In Home Newborn Photography

Are you expecting a new addition to your family? Congratulations! It’s never too early to start thinking about newborn photos. In this post, I’m specifically going discuss the benefits of planning an in home newborn photography session. While studio photography sessions are beautiful and have a whole host of merits, in home sessions are truly something special. They produce truly intimate and personal portraits, that fully capture this moment in your family’s life.

Image of Moses basket rocker

1. The Comfort of Your Own Home

There’s a lot to be said about the convenience of in home newborn photography sessions. The photographer comes to you, after all! If the thought of packing up clothes, diapers, wipes, nursing accessories/bottles and formula, and loading everyone into the car sounds daunting when your family is still in the postpartum blur, then an in home session may be a great fit for you.

When the newborn session takes place in your home, you have everything you could possible need close at hand. If the baby spits up all over his or her outfit, no big deal! Go to the closet and grab another one or pull out a swaddle blanket. Newborn babies sometimes need frequent feeding breaks during newborn sessions. If you are nursing your baby, being able to settle into your familiar chair goes a long way towards putting you and baby more at ease for a successful and efficient feeding. (I personally had some major nursing struggles with my first born. Our best feedings during those early weeks happened at home where I could easily get comfortable and relax.)

2. A True Snapshot of Your Current Life

In home newborn photography sessions are so personal and authentic because they take place in your home. There is something so beautiful about capturing not only the people, but the spaces where we live our everyday lives. Many parents put a lot of thoughtful details into the decoration of their nurseries and homes in general. These touches are worth capturing. It may seem hard to believe now, but it won’t belong before that crib is replaced by a big boy or big girl bed.

Personally, my first two daughters were born in a quaint little rental house we moved into when we were fairly freshly married. Our youngest daughter was born in a house we built. My husband and I love looking back at those images and remembering a prior house that we dearly love, as well as seeing the progress we have made in completing our current house. Our oldest daughters don’t even remember their first home, but we have documentation of that sweet stage of life that seems like lifetime ago and yesterday at the very same time.

3. A Safe Space for Toddlers To Roam

If there will be an older brother or sister participating in photos, an in home newborn photography session includes some very handy perks. Young children often feel more secure in a familiar environment and may therefore warm up to a photographer more quickly. Obviously, a toddler’s attention span is usually limited. Having favorite toys nearby and a space to scamper off to take a break can go a long way to making newborn photos go smoothly. All important snacks will also be close at hand. When conducting in home newborn photography session, I personally aim to complete full family and sibling photos first so that young children can be set free while I focus of the mother and newborn for a more extended period of time.

4. Pets Are Welcome!

Do you have a fur baby who is equally part of the family? It is much easier to incorporate pets into an in home newborn photography session compared to a studio space. They can be brought it when the moment is right and then released to play, eat, or nap once the portrait is captured.

Dog smells newborn baby during in home newborn photography session.

Tips for Planning Your In Home Newborn Photography Session

Now that we’ve considered the perks of planning an in home newborn photography session, let’s consider some steps to take to effectively prepare for one!

1. DO have helpful items on hand

As I’ve already mentioned, the benefit of doing an in home session is having everything you need at your finger tips. Do take some time to make sure these items actually are at your finger tips. Before the session, pull out burp clothes, pacifiers, waddle blankets, and extra outfits. This way you won’t stress over hunting down what you need during the actual session. It can be especially helpful to have a sound machine turned on to help sooth your newborn.

2. DO try to feed your baby before you in home newborn photography session

Newborns are happiest with a full tummy. If possible, try to feed your baby right before the photographer arrives. It can even be helpful to bump up the temperature a few degrees to ensure that the house is warm and cozy, helping your baby remain calm and drift off to sleep. However, if your baby isn’t interested in feeding right before the session, don’t stress. Newborn photographers are used to taking breaks so that your baby’s needs are met. At almost every newborn session I will remind parents, “You can’t rush a newborn!” A baby needs to eat when it needs to eat, especially during these early days.

3. DO NOT stress over having a spotless house

I’ve given birth three times. I know how stressful and sleep deprived those first few weeks are. I know how quickly a toddler can tear apart a room. Your house does not have to be spotless. If there are certain rooms you would like featured, take a few minutes to tidy those up at eye level. If I see something that I think will be distracting to the eye, I will ask to move it and help with the process. Don’t waste your time fretting over the laundry room, bathrooms, dining rooms, etc. A good friend of mine told me about how years ago, when she had her first child, she frantically vacuumed and swept the floors before her newborn photographer arrived. She laughs about it now! Your photographer isn’t going to photograph your un-dusted baseboards and un-moped kitchen floors. Don’t let these minor details stress you out!

4. DO consider the colors in your home when picking out wardrobe

Hopefully you’ve chosen a photographer who either provides a styling consult or client closet (I personally offer both). When planning an in home newborn photography session, it’s important to consider the colors of the decor in your home. The last thing you want to do is clash with the space you’re being photographed in. Ask your photographer for guidance! It’s generally safest to go with solid fabrics and light neutrals.

5. DO discuss lighting with your in home newborn photographer

I personally bring supplemental lighting to all of my in home newborn photography sessions. I prefer not to be limited by the location of windows or the day’s weather. My goal is to fully capture your family in your favorite spaces. (If you’re a photographer wanting to learn more about in home flash photography, click here.) However, there are plenty of amazing natural light photographers who produce stunning work. When planning your in home session, ask your photographer about their lighting needs. This may affect your game plan as to which rooms will be photographed and therefore need to be prepared ahead of time.

Mother hold toddler during in home newborn photography session

6. DO take a moment to quiet yourself and savor the moment

Preparing your family for a photography session, whether it be in home, in studio or on location can be a mammoth task. I’m personally prone to letting stress get the better of when when trying to get my three youngesters dressed and ready for special occasions. If you can, possibly when feeding your baby before the session, take a few moments to quiet yourself and think about the blessings and beauty of this season of your life. Make an effort to slow down and be present during your photography session. Smell your newborn’s head. Make your toddlers giggle. Let your photographer take the lead and enjoy the ride. It will show in your images. I promise!

Book Kelley for your In Home Newborn Photography Session

Are you in the Chattanooga, TN area and looking for a photographer for your next in home newborn photography session? I’d love to hear all about your vision and how I may serve you! You can find more information about booking with me and contacting me here! Do note that I also offer maternity and newborn photo packages.

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