YOU'VE BOOKED YOUR IN-HOME SESSION- NOW WHAT?!
Having a baby is a whirlwind of emotions, exhaustion, and celebration. been there, done that, and I totally get it! it's also a magical time that should be documented!
here are a few easy tips to help you prepare for your session at home. I want having these precious and fleeting moments captured to be the easiest thing on your list of things to do postpartum.
I typically have moms book when they are 3-4 months pregnant, just so I can be sure to have room for them on the calendar. We then try to schedule the exact date once baby has arrived, within the first 5-15 days of life. This timeline seems to work best because it gives you time to get home and settled but baby is still mostly sleepy and around-the-clock, snuggly. Don’t worry if we are shooting your session a little later. The great thing about lifestyle sessions is, there are no rules to them! I’m just there to capture all the little things that make up your life right now.
PREPARING THE SPACE
The newborn season is a messy time, a lot of dirty dishes and loose burp cloths are thrown about. So I definitely don’t expect a perfectly tidy space. What I do need are rooms with lots of windows and natural light. 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 of them.
If you do want to tidy up those rooms a bit before our session that's great, but not necessary. I do my best to remove distracting clutter if necessary for the particular moment but oftentimes I leave it, because it tells the story of your family.
I personally prefer furniture to be facing or adjacent to a window, but don't stress about this either! I will work with what we have in the space. Keeping things flexible and improvising is a must when it comes to in-home photography, and this ain't my first rodeo! If you have a special space in your home that you'd like to be photographed in, pay attention to the lighting throughout the day, we'll try to schedule your session accordingly.
GETTING EVERYONE DRESSED AND READY
I get asked all the time, “What should we wear to our newborn session?” Well, honestly the answer looks a little different for every family. I always recommend neutral colors if you can’t think of where to start. These colors are timeless and easily compliment any home decor/ style. I also understand that neutral might not be a part of your vocabulary or your closet... What’s most important to me is that you feel good in what you're wearing and you're comfortable. Plan the rest of the family's wardrobe according to what mom is wearing. This could be a colorful floral dress with easy breastfeeding access or a set of comfy white PJs, you do you, mama!
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 those moments captured. I find that these precious, skin-to-skin moments, are some of my absolute favorite photos, and usually end up being yours too. But, it’s always up to mom and what she is comfortable with. Either way, having a back up of any type of outfit is a good idea, because accidents happen, especially with babies around!
For baby, I like for them to start in a plain solid onesie or just a diaper. Diaper covers are also a favorite if the diaper pattern is not quite your style. Feel free to pull out an outfit or two to change baby into later. We will also use a swaddle or blanket for solo photos of baby, so if you have a favorite, be sure to have that on hand.
For dad or siblings, keep things simple. A good cotton, solid color t-shirt or comfy button-down work great. No need to get fancy but feel free to dress as you feel fits best with your home and especially with what mamma decides to wear.
A good rule of thumb, for any session, is to do you best to avoid clothing with graphics or words on them, as these can be distracting.
Preparing baby for our session
I find feeding baby right before I arrive to be the easiest way to transition baby for the photo session. If possible get him/her and you dressed(or undressed) for the session first and then feed so he/she can hopefully be asleep or at least relaxed when I arrive. Most babies don't love wardrobe changes, so getting the first one out of the way before we start can help. HOWEVER, newborns are unpredictable and this shoot is all about them. Please do not worry about your baby crying or needing to eat during the shoot—newborn sessions are purposely longer to allow for plenty of breaks, feedings, and diaper/outfit changes.
Keeping the home semi-warm also helps baby from getting woken up or startled, especially if they will be in limited clothing. I always suggest keeping the home a little warmer than comfortable. If your photographer is a little sweaty, then it’s just right :)
WHAT WE NEED FOR SOLO BABY MOMENTS
The point of these sessions is to capture baby's natural behavior, so we won't be doing a ton of posing. However, we may use a couple pillows or a boppy to allow us to prop baby up in front of some natural light. My motto is to always “keep it simple.” A comfy blanket and simple swaddle are really all you need to grab timeless moments of your precious newborn and their details.
if you have any favorite gifted or handmade items, let me know so we can find creative ways to include them as well. I always love using the grandma made blankets and grandpa built cribs when possible.
LASTLY, JUST RELAX!
The beautiful part about in-home sessions is that you can truly be yourself while capturing all the magical moments of this season. There are no long hours of delicate posing or blank backdrops that feel sterile. These sessions are laidback, flexible, and authentic. I love delivering a diverse gallery to my clients, filled with natural and memorable moments. The gallery you receive should be a little time capsule that takes you back to a time that flies by much too quickly!
So, use it as an excuse to grab a long shower and maybe even spend a moment to put on some makeup or blow-dry your hair.
Try to only invite others over during the session if it would help you to relax or you really want to include them in the session. I love grabbing images of grandma and grandpa right at the end if they happen to be there.
If you're worried about big siblings running free or being hard to handle, just know I fully embrace that part too! Getting a new sibling is exciting! We will do our best to wrangle them into some posed photos, but I'll also capture the beauty that is bringing home a new baby to their wild older sibling. No need for apologies, because memories and these photos are just as important for you as they are for them!