipes and a soft blanket (not knitted).

• If weather permits, please plan to dress baby in just a babygro with no vest underneath. This way I can zip down and slip of babygro while baby remains asleep.

• If possible, try and keep baby awake for a little while before leaving for your session. I know this can be difficult if you yourself are trying to get ready or have other children, so just do what you can. Don’t stress about this one if you can’t make it work!




• Sessions can last up to 2hours. Please ensure that you have brought enough food to support baby for at least a 3 hour time period. Due to the warm temperature in the studio, babies always feed far more often than usual during a session and we do not want them to get dehydrated.

• If possible, give baby a full feed prior to arrival at the studio and be prepared to feed in any manner you prefer while at the studio. Most newborns feed at least once every 3 hours, so your newborn will probably need a feed at some point during your session. 





  • To keep baby comfortable, it will be quite warm at the session so please be prepared for the Bahamas. I recommend dressing in layers.

  • To sooth baby, white noise may be used during your session.

  • Don’t forget the soother! I strongly encourage bringing a soother, I use it sparingly if baby already has a full tummy but just needs to suckle. Because they are being moved quite a bit during posing, they tend to want to suckle more. This really helps them drift of to sleep while posed without Mum having to nurse over and over again. In 5 years of photographing newborns, 85% of the time, this is what helps make a session successful.

  • I won’t pressure you as I know lactation consultants advise to avoid them but please know that I have never had anyone give feedback about nipple confusion. These things are GOLD in studio.




  • Images on my site and blog reflect poses that were accomplished with babies typically under 12 days of age. Most babies will attain a range of around 4-6 poses at any given session.

  • Each baby is an individual and though we may have ideas regarding the poses we’d like to try, the baby, first and foremost, will dictate which poses and setups are attempted at the session. If I feel that baby is not comfortable or not sleepy enough to safety obtain a certain pose, than I will move on.

  • Babies have reflexes that when touched can cause them to move suddenly, so as hard as this may be (when they look so cute), please do not stroke or touch your baby (especially their back) while posed or posing at the session unless instructed to do so, this will ensure both successful posing as well as your infant’s safety at the session.




  • Many new Mums and Dad’s are a little sleep deprived and feel less than glamorous after the baby is born, so it’s not surprising that they don’t want to be in the photos. I can certainly understand this, but you will be missing out on some great images if we exclude you. Your new son or daughter will cherish these images in decades to come and hey, if you don’t love the images, then you can simply leave without purchasing them but at least you have the option. I only shoot parent images from the elbow up unless mom is comfortable otherwise.


  • I will of course attempt sibling images, please note they are not always possible with active toddlers and are better suited to babies aged 6 months and up. These are attempted at the beginning of your session for a block of approximately 20-30 minutes.


  • Past that, we loose a lot of baby’s precious sleeping time. I do ask that siblings do NOT stay for the full session as the lengthy time line and heat are often too much for younger children under the age of 5 and in turn this often leads to a stressful situation for everyone, baby included.


  • I do kindly ask that an adult accompany your child who can leave with them ( we have Jumping Jacks within a two minute drive from the studio)


  • To keep the noise chatter down and unless siblings will be attending, it is not necessary nor recommended for more than 2 adults to accompany your newborn to the session.


What to wear...


  •  Neutral Colours: Produces softer coloured images with a lighter, natural background. Please avoid wearing pure white! Choose creams, browns, neutral colours and pastel tones. Either jeans or kaki colour pants both work well with this colour setting.


  •  Black & White: Because of the black background, it is suggested you wear black. This helps baby contrast more against clothing. A strapless bra for mom comes in very handy. Either jeans or dark coloured pants both work well with this colour setting.


  •  I suggest bringing clothing for both colour options above. Please make sure all clothing is free of stains and wear, and is properly ironed or steamed. Avoid logos on clothing or patterns. Mums can choose to bring or wear a dress, a tank, bandeau top or a casual shirt. Dads can choose to go shirtless as well as clothed.


  • It’s important that you make sure your hands are in good shape. Dry skin should be moisturised and nails should be led smooth. Please remove old nail polish as this cannot be photoshopped. I suggest no jewellery except your rings. Watches are especially distracting.




  • I supply all props here needed at the studio... hats, headbands, blankets, baskets, etc..

  • We can usually obtain at least 3-4 sets depending on baby. 


  •  Please know that your newborns safety is of the upmost importance and I am fully educated in posing safety measures as well as newborn reflexes.



  • Within 2 weeks of your session, you will be invited to join me back in the studio for an in-person reveal & ordering session.


Thank you for placing your trust in me to capture a most Precious time in your families life.