For my shooting style, a lifestyle session is the perfect way to capture the excitement and love of a new baby. They are laid back, and don't require new parents to load up all of their baby gear and leave their house. No props, no forcing babies into uncomfortable sleeping positions, and no stressed out parents when the baby doesn't sleep. Here are a few things to keep in mind to prepare!
1. We will spend the majority of the session in the master bedroom and 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 images. Keeping nightstands and dressers clear of any clutter helps to keep distractions in the images to a minimum.
2. Feed your baby (and yourself) just before I arrive. Babies with full tummies tend to stay happy much longer and "milk drunk" babies make for the most adorable images. This tip is also true for Dad’s!
3. Most newborns do not fill out their clothes and are usually more content when wrapped up in a swaddling blanket. I cannot recommend "organic cotton" swaddling blankets enough. It is much more sturdy 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, and here if you cant find one you love, I will bring a simple white one. If baby does fill out a onesie, a simple white one is best!
4. Be comfortable in what you decide to wear! Light, neutral colors are always safe-white, cream, and gray as well as soft pastel colors. For men, pants are usually preferable over shorts, and a button up or v-neck t-shirt works well. For mamas, some choose to use a maternity dress they already have, and some are more comfortable in leggings and a sweater. There are no needs for shoes or socks! 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 track of the time and never schedule other sessions the same day as a newborn session just to be safe. This gives us plenty of time to capture you and your family in those first few weeks!
Bonus: For Mama’s with toddlers, shoot me an e-mail and let me know if and when their nap time is! I always recommend having the toddler “practice” holding baby beforehand. Use extra pillows if you have to, or have the toddler sit in dads lap with baby in toddlers lap for support. Its good to have a “treat” on hand, such as m&m’s, fruit snacks or teddy grahams. Something that we can reward the toddler with each time they smile or kiss baby for a picture tends to encourage them more than promising a larger treat at the end!