Do you love how natural and organic it feels to be home, in your own space, and excited to have these memories in your home captured? You're in the right place! While studio sessions are great, I love the raw emotions that an in home session captures. Here are some things that can help you prepare you and your home into a great backdrop for this type of photo session.
First and most important, light!
Consider the rooms that you would want to have photographed…nursery, living room and master are the main rooms that I found that in home sessions are photographed in. If these rooms have small, tiny or limited windows, and they are dark - an in-home newborn session might not be right for those rooms. Try and find the most well lit space in your home. Natural light is the most important part of making the session feel organic, so this is key. While I can use flash, flash gives of a more staged look to photographs, not natural. I prefer not to use it if we don’t have to.
In home sessions are for the more lifestyle and organic look so you can have the newborn in clothes that you would normally have them in, like a simple white onesie or swaddle. I have to admit, seeing a newborn a white onesie, even the one from the hospital is one of the greatest looks. Fresh, clean, simple. A memory for you, that what this is all about. As for the parents outfits, stick with the neutrals, white, grey, black, beige. Jeans, khakis for dad are always a great option. If you need help, I'm more than happy to create a style guide for you so that you know where to purchase items that will look killer together.
The timing of the sessions are based off the baby however I have found that mid morning tends to be a sweet spot for newborns up to 2-3 weeks. Let’s be real, they tend to be up all night and sleep during the day, unless you have a god-sent baby, this is normally the case. Around 10:30am-12:30pm is a great time to have the session, the sun is not harshly coming in and it isn’t too early for mom and dad. Just like an in studio newborn session, babies should be fed just before I arrive or should be just finishing a meal. This allows for them to remain “milk drunk” and their happiest and sleepiest while we are shooting. We will allow for nursing or another feeding in the middle of the session before an outfit change and/or after the family part of the session is complete.
Setting expectations before the session is the key to great photos and happy kids. Before your session, make sure to have your kids’ favorite snacks. If they’re too young to follow directions, sit out any objects that you think might help me get their attention (like small toys or stuffed animals) when it’s time for them to look at the camera. If your little ones are old enough to understand you, it’s a good idea to prepare them for what’s to come before the session starts. Explain how much the photos mean to you so they know to be on their best behavior. A lot of families pick something fun to do – as a treat after the session – if their kiddos are good listeners. Like dinner at their favorite pizza place or an ice cream cone!
It also helps if your kids' bellies are full and they’ve had some good rest before the session. After you do your best to prepare them, give yourself (and them) some grace! I have a lot of experience working with kids, so if they’re “in a mood” or aren’t cooperating perfectly for some reason, rest assured that we’re not judging you (or them). I’ve seen it all and know how to get great photos no matter what! My goal is to make this as fun and stress-free as it possibly can be for you and your family! This season of life feels long right now, but in the grand scheme of things, it's short. So even if things don't go exactly as planned or as you'd hoped in terms of your kids’ behavior, one day, you’ll be so glad you took these photos.
Lastly, lets just say it, the most dreaded word for a new mom, cleaning!
Let’s be honest, you just had a baby. The last thing that you want to do is clean your house and prepare to have a photographer come over just days after. I’m not judging you or how your home looks. This is the last thing on my mind when entering your home. My main goal is getting to the light and making beautiful photographs for you and your family. Of course, I have zero issue coming in and moving things with your permission of course. I may do that even if you don’t have any clutter or distractions to get the best option for your photos. Remember, light, so try and minimize closer to the windows in the rooms that you want photographed if anything. We can work in small spaces if needed.
Most important, your home does not, I repeat, does not need to be perfect. Your family doesn’t need to be perfect, but you can do some simple things to make the setting for this session the perfect natural backdrop for an in home newborn pictures that does highlight this exciting and sweet time in your lives.