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How to prepare for an in-home Lifestyle Newborn Photography Session

Calgary Newborn Photographer's top tips to prepare for your newborn session!

Let me start with: Don't stress! Remember you hired me to catch a glimpse of this fleeting time, just as you and your house are. Your gallery is there to recall the precious and also chaotic moments of Newborn-ness!

1. Prepare 1-2 rooms for your photographer

I do make a small request that a room or two in your home that are filled with the brightest natural light, get a quick once-over. You do not need to dust the lamp shades by any means, but clearing the space of clutter so I can work, is key. Also removing any distracting toys from an older sibling, making the beds, tucking away unsightly chords and glowing electronics is very helpful.

Pro-tip: neutral toy-sets rock and can be left out for an older sibling to play with while I shoot (such as the Ikea tain track set). This way they can be engaged during the shoot without the large blue and red paw-patrol tower looming in every photo.

2. Newborn portraits require some heat

I like to take detail shots of little toes and tummies and having the house a touch warmer allows me to do this with little to no worry that your new babe is chilly!

By the way! Newborn Photography is best done around 14 days old for a number of reasons. One being that they are absolutely delicate and tiny for around 2 weeks. And two, being that baby acne comes in hot around the 17 day mark. But depending on how you are feeling, it can be left for up to a month after they arrive!

3. My Newborn Photo workflow: feed, burp, change repeat

Babies will be babies! I work fast and break up the shoot into chunks to ensure everyone will be fed, changed and burped!

I usually like to start the session right after a feed, when they are satiated and drowsy. I love sneaking in shots of baby getting their diaper changed with a little help from their big sister, or being burped by dad. This real-life approach gives everyone a chance to relax as we shoot and not feel like every moment belongs on a magazine.

4. Older siblings are just as important as your Newborn

A day in the life of a parent with multiple kids is A LOT different than new parents to their first born. If you have wild children to tame during the shoot I highly suggest some bribery. The big kids only need to make it through a small part of the session before you set them free into the basement with candy and an iPad.

If they are still relatively little, they might want to stay close to mom or dad during the session, which is perfectly fine, I love capturing how your family unit is adjusting to the new baby through my lens. Another bonus suggestion would be inviting a helping hand to hang out with your older kiddos half way through the shoot. This could be a grandma or a friend.

5. Dressing for Newborn Lifestyle Photography

My final tip is the most important. Wear something you feel comfortable in. I always send clients Pinterest boards with some ideas to help give them some inspiration. But I will just go head and tell you exactly what I send to client's in their Newborn Session Guide:

Great choices:

  • Soft neutrals and denim

  • Soft colors: Opt for blush over hot pink, or powder blue instead of royal blue

  • Chunky knits and natural fibers like linen, cotton, and wool

  • Maternity denim and billowy feminine blouses

  • Oversized knitted cardigans or "shackets" if you feel self conscious

  • Clothes suitable for lounging at home, sitting, or snuggling your new baby

Pro tip: Style your hair the night before to avoid last-minute stress. A touch of dry shampoo on the day of the shoot will keep you looking fresh.

Things to avoid:

  • Loud patterns, cartoon characters, or branded clothing

  • Red, purple, or bright pink colors that can make baby's skin appear more red or purple in photos

  • All-black outfits, which can make close-up baby portraits tricky

  • Branded gym socks; opt for black or dress socks, or simply go barefoot

  • Avoid belts and button-up shirts; opt for relaxed "at-home" outfits instead.

In Closing-remember why you wanted newborn photos to begin with!

This is the often the most surreal, beautiful, love-filled and also jarring first month of your life. Booking a newborn photographer is a really great investment that you'll be so happy you made down the road. Looking back on your gallery, you'll be reminded of all the things your brain slowly forgets as time goes on. Trust me on this one.

If you are expecting, book your Newborn Session with me! 

And please, feel free to drop any other tips or tricks you might have to offer in the comments below!


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