How to Prep for Your In-Home Newborn Session

Congratulations! You are about to grow your family and bring new life into this world! What an amazing time in your family’s lives.

Lifestyle newborn sessions are the perfect way to capture your new baby in your home and in a relaxed way. Instead of focusing on props and poses, lifestyle photography allows me to focus on the connection and love your family shares for your newest addition.

I will lead the session with relaxed, gentle directions that will allow for natural connection and interactions to occur between all the members of your sweet family. These memories that you are creating are timeless, and they deserve to be captured that way.

1. It is best to schedule the photo session within the first ten days of bringing your new baby home. Once you’ve had your little one for about a week, you will have a better idea of what the nursing schedule looks like. It is best to feed the baby at the same time as the photographer’s arrival to the photoshoot (with a fresh diaper on). The goal is to wrap the baby when he/she is nice and full, but BEFORE he/she falls asleep after nursing.

2. Give yourself and your little one some grace. Every newborn is different; therefore, every newborn session is different. I will assist in wrapping your new baby in a tight swaddle (specifically size for newborn photography). However, not every baby will fall asleep during their session. I encourage everyone yo be as flexible as possible and even have an extra onesie set aside if the tight swaddles aren’t working. An awake baby is still just as cute as a sleepy baby, as long as he/she is content!

3. Keeping the baby warm and comfortable is important. If there is a spot in your home that you feel doesn’t get warm enough, please let me know when I arrive so we can be sure to avoid that spot.

4. Since multiple rooms are used throughout a lifestyle session, it is helpful if you can tuck away any clutter ahead of time!

5. When we begin the photoshoot, I will create a number of scenes that involve the entire family. If there is an older sibling, I will try to include them as much as possible! I like to include all of the siblings in the beginning of the shoot, so they are free to go and play for the remainder of the session.

6. Bringing a newborn home can be a tremendous adjustment for an older sibling. It is important for us to make the older siblings feel just as important as the new baby throughout the photoshoot. I might sometimes ask the older sibling to be my special helper, or even incorporate a few sibling photos in their room. It also helps that their bellies are full, and they’ve had a good rest beforehand.

7. Have some water bottles and snacks available for mom (and other little siblings) during breaks. We definitely want to keep the new mama hydrated! If we need to take breaks for additional nursing, do not stress out as this is totally normal.


1. SOLID, NEUTRAL COLORS WILL GO A LONG WAY. There is a reason for this! The light colors (creams, whites, grays, ivory, and pastels) bring out the best skin tones and do not take away from the natural beauty of your newborn. Lace can photograph beautifully. On the flip side, a black top can show every speckle of dust or lint.

2. COORDINATE, DON’T MATCH. Not every member in your family should be wearing the exact same color top. It’s okay to put the older sibling(s) in a different solid color or print for some contrast. A thick texture, such as a floral or plaid works great, but stay away from prominent logos, graphic tees, and any writing on clothing, as it will be a distraction in the photo.


I recommend swaddling the baby for the duration of the session for a number of reasons:

  1. It keeps the baby warm, cozy, and asleep as we move around from the nursery, living room, and other rooms throughout the house. It also helps keep the baby sleeping as different family members hold the baby for photos.
  2. The swaddle will help keep arms and legs tucked in to prevent any flailing arms/legs or awkward poses as the newborns will often experience the startle reflex while they sleep. If you are set on the sweet, sleepy poses, the swaddle is really the way to go!

I will bring my collection of neutral newborn swaddles, bows, hats, etc. However, if you’re planning on purchasing a different outfit, a fitted sleeper/onesie in a neutral or muted, earth tone color works best. Sizing runs differently across all of the different brands of baby clothing. Be sure to have the “newborn” sizing and know that the 0-3 month is not the same as “newborn” size. If the brand doesn’t carry a newborn size, it will likely be too large for the new baby.

I suggest avoiding elaborate outfits, such as dresses or tutus, overalls or anything too large that will be hanging off the baby. I also suggest avoiding outfits with words on them. It’s almost impossible to photograph the baby in a way that will show all of the text.

If you are set on having the baby wear an outfit for the session, we can always start with a swaddle wrap to get all of the family poses, and then change into the outfit at the end for some additional photos of just the baby.

These family milestones are such a precious time in your lives. I feel so blessed to be the photographer that gets to capture these moments!!

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