The beautiful part about in-home lifestyle sessions is that you can relax and be yourself while also capturing the beauty of this special time in your life in an authentic way. These sessions are laidback and flexible so that we can capture all the beauty that parenthood and family is. I love delivering to my clients a diverse gallery of moments from naturally posed and candid images. The gallery you receive should be a little time capsule into this small window of time that often flies by in a haze.
Preparing the Space
Turn up that heat! I'm talking 28-30 degrees! If your newborn photographer is a little sweaty than it’s probably just right! Baby is soooooo much happier in a warm environment. This allows for baby to be comfortable for any naked/diaper pictures and isn’t so upset to have their clothes changed if the house is extra warm. If you have A/C, make sure it is off in the summer months! It might make you a bit uncomfortable and warm, but to make the session go by easy, please make sure not to skip this step.
We will be embracing your home’s natural light, so before I arrive please open up those window blinds and turn off the overhead lights. I’ll pop you all next to windows as much as possible for those pics — we will take full advantage of the light coming into your house. Even on the cloudiest (and even rainiest too!) days, you’ll be pleasantly surprised with how much the outside light comes in to give you the best possible pictures! Feel free to give me a quick tour when I arrive but we usually settle in the nursery, living room or master bedroom. And if they all have stunning light, then we may capture a few moments in each.
The newborn season is a messy time; a lot of undone dishes and loose burp cloths are thrown about. So I definitely don’t expect a perfectly tidy space!
If you want to tidy up those rooms a little before our session that would be great but again not necessary. I do my best to remove distracting clutter if necessary for the particular moment but oftentimes I will leave it too because it tells the story of your family.
I personally prefer rooms where the bed or seating is facing the window light rather than behind but in most cases, we work with what we have in the space! If you by chance also have simple white bedding sheets or throws, use that instead of darker bedding. The white will help brighten up the space! If you have a special space you really want to be photographed in, take a look throughout the day to see when the light is coming in the best so we can try and schedule your session accordingly.
Try and feed babe shortly before your session time. This ensures baby has a full belly and will hopefully be happy and cooperative for the session! If you would like any feeding/nursing pictures, we absolutely can do this at the beginning of the session… so hold off feeding babe until I get there and we’ll get some feeding/nursing pics done first! Please let me know if you would like to do this. Feeding usually helps lull baby to sleep, and that is super helpful for the session. Of course things don't always go to plan, and if you're baby is wide eyed and bushy tailed we will just go with it! Feel free to feed baby throughout or prepare a bottle to keep on hand to help soothe babe.
I bring a selection of wraps (all fairly neutral) and typically end up wrapping baby for the session. Please have baby in a loose, easy to take off clothing item so I can slip them out of it and into the wrap with ease! If you have any clothing items you prefer we can for sure do that as well!
Preparing Yourself + Your Family
What to wear? My recommendations are to always keep it neutral. Depending on where we end up in the home the decor and light varies, and a neutral wardrobe (white, cream, tan, sage green, sky blue, etc...) helps to compliment any space! I also understand that neutral might not be a part of your closet, so just wear what you feel beautiful and comfortable in! I tell moms to pick their outfit first and build others outfits around that. I do encourage moms to wear something comfortable and flowy so as not constricting on a fresh postpartum body. Having a light sweater or cardigan to go over your outfit works well too for pictures. I do have a client closet, and if you prefer to wear anything out of it that is always an option. Many pieces are maternity/postpartum friendly!
I also recommend having a backup outfit on hand too! Usually a black tank or nursing bra so we can do some more intimate, skin to skin moments if you'd like too! I find that precious skin on skin moments to be some of my absolute favorites but it’s always up to mom and what she is comfortable with.
I do ask that no-one wears anything with graphics or big words on it and that all hats be left in the closet. Hats can help tame a sleepy bedhead but also block a lot of essential light for capturing these important moments.
A few more things...
Try and only invite others over during the session if it would help you to relax. In home newborn sessions are made for just immediate family, so please leave grandma and grandpa at home!
If you are worried about siblings running free or being hard to handle, just know that is a natural part of the session. We can do our best to wrangle them into the photos but I also capture the childlike beauty that is bringing a new baby home and the big siblings being wild. No need for apologies because this season and these photos are for you. So you can bottle up this very precious time with joy and storytelling. Again, feel free to invite someone to help, but only if it will help you relax.
Since this is a lifestyle session, I keep minimal ‘props’ on hand. I typically bring wraps, headbands, and a tiny bed/bucket to put your sweet little one in! You can absolutely round up your own items to incorporate into photos, such as your own swaddles, hats, basket, headbands, etc... Just try not to go overboard, as this is mainly focused on capturing the connections with your family and your newest member! I have also had people suggest props that I deem to be unsafe. Please know that if I am uncomfortable staging a baby in/on something, I will not do it. Even if you might feel that it is safe, but there are some things I feel are out of my expertise level. Lifestyle sessions are by nature very different from studio sessions.
These lifestyle sessions last typically between 60-90 minutes. I know how precious that time is those first few weeks after babe has arrived so I don’t want to overtake that for your family, so I try and be quick and efficient in getting you all of the images!