In-home lifestyle newborn sessions might feel overwhelming to you, but there are so many benefits to having family photography done in your home. You don’t have to leave your house. I come to you. You are comfortable at home. There are back-up wardrobe options right there in your closet. Your other children can go take a break in their playroom. All the great things to make a photo session easier and better than you imagined. So with all those reasons as to WHY a newborn session at home is the best, I have my top 10 tips to make sure your session is successful!
1. Book early
There are several reasons why you should reach out to your favorite photographer sooner rather than later to book newborn photos. I typically book out 3 months for newborn sessions. You don’t want to be turned away because your photographer is fully booked. Also, there are so many things that have to be done before your baby gets here – register for baby things, get the nursery ready, do the baby classes at the hospital. Let’s get “schedule newborn session” off your to-do list early!
2. Don’t overthink your outfits
This tends to be the hardest for anyone preparing for a family photo shoot. Luckily, I provide access to an online styling guide for all of my clients to make choosing their clothing for their session easy. I have all my tips included in the prep guide so you know exactly what looks great in photographs. Want my number one tip here? Dress mom first – I will always recommend a flowy midi or maxi dress. You’re postpartum, so let’s keep you as comfy as possible!
3. Neutrals work best for baby
When choosing things for your baby to wear during the session, keep it easy and keep it light and neutral. Whites, ivories, creams – I’m talking outfits, diaper covers, swaddles bows, pacifiers (these by BIBS are my favorite!) I have a whole blog post dedicated to what your newborn should wear for their session here. Take a read!
4. Outsource all the things
If there is one thing I’ve learned as a mom of two is that outsourcing is your friend. I cannot do it all. I definitely couldn’t do it all when I had a newborn at home. So, if the thought of cleaning up your home before your session is stressing you out, hire someone to clean it for you. Nervous about how your makeup will look in photos? Treat yourself to a makeup artist that will come to your home. Don’t have time to put all that laundry up? Hire the high schooler down the street to do it for you. I promise, if there is something you don’t want to do (or don’t have time for), there is someone else willing to do it for you!
5. Set out all your clothes and accessories the night before
This is one of those little skills you learned growing up – set your clothes out the night before school so you aren’t rushing around in the morning. It is a good idea to do it the night before your photo session too. Having everything laid out (including accessories! No need for shoes!) will eliminate any stress you might have from trying to find those favorite earrings right before I arrive.
6. Wake up early
I know you’re saying, Nikki, I have a newborn, I’m getting no sleep. But hear me out on this one! Go to bed early the night before to sneak in some extra Zzzzs. Then, wake up before your husband, the kids, the baby to give yourself some quiet time with an extra cup of coffee. Start getting yourself ready so when its time for everyone else to get ready, you’re already ready to go!
7. Feed the baby right before your session
Feeding your baby right before the session ensures that have a full belly and will be less fussy. They might be sleepy afterwards, but if not, that’s totally okay too! I suggest feeding and then waiting to get the baby dressed until I arrive. That way there are no spit-up or diaper accidents on their clothing!
8. Turn on some tunes
Music sets the tone for your session. Whatever you want to listen to works for me! If you have small kids, I know all the words to all of the Encanto songs. If you want to feel relaxed, put on a classical station. Its amazing what music can do to how we feel and for setting the stage for your session.
9. If there are siblings, let me handle them
I’m a mom of two so I TOTALLY get it. You want your little ones to listen, to sit still, to be perfect. But guess what – you get to take a break, parents. Let me handle them. I will feel them out first – are they outgoing? Are they shy? I’ve found that adapting to their little personalities and befriending them goes a long way when they’re dealing with a stranger in their face with a camera. If I’m taking a shot and the toddler walks into it, let them! I’ll move them if I don’t want them there!
10. Relax and have fun!
My newborn sessions are super laid back. I promise! If baby needs a break, we can take one. If you need to close your eyes for a second while I’m working with the baby, do it! If you want to have a mimosa before your session to loosen up a bit, I’m totally not going to judge you! Enjoy this moment – you’ve taken a shower (first time since when?) and you’ve got makeup on so you’re looking gorgeous. You’re spending time as a family which nowadays can be hard. And we’re creating priceless heirlooms that you’ll have for a lifetime. Relax and breathe it all in!
If you’re expecting a newborn and are longing to have those moments captured in an authentic, approachable, and modern way, reach out. I’d love to tell you more about how we can make that happen for you!