Expert Tips to help you prepare for your in-home Newborn Photography Shoot.
This guide is here to help you prepare for your in home newborn photography session.
I want you to know exactly what you can expect from your shoot and this quick guide will help you feel comfortable, look your best and feel confident this will ultimately make you feel thrilled with your photographs and the overall experience.
1 What to wear.
The number one and most important rule is for mom to wear something that you feel comfortable in and dress your family around that.
It’s so important that you feel like your unique and wonderful self, which I know is easy to say and harder to do after you have just birthed a little human. I promise you that my goal is to make you feel and look beautiful. Because YOU ARE! Please share with me any concerns or ideas that could help our session and help you feel your best.
Be yourself, wear styles and colors that you already love and don’t be afraid to accentuate your outfit with your favorite jewelry or accessories.
I recommend wearing a neutral color palette to keep your images looking fresh, clean, and timeless.
Avoid wearing bright red as it can create unflattering color casts on the baby. Also avoid overly busy patterns or t-shirts with a large, attention grabbing graphic.
It’s great to pick a color for your family outfit, but rather than putting everyone in a black top, play up the variety but mixing different shades, adding a splash of an analogous color (colors that are next to each other on the color wheel) they usually match well and are pleasing to the eye. OR try mixing different patterns with your chosen color.
It’s a great idea to lay out your outfits before our shoot and see how they go together. I’m happy to make suggestions once I arrive.
Outfit bottoms can be, jeans, khakis, slacks, leggings and yoga pants (my fav!! :D ), skirts of complementary colors.
If you are nursing keep that in mind when planning your outfit. You can either layer up with a tank top, that was my go to move when nursing, you can easily pull the shirt up and the tanktop down. Something with a scoop or V-neck will make nursing easily accessible. And of course you can wear your favorite nursing top or dress.
You can find some great choices below:
Milk Supply- Chicago
PRO TODDLER TIP: If your toddler refuses to wear the designated outfit, don’t worry! If half of your shoot they are in a princess dress or dinosaur costume we will make it work. It’s much easier to just go with it for a bit and let them have some power in the experience. Most likely this will be the exact thing that will make them want to change their mind and outfit. AND some of your photos will reflect what your kiddo was so endearingly obsessed with in this particular time in your life.
2. Make up and Hair
Do what makes you feel comfortable. I tend to schedule shoots around 1030. I find that this gives parents enough time to almost get ready and everyone is always in good spirits early in the day.
It’s not uncommon for everyone to still be scrambling when I arrive, and that’s totally fine! I understand that this is a new and hectic time for you, I’m here to help make it easier.
For make-up simple is best. A tiny bit of foundation, mascara, a bit of blush and your favorite lip balm or lipstick. If you don’t wear makeup on a regular basis, then skip it for the shoot. If you are excited for this opportunity to put your face on-then do it girl! Whatever makes you feel good. I want you to be yourself. I do advise not to over do it OR at least make sure you blend well. If you are worried about puffy eyes just put some cold spoons on your eyes a few minutes before you start getting ready.
During our newborn photo shoot I will gently guide you into poses that make you look amazing. I will also tastefully smooth skin on close up photos and remove any noticeable blemishes.
Depending on your hair type, give it a wash the morning of or the night before. Some volume is a great idea, you can use large curlers or go about your regular routine. My best tip is do with your hair what you would normally do when going to an important event.
Go with baby shower hair vs. wedding hair. You want to feel good without feeling stressed. I will help you and give you tips if I notice any fly-aways at our shoot. I’m here for you!
3. Baby Prep
Posed Newborn Photography
If you want squishy sleepy photos for your documentary photography session it is best to schedule your session within the first 10 days as babies become more aware of the world around them after that time.
Please have any blankets, wraps or props (especially houseplants! It’s my signature look with newborn photos) ready.
For squishy naked photos: have the baby in an undone diaper and wrapped in a blanket when I arrive, this way we don't have to undress and wake a sleepy baby. Babies are nowhere near a schedule at this time but it's a great idea to feed your little one right before our session time so they are nice and milk drunk.
I will bring a couple of blankets and wraps and botanical props. To keep the photos personal and matching the vibe and design of your home I do prefer to use things my clients already have. Etsy is a great place to find props for these photos.
Some things to have on hand: blankets, wraps, hats, family heirlooms or any other props. The sleepy baby portion will take slightly less than an hour. The remainder of our time will be filled with lifestyle photos. I will let baby lead our time and ensure that you will never feel stressed out or rushed.
It's a great idea to keep your house and your bedroom warm as I will most likely use your bed for some photos.
For Lifestyle and Documentary Photography
When dressing baby, simple is best.
Onesies and cute diapers will be adorable in photos. Plain diapers or those with cool designs also work well.
You can use cloth diapers OR find ones that are plain or have really cool designs at:
Have some fun swaddle blankets and onesies on hand, you can find some at:
In Evanston use code SNUGGLE for 20% off on swaddle blankets!!!!
Local to Chicago
4. Session Flow
After photographing countless families, I have learned that when people feel comfortable and not on the spot they are able to enjoy the experience and authentically connect with their family. Thus, making magical, honest, love filled photos that you will treasure for years to come. And one day your kids will too!
I will help by providing expert positioning suggestions, gentle direction and activities to keep the mood light to allow you to stay fully present and for your family's love to shine through naturally.
I bring minimal props along so that the images reflect you and your life. If you'd like to include family heirlooms, objects of meaning, have those items ready.
Keep in mind that although we do have a plan, it's best to stay flexible and let our session unfold. I promise you my ultimate goal is for this photo shoot to be a relaxed and enjoyable experience.
Baby will lead the session and we will take things slow allowing for plenty of breaks for nursing/feedings, diaper changes as well as water and snack breaks for mom. Our session will last 1-2 hours, which I find is the perfect amount of time to not feel rushed and to get the most out of our newborn photography session.
PRO TIP KIDS: For the two hours that we are together try and NOT discipline your kids. Unless they are doing something dangerous or against your values, please intervene but otherwise just let them be! Kids generally don’t like to do what they are told, so telling them to sit here or look that way actually works against us. I will use my expert skills and proven games to facilitate our session. I promise it will be worth it. It will make your session less stressful, your kids will have fun, dad won’t need a 6 pack to recover from photography session trauma and your photos will be magical. Just leave it to me and let me communicate with your kiddos. If I need help I will get you involved asap. Bribes are always a good idea. An after photo shoot treat seems to be a favorite.
5. Communication and Co-creation:
It’s important to have an idea of what you would like your final images to feel like and for me to get to know you better. For this purpose you will receive a quick questionnaire before your shoot.
Please communicate with me if there are any specific photos that you want. We will definitely get the “christmas card photo” of everyone looking, as well as some sweet interactive moments and the beauty in the chaos of your new adventure. We will also focus on documenting the different relationships in your new family: mom + baby, partner + baby, sibling + baby, just baby, etc...If there is any specific photo that you want just let me know.
I love when clients make suggestions and inspire me to try different things while trusting my expertise and dedication to my craft to carry them out. I absolutely love when they let me try out fun and artsy things as well.
The point of my sessions is to document your authentic moments through my perspective while connecting with your and your story. This means that I’m not just coming to your house and going through the motions of snapping photos, instead this is a collaborative process where I help create space for you be yourself while feeling and looking amazing.
We will create images that will speak to you for years and help you freeze and keep the beauty in yourself and your life.