Newborn Session Tips

This is such a wonderful and emotional time for you and documenting each step of the way may be something you're wanting to do, but may not know where to start. As your professional photographer I will help guide you on when to schedule, what to expect and prepare for. Here are some helpful tips to make sure our time together goes smoothly.  If you have anymore questions than what I cover below, I am always here to answer any you may have!

What is Lifestyle Photography?

Lifestyle photography is a kind of photography which mainly aims to capture portrait/people in situations, real-life events or milestones in an artistic manner and the art of the everyday. The primary goal is to tell stories about people's life or to inspire people in different times.

What should I expect?

The newborn session is anywhere from 2-3 hours of on-location lifestyle photography. It will take place at your home, focusing on parent + family interaction and everyday tasks. Some posing will be done but I rely on how the baby is feeling and what their needs are. The newborn session is really all about the new little one, your relationship together, and the love in your home. Since I primarily shoot lifestyle images when working in client’s homes, I will use the nursery, the master bedroom (with permission), your furniture, your belongings, and the natural light found in your home.

When should we schedule?

Newborn portraits are best done when created within the first 2 weeks of the baby being born. During this time, the baby is still very sleepy and we can try to mold them in all the adorable poses. Unless you are having a scheduled c-section, you are not going to know when your baby will be born. Once you know, please notify me of your due date. I’ll leave time in my schedule around your due date to ensure I can schedule your session. As soon as the baby is born, have someone call, so that I can get you on the schedule within the appropriate time.

What should we wear?

For parents I suggest colors that coordinate but not match. With your sweet little baby being the focus of the session, neutral colors tend to work best, steering away from logo’d t-shirts or bold patterns. Casual clothing is perfect and bare feet look most natural in a home setting. Moms, consider a beautiful maxi dress or a pretty cotton gown that will be both comfortable and oh-so-sweet while you are cuddling with your new baby. I will photograph baby with no clothing if they are comfortable, if not I have several wraps to swaddle them. When we do some of the snuggling parent images, you may wish to have a tight fitting onesie or a cute diaper cover for baby. Newborns are so small it is often very difficult to photograph them in cute outfits as they are usually swimming in them, and just tend to look silly. Hang on to those cute little outfits for sessions when they are a bit older!

Session Packing List

I carry a handful of blankets for wraps and headbands but to personalize your session I recommend you gather the following:

Blankets that are special to you Hats or booties you love

Diaper cover Plain onsieFun personal items that represent a hobby, favorite sports team, family heirlooms, etc.

If you need some ideas or want to brainstorm, please don’t hesitate to call.

To download my newborn success checklist, click here!

Preparing Your Baby

Please feed your baby 2 hours prior to our session. Once I arrive, it'll be a great time to feed again. I'll keep busy setting up, getting a feel for the house, shooting nursery details and/or if you're comfortable, this would be a great time to capture nursing photos.

Once you are finished, make sure you get a good burp in! A baby with gas is not a happy baby and can result in lots of crying. During the shoot, be prepared with extra milk and/or we'll plan to squeeze in another nursing session. Newborn shoots tend to make babies hungry and you will need to feed them to put them back to sleep. 

Undress your baby and loosen baby’s diaper completely, about 30 minutes before the session. This allows time for the diaper’s imprint marks to disappear from their skin. Swaddle baby in a warm blanket until I arrive. If baby’s skin is a little dry or flaky, try applying a small bit of baby lotion. But don’t worry if it doesn’t go away completely…Photoshop does wonders on red, flaky, bumpy newborn skin!


Plan on the session to last around 2-3 hours. The younger the baby the less likely chance we will need all 2 hours, but I still
recommend it to avoid any stress. I like to leave plenty of time for extra feedings, diaper changes and bouts of crankiness.

Other Family Members

I love to incorporate the entire family, including other siblings and even animals. This is documenting your family and not just focusing on the new baby. I love doing snuggle time with the older kids if they are up for it. We don't have to force it as it may cause stress to the baby. Lifestyle photography is perfect for this situation as it allows me to capture interaction and not focus on looking at the camera and saying cheese.

One Last Thing …

No matter what your baby does, please know that I am always relaxed. This session is supposed to be a special experience for you and I don’t want you stressed if the baby starts to cry. The baby can sense stress and it usually makes them cry more. We have plenty of time allowed for your session. If we need to take a break to feed, walk, rock, etc. we can do that. We want you to enjoy the experience of your session and this special bonding moment for your family.