In-Home Newborn Session Prep-Guide

April 6, 2017

Hello Expect parents! 


First I would like to thank you for choosing me to capture your littles newborn pictures! I understand how much these moments and photographs can mean and I am honored you have chosen me.


So you've opted to have your newest bundle's Newborn Session in your home. I don't blame you!  We are happy to offer In-Home newborn sessions as an option to our families!


Worried your house is a mess? Don't even stress it! You literally JUST had a baby. You may even be recovering from a C-section or just a long or difficult delivery, You aren't getting a whole lot of sleep these days-not that you were really getting much the last few months right? And you probably have pets or littles running around and needing your attention too, not to mention your spouse! So again I can't tell you enough, don't stress it! Leave those dishes in the sink, leave the little messes and things that I know get strewn about during all the changes and chaos. It is okay!  


Worried your house is to small? No worries! I really only need a small space with a good amount of natural light to work. I bring my portable studio to your home, set it up and lay out your sessions chosen sets around me- almost in a small circular work area I call it my little circle of magic cause it's where the magic happens! Below are a list of things that you could do prior to my arrival to help make your session run as smoothly as possible! 


This blog post has everything you will need to know when it comes to your In-Home newborn session!


When To book:

There is no set time to book; however I do encourage families to book during their third trimester to ensure we have availability your birth month. Upon booking I will Pencil you Estimated Due Date (EDD) on our calendar and once baby has arrived we will schedule your definite session date.


Once baby has made their debut and you are getting ready to head home, we encourage families to let us know. The best thing to do would be to send us an email at with the subject Newborn Session Baby ______.


In your email please include a picture of baby, babies birth date, measurements of length and weight along with the proper spelling of babies entire name. 


We will then be in touch with some available date and times to get you in within the week. We like to get babies in Between 7-10 days. We do this because they tend to stay asleep and wake less during their set transitions and posing. As well as fight us less when it comes into curling up into those cute precious poses parents love. 


What to expect for your session: 


Prior to your session you will either fill out a session questionnaire, or consult with me personally to discuss your session and any themes, props, color pallets, and personal items you would like used throughout your session. You can find these questionnaires on our website under Clients in the Forms tab. 


We always encourage parents, siblings and sometimes even the family fur babies to get involved in the action! We ask that you give us a heads up if you will be having any sibling, parent, or family shots done prior so we can plan that into our work flow please. To learn more on what to wear for your portion please refer to the "what to wear" section. 


There are a lot of behind the scenes action that take place before-during-and after you leave the studio. Each session is unique and crafted to fit each client personally, and our newborn sessions are no different. 


Each newborn session has about 4 to 5 custom sets. Once you've booked and I have gone over what you would like for your babies session, I start planning each set. I do this based off any themes, props, color pallets or special requests you may have expressed in hoped of capturing photo's that are true to you-and that you will cherish forever.


48 Prior Prep:


Yep, I know it seems a little ridiculous to need to be prepping for photographs two days before your scheduled session, but trust me these simple steps can really help these session move smoother and faster! Some sessions can last up to 3 hours! However I have had quiet a few that have been in and out within an hour and a half! When it comes to newborn sessions, parents really do play a vital role in the success to how smoothly things go. 


For breastfeeding moms my biggest tip is to stay true to the breastfeeding dietary guidelines. You don't want to eat anything that may cause baby to have an upset tummy or feel gassy otherwise they won't be able to settle well for their session. 


2 hour Prior Prep:


We LOVE babies to be in a nice deep somber for their sessions. We aren't apposed to those wide eyes and bushy tailed happy guys that like to stop in and model for us from time to time, however sleepy is preferred. To help ensure this please follow these few guidelines two hours prior to your scheduled session.


                    - Stimulate baby two hours prior. Usually a nice warm bath is the perfect trick for this. 

                    - Loosen diaper tabs 30 minutes prior to my arrival

                    - Keep baby awake until I have arrived.


Upon Arrival:



I do work with natural light so I do ask that the room you will have me working in has plenty of windows that in a nice yummy natural light during the time of day we will be doing your session. All I ask is that you open any blinds and curtains in the room(s) I will be working in prior to my arrival. When I arrive I will probably take a quick walk through of your home to check out the nursery and any other rooms you where thinking would work well for your session. After we have decided which will work best I will the start bringing things in to set up. 


Crank the Heat! 

A warm room is essential to how a newborn session runs! In-Studio we have he temperature set between 75-80 degrees. I know that may seem impossible to do, but if there is a way to keep the room we will be setting up with at that temperature it would be ideal! If you have any space heaters available those can be a great substitution instead of cranking the thermostat. If you do have one we always like to have them available just in case. 


Why do we work in such a warm room? Babies just tend to stay sleepy and more relaxed in their bare skin when the room is warm. They are use to being all bundled up in mom's belly, so to be naked and moved around for a couple hours in a cold room usually just leaves them quiet upset. So just crank the heat a few notches about a half hour before we get there and we should be all set! 


Once I have arrived I will have you sign and finish up any paper work and payments needed. Mom will then settle in to feed baby. Once baby has been fed and burped mom will then hand off baby to me to begin prepping for the session. 


While mom is feeding I will go over sets I pulled based off of what I thought fit your vision. We will narrow them down to 4 or 5 and I will begin prepping while she finishes feeding. 


Please note the following:


-If you will be having siblings join we strongly encourage them to come for the begging or ending portion of the session. The reason for this is because the quieter and calmer the studio, the less baby will be disturbed.


-I will get pooped or peed on. Your baby will soil some of my props, backdrops, and wraps. They will fuse. They will need a break from time to time. It's all completely normal and there really isn't a set time for these. So relax and enjoy! 


-Sessions can last up to 3 to 4 hours at times and others can be between 1 and 2. It really does all depend on baby. So please plan accordingly and eat well before arriving! I will have water and light snacks available as well. 


-Safety is always one of my main concerns and I am always trying to go the extra mile to ensure a safe session. There will be times throughout your babies session will I will ask either parent to come over and spot or assist with a set or pose. 


-It can be hard to control the volume of sessions done In-Home. We want the area we are working in to be kept hush so that baby isn't started awake and out of poses. To help minimize volume while in session we ask that you set any children you may have up with a quiet activity to keep them busy until their portion of the session. If you have dogs that bark easily at the sound of something unfamiliar I also ask that they are put in a different area then where we will be shooting. 


-Most importantly RELAX! The whole point of me coming to you is so that you can relax. Don't worry about the mess. Don't worry about what to wear! My recommendation is simple is key. Throw on some light makeup, run your fingers through your hair, through on a pair of comfy jeans or leggings and a natural top, I recommend everyone where the same color and stick to some neutral colors such as whites, creams, light grey, or black. If you wanted to do a pale pink or blue that is okay as well-please just make sure it isn't bright. 














Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Please reload

Featured Posts

Clayton + Alejandra's wedding at Liberty Manor | Connecticut Wedding Photography

October 24, 2017

Please reload

Recent Posts

November 11, 2019

Please reload

Search by tag 

© 2023 by MATT WHITBY. Proudly created with