What to expect from your lifestyle newborn session
You have booked your newborn session! When people ask me what they need to do to prepare, my answer is always, "Nothing!"
But I know you may have a few questions so here is some information to help you feel prepared and at ease.
When I first arrive: I will be checking out various rooms in your home to see which ones are the best for shooting lifestyle images. The rooms I generally focus on for lifestyle newborn photos are the master bedroom, the nursery, and the living room/family room, but I have shot in kitchens, dining rooms, and even bathrooms! Any room with good light is a candidate, by which I mean rooms with good natural light. I will not use any artificial lighting other than my flash (very rare), so there is no need to turn on any lamps or overhead lights.
Moving Furniture/Other Items: Depending on the layout of your home and the location of the windows, I may need to move some furniture around to achieve appropriate lighting for your family’s images. I might also move some other things around while shooting (e.g. opening curtains and raising blinds, moving books and clocks off a nightstand, or moving nappies and wipes off the top of the changing table). I promise I will put everything back as it was before I leave! Don’t feel obligated to deep clean your home before I come over. You might want to take a few moments to tidy up the rooms where you think we are most likely to be shooting, putting away items that you don’t want to see in your images (e.g. boxes of nappies, baby gear and gifts that are not being used, etc.). Beyond that, I love to capture your home and your family just as you are!
Parents’/Siblings’ Clothes: Neutrals such as cream, taupe, grey, black, etc. generally photograph best, so I recommend simple, classic outfits for your family that complement each other. Go with a style you are comfortable with and that is “you”, but also keep in mind not wanting to overshadow the baby with too many prints and bright colors. (Bright colors also cause color casts that are sometimes difficult to remove during editing). Logos, characters, slogans, pictures, etc. on clothing should be avoided because they distract from your family’s beautiful faces. For men (and often for women too), long trousers generally photograph better than shorts. Try to choose clothes that flatter your body type for the best results. Clothes should also be comfortable and easy to move around in so that your lifestyle images will look natural and reflect your true personalities.
Baby’s Clothing: For lifestyle newborn images, there are a couple of options that work well: a simple white or small print onesie sized for a newborn is a good choice, as is a simple well-fitting footed sleeper (solid color or small print are great choices). Just a nappy and a swaddling blanket is also a great way to capture newborn lifestyle shots.
Bits and Bobs
Temperature: Having a warm place to shoot is important to a successful session. If you could raise the thermostat a bit before I arrive, that would be great. I love to get shots of baby’s hands, feet, belly button, etc., and we don’t want him/her to get too cold.
Props: My style is very simple and classic so I do not generally use many props. However, I love to use items that have special significance to my clients, so if you have a particular item that you’d like to use (ex. knitted hat or blanket, family quilt, stuffed toy with sentimental value), please feel free to bring it out so we can incorporate it during the shoot.
Length of Session: A lifestyle newborn session usually takes 1-2 hours. Please don’t worry if it goes longer — our goal is to get the best possible photos, and I will stay as long as it takes to get a nice variety of shots. I also know that you're tired and we'll call it a day when baby/you have had enough!
Posing/Directing by Photographer: I will do some directing in order to ensure that the light is flattering to you and baby, but I also like to capture some unscripted moments, so don’t be surprised when I am clicking away during a feeding or nappy change or while you are comforting a fussy baby. Those images are often my favorites! If you would like to capture bathtime with your newborn, please let me know — I love bath pictures and can direct you to the best light for those. I also love nursing pictures and try to capture newborn feeding whenever I can, but I understand that some women are hesitant about them so just let me know. I try when possible to shoot from angles where nothing untoward is showing, while still capturing the special bond between mother and baby. I will not post any revealing photos on Facebook or my website.
What if my baby is fussy?
Please don’t worry if the baby cries – we can stop for feedings or soothing as often as needed. Try not to get flustered or anxious if the baby becomes fussy at some point during the shoot. As a mum/step-mum of three, I’m very familiar with babies and how they operate. Crying is totally normal and temporary. I am not bothered in the least by a fussy newborn, so don’t feel like it is an imposition on me for your baby to act like a baby!
After the Session: My turnaround time is about two weeks. I carefully select and hand edit each image in your gallery so that they look their best. You can expect 40+ images in your gallery. When editing is completed, I will send you a link with a password so that you can log on and enjoy! You will have 2 weeks to place orders. Please feel free to share with family and friends too! I will also blog your session on my photography blog website and share a few of my favourites from our session on my Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/amyjordisonphotography). If we are FB friends I will tag you, if not please feel free to tag yourself. I also really appreciate it when clients share my posts on their Facebook pages.
I’m looking forward to a meeting you and your little one!