Preparing for an In-Home Newborn Session

August 26, 2020

Newborn Photography

Every baby is precious. Capturing the first weeks of life when baby is so tiny, those cheeks, little fingers, perfect eyelashes… you can never get those moments back. Don’t regret having not recorded them in some way.

The ideal time to have a professional photography newborn session is in the second week after birth. This isn’t always predictable, so make sure your photographer is flexible with booking dates. This gives mother and baby a little bit of time to heal and feel ready.  During baby’s second week, it is still easy to get the most aesthetic newborn poses. It is not impossible to capture older babies but can be a little trickier when they are not so sleepy.

In-Home versus studio sessions

Choosing whether to go to a professional studio or having a photographer in your home is completely a matter of taste. Look at what kind of photos you want captured. Studio shoots are often pictures of just your baby. Studios in general use props, false set ups and professional lighting.  You need to travel to them and booking times are often more rigid. Sometimes, particularly first time parents, aren’t ready to venture out with a newborn yet.

My personal preference is to shoot only in-home newborn photography. I prefer to capture the natural settings of mother and baby, as well as other family members. You may have spent a lot of time planning a nursery. You may have a special blanket that grandma knitted.  Or your bed is the first place you and baby were able to rest together and bond.

I like to capture the places where your memories will be made. I like to immortalize the small things that might not make it into the stories in years from now.  I like to capture love between mother and baby. And when baby is grown, he or she will love to see the first cuddles from fathers, siblings, grandparents and others that are important in their lives.

Preparing For Your Session

Babies are unpredictable so all we can do is our best prepare and then cross our fingers that baby wants to participate. All of these suggestions are best case scenario but do not be stressed if they don’t all come to pass.


Think light. When is it bright in the parts of your home you want to shoot in? This is almost always the master bedroom and or/nursery. Sometimes a bright main window is the best place for baby solo shots.

Baby should ideally have their awake time and a feed immediately BEFORE the session is scheduled to start. If you baby has settled into a schedule, take this into account when booking a time of day.


Collect any “props” that are important to you and want included in the shoot. These may be – a stuffy, a homemade blanket or a meaningful outfit.
Take note of and communicate to your photographer any meaningful details you want captured around the house or in the nursery. Perhaps a special name plate or piece of art, a rug or antique crib.

Newborn shoots are best when they are natural. Don’t pack on makeup or dress up fancy. You have just given birth. Be comfortable. Pick neutral, plain colours that are bright and airy. This includes bedspreads and outfits. If there are more members being photographed than mum and baby, coordinating outfits always make for more cohesive aesthetics.  Natural fibres always look great.

Read more about coordinating outfits


Do not clean your whole house! You need rest. The only tidy spaces need to be your bed and side tables and possibly the nursery.Have on hand – baby wipes, pacifiers, extra swaddles and burp cloths. If you have puppy pads or a diaper change pad, these are great to put under the blankets if baby is having some naked shots on your bed. (Maybe have another bedspread on standby.)Try to keep baby awake the hour before the booking and feed immediately before the photographer is due to arrive. Hopefully this will give us a sleepy, full tummied delight.Feed the toddlers, dad and yourself before dressing for photos. This can be done after the photographer arrives if need be. This will give time for solo baby shots who is the star of the show. Stay hydrated. Stay relaxed. This should be positive, memorable experience. Don’t rush or get stressed if baby isn’t behaving. All of this is an ideal scenario. We will get some beautiful shots no matter what happens.