Newborn photos should be easy and joyful.
Read below for some of my session prep guide tips to get ready for you in-home newborn session. I realize you are probably sleep deprived and exhausted so let me take the lead. Grab yourself a second cup of coffee and I’ll take care of the rest.
Session start time:
Please plan to have everyone dressed and ready before I arrive so that we can maximize our time together. A newborn session normally lasts up to 75 minutes, and I like to maximize the time I’m there.
“How should I prepare my home?” ……..“But my home isn’t like you see in the magazines or Pinterest”…..
No home is spotless clean or perfectly decorated and you should not feel overwhelmed over not having a spotless home. Please just have two rooms with the best lighting (normally those with the most windows, ex. Baby room, master bedroom, and maybe the living room) where we will be doing the photos be decluttered. I’ll pull back the drapes, open any blinds and make sure to have enough light coming in from the windows. In addition, please have just a light clean, beds made and make sure surfaces are not piled with items. With your permission if I see something that may take away from your session getting in the way of a shot, I’ll move it myself! If you have a spot that you want to use, please tell me. I’ll know instantly if it will not work well. Given the nature of how I shoot, we will move around a lot during the session. I’ll also ask to move anything I think that won’t work. You don’t need a Pinterest worthy home, but I do ask that you move away any major clutter or messes. Time cleaning just takes away from me capturing your family’s images.
Natural light is the most important part of my photography. Because of this, I do depend on the weather (even if we are inside). Should it be dark and overcast or storms, I will ask to reschedule your session. If the weather is good, we will turn all the interior lights off and open up all the blinds/curtains. If you can do this before I arrive, that makes it much easier for me.
I want you to feel beautiful and be comfortable. I know after having my baby, my post-pregnancy body was not the same as before. All my clothes didn’t exactly “fit’“ as they did before. So below are just some suggestions on what to think about when choosing what you’ll wear. I of course also have my style guide page which goes into more details, but this is the cliff notes version of that one. If you have other littles, please keep in mind that with the nature of how I shoot, you will be playing with your older one(s). You’ll probably be standing, sitting, and holding them and quite possibly even dancing. So, please plan accordingly. Wear something that you can move comfortably in and will feel okay sitting on the ground in. If it doesn’t stay put or is too tight or short to get up and down in, please don’t wear it.
As for colors and patterns, I can offer the following suggestions:
- Dress mom first. Put yourself in your favorite thing that makes you feel beautiful and coordinate everyone else around you. I know your post-partum body may have more limited clothing options so please make sure you try things on first. Go barefoot in home if you want it to have a more natural feel.
- Newborns look best in something simple- a white or pastel color onesie that is well-fitting or a cute swaddle blanket generally work best. Although some of the clothes for newborns are cute, many of them can get fussy and bunched which we don’t want.
- COLORS to CHOOSE: Neutral, muted colors are going to be best. Think about a light pink, blue green etc. If you decide to go darker, that’s totally fine too! I’d just shy away from black because although you think it might make you look slimmer, it can look really harsh on skin.
- COLORS to AVOID: Super bright red/pink/orange create a weird reflection on skin so best to avoid those colors in shirts. (for pants, skirts and accessories it is fine). I’d also shy away from black for tops as well.
- Accessories look great in photos
- Don’t do anything too matchy-matchy.
- Make sure everyone’s clothes fit properly and are comfortable. If your child isn’t comfy, they will totally let us know.
- Make sure temporary tattoos, stickers, markers and such have been cleaned from skin. If they are left on, they will be in the final pictures (which is fine by me if you are cool with it). Don’t forget to clean up chipped nail polish too!
- If your daughter is wearing a dress or skirt, please make sure she has on bloomers or shorts underneath! We don’t want to have a diaper or character underwear in your photos.
What will happen at the session?
Try to feed baby just before or as I arrive. This feeding works best in just a diaper and wrapped in a blanket. I believe that the baby leads the session. So, depending on if he/she is awake or asleep we’ll figure out a game plan. I try to get both solo shots of the baby and then all the combinations with parents (and even grandparents too). Mostly it’s a lot of cuddling and snuggling.
Turn on your favorite tunes. This is one of the absolute best ways to lighten the mood at home and I don’t care if it’s country, rock, or pop.
I will have asked in my questionnaire but if there is anything that you want to try to incorporate (handmade items, special gifts, childhood items, etc) please show them to me when I arrive.
If this is your first child, please disregard the next little bit as it mainly pertains to siblings…
Having a new sibling can be hard and overwhelming. Some kids want to “hold” their new baby or cuddle with them. Otherwise want nothing to do with them. I will attempt to do certain things with your children by playing games but ultimately I’m trying to document and capture your relationship. So think about the things that make them happy…. does that mean reading their favorite book? Does that mean snuggling them and baby? Does that mean jumping on the bed? Whatever it means to your family to be a family is the most important thing.
The thing that makes the biggest difference in a session is that YOU have fun. Play music, be silly, and I’ll join in the fun too! Take the pressure off and your kids. Kids will be kids so let’s just have FUN!