Arlington Newborn Photographer | Preparing Your Home
As an Arlington, VA, newborn photographer, I love capturing in-home newborn sessions. It is the perfect way to capture the excitement and love of a new baby. These in-home sessions are designed to be laid back and don’t require new parents to load up all of their baby gear and leave their house. No props, no forcing babies into uncomfortable sleeping positions, and parents who are at ease while I take care of snuggling your little one and getting them peacefully off to sleep for their session!
After shooting in-home sessions exclusively for the first eight years of my career as a newborn photographer, I learned many tips and tricks to share with families in order to help them have a successful newborn session in the comfort of their own homes. While every family’s home is unique and special to them, there are many things I have learned over the years that help ensure we have a successful session. Here are a few things to keep in mind as your and your family prepare your home for your upcoming newborn session.
Opening any blinds, curtains, or shades will help allow the most amount of natural light into the room as possible. This will help ensure the light-filled photos you see featured in my work. Keep in mind that this includes raising your blinds all the way and pushing back curtains so they are not covering the window light!
Your bedding choices will certainly be featured in the photos as we will photograph your family together on your bed. Most clients prefer a light, neutral-colored duvet. This keeps distractions in the photos to a minimum and helps reflect light. If your bedding does have a pattern, something subtle is preferred!
Keep any nightstands or dressers free from clutter, and tuck away any cords or chargers you do not want to be seen! Plants and flowers make lovely additions to your photos if you style your home with them. Otherwise, we try to keep the decor minimalistic, so the focus can remain on what matters most- you guys!
If the master bedroom does not get as much sunlight as other areas in your home, we may consider using a guest room or an older sibling’s room. Some clients also have recently renovated kitchens, beautifully lit stairwells, and cozy couches they like to cuddle up on for photos. I love changing things up if you want to shoot in one of these areas in your home! Keep in mind these rooms should have ample natural light and should also be free of any clutter.
In the nursery, try to tuck away any cords, baby monitors, or dirty diapers! If you have things in the nursery that you are storing but are not part of the nursery decor, feel free to tuck those in a closet or drawer so we can show off the perfectly designed room you created for your baby. Keep in mind a simple, neutral crib sheet works best to avoid any colorful shadows on the baby’s face!
Giving your baby (and yourself)a full tummy just before I arrive is one of the most important parts of ensuring we have a successful session. Oh, and this tip is also true for dads and older siblings! Babies with full tummies tend to stay happy much longer, and “milk-drunk” babies make for the most adorable images. Try to time your feed to start about half an hour before I arrive. Even if you are still feeding when I get there, it is best to let the baby finish eating and get a full meal before we start! This will also give me plenty of time to get set up and go through outfit options.
Most newborns do not fill out their clothes but look adorable in a simple, solid-colored onesie. If possible, dress your baby in a white onesie for when I arrive, and I will photograph them with their hands and legs free at the start of the session. Afterward, most are usually more content and easily drift off to sleep when wrapped up in a swaddling blanket. I will bring along my favorite go-to swaddling blankets and take care of getting the perfect baby burrito made of your little one!
The best part of the studio wardrobe? It comes with me! All of my clients, both studio and in-home clients, have access to the wardrobe. All you have to do is send me some favorite dresses of yours from the wardrobe gallery, and I will bring them to you! I usually bring along a few additional options *just in case* based on your picks, and we always let Mama choose her outfit first. I also have sizes for toddlers and siblings, so we will discuss your family’s sizing needs ahead of time! For dads, chinos or khakis work well, and I have a limited number of shirts to bring along for dads to use as needed! Finally, there is no need for shoes or socks since we are shooting in the comfort of your home!
For Mamas with toddlers, shoot me an email and let me know if and when their nap time is! I always recommend having the toddler “practice ” while holding the baby beforehand. Use extra pillows if you have to, or have the toddler sit in Dad’s lap with the baby in the toddler’s lap for support. It’s good to have a “treat” on hand, such as marshmallows, fruit snacks or teddy grahams. Something that we can reward the toddler with each time they smile or kiss the baby for a picture tends to encourage them more than promising a larger treat at the end!
Remember to relax, babies can sense if you are anxious! Newborn sessions can take some time as these little ones like to be snuggled and comfy! We do our best to ensure that they are happy and sleepy, but please keep in mind I do not keep track of the time and never schedule other sessions on the same day as a newborn session just to be safe. This gives us plenty of time to capture you and your family in those first few weeks!
A FINAL NOTE
Did you enjoy reading this post? Are you hoping to see more posts like it? You can find more newborn photography blog posts from an Arlington Newborn Photographer here, here, and here. If you are looking for studio maternity photos or lifestyle newborn photography in your home, you can find those here and here!
Ever wondered what a newborn photographer recommends you pack for your newborn session? Find my packing list over on this blog post. If you are looking for more tips and tricks, you can find my Must Have Newborn Items From A Newborn Photographer here, or Breastfeeding Must Haves From A Twin Mom Here.
Please contact me if you’re looking for an in-studio lifestyle newborn photography session, an in home lifestyle newborn photography session, or a studio maternity session, or a milestone session with your baby and loved ones. I would love to work with you! You can also visit my portfolio here or follow me on Instagram for updates on availability and upcoming events. Santa sessions take place each fall in the studio and all families are welcome to join the waitlist! You can also visit my portfolio here or follow me on Instagram for updates on availability and upcoming events. Additionally, head over to my Pinterest for ideas and inspiration for our session together.