Thank you so much for inviting me to capture your sweet newborn! I am so excited to begin this journey with you. As the oldest of four kids, I have always loved babies, and am so lucky to be able to share in the joy that my clients experience when welcoming a newborn into their family! My passion is to capture the beauty that can be found in everyone and in every day, even amidst the monotony and chaos of everyday life, so that families have memories to treasure forever. Thank you for giving me the honor of capturing these memories for you! In this Client Experience Guide you’ll find everything you need to know about a session with me. I’ve included some helpful tips to hopefully make this process as smooth as possible for you. If there is anything I can do for you along the way, please don’t hesitate to ask! I’m here to serve you the best that I can. I can’t wait for our session together!
What drew me to Lifestyle Newborn Photography is the raw, authentic beauty and emotion that is present when you welcome home a newborn. It reflects real life and makes the images you receive all the more special! There is no time like the first few weeks of parenthood, whether it is your first or fifth child. I know what it’s like to bring a newborn baby home—I’ve done it twice!— you are all of a sudden one hundred percent responsible for caring for a helpless little human. You’re exhausted, scared, overwhelmed, and most likely so totally infatuated with this tiny little human (and if you’re not, that’s fine too! You’re still getting to know each other!). It’s a lot!
When I brought my babies home from the hospital, the last thing I wanted to do was stress out over getting out of the house to make it to a photography studio with everything that comes along with a newborn baby. In-Home Newborn sessions allow you to remain in the comfort of your own home and relax knowing that we will just be capturing life unfolding naturally. Your home is where you will most likely be stationed around the clock during those first few weeks. My goal with these types of sessions is to capture you just how you are at this time, so you can always look back on your photos, and those feelings will be as fresh as the day you brought your new bundle of joy home.
Safety is also my number one priority, which is why I love Lifestyle Newborn Photography so much. The safest and most comforting place for a baby to be is in their natural environment, cradled in their parents’ arms. Rather than posing baby in unnatural and awkward positions, I provide you with light guidance and let life unfold from there. What happens when I tell your family to sit together on the master bed or couch? Your little ones might snuggle in, tickling their new baby’s tiny toes, while you and your partner laugh and look lovingly at your beautiful children. Or maybe they get so excited that they start jumping on the bed while mom secures the baby tight in her arms and dad tries to wrangle the lively toddler. If baby cries, that’s ok! Babies cry. Maybe mom or dad, or even big brother or sister will start to calm and settle the baby. My job is to capture all of that! There is so much beauty (and fun!) in the chaos and I am SO here for it!
Before your Session
When should we notify you of baby's birth?
We all know that the arrival of newborn babies can be extremely unpredictable, so I will be sure there is plenty of availability in my calendar until four weeks after your due date. This will allow some flexibility for us to schedule the session once the baby arrives. It is best to notify me within the first 48 hours of the baby’s birth that they have arrived (a quick text is fine!) just as a heads up, and then once you are home and settled we can nail down a specific date for the session.
When should we schedule our Lifestyle In-Home Newborn Session?
The best time to schedule your session will be within the first two weeks after giving birth. This is when babies are typically the sleepiest, which allows for the session to run as smoothly as possible. It is also the time before baby acne generally kicks in, so we can focus on their beautiful little features! That being said, I understand that life doesn’t always go as planned, and newborn sessions can generally be successful up to around 8 weeks of age. After that, they don’t really look like a newborn anymore and it would be best to schedule a milestone session or family session.
What is the best time of day for our Lifestyle In-Home Newborn Session?
Generally the best time of day for an In-Home Newborn Session is mid-late morning. Newborns are usually happier at that time and more often than not, beautiful light will be flooding your home. In the two weeks before your due date, try to observe where and when the most light comes into your home through your windows. I usually photograph newborn sessions in the living room, master bedroom, and nursery if available, so try to focus your observations on these spaces. I try to schedule In-Home Newborn Sessions anywhere between 9am-1pm to allow for some flexibility. If you have older children or toddlers who have a scheduled nap, we can decide on a time that best fits your family’s needs!
What should we wear for our In-Home Newborn Session?
The most important style tip I can give you is to dress comfortably! My in-home newborn sessions are very relaxed and casual. The best thing to wear is something that is comfortable and loose fitting, and something you can easily sit, stand, and lie down in. Bare feet, socks, or slippers add to the cozy vibe.
For parents and siblings, you’ll want to narrow down your selection to colors that complement the environment—think about where you will be displaying your photos and how the outfits you’ve chosen will blend in or stand out. It’s best to coordinate your outfits, but not match. Softer muted neutral tones tend to photograph best rather than clothing with words, graphics, or bright patterns; they don’t take away from the connection we feel in the image and help to avoid “color casting” to achieve accurate skin tones. For wardrobe inspiration, check out my Pinterest board here: https://pin.it/24tBhvt.
