After waiting for nine long months, your baby will soon be here! Do you want to have memories of their first days of life in your home, but don’t know where to start? Don’t look any further! Here are five tips to nail your lifestyle newborn session.
1. Choose where the photos will take place
As a rule of thumb, the rooms used are the master bedroom and the baby nursery. These are often the most personal places in the house and will allow us to create unique memories. Furthermore, the rooms have to be naturally lit, whether it is with windows or a large door. For instance, you should be able to easily read a book or look inside a drawer without having to turn the lights on. If the lighting conditions aren’t ideal in these rooms, we can use other well lit areas of your home, such as the living room, the guest bedroom and the kitchen for instance. If your whole house is dark, an in-studio newborn session might be a better idea.
The best is to send me a few photos of the different spaces before the session so I can have a better idea of your environment and plan the photos accordingly. Furthermore, it’s also possible to do a part of the session outdoors if the weather allows it!
In every case, I recommend to take a few minutes before my arrival to tidy up and remove distracting objects from the decor. This includes the tissue box, the garbage bin, the old glass of water, the body lotion bottle, the laundry basket, dirty clothes, electronic cables, magazines, etc. This way, we can begin the session as soon as I get there and we won’t waste any time capturing your new family life!
2. Include personal elements
Since the photos take place at your home, it’s the perfect occasion to include a few personal elements. There are many possibilities, like a plushie, a book or a family heirloom. I have a soft spot for my clients’ blankets because they’re versatile and everyone has them. They can be used to wrap the baby, to add a touch of colour to your bedspread or to protect yourself from the wind outside. These objects you love will get to be part of your memories in a wonderful way!
Another possibility is to include your pet if it behaves nicely with your little one. Unless if the animal has been trained to interact with young children, I always keep a safe distance between them. We can place the baby in their crib and let the pet look at them through the bars. Alternatively, we can do a family portrait where one of the parents holds the human baby while the other holds the fur baby! Four-legged friends are part of our families, it’s perfectly fine to include them if you want to.
3. Keep the rooms warm
Just like for in-studio newborn sessions, room temperature has an influence on the session proceedings. Your little one spent nine months being « cooked » at 37°C and they loved this sensation. When baby is dressed, the ideal room temperature is around 20°C. When baby is in diaper or fully naked, the temperature should be around 28°C. This way, it’s less likely they will feel ambiant air against their skin. They will be more relaxed and cooperative, which will make our job easier.
If you want photos with your baby in a diaper, I suggest undressing them and wrapping them in a warm blanket one hour before my arrival. It will allow them to peacefully fall asleep and will prevent them from getting fussy at the beginning of the session.
You can also use a portable space heater to quickly warm up a room. It can be placed close to the baby to keep them warm, which isn’t always possible with central heating. If the session takes place during summer, avoid using A/C. The rooms will definitely be too cold for your little one!
4. Wear the right clothes
As mentioned above, it’s very likely your house will be warmer than usual during your lifestyle newborn session. I suggest to dress accordingly, especially since hormones can be tricky after giving birth. The best is to wear a top made from natural fibres, such as cotton, and to add a textured cardigan over it. It will nicely complete your look and you can easily remove it if you’re too hot.
In the same vein, some clothes are advise against. Avoid to wear bold patterns, fine stripes or tops with large logos and writing on them. We want to avoid recreating the famous « Canada » t-shirt issue! Similarly, instead of wearing bright and vivid colours, favour muted and neutral colours. You can find various examples of lovely colours to use in this inspiration board. The fabric won’t cast a tinted light on you and the baby and it will help create the soft atmosphere we want.
5. Favour spontaneity
Contrary to in-studio newborn sessions, the goal of lifestyle sessions is to capture your lifestyle and to embrace its spontaneity. Consequently, there won’t be any posed photos on a beanbag with knitted accessories where the baby needs to be deeply asleep.
We will work with your baby’s schedule and do what they allow us to do. Baby wants to sleep? We’ll take advantage of this moment to take photos with mom, dad and baby comfortably laying on the bed. Baby is awake and refuses to sleep? It’s the perfect occasion to give them cuddles and kisses! Baby cries and wants to be fed? No worries, you can rock them and give them their bottle while I photograph you. We aim to capture this turning point by putting the emphasis on your relationship. A newborn only stays this small for a short period of time and your routine will change over the next months. This session will give you faithful and tangible memories of what you life was like after their birth.
Would you like to book a session like this? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to do so!
Lisa-Marie Savard est une photographe lifestyle basée à Montréal et ses environs. Voyage offert ailleurs au Québec ou Canada. | Lisa-Marie Savard is a lifestyle photographer based in Montreal and its surroundings. Travel available elsewhere in Quebec or Canada.