Frequently Asked Questions
What is lifestyle newborn photography?
The early days of your baby’s life will be over in an instant. The images I connect with from when my own children were babies are the ones that capture and evoke emotion. Those that instantly take me back to that particular time in my life. With no props, minimal posing, and a relaxed feel, a newborn lifestyle session will allow you to remember your baby’s tiny details, relive those first snuggles, and recall all the emotion and love during this special chapter of your life.
Where will my lifestyle newborn session take place?
The session will take place in the comfort of your home, the place that best reflects you and your growing family. I will take pictures in the rooms that have the most meaning to you and where you spend the most of your time. I want you to look back and remember the rocking chair where you nursed your little one or the couch where daddy would lay with baby on his chest. It’s the best way to document those early days with the newest member(s) of your family.
And instead of creating unnecessary stress for you by having to wake up early to get yourself, your family and your baby dressed and ready, remembering those extra clothes/blankets/mementos, and driving to a studio…all while still managing to arrive flawlessly camera-ready…you’ll get to take your time and relax in your own home. Seriously – no need to put yourself through any extra work with a new baby in tow!
Will you bring props or pose us at our lifestyle newborn session?As a lifestyle photographer, I will not be bringing any studio equipment (no lights, backdrops, props) and instead will focus on how things really are in your world. As far as posing, I will give you some initial guidance on where to sit and how to hold baby, but most of the shots will be candid ones of your family bonding with your bundle of joy.
What should we wear for our lifestyle newborn session?
Keep it simple and comfortable. I encourage neutral colors, steering away from busy patterns, logos, or bright colors (can cause color cast) that will distract from our focus – the baby. Colors like white, cream, taupe, tan, and grey tend to photograph best. A neutral color palette is my personal favorite – it allows the focus to be on you as a family rather than what you’re wearing. Casual clothes and bare feet look most natural in a home setting. Also keep in mind the décor and colors of your home when planning your outfits.
A special note for you moms—comfort is key. You just had a baby after all! So consider a loose shirt or flowy maxi dress. If you want to look natural, you have to feel comfortable!
And for your newborn—skip the cute outfits. They tend to be bulky and awkward, and distract from the actual baby. A swaddle or wrap is usually all that’s needed (and that precious birthday suit of theirs).
What should I do to prepare for our lifestyle newborn session?Step 1. BREATHE.
Step 2. Prep your space. This does not mean you need to clean your house from top to bottom. Your home is supposed to look lived in because…YOU LIVE THERE. Leave the dirty dishes and toys and laundry. Instead, focus on decluttering the 3 main rooms where lifestyle newborn sessions tend to take place: the nursery, the master bedroom, and the living room/family room. Only declutter areas you think might show up in images: clean off the nightstands, make the master bed, and of course tidy up the nursery – this is your chance to show it off! Toss everything else in the closet for now (we call that camouflage cleaning). The rest can wait.
Step 3. Collect any items you might want to use beforehand — special blankets, swaddles, stuffed animals, etc. Also have a pacifier handy (if baby takes one).
Step 4. Crank up your heat to make sure your house is nice and warm for baby (since he/she will be in their birthday suit or diaper/wrap most of the time). It will be hot to you and me, but baby just came from a nice warm womb; our world is chilly to them! Warm babies are sleepy babies and we want to keep him/him as comfy as possible.
Step 5. Try to keep baby awake 1-2 hours before the session, and feed them right before/when I arrive. Most babies go to sleep shortly after eating so we want to let that happen at the session and not before. About 30 minutes before the session, loosen the baby’s diaper and remove any tight clothing. We want to allow time for any diaper and clothing imprint marks to disappear.
Step 5. Don’t forget to pamper yourself! You have my permission to tell Dad to take over baby duties before the session (mainly keeping baby awake) so that you have plenty of “you” time look and feel your best. And don’t forget that you can add on hair and makeup to your session if you feel like taking it up a notch!
What should I expect during our lifestyle newborn session?
Once I arrive, I’ll ask you to go ahead and feed the baby. If you’d like any breastfeeding or bottle feeding photos, I can get those at this time. This is also the perfect time for me to get a few shots of you snuggling and soothing baby to sleep. Just a few beautiful yet “ordinary” things that you will do countless of times but one day miss doing.
After that I typically move on to family shots (especially if there are siblings who are going to be involved). I like to get them involved right away, before they get too bored. If they haven’t warmed up to me yet, they are welcome to come in and out of the session as needed, taking whatever breaks they need. Kids have a hard time hiding when they’re upset or mad, so I want to try to make things as fun as possible for them too! If pets are going to be involved, you may consider putting them in another room until we are ready for them (if they are the nosy kind that like to be in the middle of everything) so that they don’t startle or wake the newborn.
I will make use of your home, furniture, decor, etc. I may need to remove or move some things around but I promise to put everything back! Whatever is needed to get the best shot.
What if baby starts crying during our lifestyle newborn session?It’s okay! This shoot is all about them and to make sure they are as happy and content as possible. If for some reason they just aren’t having it, we will take as many breaks as needed for feedings, changes, etc. They can sense if you are stressed so try not to let it bother you – I promise it won’t bother me and I’m not going to leave because the baby is not wanting to cooperate. Unpredictable babies are the reason newborn sessions take so long; it’s well worth it!
When should I book my lifestyle newborn session?
Ideally, it’s best to book your newborn session with me while you are still pregnant. While we can’t lock in a day and time (unless you have a scheduled c-section or induction), I will go and note your due date and keep a few open dates around that time frame. Newborn sessions are best within the first 10 days of baby’s life. This is when they’re at their squishiest and sleepiest. That’s not to say that I won’t photograph any over 10 days (I’ve had some great sessions with babies 2 months old) but just know ahead of time that baby will be more alert and may not want to sleep or be swaddled much.
When you’re ready to officially book your session, get in touch with me. Once we agree on a tentative date/time, I will send you a link to schedule. Through that link, you will fill out a short questionnaire, review the contract, and pay for the session. Having it all out of the way beforehand is one less thing we have to worry about the day of!
How long does a lifestyle newborn session last?
Your baby is going to run the show (get used to it!) and I’m 100% okay with that. Plan on your session lasting 2-3 hours. This allows time for nursing/feeding, diaper changes, etc.
What should I expect after the session?
I generally delivery galleries within 14 days of the session. You will receive an email with a link to your gallery. This is where you will choose your final images. If we didn’t already talk about print and product add-ons, I’ll send an email with a link to your sample album and other options before your online gallery expires (3 months after you receive your full set of images).