In home lifestyle newborn photo sessions are a wonderful way to capture the special moments of your new family in a comfortable and meaningful setting. But if you’ve never had family portraits taken at home, you might be unsure what to expect or how to prepare for your in-home newborn photo session. Here are some tips to help ensure a relaxed and successful family newborn photo session at home.
Be sure to communicate with your photographer before your session so you know what to expect from her. Let her know of any specific goals you have for the session and share any concerns or questions. I schedule a pre-session phone consult for all clients that book a session with me. This, along with my portrait questionnaire, gives clients the opportunity to share anything they want me to know and learn exactly what they can expect from working with me.
And, be sure to talk to your family about the session and what they can expect. This will help everyone feel more comfortable and relaxed.
If you have a toddler or older child, tell him that a friend is coming to visit and take pictures of him and the new baby. Reassure him that it’ll be fun. You can show him examples of lifestyle newborn pictures to give him an idea of what to expect.
Also, for younger children, it can be helpful to have a few favorite books on hand or even a favorite small toy. I find that toddlers are more likely to want to participate in the session if they feel at ease and like they’re getting to do something fun.
Consider planning a special activity or treat for after the session to keep your child motivated and cheerful.
Assure your spouse that the session will be easygoing and relaxed. Let him/her know that our goal is to create images that show your family engaged and connected in real moments. Remind your spouse that they don’t need to look at the camera; all I ask is that they focus on loving on and interacting with your family.
For more details about what to expect during a lifestyle newborn session, I recommend reading Three Reasons to Love Lifestyle Newborn Sessions.
Although your home need not be spotless, you’ll want to tidy up the areas that we may photograph in so that you don’t have distracting objects in your photos. As a natural light newborn photographer in Westfield, NJ, I look for rooms with the best natural light and neutral, light-colored walls. This can be a master bedroom, a nursery, guest room or living room. So, focus on clearing clutter from these areas. For example, declutter bedside tables and remove any items that you wouldn’t want in your photos (tissue boxes, electronics, a diaper pail, baby gear etc.). Remember, the focus should be on your baby and family, not a cluttered background.
Since I typically work near or in front of windows, it’s important to keep this area clear and clean. Unless you have sheer curtains, I recommend opening all draped and blinds.
I also recommend that you turn up the heat in your home. Babies love being warm and a this will help keep them comfortable for capturing details shots of your baby in just a onesie or diaper.
Clothing choices can have a big impact on the overall feel of your images. That’s why it’s important to plan ahead. Don’t worry; I’m here to help with all your clothing questions!
After you book your session with me, I’ll send you my Wardrobe Inspiration Guide and we’ll schedule your pre-session consult. During that call, we’ll cover all my tips for choosing the best colors and clothing for your in-home session. Neutral colors like creams, muted tones, and softer hues have a timeless appeal and work well for intimate newborn portraits. Likewise, clothing that is comfortable and casual will give a relaxed and cozy vibe to your images.
For an in-home lifestyle session, less is often more. Keep clothes simple, avoid busy patterns or bold logos that might detract from the focus of the images. Neutral colors are always a great option and will give your images a timeless feel for years to come. Most important, make sure that you can sit and move comfortably in whatever clothing you choose. Avoid short skirts or dresses that will ride up while sitting.
For baby, the most important thing is to keep her warm and dressed in comfortable clothing or wrapped in a baby blanket. For baby only shots, a simple onesie is perfect for allowing us to capture all of your baby’s new and tiny features like toes and fingers and baby rolls that you’ll want to remember.
Keep swaddling blankets and extra onesies on hand for variety. For more tips on what to wear for newborn photos, check out my blog post.
If your baby has a schedule, stick to it as best you can. Don’t try to wake her for the session and let your photographer know if you need to take a feeding break. During my newborn sessions, I always allow time for feeding and changing diapers. Whether you’re breastfeeding or bottle-feeding your baby, these can be some of the most meaningful moments you share with your baby. When clients are comfortable, I love to capture these moments.
Often, pets hold a special place in your family and I’m always happy to include them in some candid photos. Just make sure your that your pet is well-behaved, and if they aren’t comfortable with strangers, it might be best to put him away during your session.
As a professional photographer, I have lots of experience capturing candid moments. All I ask is that you are open and let me guide you and your family into connections that look natural and relaxed. This will allow me to create beautiful, meaningful images that you will treasure forever.
Real life with littles isn’t easy or perfect. And, even the happiest baby and toddler has off days. But, that’s all natural and part of the beautiful story of your family life. When you can let go of the expectation that things will be perfect, you’ll feel and look more at ease. And since babies and children sense stress, if you’re relaxed, they are more likely to be too.
Lastly, the goal of an in-home lifestyle newborn photo session is to capture the special moments of your new family. Remember, it’s okay if your baby is fussy. Simply, take a deep breath, try to relax, snuggle your new baby and enjoy the time together. I will see the moments in the chaos and capture beautiful
If you’re a New Jersey family with a baby on the way, I’d love to photograph your family!
If you liked this post, you might also enjoy: What to Wear for Newborn Photos at Home. To stay in the know and get updates, be sure to sign up for my newsletter. You’ll get my free Wardrobe Inspire Guide for the entire family.
Winner of the Westfield Area Most Loved Family Photographer award by Hulafrog two years in a row, Debbie Camba Photography is a New Jersey Family Photographer based in Scotch Plains. She specializes in capturing candid and meaningful moments that reflect the love and wonder of childhood and family life.
Debbie photographs families outdoors and in homes throughout Scotch Plains, Westfield, Mountainside, Cranford, Summit, Basking Ridge and the surrounding area, including Somerset County, Morris County and Middlesex County. She is available in other locations upon request.
Debbie was awarded Master Photographer Certifications by the National Association of Professional Child Photographers (NAPCP) for demonstrating excellence in the craft of child and family photography.