What is a lifestyle newborn session?
A lifestyle newborn session is defined by cozy, unposed moments typically done in the family’s home so that the overall feeling is more casual and homey while focusing on touching moments between parents and child. There are many reasons to choose a lifestyle newborn session and they are growing in popularity! I wrote about a few of the best reasons to choose a lifestyle newborn session in a blog post from January, 2022. The purpose of this post is meant to help you prepare for a lifestyle newborn session in your home.
Are you considering a lifestyle newborn session?
You should! I’m a lifestyle newborn photographer based in Chattanooga, TN and these are my suggestions for how best to prepare for a lifestyle newborn session in your home! Be sure to catch my favorite reason a little further down!
Before you schedule your lifestyle newborn session:
Take some time to walk through your home at various times of the day and see which areas look best at which times. Are there any areas you really want to use? Make note of which times of day you like the room the best so that you can share that information with your photographer when deciding the best time for your lifestyle newborn session.
In the days leading up to your lifestyle newborn session:
Decide what you want to wear and what you want Baby to wear. It’s your session so wear what you like! You can go casual in a matching robe and swaddle set or wear something more elegant if that is your style. If you had maternity photos done, I suggest planning to use the same dress for at least a few of your lifestyle newborn photos so that you can compare a before and after photo.
Before your photographer arrives:
Set out any items or gifts you want to incorporate in your lifestyle newborn photos. Examples include hospital tags, special gifts, blankets, items of clothing, signs, or my personal favorite, antique items handed down or gifted to you.
Feed the baby so that he or she is happy, sleepy, and ready for lots of snuggles. However, lifestyle newborn sessions are super chill and don't require Baby to be sleeping for any part. If we need to take a break to feed Baby (or Mama) or change, or just plain take a break, we will have plenty of time and your session will be super flexible. I usually try to take advantage of any breaks to photograph the nursery and any special items or details so that you and Baby can have some alone time too.
This is the best one right here - No heavy cleaning is required!
Seriously, don’t worry about cleaning your entire home. You don’t even have to clean most of your home! Most lifestyle newborn sessions take place in 1 or 2 rooms or areas of the house, usually the baby’s nursery and the parent’s bedroom or a common living area. I’ve done some lifestyle newborn sessions almost exclusively in little corners of magic light or in one spot by a big window where the best light glowed. You can choose which areas of your home you want to use and any distracting items can simply be set to the side, just out of frame. When I go into someone’s home for a lifestyle newborn session, I ask which areas Mama has picked out and do a once-over to see if there is anything that may need to be adjusted and then I take care of it so that Mama doesn’t even have to worry if each spot is perfect. Let your lifestyle newborn photographer take care of the details so that you’re free to focus on yourself and your baby.
During your lifestyle newborn session:
You set the pace! I will follow your lead and I like to keep things super chill. That means we can start wherever and whenever you choose. I’ll even hold the baby while you finish getting ready (or take a nap) if you need me to! We can take breaks as often as you need to and will always do whatever is best for Mama and Baby.
If Baby needs to feed during your session, it’s no problem! You can take a break alone in a private area or we can use that time to get a few breastfeeding or bottle-feeding photos if that is something you want to be included in your gallery.
Most of my lifestyle newborn sessions take 1.5-2 hours but I’ve done some in as quick as 45 minutes! Either way, I always make sure to leave plenty of time in my schedule so that you don’t have to feel rushed.
Lastly, some things to consider to make your lifestyle newborn session unique and special.
Lifestyle newborn sessions don’t have to only take place inside! If the weather is agreeable, consider using an outside area of your home for some of the photos in addition to inside photos.
I also encourage the parents to consider doing some skin-to-skin photos with baby. There is something so extra special and emotional about that close connection between you and your baby and having a photograph to remember this time by will mean so much to you in the future.
Consider also including the family pets in some of the photos. Or if you have additional family members visiting, consider asking them to be ready to take a few photos with Baby as well. Though I do reccomend limiting the number of additional people present at your session so as not to overwhelm Baby or yourself. As always, if you have pets or additional family to include, please discuss those details with your lifestyle newborn photographer so that she is best prepared for your session!
I hope this information helps you as you prepare for your lifestyle newborn session. If you don’t already have a lifestyle newborn photographer in mind, I’d love to be considered! I am based in Chattanooga, TN but I do travel as well. Please send me a message if you have any questions or anything to add!