lauren hillery

Newborn Session Prep Guide

Thank you again for choosing me to document such a special season in your life! As we prepare for your newborn session, please take time to carefully read through this guide. I have included lots of helpful pieces of information to make your session a success. I am honored to be your newborn photographer, and truly look forward to meeting you and your precious baby! 

Once your baby is born, please contact me within 24 hours to let me know that he or she has arrived! You can simply send me a quick email at or text at 614-595-1280. I will reply ASAP with some available dates that I have, and we can schedule your session on the day that works best for you. I always schedule my newborn sessions during the first two weeks after birth, and sessions are held at 10:00 AM (Mon-Fri) in my home studio in Worthington, Ohio.

Studio Address: 1483 Buck Rub Ct, Worthington, Ohio 43085

**Due to the small size of my studio, I ask that siblings only stay for the first 20 minutes to have their photos taken with their new baby brother or sister. Please either arrange for a relative or friend to pick them up, or have one parent leave with them for the remaining session time. Thank you so much for cooperating in order to ensure we maintain a quiet studio setting for your baby’s portraits.**

Before your session:

I encourage families to dress in white or pale neutrals. My props, backdrops, wraps, and newborn clothing are all white. I feel this simple approach truly helps keep the focus on your beautiful baby and family. Sticking with this white theme with your clothing choices will help me to create those gorgeous images you have seen and loved in my portfolio.

**Newborn wraps, props, headbands, hats, and accessories are all provided!**

For mom, I recommend a long white flowy dress, or white flowy top/kimono with light colored pants. 

For Dad, go simple and casual! A fitted pair of khaki pants or shorts with a white well-fitted tee shirt or dress shirt.

For siblings, follow the same wardrobe rules. Keep it simple and true white. I always prefer bare feet in the photos – so don’t worry too much about shoes!


Keep Baby Awake
Try to keep baby awake for at least 1 hour before the session (I know sometimes this can be a huge challenge, but will be worth it). Keeping baby awake leading up to the session will ensure they sleep when I am there so we can get those adorable sleepy images! Giving baby a bath typically helps keep them awake, and having them wear just a diaper afterward can also stimulate them to stay more alert.

Feed Baby Right Before Session
Try your best to feed baby right before you leave for the session (so we can get started right away when you arrive). A full belly = a happy baby! If we need to take a feeding break during the session, no worries at all! Another tip is to give baby some extra feedings during the 12 hours leading up to our session.

Morning of session:

Bring a Pacifier
If your baby uses a pacifier, have it on hand. Even if you don’t plan to use one long term, I often have families buy one for the session just to help keep baby happy in between photos. That decision is completely up to you! Sucking is a soothing mechanism & can really help with settling baby once I have them in place for photos, even if I have to hold the pacifier for a bit to help.

If you are breastfeeding, avoid spicy foods 48 hours before our session. If possible, avoid caffeine 12-24 hours prior to our session.

Please dress your baby in a sleeper that can be easily unzipped or unsnapped. Do not put a onesie on underneath. This will ensure I won’t need to take any garments off over baby’s head.

Bring extra bottles of milk
If you are breastfeeding and can pump a bottle, bring it! If not, no worries. You can absolutely nurse at the studio and there is no rush. A full feeding is the most important thing. A full feeding simply means that baby has eaten until he or she has fallen into a deep sleep.

My newborn sessions last 3 hours. If you have twins, they can last longer.

I keep the studio very warm - dress in layers! If I am sweating then I know baby is cozy and happy! :)

Family & Sibling Photos are first
When you arrive, I ask that one parent brings baby into the studio and leave siblings in the car with the other parent. I will wrap baby and then we can ask the rest of your family to enter and begin family and sibling photos.

I will take photos of the whole family, just siblings, dad & baby, and mom & baby. Often times, I will save the photos of mom & baby for after the rest of the family has left the studio.

Once we are finished with sibling and full family photos, I do ask that you have a relative pick up your older children or plan to have one parent leave and take the kids somewhere until the session is complete.

Newborn Portraits
We will focus the remaining time on photos of just your baby. I utilize a posing table and several white props (i.e. bowl, bucket). Your baby will direct the session, and the variety of poses I achieve will depend on how sleepy and happy they are. We can absolutely take feeding breaks as needed. Your baby’s comfort and happiness are my priority. I will never force a pose and simply approach my sessions as “baby-led”.

The Session: 

After your session, I will get to work on culling your images down to the very best of the best (at least 30 images/session), then editing those images and getting them up into your gallery. Once they're ready, I'll be in touch with the link to your slideshow.

When you're ready to click the slideshow link, I encourage you to make an event of it! Queue it up on your tv or a large computer screen and gather the whole family around (sound up!)... the first time you see your photos is always the best.

Remember, your slideshow is only available for 24 hours or until you purchase your collection - whichever comes first - but once you've selected and paid for your collection, your gallery (and the slideshow!) will be available for 30 days, pre-loaded with your print credit and set for you to download the number of files that corresponds with your collection.

After the session

Once you've decided which images you'd like to use for your download credit (no need to choose if you go with collection C), I'd encourage you to do that immediately. The process is simple: select the images and use the down arrow in the upper right corner of your gallery - click on that and the system will walk you through the download process. The images will download as a zip file, which you can double-click on to expand. I suggest you make a second copy of the expanded files, then save the two copies to two different locations - I generally recommend that one copy be saved to an easily accessible drive (either on your computer or on an external hard drive), and that the other get saved to the cloud (Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.). 

Downloading your files:

While everything that I offer in my store is printed in professional labs and guaranteed to be beautiful, I also recognize that you may want to print your images yourself, and thanks to those digital files, you absolutely can! I recommend Midwest Photo for local printing and for online prints. Be sure to de-select any color correction options, and be sure to upload the original files you downloaded, not copies or screenshots. The files you receive from me should allow you to print up to 20x30" at minimum.

Printing Your Images:

Professional Lab Prints

Your favorite images are professionally printed on archival quality photo paper with a beautiful matte finish. These full bleed prints are available in a variety of sizes, and are perfect for framing and hanging on the wall or giving as a special gift.

4x6 / $30
5x7 / $35
11 x 14 / $40


Here are a few of my favorite products offered in the online store:

Lay Flat Albums

These premium albums are printed on high-end matte photo paper with thick, lay flat pages. Layout and design options are limited only by your imagination, and can be further customized with your choice of linen or leather covers and custom foiled letters.

8x8 / $600
10x10 / $750
12x12 / $900

Matted Framed Prints

These beautiful hardwood frames will protect your prints from damage and help them look their very best in a spot for everyone to enjoy. Frames come in your choice of white, black, dark wood, light wood, or barnwood, and arrive ready to hang with all necessary hardware included.

5x7 / $250
8x10 / $350
10x10 /$450