What to expect from your "lifestyle newborn session"

I am so excited to photograph your family during this special time. A lifestyle newborn session is the perfect way to capture those first sweet moments with a new baby. It gives families a way to look back on this precious time with their newborn baby and relive those first snuggles, those itty bitty baby bits, and all the emotion and love of that special time in their lives. During this type of session, I do offer gentle guidance and include some formal poses, however I also let the session unfold naturally. 

These sessions are about the connection and the love of a family. I'll capture special moments of just baby as well as the family all together. If siblings are involved, we usually take care of those photos first so that the pressure is off for them during the rest of the session. I love when family pets can join in too. I take photos of babies swaddled or undressed and they are posed in a way you'd find them naturally.

There are several benefits to a lifestyle newborn session:

1. Comfort of home: You are adjusting to a new life and the baby is adapting to its new home; this can be a challenging transition period and you certainly do not need to add any extra stress. A lifestyle newborn session takes place in your environment, where your family and baby can be comfortable and relaxed. 

2. Real life: My favorite images evoke emotion or bring you back to a special place and time where you felt love, happiness and joy. They remind us of a fleeting time. Capturing real moments makes this session so special and helps us to recall days that past so quickly.

3. Flexible schedule: A newborn session should generally take place within the first 2 weeks after birth, however a lifestyle session is much more flexible. I can document this special time with your baby at 1 week, 3 weeks or even 2 months.

What to expect:

When I first arrive, after saying hello of course, I will scope out your home for areas with the best light and the most picture friendly colors/decor. I primarily shoot lifestyle newborn images in the nursery, master bedroom and living room however it’s more about finding the rooms with the best light and color scheme.

Baby will determine the flow of the session. If he/she is hungry when I arrive, then I will start with some feeding and changing shots. If baby is sleeping soundly in the crib (kudos to you!) then I’ll start with some crib and nursery shots. While I have a shot list I work through, there is no set schedule; as a parent myself, I’ve learned to adapt.

Although this is lifestyle session, I do offer gentle guidance for posing to get the ball rolling and help clients settle in.

I will make use of your home, your décor, your furniture, etc… I may need to move some things around or take a frame off the wall; I promise to move everything back. It’s really about getting THE shot and avoiding distractions in the images.

How to prepare:

    1    Prep your space: Your home does not have to be perfect. I promise! Do not worry about your house being a mess—you just had a baby! You don’t have to hire a professional cleaning company before your session or redecorate the living room; I’m there to focus on your family, the cuddles, and the moments with your new baby. We can easily move items or just toss them aside when I get there! Don't stress!

    2   Window light is key, open the blinds/curtains to let in as much light as possible. No need to clean the windows, just do what you can to bring in the best natural light.

    3   Crank the heat (or turn off the air conditioning). The adults may feel a bit hot and uncomfortable, but the baby will be toasty and happy (and we all know when baby is happy, we are all happy ;) ).

    4   About 30 minutes before the scheduled session or before the baby naps, loosen the baby’s diaper to allow time for the diaper’s imprint marks to disappear in case we take some photos without. Also remove any tight clothing that could leave marks on the skin. You can swaddle baby in a warm blanket until I arrive; they tend to like that and it’s a sweet photo op for me. 

    5   If baby’s skin is a little dry or flaky, try applying a small bit of baby lotion to those spots the day before our session.         6    Collect any items you want used in the session beforehand such as blankets, stuffed animals, headbands, etc.  We’ll go through these together to determine what and how we can use the items in your session.     

    7    I typically shoot a good portion of the session in the nursery so please have the curtains and shades open to let in lots of natural light. I also love to photograph baby with mom and dad in their bed, on the couch, anywhere comfy and snuggly. No need to clean, but you can clear these areas of anything you wouldn't want to see in the photos if you'd like. A bed made with a neutral quilt/comforter on top makes for a great place for cuddly family photos!

    8    Most importantly, this is such a special time in your family’s life. There is so much excitement around the session it can be tough, but try to relax! Remember, if your baby cries, or poops, it’s okay.  I promise!  Just focus on relaxing and cuddling with your sweet new addition and I will create images that you will cherish forever!

What to wear:

 I recommend keeping it simple and comfortable. Neutral, light (creams, whites, grays or pastel tones) work best as they don't take away from the natural beauty of your baby.   You can add pops of color to your outfit, if you wish, by using jewelry or accessories. Solid or floral tops (and textures like big knits and lace) work best.  Stay away from prominent logos or writing on clothing.

For your husband, the same rules apply. 

Casual clothing is perfect and bare feet look most natural in a home setting.  Moms, may consider a light flowy shirt, maxi dress or a pretty cotton gown that will be both comfortable and soft while you are cuddling with your new baby.  

You can see some ideas on my pinterest board.

 

NOTE: The house will be warmer than usual so dress appropriately for the temperature.

 

For baby I recommend naked, in just a diaper or in just a neutral colored onesie. I realize there are tons of really cute baby clothes but it’s rare to find any that fit properly or that won’t be distracting in photos.