If you are considering booking a newborn photo session, but you are a little nervous about venturing out into a studio, an in-home session is a perfect way to capture this exciting time.
When we found out we were pregnant with Annabella, we were obsessed with the "what to expect" book series. I loved following along with what I should expect during my pregnancy, seeing all the milestones, and watching everything unfold, just the way I was told. This was because pregnancy and new motherhood can be both an exciting, yet confusing time. It's hard to know which is the best option for you and your baby, and you'll probably spend some time reading before making any drastic decisions. For this reason, I thought it would be good to do a couple of “What to expect” posts about the Newborn sessions I offer so you can decide what is the best one for you.
WHAT ARE IN-HOME PHOTO SESSIONS?
They are exactly what they say on the tin. They are done completely in the comfort of your own home. Instead of making you get up and out of your house to have newborn photos taken, I come straight to you!! This is ideal if you are a little nervous about going into a photo studio during these early days, as leaving the house can feel very daunting and requires a lot of preparation as a first-time mum.
These sessions are my absolute favorite, as they will be a window into the past. When the baby grows up, they will have a time capsule of images, showing them where the first place they could call home was and how it looked back then. It will show them how small they were in their crib, or in their father's arms whilst being fed on the sofa they jumped on as they got older.
HOW OLD DOES THE BABY HAVE TO BE FOR THESE NEWBORN SESSIONS?
These sessions are best done in the first month when everything is still exciting, and the baby is still a newborn. I never recommend the first week if you are new parents, as you will most likely be still trying to figure out how to function as human beings during the first few days. The latest I recommend is 6 weeks, as the baby will be more awake after this, which may make posing a little harder.
WHAT TYPE OF PHOTOS ARE TAKEN IN THESE SESSIONS?
The baby will be the focus of the session, and we will do our best to capture photos of the baby in the way they actually live- so we won't use props or unnatural poses. They can be swaddled and asleep on the bed, snuggling with mom or dad, in their crib, whatever! I want your baby to look like YOUR baby, the way you remember those first few weeks.
In terms of posing, I will guide you through a few positions to hold the baby, or how to stand as proud new parents, but a lot of the time I will work around you and capture the best photos I can. I do not use flash photography during these sessions, as to not upset the baby or change the ambiance. However, I will pose you in different areas of the home where I feel there is beautiful lighting. For example, the photos below were taken during the same session in the same house, but in different areas of the house.
WHAT ABOUT OTHER SIBLINGS?
Other siblings usually get some time alone in front of the camera as well, and they love to show me their rooms and favorite toys, which helps them become comfortable with me and my cameras. I know this can be an emotional and stressful time for all the family, so I aim to keep the entire session very relaxed and easy for everyone. If you are worried about the elder sibling not interacting or cooperating, I have developed a few games that make it fun for everyone, and we manage to capture some beautiful photos.
The most important thing is to not worry about the other kids being maniacs! They will be trying to get my attention also, as they may not understand the photo shoot being just about the baby. Luckily, I am great with kids, and sometimes I will spend the first few minutes trying to become their best friend. Top tip: Keep snacks and treats on standby to bride them with. If they need a break from the session, let them run off and play- we can let them go and they will probably come back once they get bored.
DO I NEED TO TIDY THE HOUSE?? CREATE A SETUP?
Absolutely not! You won't have to clean your whole house, nor do I expect you to. I do a lot of closeup shots, so most of the floor space will not be in the photo, so leave that box of nappies or pram to the side- it's fine! I can work around the laundry on the floor and dishes in the sink. That’s real life!
But If you do wish to make the house somewhat presentable, maybe focus on one room and the baby's room. Make sure the bed is made, and there's a little floor space to socially distance myself from you.
A lot of mums worry about having the right set up in the room, but you don't need to. You don't need to have big glass windows or lots of space. All you have to worry about is getting "camera-ready". Just snuggle your baby and we'll create some beautiful memories.
WHAT TO PREPARE IN ADVANCE
I bring everything I need for a newborn session with me, so just yourselves is absolutely fine. You may want to incorporate some things into the session, such as a particular toy or blanket, and we can absolutely do that, but you don't have to tell me until I get there. We've got it all covered.
But If you are like me, and want to prepare in advance to feel calm about the session, here's a few things we recommend:
Decide where you want the photos: When I arrive, I will ask you to give me a tour of the house in terms of which rooms you wish to use for the session. Most of the time, we will take pictures in the living room, nursery, and the master bedroom. If you have some net curtains or blinds, it is ideal to open these up beforehand and let natural light come into the room.
Make sure everyone is fed: As well as baby, this includes you, your husband, and any sibling that wants to be involved. Hell hath no fury like a kid who wants a sandwich! In terms of baby feeding, we will take regular breaks in case you need to feed. (We can also do feeding photos if you wish). If possible, give your baby a good feeding beforehand to help him/her sleep through the session. Having a sleepy baby makes the session go a lot smoother!
Wear clothes that you are comfortable in: I do not expect you to fit into any pre-pregnancy clothing, so do not feel the need to squeeze into those tight jeans or top that was nice. In fact, wear flowy clothes, leggings, or even your favorite maternity dress. But the most important thing is to be comfortable- as if you are not comfortable, your face in the photos might show it.
Relax: you may have one of those days where the baby is a little unsettled, or you don't feel as if your makeup is right, or that your partner is a little uncomfortable about being photographed. Honestly, these sessions are super chilled out and we take regular breaks. I will not come in expecting to take a photo straight away. We will have regular chats, get to know each other and if you need me to wait whilst you go to the loo to touch up your makeup, that's absolutely fine!
WHAT ABOUT COVID OR SAFETY DURING NEWBORN SESSIONS?
I completely understand any safety concerns you may have about baby meeting strangers. I was super nervous about relatives hugging and kissing baby during the early days! (I remember that fear so well.) Be rest assured, here's what you need to know:
I will never touch you or your baby. I will guide you with poses, but I will instruct you to position the baby yourself instead of handling either of you.
I will always wear a mask before entering your home. I will not remove the mask at any time.
I remove my shoes at the door too as to not bring anything from the outdoors.
All equipment and my hands are sanitized before the session, and I will carry hand sanitizer on my person during the session, ready to use if need be.
I have done this with all my newborn sessions, and if anyone is feeling unwell, I will offer to rearrange the session.
If you are not comfortable with having a session at home, that's absolutely fine. You also have the option of booking a studio session with us too.
Ready to book? Simply visit our newborn page
Here are a few other photos we love from our previous sessions:
Brown Family Newborn Home Session:
Brennan Family Newborn Home Session with Siblings: