As a new parent, you’re likely excited to capture every moment with your newborn, including their first few weeks of life… that said, these early days fly by FAST and come with lots of changes, emotions, laundry, and snuggles. That’s where I come in! One of the best ways to remember this season is through an in-home newborn photo session. Lifestyle newborn sessions are a great way to document your baby’s early days in the comfort of your own home. The pressure is off, and you can simply enjoy documenting such a special season in a space that you love so dearly!
That said… what is lifestyle newborn photography? How can you make this happen for your family?!
We’re going through all that and a little more in today’s blog post!
Recently, I was lucky enough to meet up with one of my very first DMV couples, Liz and Luis, just after they welcomed their sweet son to their family! As we dive into what lifestyle newborn sessions are… and how to prep… we’ll also be recapping their sweet in-home session from a few weeks back! They prepped perfectly for their session, and their sweet family was a dream to have in front of my camera. So… as I walk you through everything you need to know to prepare for your in-home newborn photo shoot, from what these sessions are to prepping your home, deciding on outfits for the session, and everything in between, you also get to enjoy a sneak peek into my morning with the F. fam!
Let’s do this!
What are In-Home Newborn Photos?
In-home, lifestyle newborn photos are exactly what they sound like: a photo session with your newborn in your home. Rather than going to a studio, I come to you. This allows for a more relaxed and comfortable atmosphere for you as parents and your baby… plus, you get to document the space that you spend so much time in. Lifestyle sessions have a casual approach and are strategically photographed to tell the story of your day-to-day life… just with a little more polish! While we may get a few sweet, snuggly posed photos of baby, these photos are taken in a way that will allow you to remember your baby as they looked in your arms in the first days of their life. Rather than including crazy props or airbrush editing, you can expect to see cozy swaddles, fuzzy newborn heads, and curly fingers and toes.
In-home sessions typically take place within the first two weeks of the baby’s life, when they are still sleepy and love to curl up, making for some super sweet photo opportunities.
Benefits of In-Home Newborn Photo Sessions
First and foremost, in-home newborn sessions allows you to capture your baby’s first days in the comfort of your own home. I know leaving the house should basically be considered an Olympic sport with kids, and with newborns, it can be a totally new experience! I love offering in-home sessions for all parents, but especially for new parents who may not feel comfortable venturing out with their newborn just yet. Additionally, in-home sessions allow for a more personalized experience. Your home decor, nursery, and favorite rooms will be incorporated into your gallery, making your images truly unique to your family.
In-home sessions are often more relaxed and flexible than studio sessions too. If your baby needs to be fed or changed during the session, you can take a break and resume when they’re ready without having to worry about a studio rental time cap. This can help to keep everyone calm and happy, resulting in better photos… plus, you won’t have to worry about packing a bag with diapers, burp cloths, and anything else you or baby may need.
Finding the Right Photographer for Your In-Home Newborn Photo Shoot
Finding the right photographer for your in-home newborn photo shoot is crucial to ensuring that you get the photos you want. There are SO many different styles of newborn photographers— some offer more of a lifestyle approach (Hi, that’s me!) while others offer sessions that are more posed. Some offer sessions that feature just baby and some feature your entire family. One option is not better than the other— it’s most important that you decide what is best for you! After all, these photos will be hanging on your walls for years and years to come.
Outside of that, consider the overall experience that you are looking for. Do you want your images printed in an album and framed to hang on your walls? It’s best to hire a photographer that offers this! Are you hoping for help with styling or want a photographer to provide or suggest attire for you and/or your family to wear? (Yes, this is a thing!) Hire someone who incorporates this in their package!
Finally, while the sweet, posed photos of your newborn are oh-so-sweet, they also come with their own posing and safety considerations. It’s best to work with a photographer who has experience and training with handling newborns as well as posing safety training to ensure your precious bundle’s safety throughout your session.
When to Take Newborn Photos
In-home newborn photo sessions typically take place within the first two weeks of the baby’s life. I often recommend scheduling them between 7 and 10 days of their birth to give a little wiggle room, just in case we need to move scheduling around due to rain or other factors! This is when your newborn is still sleepy, they tend to curl up, and often love being swaddled… plus, you can’t beat the sweet newborn peach fuzz!
I book based on clients due dates and take on a limited number of newborn clients each month to ensure I’m best able to serve everyone on my calendar. We’ll set a tentative session date which will be confirmed (or updated!) based on the date of your baby’s arrival.
Preparing Your Home for the Photo Session
Preparing your home for the photo session is an important part of ensuring that the photos turn out well, but it doesn’t have to be stressful. If you are thinking about cleaning your entire house, stop and take a breath. This is totally unnecessary and will take so much time! Start by decluttering and tidying up the areas where we’ll be taking photos. Chances are good, this will be your owner’s suite, the nursery, and anywhere there may be beautiful light in your home. A simple tidy will do— I promise that I won’t be photographing your baseboards, so a deep clean is so not necessary! A quick tidy will help to eliminate distractions and ensure that the focus is on your newborn.
Additionally, consider the lighting in your home. Natural light is ideal for photos, and more often than not, mornings are best for newborn sessions when it comes to their feeding and sleep schedule. Before baby’s arrival, take a peek around your house and see which rooms get the most light. It may sound super weird, but bring your favorite paperback book or magazine with you. If you are easily able to read the book in the room without overhead lights or lamps on, the room will most likely get enough light for photos! I mention this because you may also want to tidy these spaces too.
Preparing Your Newborn for your Photo Session
Preparing your newborn for the photo session is just as important… if not more important… than prepping your home. Start by scheduling the session for a time when your baby is typically sleepy— I find this is often in the mid-morning hours after feedings, but every baby is different. (If this is different for your baby, please let me know when we finalize your session date!) This will make it easier to soothe and pose them.
Additionally, make sure your baby is well-fed and has a clean diaper before the session. I recommend feeding and burping baby prior to my arrival. This will help to keep them calm and happy during the shoot. If your baby uses a pacifier, make sure to have one on hand as I’ll most likely pop one into their mouth as they’re swaddled and falling asleep.
Know it is very normal for babies to be fussy and to take some time to settle. Your baby may have some particular or big feelings throughout your session, and that is more than normal! Patience goes a long way for ensuring everyone is happy throughout your session.
Preparing Your Toddler for your Photo Session
Siblings are more than welcome… in fact, they are encouraged to be part of your newborn photos! When it comes to toddlers, the number one thing that I can recommend is to avoid screen time the morning of your session and during your session! I know it can be tough, but it REALLY helps to keep them engaged and happy throughout the session. I recommend feeding them ahead of the session as well. Additionally, it also helps to keep some clean snacks (like Goldfish, cereal, small crackers, or other similar things) on hand to utilize throughout the session. This helps keep toddlers engaged while avoiding sticky fingers and drips on clothing that may come with some snacks.
Keep in mind, toddlers have just had their world rocked and attention spans are short. It’s normal for them to just be involved for a little bit of time, and meltdowns may happen. It’s nothing I have not seen before! We typically begin sessions with toddlers so they can relax and engage as they would like for the latter half of the session.
Deciding on Outfits for your Lifestyle Newborn Photo Session
Deciding on outfits for your photo session can feel like a daunting task! That’s why I have decided to incorporate a client closet for the mothers that I photograph (With plans on expanding this in coming years!). The client closet is an option that is available for all of my maternity, newborn, and family sessions and includes a variety of dresses that are perfect for photos in a range of sizes and colors. Once you book, browse my catalog, select your favorites, and I’ll bring them along to your session! From there, select simple outfits for your partner and kiddos that complement the color palette of the dress(es) that you have selected. I recommend avoiding tiny, repeating patterns and anything with logos or words printed on the fabric (like graphic t’s). Know there is no pressure to utilize the client closet! If you would like to shop on your own, you are more than welcome to!
For newborns, simple is best. I have a variety of light/neutral swaddles and knotted gowns that I bring along to each session plus a few skull caps and bows if you would like to incorporate any accessories. If you have anything else that you would like to incorporate, please have those set off to the side. (Think family heirlooms, bows, or special swaddles!)
In-home newborn photo sessions are such a sweet way to capture your baby’s first days in the comfort of your own home. I so hope this post helped you to feel prepped, excited, and ready for your session!
PS If you would like to learn more about my in-home newborn sessions, click here!
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