Lifestyle newborn sessions became a favorite of mine after shooting my first about three summers ago. They are laid back, and don't require new parents to load up all of their baby gear and leave their house. Instead I get to travel to their home with just my camera and reflector. No props, no forcing babies into uncomfortable sleeping positions, and no stressed out parents when the baby doesn't sleep.
For my shooting style, a lifestyle session is the perfect way to capture the excitement and love of a new baby. Before I arrive to the new parents house I like to send them a few tips to help their newborn session go smoothly. Certainly the last tip is the most important of all, but a few of these others also come in handy!
1. We will likely spend the majority of the session in the master bedroom and/or the nursery. Opening the blinds and drawing back the curtains allows for the most amount of natural light to enter the room, which makes for bright, well-lit and beautiful images. Keeping nightstands and dressers clear of any clutter helps to keep distractions in the images to a minimum and setting the thermostat to be a little warmer than usual helps to keep babies nice and cozy.
2. Feed your baby (and yourself) just before I arrive. Babies with full tummies tend to stay happy much longer. This tip is also true for Daddy’s!
3. Most newborns do not fill out their clothes perfectly and are usually more cozy when wrapped up in a swaddling blanket. If they do fill out a onesie, a simple white one is best, and for swaddling blankets I cannot recommend "organic cotton" enough. It is much more sturdy and holds better than muslin swaddling cloths and will keep baby nice and cozy for the entirety of our session. They are easily found on etsy by searching "organic cotton swaddle"! A few of my favorite swaddle blanket shops can be found here, here, and here.
4. Be comfortable in what you decide to wear, no one expects you to wear a ball gown after just giving birth. Light, neutral colors are always safe (tans, greys, white,) as well as soft pastel colors. Don’t match your partner, but wear colors that compliment each other.
5. Remember to relax, babies can sense if you are anxious! Newborn sessions can take some time as these little ones like to be snuggled, fed and changed frequently, I do not keep constant track of the time and never schedule other sessions the same day as a newborn session just to be safe and give us plenty of time to capture you and your family in those first few weeks!