Newborn lifestyle home sessions allow parents to look back on this sweet and intimate time with their newborn baby and relive those first snuggles, itsy bitsy baby bits, and all the emotion and love of that special and fleeting time in your life. Shooting these sessions in the comfort of your home allows for parents to have all the normal resources, making everyone and baby, feel more calm and relaxed. The best part? The photos are real life! Whether it’s your dog checking in on their new sibling in the crib, or parents rocking baby to sleep in that chair that they’ll be spending SO many sleepless nights in, the session will truly reflect this wonderful (and whirlwind) time in life.

The only downfall of welcoming a photographer into your home just days or weeks after the birth of your new baby is that it can feel a bit overwhelming. But it shouldn’t! There are a few things you can do prior to your newborn session to prepare for the shoot to allow for everything to run smoothly. No need to go overboard! You probably don’t have the time or energy for a full overhaul of your home! These tips will go a long way.

1.    DE-CLUTTER – Your home does NOT have to be perfect. I promise. It’s your home and it’s supposed to look lived in. You can focus on de-cluttering your home, which means just tidying up a bit and basically putting stuff in the room where it belongs and toss the rest in a closet until I leave. This includes all the extra burp rags, the breast pump, and extra pacifiers laying everywhere.

2.    LET THERE BE LIGHT – Let the natural light pour through the windows! I typically shoot a good portion of the session in the nursery and living room, so please have the curtains wide open and the shades up to let in natural light. Go ahead and turn OFF all the lights and lamps in these rooms as well. It might seem dark, but my camera can do magical things that the lights will ruin later on!

3.    HAVE YOUR OUTFITS READY AND BACKUPS For my editing style, think light colors, white, and pastels. If you’re comfortable wearing a flowy sundress (even in winter), awesome… bonus points to you because they photograph the best! Make sure you have a solid outfit ready for baby, like a white onesie or muslin swaddle is always a great option, and perhaps a second outfit that shows a bit more personality. Make sure you have backups on hand for both you and baby! Unexpected poops or spit-ups might happen!

4.    PREP THE CRIB OR BASSINET – I encourage either a white or neutral crib sheet, so if you don’t own one, perhaps pick up one beforehand! Crib sheets with too much color will reflect onto baby’s face, casting a colorful shadow that’s challenging to edit out later on. Too much pattern on the crib sheet will also distract from your baby in the photos, so keep it pretty simple. You’ll thank me later for this tip!

5.    GET EVERYONE FED AND HAPPY BEFORE I ARRIVE – Start feeding your baby 20 minutes prior to my arrival, diaper change, then into their outfit last. Be prepared to do bonus small feedings if baby gets fussy! If you have an older sibling in the family, set them up with a snack and maybe one of their favorite movies or activities before I arrive. This will keep them distracted at the beginning part of the shoot. It will keep the shoot relaxed and focused on baby (at least for part of the shoot!). Then we can welcome in the older sibling(s) after we get the shots we need of the new bundle!

My goal is that you look back at these newborn moments as they are, perfectly imperfect, and to have the joy of this phase to be cherished for years to come.