How to Prepare for an In-Home Newborn Session

What’s the best timeframe to schedule your In-Home Newborn Session?

On the whole, newborns who are 2 weeks or younger will be the most sleepy and curly. However, it’s never too late. After 2 weeks, newborns tend to be awake longer and stretch out more. If a sleepy, curly baby is your goal choose 2 weeks or younger. If you aren’t quite up for it or would rather have some awake shots choose 2 weeks or older. Keep in mind these are what most babies do. Every baby will be different.

You, also, want to keep in mind when work starts up again. I prefer for both parents, if involved in the session, to remain available for the entire session. Having to rush to get back to work doesn’t always give you the best possible variety of photos.

What time of the day is best.

Babies are typically happiest in the morning. Younger siblings, too. I am available to start a weekday newborn session anytime between 9 and 11. You can expect most sessions to take 1.5-2 hours.

It’s not necessary to schedule your session around your newborns feeding or sleeping schedule but you will want to think about their older siblings schedules. A hungry or sleepy toddler won’t do well for portraits.

2 months (or more) before your session

I suggest having wardrobe chosen 2 month before your session. This will give you time to make exchanges and not feel rushed. Neutrals and light pastels are best for my style of photography.

Mom’s can be harder to choose wardrobe for ahead of time. If purchasing something I suggest dresses with a stretchy top and flowy bottom. Go up a size or order 2 sizes if you’re nervous. Your in-home newborn session includes me shopping for you online. Just let me know your size and color/style you’re looking for and I will send you links to purchase from.

Nothing Fits But is one of my favorites online shops to buy comfortable, beautiful dresses that photograph well and transition easily from before, during and after birth.

I love helping you plan your session so wardrobe is, also, available to choose from from my client closet.

The Day Before Your In-Home Newborn Session

Tidy the House

You do not have to do a deep clean. Choose the rooms with the best light and de-clutter.

  • remove non-decorative items or items you don’t want in photographs from night stands
  • Put away anything else in the room that you wouldn’t want to appear in a photograph. It’s unlikely I will need to open your closets so shove away. I will warn you though, I’ve been know to step into a few closets to gain a little more space in a small room. I promise I will not judge you and will gladly show you my linen closet to make you feel better. 🙂

The Day of Your In-Home Newborn Session

Warm the house

Newborns want to be warm. This is an important step most moms want to skip since you’re likely to be hot most of the time after baby is born. Find a good balance so you’re not miserable but baby is comfortable. I suggest cranking up the heat or turning off the air 2-3 hours before your session.

Clean up Baby, siblings and give yourself plenty of time to get ready

  • wash babies hair as it often can look oily really quickly
  • Make sure everybody has clean ears, noses, hands, feet. Hands will always be visible during your session.
  • Moisturize skin and lips. Baby may be flakey and that’s fine and normal. It’s not necessary to try to remove it.

During your Session

Keep Smiling

Go with the flow during your session and smile no matter what’s happening. I’ve had to toss, many, beautiful photos, over the years, due to unhappy looking parents or parents who are correcting their kids mid-shot. Perfection doesn’t have to mean stiff poses with unhappy toddlers who just want to be themselves.

Try to keep an open mind

Often, we get specific results in our head we would like to achieve and miss out on gorgeous moments. If baby needs a feed I will hang with siblings or fur babies and capture moments of just them or them with the parent who isn’t doing the feeding. Siblings love feeling like the session is just as much about them as the new baby.

After your Session

After your session you will receive an online link from which you will choose your favorite images. Images, at this point, have not received final touches unless you chose to purchase your entire gallery upfront.

Black and white’s of all chosen images are included with your gallery. You will, also, have the option to upgrade your gallery to all image and purchase prints directly from your gallery. A print release is included with your session so you may print at your preferred lab if you would like.

Laura Cardan offers In-Home newborn sessions in and around Birmingham, Alabama.