Newborn photography at home: what to expect

A mother with a newborn baby in front of a window

So how does a newborn photography session at home work? What should you expect? Do you need to do anything to prepare? I hope this will answer everything that you need to know about your newborn photography.

I always photograph newborns in the comfort of your own home. The aim of the session is to capture some real memories from this incredible time with your new arrival. Images that show those tiny hands, fluffy skin, how small and new your baby is; but also the connection between you, the love, the family unit that you have created. You will find that your home becomes such a haven of space for you during this time. The place where you all find your feet together as a new family. This is what I want to capture a sense of in your newborn photography. 

Newborn baby toes in father's hand

There is something so precious about the first few weeks with your new baby. I know how special it all is. I can promise that you will treasure these photographs for ever more. My babies are now enormous teenagers, and the photographs of them as newborns mean more than I can describe. 

There is no plan for a newborn photography session at home. I don’t pose your baby or set them up with props. This is about capturing the beauty of your family in a completely natural way. I want to photograph things just as they are. I might guide you towards the best light (i.e. carry on cuddling your baby, but just stand here in the beautiful window light!). Or I might give you a little gentle guidance so that I can get you all in the photographs together. But basically, we can all just work around your baby’s needs, and I can get the photos that I’m after.

I want to create a set of images that really captures the feel of those first days with a tiny new human. There is nothing quite like them, and they pass in such a blur. They are precious beyond belief. 

New parents cuddling a newborn baby in their home together

Questions I’m often asked about newborn sessions at home

What do we need to do to prepare for the session?

People often ask me what they need to do to prepare for their newborn photography at home. Honestly, you really don’t need to do anything much. I’ll always have a video call or chat on the phone with you before your baby arrives, so you’ll already have talked everything through with me and know what to expect. There are a just a couple of things that are worth bearing in mind:

  1. I often suggest shooting in your main bedroom with newborns, maybe cuddling together on the bed, or near to the window. So it’s worth just having a quick tidy of the space, straightening bedding, removing any cups, chargers, random detritus from bedside tables, etc. If you’d rather we didn’t use this space then that’s no problem!
  2. I suggest that you turn up the heating before the session so that your baby stays comfortable and warm, even with lots of skin out. Newborn babies get cold very easily, and feet tend to go purple! Keeping your home a bit warmer than usual can make a big difference for your session. 
  3. It’s incredible easy for newborns to scratch their own faces and leave little marks. It helps if you can try and keep them from doing this ahead of the session (lots of babygrows have mittens you can fold over fingers). And if your baby’s skin is a bit flaky or dry, then it can help to gently rub on a little baby oil. 

But honestly, you really don’t need to do much more than this. It’s almost impossible to prepare your newborn for the session, so don’t worry about trying to get them to feed or sleep at a particular time. I will work around them and their needs. 

A new father kissing his baby by the window during a newborn photography session at home

My house is tiny/too messy, it won’t work for a newborn photography session!

This is just not the case! Even the tiniest space is absolutely fine and I can work in homes of any size or shape. It’s your home, and the space that you will share with your newborn baby, and that’s what make it particularly special for these photographs. A lot of newborn images are just focusing on details of your baby, and these can be done in the tiniest of spaces. I could happily photograph an entire newborn session with just one small window to stand next to! Anything else is a bonus. 

If you are desperate to have some photographs outside, then we can always pop out for a few minutes during the session. Newborns need bundling up in lots of clothing for anything longer, and this just doesn’t lend itself to good photos! Indoors, in the comfort of your home, is the best place really.

A mother cuddling a newborn baby at home by a window

I don’t want to be in the photos, can they just be of our newborn?

Having had my own babies, I really sympathise with this. I know what life is like right after the birth, and I can understand anyone not feeling up to a photoshoot. I get it, it’s bad enough being in front of the camera when you are feeling your absolute best. And life is a little chaotic right now.

However, I can’t begin to tell you how precious it will be, to look back at photos of your newborn baby with their parents in the photographs. How important it will be for your child to see images of themselves as a newborn in your arms, to see the love in your face as you look at them. So please think of this more as a hugely important documentary moment in your lives, rather than worrying about you looking your best in the images. Believe me, in 5/10/20 years time, you will not be remotely bothered by extra baby weight, unbrushed hair or baby dribble on your shoulder. All you will care about is how the image that takes you back to the feelings of this time, and the wonder and joy of getting to know your newborn. And I can’t begin to tell you how precious this will be. 

A mother smiling at her newborn baby during a photography session at home

Will you pose our baby?

No, this isn’t the sort of photography that I do. So I won’t be balancing your newborn on piles of blankets, or propping them up with their hands. I will photography your newborn as they actually are: in your arms, on your shoulder, in their crib. Your photographs will still include the tiny details of your baby, but in a very natural way. I want the images to be ones that will remind you of what this special time was actually like. If you have any special toys or blankets that you’d like to include in the images, then let me know and I can always include them in the photographs. 

Close ups of a newborn baby's hands and feet, being held by adult hands

What should my baby wear?

Keep it as simple as possible for newborn babies. A plain babygrow or vest is all you need. If you’d like to buy sweet little bloomers, or just use a soft blanket to wrap around them). I always like to see tiny toes at some point, but you can change your baby mid session if you like. I really love natural materials and textures: linen, soft cotton, bamboo, beautiful woollen knits.

A yawning newborn baby lying on a bed at home

When should we have the shoot?

To capture your baby as a proper newborn, I recommend having the photography session in the first two weeks after birth. This is when your baby is still properly newborn: tiny, very sleepy, mostly curled up and brand new. After this time, there is a period of a couple of months when it doesn’t really work so well: babies are not newborn, but not really doing anything much yet either. If we do miss that first two week window, then it’s usually worth waiting until your baby is a couple of months old. At this stage, they will be starting to smile, able to support themselves a little, etc. I always suggest that you get in touch with me as soon as the baby arrives, then we can schedule the date to fit you. 

Dog sitting on a bed with a newborn baby behind

We have other children, can they be included?

Yes of course, newborn photography sessions often include older siblings. They are part of the story of your growing family and it is so special to see the early connections between them. It’s one of the benefits of having your newborn session at home, as it’s just so easy for all the family to be there. The same goes for family pets! 

How much does a newborn photography session cost?

The session fee is £150, which includes one 12×8″ print of your choice. You can browse through all the images afterwards and select any others that you want to buy as prints and/or digital files.

How do we see the images?

After the session, I’ll edit the images and prepare your gallery for you. You’ll receive a link to view this online, from the comfort of your own home. You then have two weeks to select any images you would like to buy as digital files or prints. You can do this all through the online gallery (even in the middle of the night whilst feeding your baby!) or I’m very happy to guide you through the process if you prefer. Just preferably not at 3am. 

A mother with a newborn baby in her arms, standing indoors with a window and blue curtain behind

We haven’t booked yet, how do we do this?

Great! I’d absolutely love to chat about your newborn photography! Get in touch via my contact form or email, and this will take you straight through to my online brochure. Once you are ready to book, I’ll send over the details for you. We’ll have a chat through everything ahead of your baby’s arrival, then we can arrange a date to suit you once your baby is born. 

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HELEN LISK PHOTOGRAPHY

 

01392 927646

 

Exeter, Devon

 

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