In-home Newborn Session Prep Notes
Newborn session’s are by far one of the most special sessions because it is the most fleeting stage of your child's life - those first few weeks. Below is information pertaining to your in-home newborn session.
As an in-home, natural newborn photographer, I don't drag a whole “studio” of props with me (if that's your jam, you should check out my SIMPLY NEWBORN studio session). Instead, I strive to capture sweet, real moments focusing on family interaction with the newborn. Your home serves as an intimate, personal setting for your session but the focus is your newborn and your new family.
I will arrive at your house a few minutes prior to our scheduled start time to wander the house and scout out potential shot settings. The session should last about 1.5-2 hours (give or take). I will plan to creatively capture the following:
•family (naturally posed)
•siblings (with baby and individual)
•pets + baby
•in between moments (feedings, snuggles, soothing etc..)
•mom + baby
•dad + baby
•just baby (naturally posed, eyes open + closed)
•details (tiny toes, lips, feet)
•wide shot of surroundings (nursery, family)
About two hours before I get there I will need you to try your very best to keep him/her awake. Play, interact, entertain etc… if all else fails, give baby a bath (or sponge bath). The sleepier baby is, the smoother the session will be.
About 15 minutes prior to my arrival, undress (down to just a diaper) and feed your baby. I realize babies have a mind and schedule of their own so if that doesn’t work out, it is ok. Our 2 hours together will allow for additional feedings as well. The goal is a nice full belly and a sleepy baby when we get started.
Have a pacifier, wipes, burp cloth/towel handy.
For baby, I rarely photograph a baby completely naked (unless it is your preference, of course). For my newborn sessions I recommend leaving baby in just a diaper or a white, well-fitted onesie (if you don't have one, I always have a few with me). I will bring some neutral colored wraps or swaddling blankets - depending on your questionnaire preferences. If clothing is a must or if you have something special to put baby in for their photos, make sure it fits. Snuggly. Loose, baggy clothing bunches up and looks sloppy. I also wrote a blog post about How to Dress Your Baby for Newborn Photos if you need a bit more direction.
For mom, I recommend you wear a black, white or gray camisole or tank so that images are more skin-on-skin. If you are not comfortable with that, then I would suggest a short sleeved shirt. Maxi dresses are usually pretty loose and comfortable as well. Again, think neutral and no busy patterns.
For dad, I suggest a pair of khaki shorts or jeans with a plain/neutral colored t-shirt or button-down shirt with sleeves rolled up and untucked. We want to look nice, but not overly dressed-up.
For siblings, I recommend neutrals as well - perhaps an outfit that does not have characters or bright, bold colors. We want to keep this session as timeless and natural as possible.
Also, because this is an in-home, lifestyle (natural/candid) session, and I will likely be asking you to “snuggle-up” on your bed, couch etc… so barefeet are the norm.
a few optional ideas...
Playing soft music can help bring a peaceful environment; I always bring along my Baby Shusher as it seems to help calm fussy babies. If you or baby has a special CD you want played, by all means, push play.
Only immediate family members should be at the home during your baby’s first photo session. Too many people or too much activity can agitate a newborn and provide a stressful situation for everyone.
Also, please note that other cameras or recording devices are not permitted. You hired me to capture these special moments, just enjoy.
Please de-clutter and tidy up living spaces (mostly just baby’s nursery, the master bedroom and the main living room). But there is no need to for perfection or to stress - your home is merely the setting, NOT the focus (literally, it will be blurred in the background for the most part). We can always move things and tuck items away to get the shot. Also, set out any special or sentimental props you want to use.
I look forward to capturing some very special images for you!