Lifestyle Newborn Session FAQ

March 20, 2022

Updated January 17th, 2024

I think the most number of questions come about with newborn sessions and rightfully so. As brand new parents, the journey is filled with uncertainties trying to figure out how to do the whole parent thing. On top of that, you’re inviting someone to come into your home to document it. No pressure right? Let me make it a little easier for you. I’m here to not only answer some of the most common questions but also to address any worries you might have about welcoming a photographer into your personal space. I’ll answer some of the questions I get the most.

Most asked questions at a Lifestyle Newborn Session

What is a Lifestyle newborn session?

A Lifestyle newborn session is a photo session most often shot in the comfort of your home. These sessions focus on the first days of your newborn, capturing your family’s life as you welcome this new little member. The intention is to document the uniqueness of this time and the little details that are easy to forget. It’s just your family…the way that you see them.

When should I start the booking process for my Newborn Session?

If you want to include a maternity session with your newborn session, the best time to book is 3-4 months before your due date.

Why this early?

Starting the process this early gives you time to decide when in your pregnancy you feel the most comfortable photographing. This advance planning also ensures we have the maternity session just in case there’s an unforeseen early delivery.

If maternity sessions aren’t your thing, no problem. In this case, it’s best to start the booking process roughly 2-3 months before you’re expected to deliver. I suggest this timeline for a couple of reasons:

  1. It gets this extra item off your checklist before you welcome your new little love. With many things to prepare before birth, this is an easy thing to plan ahead of time.
  2. What if you deliver unexpectedly early? Booking 2-3 months early keeps you prepared and organized for whenever your bundle of joy decides to join the world.
newborn and siblings

WHEN do I schedule my in-home newborn session?

Lifestyle newborn sessions tend to be most often between 10-14 days of life because…

  • At this stage of life, your little one is still really sleepy. It’s just so cute.
  • This is typically before the onset of the infamous “baby acne”.
  • Their face and skin have had time to recover from the actual childbirth. The redness and bruising have had a chance to fade.

Now, there is one large caveat. Sometimes newborns don’t transition home immediately. Some have extended stays in the NICU or mothers have medical emergencies. This by no means disqualifies you from a lifestyle newborn session. These sessions are designed to document this season most accurately. If that means your newborn is a little bit older or we are photographing in the NICU (hospital permitting), there is reason to embrace that. It’s your story, and your photos will reflect the exact memory of what life was really like.

HOW do I schedule my in-home newborn session?

Now for the HOW of scheduling. The official booking takes place 2-3 months in advance. The booking entails the quote, contract and invoice. However, we won’t know when to schedule a date until we know when delivery will be. Sadly, babies don’t tell us their timetable. So, we will find the right time and date that works for you based on two key factors:

  • One – After Delivery: When you have delivered and have a moment to catch your breath we can get you booked. No need in the heat of labor to reach out. You can reach out for scheduling after the birth, and once you’re released home (if you deliver in a hospital).
  • Two – Planned Delivery Date: If you have a scheduled induction or C-section, we can schedule your newborn session before birth. Then that to-do item can safely be off your list and you can worry about bringing a happy and healthy baby into the world!

What should we wear for our in-home session?

Most simply stated, you should be comfortable and not steal focus. Almost every photo is going to include that new baby, so you’d hate for your wardrobe to draw your eye away. This can be a comfy dress for moms and little girls or jeans with muted/neutral colors for dads. The vibe that I find photographs best is casual looks without bright/distracting prints or colors.

mom, dad and baby

One side note for dads: Do any dads feel weird about showing their feet?!? You’re not the first one to with this dilemma. We don’t have to go to the other end of the spectrum by wearing shoes when taking photos on your bed. Socks are welcome. Just make sure they are plain colored and don’t say “HANES” or “FRUIT OF THE LOOM” on the bottom. Ha.

