Newborn lifestyle sessions allow parents look back on this sweet and intimate time with your newborn baby and relive those first snuggles, tiny fingers and wrinkly toes, and all the emotion and love of that special and fleeting time in your life. Shooting these in the comfort of your home allows for parents to have all the normal resources, making siblings, parents and baby feel more comfortable and relaxed. The best part? The photos are real life! Whether it’s your puppy checking in on their new sibling on the couch, or parents rocking baby to sleep in their favorite chair, the session will truly reflect this beautiful and fleeting time in life.
Preparing for your newborn session can feel like a daunting task! I am here to flip the script and make your newborn session the exact opposite of daunting… I want it to feel easy, fun and relaxing!
I know having your photographer over 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! I will help declutter and move things we need to move, but these tips are a great place to start!
5 TIPS FOR PREPARING FOR YOUR IN-HOME NEWBORN SESSION
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 allll the extra burp rags, the breast pump, and extra pacifiers laying everywhere! Move what you can and if I get there and need to throw things in the hallway, I will! The biggest areas we clean off will be nightstands in the master and the nursery. That stack of books you’ve been reading for over a year? Just push those under the bed!
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, 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 crazy, but having lights on causes colors and shadows on your skin and my camera can do, but my camera can do magical things without them on! Worried about not having enough natural light? Let’s chat! I will look at pictures and if needed, we can always move to a studio!
3. GET YOUR OUTFITS READY – For my shooting style, think light colors, white, and pastels. What people don’t realize is the colors of your outfits completely dictate the feel of your images. A dark colored dress and shirt can make your room feel dark and heavy (Black is our best friend postpartum, I get it, I promise! But trust me..!!) But whites, tans and pastels bounce light around and help make your rooms feel light and bright. Don’t have anything you like? We can talk through options and I will send you a curated list of stores and recommendations! Shops like Pink Blush and Baltic Born have some wonderful options in all sizes and colors! I will look at the colors in your home and make recommendations weeks before I arrive. For baby, I recommend having him/her in a white onsie or gown when I arrive. Don’t have one? I will gladly bring them! We normally wrap baby to help him/her fall asleep but will unwrap as the session goes on. Think SIMPLE for siblings. Bare feet, classic white button down or dress and you are golden!
4. PREP THE CRIB – I encourage either a white or neutral crib sheet, so if you don’t own one, perhaps pick up one for $10 at Target 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 activities before I arrive. Try to avoid screen time if possible, though. 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! I like to do family and siblings first so we can add in special shots of mom and dad and baby solo at the end while the siblings can play. I know they have very short attention spans and we like to make the most of our time.
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Barbara provides Kansas City Newborn Photography and Kansas City Family Photography specializing in family, maternity, newborn, and milestone photography. She serves the Kansas City area including Overland Park and Olathe. Barbara uses a beautiful studio in the City Market and also finds unique outdoor locations for her family and maternity sessions.