One of my goals as a photographer is to keep things simple and easy for my clients. If you have been thinking about a lifestyle session for your newborn photos then this post is just for you! I’m breaking down my top tips to prepare your home and your family for your newborn pictures. All BKLP sessions come with detailed experience guides to help you prepare for your session so we can make the most out of our time together. Here’s some of my top tips for an in-home lifestyle newborn session.
You see them all over the internet, dreamy bright and airy portraits of a couple smiling gazing into their newborn babies eyes. I hear this all the time - My house is dark and we don’t have a lot of natural light. For my lifestyle sessions I use a lens that is made for low light situations. Your house is messy, my house is messy, life is messy. That's kind of the best part. I rarely walk into a home that's perfectly organized, okay sometimes I do but they have a closet somewhere stuffed floor to ceiling. We don't shoot in every room, the popular ones are the Master Bedroom, Family room, and Nursery. My role is to capture your family's moments with minimal posing. I'm really good at making everyone comfortable and allowing the natural moments to happen. Your family's love will shine through, naturally. Here are some tips for a dreamy in-home lifestyle session.
LET THERE BE LIGHT
Do you have a window in your home? Then you have natural light. If you want the light and airy look you should observe the different rooms in your home and see which one brings in the most light. But you don't need a room full of windows, one or two can make for dreamy lighting. I’m looking for rooms with the best light that also has space for the whole family to cuddle. A bed or a couch is the perfect spot to gather everyone including family dogs for some beautiful photographs.
PREPARING YOUR HOME + ROOM OPTIONS
Popular rooms for newborn lifestyle sessions are the nursery, master bedroom and family room. They are popular because they are your most lived in rooms. I like to utilize different rooms to really capture your family's lives. If you want the light and airy look I recommend white/neutral colored sheets on your bed. Pick 3 areas/rooms you would like to incorporate into your session and it helps to make sure the rooms are de-cluttered before I arrive. Do not stress about cleaning. We are only going to be in a few locations so your entire house does not need to be spotless! In fact, if I see an area I want to shoot and there is stuff in the way I will happily move things around. If it fits in the budget I recommend having your house cleaned so it is one less thing to stress about!
CLOTHING IS EVERYTHING, KEEP IT SIMPLE.
I love neutral tones, they are classic and timeless. Knitted textures are nice and it's best to coordinate, not match your family's outfits. Layers and a pop of color can also be fun. If you want more formal pictures dress up! If you have questions or need some guidance on outfits I'm always here to help, just ask! For newborn sessions I don't do props or posing, swaddle blankets and onesies are more my style. Regardless of what look you are going for, it's nice to be home in something other than pj pants, am I right?
PREPARING YOURSELF, YOUR BABY AND YOUR FAMILY.
Give yourself some extra time to get ready. The more relaxed and beautiful you feel the better the photos. Everyone picks up on mom’s mood so as long as you are happy they will be too! When I arrive it’s best to have your newborn in a white onesie, fresh diaper and fed. If you have other children you want to prepare your family and let them know what to expect. Sessions last around 1-2 hours and I won’t be photographing everyone the entire time. Every session is different, sometimes siblings are ready to go when I arrive and other times I need to spend some time with them one on one to get them to warm up. Dads are only in front of the camera for 30-40 minutes. If you have other children then Dad will spend a good portion of time keeping them entertained before and after their turn. For siblings tell them that someone fun is coming over to take their picture. Feel free to offer bribes for good behavior!
Lifestyle newborn photography is a unique and different experience from studio/posed newborn photography. It's more relaxed with a focus on simplicity, connection and storytelling. I have the opportunity to capture photographs of a newborn interacting within their very first environment, their home. I'm never watching the clock, and happy to take breaks when needed. If you really want photos of a sleepy, dreamy baby then it's best to do your session within the first 6-15 days. If you're happy with more awake, interactive images of your new baby, a newborn session can take place anytime in the first three months. Whether this is your 1st or your 3rd, you don't want to miss all the details.
See what clients have to say about a BKLP newborn lifestyle session.
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Breanna Kuhlmann is a Lifestyle Portrait, Newborn, Business and Branding Photographer. She lives in Fallston, Maryland and regularly travels within Harford and Baltimore Counties, including Bel Air, Forest Hill, Baltimore, Kingsville as well as White Marsh, Phoenix, Towson, Timonium, Hunt Valley, Sparks, Pennsylvania, Delaware and beyond. In the summer months you can book BKLP for Beach Sessions along Delaware Beaches.