Photographing newborn babies can be one of the most challenging types of photography...it's not for the impatient that's for sure! ;) But the key is not to get caught up in all of your best laid plans...you should have a plan, but BE FLEXIBLE! If you planned on starting with that amazing set up in a basket with flowers all around just like the Pinterest board you and/or your client picked out...great, but maybe the baby is being fussy upon arrival for it's newborn photo session.
Why not start with photos of the parents holding the baby...most likely they have the calming affect while they have the baby in their arms. Then, once the baby is calm, move on to that super creative money shot you want to deliver for your client...and your next social media post! ;)
If you have a bunch of props, blankets, hats, etc. great, but I always tell clients that if they have family heirlooms like a quilt grandma knitted that they want in the photo, great! It will be awesome to honor family in that way. Same with sports teams jerseys, terrible towels (Steelers fans I had one time) or whatever. You can never go wrong when a client has props because it's their choice, do your best to let that set up shine...then move on to the other creative set ups you agreed to via Pinterest inspiration board or on the spot with suggestions.
I also like to let clients pick "this blanket or that one", this color hat or the other...up to them or if they lean on your creative eye, of course, go with what you know works best.
So in conclusion, have a plan but be flexible because I guarantee you will have curveballs thrown your way and just when you think you have it all going well, the baby will pee on the blanket, throw up on your leg, cry, need to feed, diaper change....what else?! ;)
The results can be stunningly beautiful and cute photos for your clients to treasure...and...great for your portfolio! ;)