January 18, 2023

How to Prepare for Your In-home Newborn Photo Session: 5 Quick and Easy Ways | San Diego Newborn Photographer

Congratulations on your sweet new baby!

You’re now settled back in at home and your in-home newborn session is on the calendar. But since it’s still early, you and your baby’s schedule is still a bit unpredictable, and your energy level isn’t up to cleaning the house, preparing the perfect outfits, and putting on a face full of makeup.

Here’s How to Prepare for Your In-home Newborn Session

Here’s the good news – you can relax.

Experienced San Diego newborn photographers like myself have seen it all: messy homes, exhausted parents, hormonal new mommies, fussy babies, and uncooperative toddlers.

We take it all in stride and turn out beautiful pictures in spite of it.

3 little girls holding new baby sister during a San Diego in-home lifestyle newborn session by Love Michelle Photography



With that fact as our comforting starting point, there are a few quick and easy things you can do to feel prepared:


1) Preparing Your Home

As a San Diego newborn photographer, I typically use just two rooms during a session – the master bedroom and the nursery. Sometimes I use only the master.

So if you’d like to tidy up a bit, just tidy those two rooms – no need to vacuum or dust, just put clutter out of sight and make the bed (and if things get overwhelming and you just can’t get to it, don’t worry -I’m happy to do it myself. I know how things can be in those first few weeks).

In the photos I’m featuring here, I used just the crib and a chair in the corner of the family room. That was it!

Don’t worry about picking a spot for me. When I arrive, I’ll take a look around your house (with your permission, of course), and let you know what will work best.

As for temperature, a little on the warmer side (above 70) will keep your baby comfortable for those onesie-only shots.


2) Preparing Your Family

Newborn sessions typically take place starting around 10:00 or 11:00am for the best light, and can last between 1-3 hours. If the session involves small children, a pre-session snack is a great idea (maybe for you and dad, too!).

And don’t worry if the kids get hungry during the session – I’ll need them for just a small part of the session, so they’ll be free to eat if needed.

Let them know they’ll be needed for just a short while, then they are free to go do their own thing.

Big sisters reaching into crib to touch new baby during a San Diego in-home lifestyle newborn session by Love Michelle Photography.




3) Preparing Your Outfits

My full clothing guide is here, but if nothing else, know this:

clean, neutral colored clothing that coordinates and is free of obvious wrinkles, logos, or cartoon characters will always look good.

So if that’s what you’ve got, you’re already winning. Bonus to being indoors – no shoes required!

In the photos featured here, after I arrived, I looked through closets with mom and dad and helped them coordinate a pretty palette of mauves and purples from what they already owned.

I’m happy to help you, too!

Family of 6 gathered around a their newborn baby during a San Diego in-home lifestyle newborn photo session by Love Michelle Photography.
The chair in the corner that was used for much of this session. I just love the perfect imperfection in this photograph.

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4) Preparing Your Baby

Don’t stress too much about this, because newborns aren’t famous for their predictability.

My sessions are “baby-led,” meaning we just go with the flow.

If you are able to feed the baby right before the session, it’s always nice, but we’ll stop for a feeding/diaper change/soothing anytime it’s needed. That’s why there’s that 1-3 hour window of time for the session.

As for clothing, a simple white onesie is perfect.

That’s it. If there’s a special outfit or great-grandma’s handmade blanket you want to incorporate, just let me know and I’ll work it in.

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5) Preparing Yourself

As you’ll see in my clothing guide, I encourage moms to choose their outfits first, then dress your family around you.

Pick something that’s simple, comfortable, and makes you feel pretty.

I happen to love a basic maxi dress. And like I said above, if we haven’t already picked out outfits together beforehand, I’m happy to help once I’ve arrived. We’re in no rush!

If you wear makeup, keep it simple – powder, blush, lipstick and mascara will do just fine. Remember, I’m capturing you and your family in your home, bonding with your new baby – natural and comfortable reflect that beautifully.



In summary, here are five simple ways to prepare for your in-home newborn session:

  1. Home: make the bed and hide clutter in the master bedroom and nursery
  2. Family: give a snack beforehand
  3. Outfits: clean, neutral, coordinated colors without logos or characters look great. No shoes!
  4. The baby: feed before session if possible, but know the session will go with the baby’s flow. A simple white onesieis perfect.
  5. You: a simple, comfortable outfit or dress that makes you feel pretty, and simple makeup.

Finally, don’t stress. Like I said, we newborn photographers have worked in all sorts of situations, and are still able to turn out pictures you will love!

If you love the warm, simple, and emotive beauty of these photographs, see my session and pricing details here, and contact me here to discuss booking your own session.

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