A question I am frequently asked is “Can I take newborn photos in my home?” The answer is yes, you can! Most photographers call this a Lifestyle Newborn Session, myself included.
So what is a Lifestyle Newborn Session? How is it different than a Posed Newborn Session in the studio?
A Lifestyle Newborn Session takes place in the comfort of your home. I use the natural light in the home and decide the best areas upon my arrival. I will talk to my clients ahead of time asking them where they believe their best light is but then I’ll politely ask to look around myself and see if there are any other light gems. Many times this will be the living room, baby’s nursery or master bedroom but I have used a small side bathroom before if it gives me amazing light. The session uses a few posed elements but mostly is just very natural. I like to capture mom holding baby, dad holding baby, baby by themselves in several set ups, and siblings or pets if they apply. I love to photograph details like baby’s feet in mom or dad’s hands or tiny fingers holding something.
What equipment is necessary?
Sometimes I will use a flash on my camera but normally I am comfortable with the light in my client’s home. I love to find darker corners to add to the images with a moody light or have my clients stand in front of a bright window to add a silhouette effect. A studio session will have studio lighting set up for optimal lighting and backdrops to get rid of all distractions. A studio session will have more props and baby posed in more diliberately set up ways. Ideally a studio session would have baby sleeping where a Lifestyle Newborn Session allows baby to stay awake easier.
I may bring a few items to your session such as a few fabric wraps, one wooden prop and occasionally a dress for mom (if she requests). It really is just simple in nature and all about the expressions of the people in the photo and capturing that love you have for your little ones.
How long does a Lifestyle Newborn Session last?
An In Home Newborn Photos Session, also known as a Lifestyle Newborn Session, takes on average 1-1.5 hours. I always provide my clients with guidance on how to prep for their session ahead of time so that makes for a successful and usually very quick session. Of course I always tell my clients that baby is the boss and we go on their schedule. I wish I was kidding but it is oh so true! There should always be an allowance of time if baby needs to eat, have their diaper changed or needs a break from over stimulation.
Can I include my pet in the session?
I have included many dogs in newborn sessions, both posed and in home, and always share the same information ahead of time. I tell my clients if your dog is pretty trained and calm I recommend it. If there is any uncertainty of how they will be around me (being a stranger in your home and maybe protective of your new baby) or the baby itself, it is NOT a good idea.
Dogs are animals and as beautiful as they are and definitely part of the family, safety is always most important. If you have no doubts that your dog is a good fit for this new environment, then the second question I ask is “Will your dog in the session stress you out?” Sometimes managing a new baby (especially with other siblings that may be jealous of baby and need extra attention) can be enough and adding a pet can add to the stress and make the experience of your session less enjoyable. I want to be sure you have fun and that you experience real memories snuggling with your little one. Stress free is the goal and I want you to remember your session as a positive experience.
Do I need to clean my house before the session?
This is a personal preference question but I’m really laid back when it comes to being in people’s homes and there being clutter or it looking like you just had a baby. No really, we can just push aside any items for baby we don’t want in photos or shoot at an angle that shows “less.” Occasionally I have to move furniture or “clear” an area for a bit but we always get it back in order. So does your home have to be spotless, not at all.
How old should my baby be for an in home newborn photos session? When is the best time to book my session?
It is best to schedule any newborn session when baby is 7-21 days old however an in home session really can be any age. It is just easier to photograph baby sleepy and more content and adds a different look to your images. As a bonus you are really capturing those beginning weeks home when the emotions are fresh and everything is new and exciting!
The best time to book your Lifestyle Newborn is session as early as possible in your pregnancy to guarantee a spot on my calendar, usually in 2nd or 3rd trimester. I will do my best to book babies after they are born but it seems to make things so much easier to have my clients book before baby is born. This ensures them a spot as well as gives them 1.) one less thing to worry about when baby is here 2.) time to plan your session ahead of time.
Are you feeling an in home newborn session is the best for your family? Are you ready to book a session with Just Peachy Photography in Palatine, IL or need more information? Ready to see more of my work, visit our Facebook page. Contact me and I am happy to answer all of your questions and get you in my schedule.