Congratulations! You’ll be bringing a new baby home soon (or maybe you already have), and you’d like to document this sweet & fleeting time with professional photographs.
But perhaps you’re stuck on deciding between the two main styles of newborn photography: traditional studio posed photography (think wrapped babies and froggy poses), and in-home lifestyle photography.
Let me help!
Yes, I’m biased, but let me give you 6 signs an in-home newborn photo session is right for you:
If you feel moved by photos depicting authentic moments & emotions, you’ve just described the genre known as “lifestyle photography.”
That’s the style I and most in-home photographers specialize in, and you’ll see it in the photographs below (a big thanks to Loren & Joey for letting me use their photographs for this post).
Those four walls are the warm & loving place you brought your baby home to, the place they will do their growing, learning, exploring, and changing.
If you believe that meaningful place and all the warmth & intimacy it contains should be captured too, then an in-home newborn photo session is right for you.
Lifestyle photography captures things as they are, not painstakingly posed perfection.
Replace a perfectly wrapped and lit baby sleeping on a backdrop with that same baby being loved on by his big brother. Or being gently snuggled and kissed by mom and dad.
There’s a lot of love and bonding that goes on when you bring that new baby home, and in-home lifestyle photographers are there to document it.
While traditional posed studio session are scheduled within 10 days so the baby is still sleepy and bendable (those womb-like wrapped poses require it), with in-home lifestyle photography, there’s more flexibility in scheduling.
I’ve done newborn sessions at 6 and 8 weeks.
That being said, scheduling that newborn session within the first two weeks is preferable, since they tend to be less fussy (thus making for a smoother session), and the baby acne hasn’t set in yet.
When a newborn session takes place at home, it’s a lot easier for older siblings to be involved (willingly!), because they’re in their own home.
With me, older brothers or sisters are free to come and go as they please. I’ll use them here and there in session, but once done, they are free to go back to whatever it was they were doing. Like snacking.
So no worrying about keeping the older siblings busy and entertained in a studio.
What could be more convenient than having the photographer come to you?
Or more relaxing than being in your own home?
No having to rush to get dressed and out the door, no babysitter needed if any older siblings are staying home, or hustling everyone out the door on time if they’re coming. No making sure you’ve packed snacks and diapers and binkies.
Just open the door and let the photographer in.
I don’t even ask my clients to be ready when I arrive!
Instead, I take a few minutes to look around and find the perfect location for the photos, then assist with picking outfits and getting ready if that’s welcomed.
I even help with tidying if that’s needed!
It’s just a much more relaxed way of going about things. There’s no rush.
1) WHAT IF MY HOME ISN’T MAGAZINE WORTHY?
No problem! A Pinterest-ready home is most definitely not a requirement for for gorgeous and emotive photographs.
Most of the time, I use only 1-2 small sections of the house – perhaps the master bedroom and nursery. When I arrive in your home, I do a bit of scouting to see which areas will work best, and help with any decluttering that’s needed.
I once turned out a whole gallery using only one easy chair in the corner of the family room!
2) MY HOUSE IS A CLUTTERED MESS, ESPECIALLY AFTER BRINGING A NEW BABY HOME. HOW MUCH CLEANING WILL I NEED TO DO FOR THE PHOTOS?
Please don’t expend your precious energy on cleaning your home before the session! I’ll only use a couple spots, and even then only light decluttering is needed. I’m always happy to help with that.
I’ve written a post about 5 simple ways to get ready for your in-home newborn session, which you can find here.
3) WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO SCHEDULE A NEWBORN PHOTO SESSION?
Like I said before, one advantage of in-home lifestyle photography is more flexibility in scheduling, since a really sleepy and bendy baby isn’t required.
That said, the optimum time for a session is within two weeks of birth, though there are no strict rules. I’ve done newborn sessions for 6 and 8 week olds.
So it’s rarely too late to reach out to me to inquire about one.
4) HOW DO I SCHEDULE A SESSION BEFORE THE BABY IS BORN WHEN I DON’T EVEN KNOW EXACTLY WHEN THEY WILL BE BORN?
Once you contact me and we book a session, I set aside a flexible window of time based on your due date. Then, once the baby arrives, reach out to me and we’ll get a solid date and time on the calendar.
5) CAN WE INCLUDE A FEW THINGS IN THE SESSION THAT HOLD A LOT OF MEANING FOR US?
Yes, please! I love incorporating grandma’s crocheted blanket or that stuffed teddy. It will give your images that much more meaning and significance.
6) WHAT SHOULD WE WEAR?
When you book a session with me, unlimited styling help is included. I’ve included a bit of wardrobe guidance for newborn sessions here, but you’ll also receive a complete preparation and styling guide after you’ve booked.
I can even help you pick out outfits after I’ve arrived for your session, if welcomed.
Hint: one of my favorite sources of sweet & classic newborn clothes is Zara.
7) ARE THERE ANY LIABILITY ISSUES TO CONSIDER WHEN HAVING A PHOTOGRAPHER IN MY HOME? WHAT IF YOU GET INJURED?
Any professional photographer running a legitimate business will be carrying professional liability insurance.
It’s definitely a question I would encourage you to ask any newborn photographer you are considering! (And yes, I carry it.)
On a slightly different note, if you’re concerned about a stranger coming into your home and handling your newborn (I handle only to soothe, adjust, or wrap), be reassured – as a former NICU nurse, I’ve had lots of experience handling delicate newborns, and I keep all my nursing certifications (and vaccines!) up to date.