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What to do when your newborn just won't settle in your newborn photoshoot

Updated: Dec 30, 2023

I think one of the most common worries new parents have when I come over for their Ararat in-home newborn photography session, is whether their baby will even settle.

It is definitely a difficult feeling when you see all the newborn photos on Instagram and Pinterest looking serene and sleepy - and your little bubba just wont stop crying or wanting to feed.

Considering you have been a parent for all of maybe 11-14 days, you are definitely in amongst the hardest time. You are all tired, overwhelmed and full of a love you never knew could exist! But also, you might have a bit of a worry that you might not get the photos you love..

Babies are pretty unpredictable little things. Sometimes they just want to sleep, sometimes they are super active and kicking their legs out at only 6 days old. Some, want to cluster feed all day long whilst some might not want to be put down.

Let me assure you, dear first time parent. This, is, completely, normal.

So, what should you do if your newborn photography session is starting to look like a scene from last night at 3am?

  1. Trust your Photographer.

In my 11 years of my newborn photography in Gold Coast I can tell I have yet to have a baby that I haven't been able to get beautiful photos of. Sometimes, it has taken me 2 hours of the 3 hour session just to get a baby to settle and take even one photograph. It takes skill, expertise and a lot of patience. Just know that when you are with an experienced newborn photographer, we have seen it all and know what to do.

2. Be Prepared

If you have a dummy for your baby, bring it along. If you have special music you play while they sleep, bring that along too. But mostly prepare yourself to breastfeed, cuddle and soothe your baby throughout the whole session. Generally I will take your newborn baby photos in between feeds and settling. An experienced newborn photographer will be able to capture the images they need fast.

3. Relax Mama

Babies are really good at picking up on their parents emotions. If you are able to be calm then they will sense that. Often I will soothe the baby with you right there beside me. I think if you know that your baby is safe and in good hands with an experienced mum and photographer you will feel at ease and eventually so will baby.

4. Trust in Photoshop

Being a newborn photographer, I understand that some days some infants don't like to be moved around. So it's my job to get creative so that I can deliver you a variety of images you will love. Being proficient at Photoshop is really important in this industry, and has led me to be able to design beautiful newborn photography - regardless of how unsettled baby is.

Here are two examples from a newborn session with a wee baby who was very unsettled for the duration:

Looking at these you would never think that this little bubba wasn't settled in their session right? She looks happy, settled and the photos are absolutely stunning. In all of my Ararat Newborn Photography sessions, this Photoshop speciality is just part of the service you will receive in your newborn photography shoot.

But as I said before - 80% of babies that come to my home studio are usually pretty unsettled. It's completely normal, and I want you to know that it is absolutely fine.

So in summary, just know that booking an experienced newborn photographer is really important. Someone who knows how to handle these often stressful situations and has a plan in case baby simply doesn't want to be posed in different props. You might pay more for the experience of your Ararat Newborn Photographer, but you can be better sure that you will get the images you will love and treasure forever.

Love Always!

Sera xo


Sera Williamson is a Gold Coast based family photographer that specialises in maternity and newborn photography for first time parents.

She has been working as a professional newborn and baby photographer for 9 years, in various studios and within her own business as an in-home baby photographer.

Recently, Soul Mama Photography has relocated taking the popular in-home newborn photography to the Gold Coast Region - settling in the beautiful area of Paradise Point!

Sera travels for mobile Newborn Photography and Outdoor Maternity Photography and & is serving the entire Gold Coast area and has been called the best Newborn Photographer in Australia!

To book or enquire about a Gold Coast maternity photoshoot or In-home newborn photoshoot enquire here!

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