it's an exciting time! you're anxiously awaiting the arrival of your new family member, and you've decided you'd like some in-home photos of them once they arrive. your photographer (hopefully me) offers lifestyle-type newborn sessions, but what the heck does that mean? and what should you know prior to that day?
First of all, congratulations! If you're my client (or you're just here for some information), I'm super excited for you and even MORE excited if I'm going to be able to come and meet your baby! When I'm working in the OB department at work and giving anesthesia, I'm well aware of the privilege that comes with being able to be a part of such a special time; this is no different!
If you're on the fence between a lifestyle session and a more formal studio session, here are the details.
what a lifestyle session IS:
- A photoshoot in your element - The comfort of your own home. your personal touches, the nursery details you've obsessed over, your pets, your space.
- Relaxed - I use a combination of poses and prompts to bring out natural interaction with you and your family.
- Unhurried - Babies get hungry. And cry. And poop. And sometimes all the above. I build in extra time for these sessions for exactly that reason: we take the whole session at the baby's pace. We WILL start and stop frequently to make sure your little one is happy; interruptions are part of the game!
what it is NOT:
- Full of props - Someone once told me they weren't interested in their baby being "folded up into a bucket" and it's my favorite way to describe what I DON'T do. Many photographers do this beautifully and are masters at their craft, but I am not one of them. If you're searching for this, make sure you find someone who has education in safety - incorrectly forcing a newborn into a pose can have disastrous consequences.
- A studio session - Formal studio photos and lifestyle photography are different styles. Look at examples of both online and think about which one truly suits you!
You've decided on a lifestyle session. (Yay!) So, what should you wear?
the first rule of photos is to be comfortable! wear something that makes you feel confident and beautiful. avoid something that requires constant adjustments or an article of clothing that draws attention to areas of your body you'd prefer not to highlight.
Do you notice a consistent theme in these photos? They're all wearing neutrals!
In addition to the fact that neutrals work well with my shooting and editing style, neutral clothes are especially important in an in-home session for one main reason. Indoor light is different than outdoor light, and you will reflect whatever you are wearing. What this means is that your baby will be snuggled on you for the majority of the session. If you are wearing neon orange, your baby's (and likely your own) skin will get neon orange reflected back onto it. Difficult to edit, unnatural looking, all-around tough. It's the same reason that I don't wear anything but neutrals to shoot - I stand preeeeety close to you at times, and if I'm wearing something extremely bright and harsh, I'm going to bounce that color onto you.
When you book a session we will talk outfits and you will receive a style guide that discusses how to mix and match colors with other family members, so don't fret! It's just a jumping off point. Here are some other tips on that matter:
- Jewel tones > bright/neon colors
- Off-white/ivory/cream > stark white
- Avoid really fine patterns (extremely narrow stripes or very narrow gingham - patterns show up weird in camera and sometimes look like swirls!)
How should I prepare my home?
A stranger is coming to my home to take photos. Do I have to power clean from top to bottom?
Please do not stress about your home. You have a newborn and all of our houses are always perpetually trashed at one point or another - it's normal. You know what else is normal? Throwing everything into drawers and closets and shutting the doors. It's what I did the last time I had someone over, and I stand by that process 100%.
So, what can you do to prepare?
A little checklist:
- Pay attention to the sunlight in your house in the weeks prior to your session. Stroll through from 10am-2pm and see which rooms are brightest.
- The master bedroom (big bed for the whole family), the nursery, and possibly the living room are usually spots I would recommend you clear.
- You don't have to scrub the floors, just hide unwanted objects (air purifiers, clothes, toys, etc). Like I said before, I will move things as I need to while we're shooting, but a general decluttering saves me time!
- I guarantee I will find random spaces with good light & pretty backgrounds, so I will move things as needed. I won't leave your house in shambles - I promise!
- When I arrive, I'll take a tour of the house and scope it all out for myself. But, if you have a spot you're dying to use, let me know!
What should my baby wear?
This is honestly the easiest part!
knotted gowns. a diaper, nothing. All appropriate!
I have a few stretch wraps I usually bring, but other than that, it's up to you and what they're most comfortable in. One tip: crank the heat in the house or bring out that space heater to keep baby sleepy and comfy while they're undressed. Bows/accessories are always cute.
i'll update this as I think of more things, but if you have a question not covered here, please use the contact form on my website to get in touch.
Trust me when I say these sessions are beautiful and we'll have a ton of fun documenting this time. Here are some more examples of the magic we can create!