delicate & patient
The early days of baby’s life are over in an instant. I feel that the best images are those that capture & evoke emotion. True emotion can only be achieved through real life. With minimal posing & a relaxed feel, a newborn lifestyle session allows you to remember baby’s tiny details, relive those first snuggles, and recall all the emotion and love during this special chapter of your life.
Age: 1-3 weeks old
The session can take place in the comfort of your home or in my natural light studio in downtown Jackson, TN. In your home, I love to document rooms that may have a special meaning to you or where you spend a lot of time. I want you to look back and remember the rocking chair where you nursed your little one or the couch where daddy would relax with baby on his chest. It’s the best way to document those early days of “real life” with the new member(s) of your family.
WHAT TO WEAR
Keep it simple & comfortable. I encourage neutral colors, steering away from busy patterns, logos, or bright colors (can cause color cast) that will distract from our focus – the baby. Colors like white, cream, taupe, tan, grey, and black tend to photograph best. A neutral color palette is my personal favorite – it allows the focus to be on you as a family rather than what you’re wearing. Also keep in mind the décor and colors of your home when planning your outfits.
Moms, consider a light, flowy shirt or dress. Nothing is more frustrating during a shoot than constantly having to readjust clothing you don’t feel good in. For your husband, similar rules apply. Solid or subtle pattern tops work best. Textured fabrics and layers are great as well. Casual clothes and bare feet look most natural in a home setting.
For the newborn, skip the cute outfits. They tend to be bulky and awkward, and distract from the actual baby. A swaddle or wrap is usually all that’s needed (and that precious birthday suit of theirs).
*Side Note: If your baby has jaundice or is still yellow from jaundice it is best we wait until it is out of his/her system. Jaundice is very hard to edit out of skin due to the yellow/red blotchiness it causes as it is leaving their system. Jaundice is typically gone by week 2.
HOW TO PREPARE
“Prepare?? I’m exhausted as it is! Did she say this would take place in my home? My house is a wreck! I just had a baby; I barely have time to shower let alone clean my house!”
Take a deep breath! This is more of a mental preparation and less about you having one more thing to do.
Step 1. Prep your space. I did NOT say clean your house! Your home is supposed to look lived in; you live there! Leave the dirty dishes; don’t mop the floors; ignore the piles of laundry. Focus on decluttering the 3 main rooms that I like to shoot this type of session in: the nursery, the master bedroom, and the living room. Clean off side tables, make the bed, and tidy up the nursery - this is your chance to show it off! Last, please open up the blinds/curtains to let in as much natural light as possible & if possible, clear away one neutral wall next to a window like the photo above for portraits. Last thing - turn OFF any lights. See? Not too bad!
Step 2 - Collect Items. Collect any items you want used in the session beforehand. These might be special blankets, swaddles, stuffed animals, etc. Also have a pacifier handy (if baby takes one). I do not provide any props or outfits, so please come prepared with your own.
Step 3 - Heat the Room. Crank up your heat to make sure your house is nice and warm for baby (since he/she will be in their birthday suit or diaper/wrap most of the time). It will be hot to you and me, but baby just came from a nice warm womb; our world is chilly to them! Warm babies are sleepy babies and we want to keep him/her as comfy as possible. A space heater is also a good option.
Step 4 - Sleep Schedule. Try to keep baby awake 1-2 hours before the session, and feed them when I arrive. Most babies go to sleep shortly after eating so we want to let that happen at the session and not before. About 30 minutes before the session, loosen the baby’s diaper and remove any tight clothing. We want to allow time for any diaper and clothing imprint marks to disappear.
Step 5 - Pamper Yourself. Don’t forget to pamper yourself! Moms tend to put everyone else’s needs before their own but this is a special time for you as well; you deserve a little extra care! You have my permission to tell Dad to take over baby duties before the session (mainly keeping baby awake) so that you have plenty of “you” time look and feel your best.