Need a little more help? You’re in luck! I created an additional blog post for this specific question. Check that out here.

newborn details

An extra little tip: I find textures really fun. So instead of wearing that bold print, a solid colored textured shirt or dress can be a way to add interest.

newborn details

What do I need to do to prepare?

There is much less to do than you might think for a newborn session, but here is a simple list of things that you can check off before your session:

  1. Don’t clean your whole home: There is no need to clean every single spot in your home. One easy way to prep is to walk around your home and think of some of the places where you want photos to be taken. This can be in the nursery, parent’s bedroom, or even just the places with the best light. (think windows that face South, East or West). Focus on tidying those areas. The best tidying practices are to eliminate distractions; things like chargers, diaper caddies, baby bottles, books, watches, and the like. Beautiful images are created when the distracting objects are eliminated, but you are welcome to toss them behind a closed door. No judgment from me!
  2. Have sentimental items ready to go: Items like handmade blankets, precious family items, or anything else that you want to use to include in your session. Check out this post to see things you may want included in your session.
  3. Feed beforehand: Your newborn will be happiest throughout the session if their bellies are full right before I arrive to photograph. This ensures the best chance that your nugget can fall asleep and stay asleep with no extra steps.

What if my house is dark?

THAT IS OKAY. If I had to guess your home has a window or two right? The look of your session may not be bright and airy. However, moody shots have their place. Moody shots can evoke nostalgia, tenderness, and intimacy. Even with a small amount of light, it can still be beautiful.

If you’re not sure if your home gets good enough light, here is a place to start. Get out your phone and open the Compass app. Point your phone at the window in the room you’d like to shoot in and if your compass reads West, East, or South then chances are it’s a good room to photograph in.

newborn photos

Still not convinced that a lifestyle newborn session in your home is what your heart desires? Studio newborn sessions are also an option. Studios offer some definite perks that might entice you to leave the comfort of your home. First, no cleaning!!! I know everyone can get on board with that. Other perks include having a curated space that can speak to a specific design aesthetic, and having a place where lighting is guaranteed to not be a problem either with great window light, or supplemental lighting.

If having an in home newborn session doesn’t suit you, just reach out, and let’s chat studio options. I can show you many in the area to fit different styles and it might be the best fit for you!

Do I need to clean my house?

The answer to this one is yes and no. YES, I understand you don’t want your home’s worth of dirty laundry to be documented to remember for the rest of eternity. However, there is absolutely NO need to have your entire house clean top to bottom. That is just completely unreasonable. Plus, we will not be photographing in every square inch of your home. If you remove the distractions like we discussed above, that is enough to get the job done. I am the parent of 3 children. Trust me! There is not an ounce of judgment coming from me.

baby nursery

Can parents and siblings be included?

YES, YES and I’ll add one more YES. Parents are part of the story, siblings are part of the story, and pets (if you have them) are part of the story. This session is about you and your family. In my opinion, it would be weird not to include them.

newborn and siblings

To wrap it up, a lifestyle newborn session is more than just taking pictures. It’s about preserving a precious and fleeting moment in the life of your family. If you’re a bit nervous about having a photographer at your home, don’t worry! I’m here to help answer any questions and alleviate any concerns.

In the end, a lifestyle newborn session is about celebrating your family just as you are. I’m excited to capture these memories for you. If you have more questions or are ready to plan your session, just reach out, and let’s make it special together.

Want more inspiration?

Check out this Adoption Newborn Session

or this NICU Newborn Session.

Melanie B of Mel B Photo is a professional photographer based in Tomball, Cypress, and The Woodlands, TX. I specialize in Newborn, Family, and Maternity Photography. For more information on packages with me and/or opportunities to book, feel free to visit my website.

Specific Newborn Packages can be found HERE.

Have more questions about Newborn Session?

Check out my Behind the Scenes at a Newborn Session.

-Mel B.

Mel B Photo

Lifestyle Newborn FAQ

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