Here’s my handy guide on what to expect at your newborn session

If you are currently on the hunt for newborn photos in or around Aberdeen, hopefully, I can help! A question I am often asked is; “what happens during a newborn photoshoot”? So I thought, I would put together a handy rundown of what to expect during a session with me. No two newborn photo shoots are ever the same, but I do have a specific workflow I try to follow.

I have spent years training with many leading peers in the newborn photography industry and even more so, photographing babies! As a result, I have a sussed out a pretty good flow to my sessions in order to get the best results possible for my families. It is essential you book an experienced and trained newborn photographer. This post will focus on what happens during a studio session, my most popular choice for newborn photos for Aberdeen families.

newborn baby on mini bed

Do I need to bring anything?

All I ask is you bring anything you wouldn’t normally leave the house with. So bring your baby bag, yourselves and your baby, and you’re pretty much good to go! You can also bring your dog if we have discussed this beforehand, oh and of course any other children you have! 🙂

My studio, based just outside of Aberdeen, in Ellon, has everything we will need for your newborn photos. Including, props, backdrops, clothing (for Mums and babies!), baby changing facilities, and even one of those fancy coffee machines! Mostly everything you see in my photographs, I will have available for you.

A couple of little extras I would recommend to bring

  • Snacks (your session can last anywhere between 2-3 hours)
  • Change of clothes for yourself (just in case baby decides to have a wee on you during your pics!)
  • Anything sentimental you might want to include (a knitted blanket from Grandma?)
  • If bottle-feeding, bring plenty as you may feed more during the session to keep your baby sleepy for me!
  • Something to entertain any other siblings!

What will you photograph?

Most importantly, your newborn baby, obviously! But I also like to cover photos with parents and siblings, if you have any other children. You are also welcome to bring along your pet, as mentioned above. All I ask is that I know who is coming to the session beforehand so that I can plan accordingly! Also, it is important I can focus 100% on your baby, so your other children and pets must be kept happy and entertained by yourself, for safety reasons, above all. Sometimes parents will have other children or pets collected once we have photographed them. This also means you can put your feet up and relax for the rest of the session, woohoo!

When you arrive at your session

Typically, I start my newborn sessions around 10 or 11 am in the mornings. Over the years I have found babies to be much more relaxed at this hour. There’s likely some science in this but I feel like I have more brain power mid-morning. Therefore, I am generally raring to go at this time. I work with a mixture of natural and studio lighting, and as such, it’s a good time for ensuring some good natural light too!

I ask at EVERY session, that you try to time your babies feed for when you arrive at the studio. This is probably the most important part of my workflow. Those sleepy moments right after a feed, are seriously precious to me as a newborn photographer. As such, those who follow this advice will notice a big difference in their session. I usually wait a good 15 minutes after this feed before starting the session. Trust me, it sets us up for a nice relaxing session. Your baby will be happy with a full tummy and you should be able to relax whilst you watch me work away.

newborn baby aberdeen photographer

Baby posing and props

I usually begin your newborn photos on my special baby posing bean bag. Whilst your baby is sleepy I try maximizing the poses I can. You can see some examples of the beanbag shots below. I have been trained to handle your baby in the safest possible way. The poses I attempt should only be attempted by a professional. Therefore it is essential you book an experienced newborn photographer.

Once I am confident I have captured what I need from the beanbag, I move onto prop shots. Many parents book me because of the unique props I have at the studio. I’m a bit of a prop hoarder and pride myself on having only the best! You can choose from a huge selection for your session!

Parents, siblings and pets

Although every session is different, after bean bag poses, is when I would usually get everyone else involved. These shots are usually unposed, nice, and relaxed so everyone can be involved (yes even those stubborn children and reluctant partners!). I encourage all parents to have pictures taken, even if they don’t feel like it. You will never regret having those pictures taken, even if they are only for you and your little ones. I promise, it’s not awkward and after watching how relaxing your baby’s pics were, you’ll probably be excited to have these taken!

If you are living nearby in Aberdeen or surrounding areas and coming to my studio for your newborn photos, I sometimes suggest having someone on hand to pick up pets or siblings when their section is finished. It isn’t always necessary, but can certainly help give the session a bit more flexibility.

When should we book our newborn photos?

Taking bookings from as early as your 12-week scan can see me booked up months in advance. So, I urge you to book early if you haven’t already done so. To secure your space, all that is required is your due date and a booking fee. Once your baby arrives, this is when we will set you the exact session date. I tend not to photograph babies under 5 days old and I am often asked if there is a “best” time to have them photographed. In the past, I have been used to working with babies as little as 7-14 days. However, with covid restrictions, I have photographed many babies up to 12 weeks or more in some cases! If you were to be faced with a similar scenario, trust me – you will never regret having these pictures at any age!

You can check out my newborn info page for prices by clicking here

If you’d like to book, simply fill out my contact form by clicking here

Above is a few shots from baby Leo’s session at 11 weeks new 🙂

Thanks for reading and much love!

Danielle x


February 24, 2021

newborn baby being held in arms of tattooed father

What happens at a newborn photoshoot?

Danielle Leslie


  1. Carol V Leslie says:

    Some of these pictures are simply awesome……Leo for example….wow!! (smiles) Anyway….just wish that we had known a photographer like you when you were newborn Danielle…..nowadays the young mums out there (from near and far) are so lucky to have you and your photography skills…..and your obvious ‘baby whispering’ talents at their disposal. You are just the best there is……just saying!!