Over the past few months I have had the absolute pleasure of conducting newborn sessions in client's homes. I have come to adore these in home sessions. They are really becoming one of my favorite types of sessions. It is a privilege to be invited into your home to capture your family and newborn. I believe having a newborn is one of the most intimate experiences for a family. It always help to know what to expect when I come to your home for a newborn session, that is why I've written this post to help you know what to expect during your newborn session.
First, let me share a little more about my shooting style. I prefer a more relaxed, natural environment for newborn, and really any in home session. Many newborn photographers use swaddles, hats, or props to situate the newborn. I prefer simply using what is natural for your baby. I prefer to capture newborns in their own setting, their crib, their bassinet, and most of all, being held by their family. Now, if you have a special family memento such as a baby blanket, heirloom gown, or special stuffed animals or toys, I would love to incorporate those items into your session. It's more like capturing a glimpse of your family during their day, at this season of time.
The best time to capture your newborn is a decision for you to make. I recommend anywhere between 4-6 weeks. I think by waiting a few weeks after birth, you are more likely to get images with their eyes open, their complexion as evened out, and you as parents are feeling more comfortable with your baby. I am a natural light photographer, meaning I only use the sunlight coming through your windows without any electrical lights on. I love capturing images that are filled with sunlight and have a hint of shadows that add a bit of depth to your images. For this reason, I prefer newborn sessions to occur midmorning or early afternoon.
Probably the most asked question for a newborn session is what should I wear? The answer is more simple than you think. I want moms to be comfortable and feel themselves. I find when moms dress in a loose fitting top, or better yet, a dress, it is easy for them to move and interact with their family. You just had a baby, be kind to yourself and wear something that makes you feel comfortable. Also, finding something with soft material is best for those snuggly baby shots. For dads, I prefer a simple button up of polo type shirt, causal slacks or jeans are prefect. If you have other children, they should wear something that compliments the other family members outfits.
I almost always conduct newborn sessions in client's homes. These images will focus on the baby and the relationship each family member shares with the newborn. I LOVE capturing tiny details of the baby, feet, hands, hair, ears. I love the perspective of looking down at baby because that is how we spend most of our time as new parents, looking at that sweet new love. Also, I love capturing how the baby fits in their parents arms and capturing that size perspective of just how tiny they are. The rooms I prefer to use during a newborn session are the parents room, the baby's room, and a living area. Remember, I only use natural light so I will choose the rooms in your house that have the most abundant natural light.
When I arrive the day of your session, I typically ask how the morning is going. If baby is a bit fussy, I will take some time and look around the home, maybe get some pictures of items in the baby's room, then once baby settles down we will begin. I love being present for dressing of the baby. I enjoy taking pictures of the parents working with the newborn to put their outfit on. Then, depending upon the baby's mood, awake, or asleep, we will get pictures of the entire family with baby, baby stretched out in their crib or basinet, each parent holding the baby, siblings with baby, and more candid images. I am a lifestyle photographer, meaning I prefer to get more candid, real life moments, but I do offer guidance on posing. I typically talk through our session timeline so parents know what to expect next. When planning your newborn session, I inform parents to block off a two hour time for their session. It's not me taking pictures for the entire two hours, but with newborns, I like to allow plenty of time for unexpected feedings, diaper changes, clothing changes, etc. My typical shooting time is a total of 60-80 minutes. I am very flexible with time during my newborn sessions.
I hope this information helps you feel more prepared for your in home newborn session and I would love to help you plan your session soon!