Congratulations on your new baby! If you have made it to this blog, that probably means you are due very soon or have already welcomed her home! What an exciting time for your family! If you have booked an in-home newborn session with me, here is your guide to help you prepare for your lifestyle newborn session.
Lifestyle Newborn Prep Guide
Before your Newborn Session
1. Decide the areas of your home that you’d like to use!
First, if I can play Mythbusters for a second, I want to tell you that an in-home session does not mean that we only use your nursery! For the sake of variety in your gallery, I encourage you to choose other areas like your master bedroom, kitchen/dining area, and your living room.
2. Based on the rooms you choose, now choose your wardrobe!
Are you wondering why this is step two and not step one? Well, the colors that are in your home, play a big role in what you choose to wear. Personally, I prefer a monochromatic, but also light and airy look. I gravitate toward wearing whites and pastels because that’s what I like to hang on my walls. We can also consider adding in florals to help you tie more colors together.
My number one wardrobe tip is choose Mama’s dress first! Stay away from leggings, jeans, phrases, loud colors, and tight fitting clothing. I love dresses for my mamas because they add movement and texture to a photo, but they are also just so classic. There are several idea posts in my blog for wardrobe, but I really love this blog post by Loverly Grey also! Two stores that can’t be topped for portraits are Hillhouse and Free People for mamas! They have plenty of dresses that are very flattering for that postpartum stage!
I am always happy to help you pull together a classic and cohesive look for your lifestyle newborn session.
This is one step that we don’t want to over look. When you are preparing for your session, (day before or morning of) it is a good idea to look around the room and put away anything and everything that you don’t want to show in your final images. I know that our gut reaction these days (I’m guilty, too!) is to say “Oh that can be photoshopped,” but the truth is that is very time consuming and can end up costing quite a bit!
Things to declutter:
-anything that shows underneath your bed
4. Don’t forget your nails!
Are you a clean nails girl or do you prefer a fresh dip? I recently discovered a new love for NextGen nails and well, I’m a little obsessed! I was never a fan of “fake” nails before, but there’s something so fun about NextGen. Anyway, my point is just to get rid of any chipped polish on your nails as well as your daughter. Hands tend to be a big focus in all of my newborn sessions since we are holding a tiny babe.
The Day of Your Session
1. Hire a Hair and Make-up Artist
Let’s be real. Hair and make-up artists are magicians. They can take a sleep deprived new mama and turn her into the goddess that she is. All of that contouring that we watch on Insta and TikTok is truly fabulous for anyone, but especially on a new mama who doesn’t quite feel herself, yet.
2. Dress your baby in a simple onesie
Simply put, a swaddle is KING for your newborn session. Most babies love to be swaddled and it helps to keep them happy for your lifestyle newborn session. Have you seen how cute the Beaufort Bonnet swaddles are? You can put whatever you want under the swaddle, but I really do suggest a simple onesie for comfort. We don’t want anything itchy on them, and definitely not something that will cause them to get too hot when swaddled. Don’t worry, I will do all the swaddling for you!
Listen, I know. This one is hard for mamas, but it’s so important. Newborns really don’t like changing clothes. It’s a little bit like the book, “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.” You know how it goes. If you change a baby’s clothes, they wake up. When they wake up, they get grumpy. When they get grumpy, we have to feed them again, etc. Of course, it’s never a problem to feed your baby! We just want to make sure we have plenty of time for pictures, too!
I like to tell my mamas to pick one outfit that they love and we can try it before I swaddle them! Your baby is just more likely to be awake when they are unswaddled. Keep in mind that newborns do not have control of their movements, so sometimes their eyes and hands will be in positions that aren’t best for photography.
Click here for my latest newborn style guide!
3. Time to Eat!
This is absolutely the easiest item on the list! If you can, you’ll want to time your baby’s feed to be just before I arrive. Usually a full baby is a happy baby which means we will have a laid back and easy going session. That said, we always pause for hungry babies!
Bonus: For the family pups!
Finally, to wrap up this guide to prepare for your lifestyle newborn session, many families that I work with want to include their dog in their lifestyle newborn session. I am all for it! If you’d like to try to get a few pup pictures, just be sure that you have some high reward treats on hand. Sometimes we can get them up close and kissing the baby, looking into the crib, or just sitting nicely for a family portrait. Either way, treats always help!
Aimee Hamilton is a Dallas Fort Worth area maternity and newborn photographer. If you are interested in booking your own lifestyle newborn session in the DFW area, I’d love to chat!