For Baby, you’ll want to dress them in loose fitting clothes and socks before the session. Tight clothing, socks, or accessories like headbands can leave red imprints on skin that will show up in the photos and can be distracting in those precious little detail shots. For clothing during the session, simple is best. A plain white onesie with no words or graphics photographs well and keeps the focus on the baby’s squishy little face. Have some favorite blankets or swaddles on hand so we can get some cozy snuggly shots. If there is a special outfit or heirloom you have, I am more than happy to include those as well.
Day of your session
How should I prepare on the day of the session?
Try to feed the baby shortly before the time of the session. This will ensure that the baby has a full belly and will be nice and comfy for the session! If you want feeding photos, whether breastfeeding or bottle feeding, we can start with that when I arrive. Feeding can happen throughout the session as well, so don’t stress if the times don’t work out!
I ask all my clients to make sure the temperature of the home isn’t too cold on the day of the session. Babies are most comfortable and content when they’re nice and cozy. If baby is a little bit chilly, their skin tends to have a pink or purple “marbled” look that will show up in photos. If you would like shots with the baby’s clothing removed to capture those tiny details like their wrinkly skin, perfect little belly button, etc., we want to make sure to have nice creamy skin tones, so setting the thermostat to 72-75 degrees is ideal.
What will the session look like?
When I arrive for your session I will greet all members of the family, especially young children. I want to make sure they know I’m not scary! I will then walk around to tour the house to scope out the best light (this is a perfect job for the younger kids—they love showing me around!). You can also send me quick photos of the areas that you would like to take photos in ahead of time if you’d like.
The last thing I want you to do is worry about tidying your house when you’ve just brought a new tiny human into your family and are figuring out your new routines and rhythms. I know how it is—babies are messy and they come with A LOT of stuff. Don’t worry about the dishes in the sink, the dog hair in the carpet or the toddler’s toys everywhere. I will be more than happy to tidy up an area or rearrange some small things that I find will look best in your photos. We’re not aiming for “Instagram Perfection” here, we’re capturing the beauty of real life.
After we’ve determined the best area(s) for the photos, we’ll start the process of capturing your family! First thing's first-- I want you to Relax! Breathe. Newborns can sense if you’re feeling stressed or anxious or nervous and will feed off that energy. I will give you light guidance and posing prompts, placing you in the best light and guiding you with what to do with your hands and body so you don’t have to worry. I take LOTS of photos to make sure I get the great shots we need, so you’ll hear my shutter snapping pretty rapidly. I also love to capture candid moments in between as life happens naturally! And as long as it's ok with you, you'll find me moving around your house, standing on furniture (without shoes, of course!), capturing all of the best angles to be sure I give you a beautifully diverse gallery of images.
How long will my Lifestyle In-Home Newborn Session last?
Your Lifestyle In-Home Newborn Session will last between 2-3 hours. I don’t want you to feel rushed or anxious. Babies can be unpredictable, and I try to build in time for breaks for diaper changes, feeding, and other things babies might need. You and your partner might also be extremely exhausted and/or sore, so I want to make sure we take it slow and make sure you're as comfortable as possible.
What about older siblings? What if they don't cooperate?
Bringing a new person into the family can be hard on any kid, no matter their age! My goal is to try to make them feel important too, but I keep my expectations low, especially for young children. It can be hard for toddlers and young children to pay attention for long periods of time, so I will try to get all the sibling shots and full family shots at the beginning of the session before they start to lose interest. I won’t ever force them to do anything they don’t want to do or aren’t comfortable with, and they can pop in and out as the session goes on. For young children, it might be a good idea to prepare them ahead of time to let them know that someone will be coming over to take pictures of the family!
After your session
When will I receive my photos?
You can expect your photos to be sent to you in an online gallery via email about three weeks after your session. You’ll be able to download your high-resolution images straight from your gallery. Then the best part begins - sharing your beautiful images with friends and family! Your gallery will be active for viewing your images, downloading, and ordering prints and products for two months after delivery. After that the gallery will be archived and there will be a small fee to reactivate it. So download those images as soon as possible!
What other services do you offer?
I know how hard it can be to get around to finding a quality printer and printing the beautiful images you’ve invested so much time, energy and money in. So leave the print orders to me! You can select your favorites and place an order directly through your gallery and your prints and products will be delivered right to your home. Because images need to be edited differently for different types of medial and calibrated against certain printers, I can only guarantee quality in colors when printed through this method.
I can’t wait for our session together! Hopefully you found this information helpful. If you have any questions or concerns leading up to your session, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. My goal is to serve you the best that I can! This is going to be a fun session, so don’t stress. Relax and enjoy making these memories with your family that you’ll get to treasure forever. See you soon!