“Babies don’t keep.”
Have truer words been said? I think the answer’s no, even though I wish that weren’t the case. Time flies, and once your new baby arrives, you’re going to want to bottle up each and every detail about them. Trust me – as a fellow mom and teacher, I get it.
To hold on tight to it all for years to come, maybe you’re thinking about booking a newborn lifestyle photography session. But you’re just not so sure how it’ll go—whether that’s because you’re a first-time parent or have a few young ones full of personality who will be ready to bring a little more chaos into the picture. So, I’m here to share my best advice to help you take the stress out of this experience so you can honestly breathe deep in front of the camera.
7 Tips for a Stress-Free DC Newborn Pictures
1. Schedule your session at a place & time that works for you.
I call it a newborn lifestyle session for a good reason! I’m capturing your real life through the lens to preserve these memories for the rest of time, and I’m doing this where you and your family are happiest and most comfortable: at home. While studio sessions can offer some perks of their own, there’s something about documenting details at home—from the way the nursery looked to the toys scattered across the floor.
Now, when should you book it? I recommend getting your due date on my calendar during your second trimester. It may seem like you have all the time in the world, but the months will fly by fast, and the last thing you want to be doing after returning home from the hospital is searching the Internet for a photographer near you. Plus, I only take a limited number of newborns each month, so booking early is important. Although, if your newborn has already made his or her grand entrance into this world, I’ll do my very best to squeeze you into my calendar!
Last but not least, while you’re probably not so sure about the routine your baby will have, booking for a time after they’ve eaten or taken a nap is always ideal!
2. Toss perfection out the window.
Worried your home will be a hot mess on session day? Trying to clean every inch of space can be a lot to manage when you’re recovering from delivery and maybe even after hosting family members who came to town to meet the baby. Just know that everything doesn’t have to be perfect and spotless because we’ll most likely only be shooting in a few rooms of your home.
If needed (and if you’re comfortable with it), I’ll move knick-knacks or other items around (and return them to their specific spot, with your guidance!). Don’t take it personally if this happens. I only do it to capture all the essential details in what will appear to be a spick-and-span spot!
3. Get a headstart to your session day.
You deserve to feel relaxed, mama. But that probably won’t happen if you’re rushing to get ready while feeding your baby or helping other family members prepare for their time in front of the camera, too. So, plan to give yourself an extra hour to get dressed and dolled up.
I know this is hard to think about ahead of time, especially with a newborn. Though, trust me when I say that it’ll make you feel so much better and at ease. And your family will pick up on that relaxed energy you’re putting out there!
4. Wear something you love and feel comfortable in.
Keep in mind that you’ll be moving around a good amount—from sitting to standing and from room to room, and you don’t want to be constantly pulling at your clothes. Instead, you’re going to want to be comfortable and confident in what you’re wearing!
So, while I share some inspiration over on Pinterest, use those images for exactly that: inspiration. Stay in your fashion lane and pick something you love, while keeping things neutral, casual, and light. You can also add some textures (ex. Layering a cardigan over a plain white t-shirt) to add interest and depth to your photos.
The good news is, if you’re hoping for a bit more guidance in this category, once you book a session with NPS Photography, you’ll get my What to Wear Guide, which is full of tips!
5. Make sure everyone is prepped & ready for their time to shine.
Full bellies, happy hearts. Am I right? I genuinely believe everyone is happier (and more cooperative) when they’ve eaten something before their session. That goes for you too, mama! Also, it always helps if you put a clean diaper on your baby before I arrive. That way, your family is as prepared as they can be for their time to shine in front of the camera.
6. Leave the hard work to the photographer (me!).
When it comes to newborn lifestyle photography sessions, I prefer to capture the real, unscripted, full-of-personality moments in the place you call home. You know what that means, right? No perfectly-posed, prop-filled photographs.
I know the idea of pose-free shots can be slightly anxiety-inducing. Not to worry. I will offer guidance to warm you up to being photographed (how to move, where to place your hands, etc.), so I can capture those genuine smiles! Also, if you have any questions, ask away! I’ve been photographing newborns since 2013, so I’m always here to help.
7. Take a deep breath & enjoy the experience!
Things won’t always go according to plan. After all, we’re working with the tiniest subject, so we’ll be taking cues from them (unless there’s a toddler in the mix!). That said, we can end up shooting anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half—it all depends.
The most important thing to remember is to relax, be flexible, and know that there will be time between shots to take a break, feed your baby, change them, and calm their cries if they just need to be held.
When it’s all said and done, this should be a memorable experience for you! There’s beauty in a newborn lifestyle session because we can really go with the flow to capture what you want to remember most about these passing moments.
Ready to book a stress-free newborn lifestyle session with NPS Photography?