Newborn Session Guide.
The goal of this session is to capture your family as it is, chaos and all. Whether you have one little baby or five teenagers, we want to make sure that everyone is represented in who they are! Parents, please do not stress out if your baby, toddlers or children are not behaving how you had imagined for the shoot. I have three kids of my own (11, 9, and 3) and can handle the tantrums and running around like crazy! I’m a pediatric nurse in my other job, I’ve won kids over for a lot more difficult activities than photos! I work around the baby (and/or toddler too!) and we take all the breaks we need for feeding and changing.
Why in home?
The comfort of your own home is the perfect place to showcase your brand new family member with their parents, siblings, and pets! Babies change SO MUCH in those first few weeks, so I love being able to capture that brand new goodness for parents.
I cannot emphasize enough the lifestyle nature of this session: it is super heavy on the candids and truly just capturing your life at home with your newest family member! We will take the time to include lots of real moments and genuine smiles and laughs and cuddles with babe. It helps to plan a small activity for the family, such as reading together, playing something an older sibling likes to do, or giving baby a sink bath. We will also round out our session with some portraits of baby on their own (sleeping or awake) and with the whole family together. I especially love capturing the new big sibling(s) interacting with baby, and the often best way to do that is to be patient and give them some time to warm up to the session and join in when they are ready. Please no bribes and “smile for the camera!” with toddlers! They tend to shut down and then we spend the session chasing them instead of playing together.
Since we are planning a lifestyle/documentary session, there are no strict rules for how old baby is. We can capture all the brand new wrinkles and sleepiness of their first week home, or wait until you are settled. Whatever you’d prefer! As for timing, daylight hours are definitely required, and often new babies are happiest and most relaxed in the mornings. But I am happy to work around the schedule of older siblings who need to nap as well. We want everyone to be at their best!
Preparation and what to wear
Please don’t feel obligated to clean your whole home in preparation! We can definitely work with a clear area that has some nice windows. Usually favourite spots for families include: parents bedroom, baby’s nursery, the living room area. But there are no rules! If you are a family of cooks or you want to give baby a bath in the kitchen, let's do it! Your photos will reflect your home’s personality. So if your home is bright and airy your photos will feel the same. If you embrace the shadows and mood at home expect to see that contrasting light in your session photos as well.
We will be embracing your home’s natural light (open up those window blinds!), turning off the overhead lights and taking advantage of the natural brightness as much as possible. I’ll direct you all next to windows as much as possible — we will take full advantage of the light coming into your house. Even on the cloudiest (and the rainiest too!) days, you’ll be pleasantly surprised with how much the outside light comes in to give you the best possible pictures! And I have some supplemental lighting I will bring along if we need to enhance a special area at home that may be darker.
Try and feed babe shortly before your session time. This ensures baby has a full belly and will hopefully be happy and cooperative. If you would like any feeding/nursing pictures, we absolutely can capture those moments, so in that case hold off on feeding until I arrive! Either way, I expect to take a break for some extra feeding. I find babies tend to need more settling on photo day than a typical quiet morning at home.
Turn up the heat if it's cold out! Baby is much happier in a warm environment. This allows for babe to be comfortable for any naked/diaper pictures and isn’t so upset to have their clothes changed if the house is extra warm.
What to wear is totally up to you! I tell moms to pick their outfit first and build the rest of the family’s outfits around her. I do encourage moms to wear something comfortable. Having a light sweater or cardigan to go over your outfit works well for pictures and leaves some options if it gets too warm. Solids and neutrals are an excellent colour choice for parents, they allow baby and even siblings to wear something bolder and still keep everyone’s look cohesive. But at the same time, I really want your photos to reflect your family - I love rainbows and colour and I am excited to embrace the colour if that's what you love!
A solid colour, well fitting onesie or sleeper is all you need for baby. You are free to choose any outfit you'd like and change their clothes too, but I find outfits that are loose or have multiple layers don't photograph as well.
Since this is a lifestyle session, very heavy on the candid and documentary nature of a session, I leave any ‘props’ that you’d want to include up to you. You can absolutely incorporate special items into photos, such as your own swaddles, hats, headbands, outfits, etc. Outfit/blanket changes are absolutely okay and I love when we get a variety of pictures of babe - including diaper/naked photos if you'd like! I do have some plain swaddles and blankets I will bring along if you'd prefer that choice as well.
After the session
I aim to return galleries to families no later than 14 days after our session. The link will be emailed to you and you can download all the full size photos from your gallery. Galleries typically include 30+ photos.
Sharing my work is the best way for other clients to find me. I’ve included a model release on my questionnaire to share some sneak peek photos from our session on my social media pages so you can see some pictures as soon as possible! I also may include some photos from our session on my website to highlight for others what a lifestyle/documentary newborn session at home looks like. Please let me know if you do not want photos shared online. As well, I will never share naked/breastfeeding photos online with specific permission for those photos.
I am fully vaccinated against COVID19 as well as up to date on all of my other vaccinations, including (but not limited to) Tdap, flu, and MMR. I can wear a mask on request throughout our session and we will reschedule if myself or your household develop any symptoms before our session.
Please feel free to reach out if you have any other questions!
Newborn session fees are $475 and can be sent via EMT to firstname.lastname@example.org or paid via credit card on my booking site.
You can book your session here: