Lifestyle newborn photography session prep guide

Feb 10, 2020NEWBORN

Lifestyle newborn photography – The lowdown


The main difference between a lifestyle newborn photography session and a traditional photo shoot is that it’s more relaxed and parents are included to document their love for their new baby. Babies can be held by mum & dad, they aren’t required to sleep throughout and won’t be manouvered into poses. It’s all about cosy, natural & emotive moments of love and ofcourse, all those precious tiny details.

Sessions last around 2 hours in which time we’ll roll with baby’s routine. We’ll chat and I’ll guide you for the best light, but you’re totally encouraged to move, sing a lullaby, have snuggles and just be yourselves. All that I ask is for you to engage and connect with one another (and hopefully just a little enthusiasm 😉

Baby Grayson and his mummy & daddy, featured here, provide a perfect example of being up-for-it. Despite being tired from another sleepless night we managed to have so much fun and laughs during this emotive session. Follow these tips to enjoy and rock your newborn session just as much as these guys!

When to book your lifestyle newborn photography session


It’s advisable that you book your session around the time of your 20 week scan to be sure of your favourite photographer’s availability. I pop your due date in my schedule and as soon as you’re ready after giving birth you can just drop me a message to let me know your baby’s earthside and we’ll arrange your session date from there.

Lifestyle newborn photography sessions are more flexible than traditional photo shoots, though, as we’re not relying on having a brand new sleepy baby. This means sessions can be taken anytime from baby’s birth up until he or she is 6 weeks old. It all depends on what age you’d like to capture the most. This beautiful boy was exactly 1 month old for the images featured here but we were extremely lucky he was exhausted from keeping mum & dad up at night so we got lots of lovely details!

Beauty basics


Let’s face it, taking care of yourself takes a huge back burner when you’ve just had a baby. BUT you will appreciate that your fingernails were clean & tidy and your hands moisturised when you see your final images holding your perfect baby.

Mums are advised to wear a little extra eye make up than usual for the camera to look and feel their best. A bit of extra mascara goes a long way to detract attention from those sleep-deprived eye bags (not something I imagine this grogeous mum has to worry about!).

If your baby’s skin looks flaky or dry you can use a little hypoallergenic baby lotion leading up to your photo shoot date and apply a small amount on the day. All experienced photographers expect to tidy up some milk spots, tiny scratches or anything that isn’t expected to be there in a few weeks but if there’s anything more serious like a rash that you wouldn’t want in your photographs please let them know as soon as possible to reschedule.

Coordinate your clothing 


I love to help with my client’s wardobe choices so encourage them to send me shots of your outfit options laid out together to envisage how you’ll look best. Think tastefully casual. Here’s some pointers to start you off:


  • No distracting logos, text or graphics on tops
  • No clashing patterns
  • No clothes that match your walls or matching colour tops with each other (will wash you out)

 Instead, choose:


  • A colour palette of 2 or 3 main accent colours between you, teamed with neutrals (beige, cream, grey, navy etc)
  • Textures, layering
  • Choose clothes you’ll feel comfortable in & suit the environment; casual, bare feet, what you might wear at home.

You can check out my What to Wear inspiration board here.

Light it up


Experienced lifestyle photographers are great at working with available natural light. When I arrive I’ll usually turn off all the artificial lights and ask to have a quick scope of the spaces we’ll be working in. It’s also helpful if clients open all their blinds and curtains before their session.

If I haven’t already seen your home, I will often ask if you could send me a quick snapshot of the rooms we’ll be using around the same time of day as our shoot so I can prepare for the light and set-up.

Prep your home


I usually shoot in the master bedroom, the lounge and the nursery if you have one. If other rooms such as the kitchen have a lovely quality of light I’ll ask you if we can use them too. Warming your home up a little before the photo shoot is a good idea so baby will be happy when undressed; who doesn’t love those tiny toes shots afterall.

Please don’t clean your space unnecessarily. Give yourself a break, you’ve just birthed another human being! Dust won’t show up in photographs. If you can just lob any neon plastic cups and any other distracting clutter that you don’t want in your images into a cupboard, that’s perfect. If I find anything jarring on the day, I’ll ask if I can temporarily move it. If you do want to make the extra effort then a vase of flowers can make the prettiest images…just an idea!


Prep your baby


As well as getting your home to a nice temperature just before your session, it’s also a good idea to keep him stimulated for the couple of hours before your photographer arrives. Although we’re not relying on those sleeping shots, it’s nice to get some uninterupted detail shots so you can remember every little bit of your perfect new baby. If possible feed your baby just before the start time too to help our chances of a happy and relaxed little one. If those shots are important to you, you can also loosen any nappies and clothing to avoid any indentations in his skin.

How will you enjoy your final photographs?


Now is a good time to start thinking about what you’d like to do with your photographs from your session. Do you have a blank wall in your lounge crying out for a statement piece or do you love the idea of leafing through your memories when those baby days are long gone? I specialise in beautifully framed storyboards, designing gallery framed print groupings and luxurious fine art books. There’s a precious and stunning display option for any traditional and contemporary home. And if digital is your jam we’ve got that covered too.

And breathe…


Relax! I know it sounds contradictory to relax when a camera’s pointing at you now but even my most awkward subjects loosen up after 10 minutes. I put my relaxing influence down to my clients realising they can’t look as uncool as their photographer!

Make the most of this quality time, put your phone away and breathe in your baby!

After your photo session


I’ll share a sneak peek on social media which I’ll tag you in if it’ll allow before we next meet.

Your gallery of images will be ready to view 1-2 weeks after your photo shoot when we’ll have your reveal and order session scheduled for. This is when you’ll see your gallery in an emotional slideshow for the first time. All my clients tell me how special this experience is and there’s often tears and laughter, mine included. I’ll help you choose your favourite images and show you how you could enjoy them every day.

Within 6 weeks you’ll have an exciting delivery and your heart will fill with emotion every time you look at your family’s artwork.

Are you thinking about booking a newborn photo shoot?


If you’d like to discuss your dream photos, I’d be happy to answer any questions you might have. Hit the button below to schedule a good time to call you for a no-obligation chat or drop me a message here. I’d love to hear from you!