PREPARING FOR YOUR
in-home newborn SESSION
PREPARING FOR YOUR
in-home newborn SESSION
WHAT TO EXPECT
Plan for your session to last about an hour, but depending on baby's mood, it can last up to two hours. We will use this time to capture lots of candid moments focused on the newest member of your family! Snuggling, crib time, bathtime, nursing/ bottles, diaper changes, tiny baby details, etc. Baby can be awake or asleep, we will take their lead. We will mainly be in the nursery, master bedroom, and living area. Parents (and siblings) will be very involved in the photos, as well as capturing individual images of the baby. I will lightly pose you and suggest activities/ give direction in order to encourage a lot of candid interaction, so we can document some truly authentic moments and feelings.
GETTING THE HOUSE READY
- Turn up the heat in your house! 76-80 will keep baby calm and happy while we shoot, rather than needing to be swaddled for much of the time.
- I use natural window light to light the photos. Turn off any lamps or overhead lights, since this can cause an unpleasant color cast in photos.
- Tidy up beforehand, but no need to go overboard. De-clutter whatever you can, even if it just means tossing a pile of stuff in the closet while I'm there. Minimal clutter will really help the focus of the images to be solely on baby and family.
- I may move some things around a bit while I'm there to make sure we can catch the best light. I'll make sure to put everything back where I found it!
WHAT TO WEAR
This is the most common question I get asked before a session. I am a huge fan of neutrals/ earth tones and textures-- this adds a soft organic look to the photos while also keeping the focus on faces. Avoid things like bright colors, words on clothing, and bold patterns because they can be distracting. That being said, everyone in solid colors can be a bit dull. Mix in some simple patterns (think faint stripes or vintage floral patterns) or textures (like a knit sweater) to add interest in a discreet way. Be coordinated rather than matchy. A flowy nursing-friendly dress for moms can be very comfortable and beautiful for photos. Dads can go for a nice henley tee, or something like a linen button down always looks lovely too if you prefer a less casual look. Skip shoes-- if you don't normally wear shoes around your house, there's no need to be wearing shoes in your photos.
I like to encourage people not to try to get too fancy or formal-- dressing more casually will keep you and the kids comfortable during the session and will mesh well with my candid style of photography. Since we are trying to capture real moments and authentic feelings, it helps for everyone to feel comfortable and relaxed.
If anyone will have their nails painted for the photos, make sure to keep the color neutral/ muted so it's not distracting. Or if you or the kids have chipping nail polish, make sure to remove it before the session!
For baby's outfit, keep it simple. Wrap-style onesies, simple rompers, a tiny top with leggings-- these can all photograph really well. If you'd like to plan a second outfit for baby, feel free. It can create a nice opportunity to capture candids of baby getting changed or having a bath in between outfits.
If you are buying the kids new clothes for your session, I'd suggest getting ones that fit now rather than ones they will grow into, as tempting as it is to get things that will fit longer. We don't want them to look like they are swimming in their clothes for your photos! This is especially important for the baby!!!
Please feel free to reach out to me with outfit ideas or questions; I am always happy to assist in the planning.
aimee liz photography client closet
I have a whole collection of clothing items for babies and toddlers size newborn through 5T available to clients to borrow for their session. These items all photograph well and coordinate nicely with a variety of colors. If you'd like to see what I have, just let me know what size(s) you need, and I'll send along your options!
need some more specific wardrobe ideas?
Your session fee includes free access to Style & Select, an online service that will help you coordinate outfits. They show you tons of options that you can match together right on their site. You can order direct from their links, or just use it as inspiration to shop your own closet. If you're more of a shop on your own kind of person, see below for some suggestions of great shops to check out.
FOR KIDS & TODDLERS
* Target and Old Navy are also really great options for any member of the family. especially if you don't have time to order online, or if you want to work with a tighter budget.
The number one most important thing to remember is to relax and enjoy your family! The absolute best photos come from when you soak up the little moments and allow yourself to interact naturally with your family. Keep it positive; be affectionate, be happy, be you! It's not always easy to do, but try to let yourself act as you would if you didn't have a camera in your face. It helps to focus on the AMAZINGNESS of the tiny human that now hangs out in your arms all the time.
It's also helpful to remember that we will follow baby's lead. No baby feels like cooperating for a photo shoot. They might cry, or have a blowout, or need to nurse 50 times. This is all ok! We'll get creative and make lots of beautiful pictures no matter the situation.
If baby has siblings, get them excited for special hangout time with their newest family member. Keep it low pressure-- if they aren't very into the baby, we won't force it, we'll just find ways to incorporate them without making them feel upset. The less pressure they feel going into it, the more real their smiles will be, and the more likely they will be to want to do everything we are asking them to do. They don’t have to be perfectly behaved in order for us to get fantastic images. Kids are the best at being candid and I love capturing the whole gamut of emotions.
And last but not least, make sure to take off your smartwatch and empty your pockets of phone, keys, and wallet so they aren't visible in all your photos!
CONNECTION CONNECTION CONNECTION!
This is one of the most important tips! Important enough to get its own category. Connection, affection, hand holding, touching-- these are what help bring so much feeling into your photos. Feel free to go a little more overboard than usual with your affection toward your family members (tell your partner this too!). Going in for a kiss? Grab your partner’s cheek to pull them in. Nuzzle together for a moment afterward. Looking at your baby? Brush your fingers through their hair, touch their belly, hold their tiny hand. Tender moments and physical touch are everything! Let yourself be fully immersed in the moment, breathe in the sweet smell of your tiny human, and love on your family.
Get excited for your baby's first photo session!