Just look at this sweet babe with her sweet fresh head of hair!
It's so amusing to me that most of my life, I have never really "into" babies. I always thought they were cute and small, but I also thought they all kind of looked similar, and I didn't really know how to hold them or what I was supposed to do while holding them. They seemed so delicate and foreign to me. Their heads so wobbly, and I never knew what to do when they inevitably cried. Because they could sense my weakness. They could sense that I felt insecure and awkward and didn't know what to do with babies.
But then, I had my own babies. I did a total 180. I now cannot get enough of babies. Everyone's babies. You got a baby? I want to see the baby, smile at it with awe-filled crazy-eyes, revel at its newness, smell its head, cuddle it, reminisce about when my kids were babies, ALL OF IT. So get ready.
I usually have newborn sessions in your home, or in the hospital before you come home. Or both! Some families like to do both! It's really up to you. This post is about how to prepare your home and your family for a newborn session in your home! If you'd like to learn more about hospital sessions, also called "Fresh 48" sessions, you can check that out here!
I allow about two hours for these sessions, just so we can be leisurely and there is lots of time for feeding/snoozing/changing, etc.
I don't do a lot of complicated posing for baby, or use props. I don't wrap up babies in complicated wraps. I don't put babies in baskets or pumpkins or anything that you wouldn't normally put a baby in. My style is life-inspired, so I create images that look like real life. I love that this allows me to simply follow babe's lead. It's fine if he/she is awake, and it's fine if he/she sleeps the whole time! If you plan on breastfeeding and want some nursing photos, we do that as well, and it's also fine if you don't want nursing photos!
When to schedule your session:
For sessions at home: I usually schedule these sessions within the first two weeks after birth, for a few reasons. One of which is that at this age, newborns are more likely to curl up into those cute “womb-like” poses. They are usually sleepier during the first few weeks, so it can be easier to get a variety of photos with siblings, etc., they are less likely to mind being unclothed, and usually have a pretty regular feeding schedule every two hours or so.
How to schedule your session:
For scheduling, I put your babe's due date on my calendar, and then you let me know when your baby is born. I usually have these sessions on weekday mornings, so there is a lot of flexibility as I am rarely booked then. Usually mornings work best for both lighting and baby's mood. I like to book newborn sessions around 10am. Baby is still calm, and you have a little time to get ready.
What I photograph:
All of the sweet little newborn details, like the little wrinkles and super tiny toes and fingers, or that cute little peach fuzz that disappears after the first few weeks, and even peeling newborn skin. I know some photographers edit that out, but I do not. I love real life babies, and I think the fuzz and the peeling skin is just part of the evidence that not very long ago, this human lived inside another body! It's miraculous beautiful and its to be celebrated. I like to get plenty of those images, as well of lots of more unposed, natural images of your family interacting with the sweet newcomer, including siblings if you have other children.
Where in the home will I photograph?
I don't use a flash when I photograph, so I rely on available light. I do newborn sessions in natural light, aka window light. Artificial lighting (any light that comes from a lightbulb) is not my favorite. They have different color casts that can make it difficult to get true to life color in your photos. So usually, I turn off all artificial lighting. So we will want to have the session where there is good window light. Don't stress if your home doesn't have great window light, one window with decent light is all we need. We can have the entire session in one room, if that's what works best. This can be the babe's nursery, your living room, your master bedroom. Feel free to de-clutter a few spaces in your home that have good window light. Don't go crazy making sure your whole house is spotless. No need to make the days after giving birth more stressful than they already are! The first thing I will do when I arrive at your home is have you show me the places that you are comfortable using for the session, and I will make recommendations based on which spots will work the best.
What should you wear?
Beeeeee comfortable. Wear something simple. Wear something that fits. Wear something that feels like you. I generally advise folks to avoid graphic tees or clothing with large logos or lettering. Solid colors or subtle patterns work well especially for indoors, and you should avoid extremely bright/neon clothing, as the light can bounce of these colors and create a colored cast on your face or other things. We don't want that.
What should babe wear?
I believe that newborn babies look best in the simplest outfits. Or even just a dipe. Or no outfit at all! Because you *know* that newborn baby butts are just the cutest ever. If you are excited about an elaborate or complicated outfit for your baby's photos, or anything that maybe could be considered a costume, I might not be your ideal photographer. Just being honest! I love babies in just a solid colored onesie. In general, I am a big fan of keeping it simple. I like the focus of newborn photos to be on the baby and on the newness and realness of welcoming a new family member. And I personally feel like props and elaborate outfits detract from that. Really want to use a little headband? That's fine, but you should be aware that they can slide around, and sometimes babies fuss about them. Other questions?? Let's chat!
Want to see some other blog posts with newborns? Right here!