I want you to be as prepared for your own session as possible, so it can be as relaxing as possible. It’s a hectic time in your life and I will do everything in my power to keep things calm, relaxed, and running smoothly. I want you to know that when your little one fusses, cries, poops, insists on staying awake, will not open hers/his eyes for a photo, or needs to feed mid-session, it’s all totally normal.
When I first arrive: When I arrive, I often look like I’m moving in for a week, coming with a big suitcase in tow! I will be checking out various rooms in your home to see which ones are the best for shooting lifestyle images. The rooms I generally focus on for lifestyle newborn photos are the master bedroom, the nursery, and the living room/family room. Any room with good natural light is a candidate. I might swap out light bulbs to coordinate with natural light, but I will change them back before I leave!
I’ll chat with everyone until I feel we’re all warmed up and ready. I might play with siblings and your pets for a few minutes before shooting any photos. I’ll remind you that all you have to do is be yourselves.
Moving Furniture/Other Items: Depending on the layout of your home and the location of the windows, I may need to move some furniture around to achieve appropriate lighting for your family’s images. I might also move some other things around while shooting (e.g. opening curtains and raising blinds, moving books and clocks off a nightstand, or moving diapers and wipes off the top of the changing table). I promise I will put everything back as it was before I leave! Don’t feel obligated to deep clean your home before I come over – I promise, I won’t mind. You might want to take a few moments to tidy up the rooms where you think we are most likely to be shooting, putting away items that you don’t want to see in your images (e.g. boxes of diapers, baby gear and gifts that are not being used, etc.). Beyond that, I love to capture your home and your family just as you are!
Parents’/Siblings’ Clothes: Neutrals such as cream, gray, and pastels generally photograph best, so I recommend simple, classic outfits for your family that complement each other. Clothes should also be comfortable and easy to move around in so that your lifestyle images will look natural and reflect your true personalities. Keep it simple, so to not overshadow baby with too many prints and bright colors. (Bright colours also cause colour casts (a colour-tinted shadow on skin) that are often difficult to remove during editing). Logos, characters, slogans, pictures, etc. on clothing should be avoided because they distract from your family’s beautiful faces. For men (and often for women too), long pants generally photograph better than shorts. Try to choose clothes that flatter your body type for the best results. And, don’t forget about your fingers and toes! Your nails will probably be making an appearance.
Baby’s Clothing: For lifestyle newborn images, there are a couple of options that work well to show off baby and baby’s tiny features: a simple well-fitted white, solid or small print is a good choice. Just a diaper and a bloomer or receiving blanket is also a great way to capture newborn lifestyle shots.
Temperature: Having a warm place to shoot is important to a successful session. If you could raise the thermostat a bit before I arrive (or turn the A/C down in summer), that would be great. I love to get shots of baby’s hands, feet, belly button, etc., and we don’t want baby to get cold.
Props: My style is very simple and classic so I do not generally use many props. Your little miracle is beautiful enough! However, I love to use items that have special significance to my clients, so if you have a particular item that you’d like to use (e.g. knitted hat or blanket, family quilt, stuffed toy with sentimental value), please feel free to bring it out, so we can incorporate it during the shoot.
Length of Session: A lifestyle newborn session usually takes around 2 hours. Please don’t worry if it goes longer — my goal is to get the best possible photos, and I will stay as long as it takes to get a nice variety of shots. Newborns often make their own schedule, and baby is not always ready to be a little poser when we are ready! Other times, baby is so content and 2 hours breezes by and is more than enough time. One of my core principles is that I am never in a rush during a session.
Posing/Directing by Photographer: I will do some directing in order to ensure that the light is flattering to you and baby, but I also like to capture some unscripted moments, so don’t be surprised when I am clicking away during a feeding or diaper change or while you are comforting a fussy baby. Those images are often my favourites! I also love nursing pictures and try to capture newborn feeding whenever I can, but I understand that some women are hesitant about them. I try when possible to shoot from angles where nothing revealing is showing, while still capturing the special bond between mother and baby. I will not post any revealing photos on social media or my website.
Fussy Baby: Please don’t worry if baby cries – we can stop for feedings or soothing as often as needed. Try not to get flustered or anxious if the baby becomes fussy at some point during the shoot. Crying is totally normal and temporary. I am not bothered in the least by a fussy newborn, so don’t feel like it is an imposition on me for your baby to act like a baby! Since Mom (and Dad) represent everything safe (and food), I will try to do a lot of the soothing myself or I may not get baby back from Mom.
Will there be any individual images of the baby to put on a birth announcement? Yes, absolutely! I always take a number of individual images of your newborn during every session. The main difference between the lifestyle and portrait images is that there is a greater chance that your baby will be awake for the lifestyle images, that baby will be clothed or wearing a diaper, and the photographs will have more context in the background – I often shoot either in the nursery or master bedroom.
After the Session: My turnaround time is about two weeks. I carefully select and hand edit each image in your gallery so that they look their best. When editing is completed, I will send you a link to an online gallery where you can select your final images.
How do I book?
I would love to meet you and your pet.
For more information and to book your session, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org