How to prepare your home and your family for your upcoming In Home Newborn Photos!
Once you enter the AMAZING second trimester, and all that energy finally comes back, you'll for sure be going through your list of to dos. And one of those to dos is probably book your newborn photos! (Since you are reading this, I am guessing that is exactly what you did!). Except, as the time gets closer and closer, you might think, "what does In Home Session even mean???" or "oh no, my house does NOT look like houses that I see all over Instagram and Pinterest", or even "oh my word, my toddler is in a crazy stage, how on earth am I going to get them to stay still for these photos?!". Well have no fear, I am here to answer all those questions, and give you guidance on how to best prepare your family for your upcoming photos!
Let's take a deep breath, and get into all the ways that you can make this whole thing go smoothly AND have fun on the day of your photos!
Remember, Perfection isn't the Goal.
I know, I know. You go on Pinterest and you search "Newborn Photos" to maybe get some inspo pics to show your photographer, and you are STUNNED at how perfect they look! Every photo that comes up shows the happiest, most put together family, in their perfectly coordinated outfits and their spotless houses.
Now, take a minute and remember - that is NOT reality. Even when you post your own photos to Instagram, think about what was going on behind the scenes. Your kiddos might have been screaming and crying 2 seconds before the happy smiley picture that you posted.
So yes, perfection is not the goal. Let's embrace life as it was when you brought your little baby home. If your house is messy with your toddler's toys, no problem! If the outfits that you wanted didn't end up working out, that is fine! We are going to get some gorgeous photos no matter what the circumstances.
Everybody Needs to EAT.
Ok, now that we've got "perfection isn't the goal" out of the way, let's get into the real tips. And this one is crucial. Everybody in the house should eat right before the session. This includes baby, toddlers, AND parents. Think about anytime you are going out, or preparing to do anything in life. If you are hungry, then how enjoyable does that thing end up being? (If you are anything like me the answer is probably, not enjoyable at all - ask my husband.)
I encourage mom to nurse the baby right before I am scheduled to arrive. If you are still nursing when I arrive, that is no problem! We can either capture some of those moments, if you are comfortable, or we can take a few minutes to chat while you finish up.
I also recommend that toddlers have a snack before I arrive, AND have 1 or 2 snacks prepped for during the shoot. Ideally, something not too messy (fruit gummies, veggie straws, or anything else they can manage without making a huge mess on themselves!). Having snacks prepped for the session ALWAYS helps toddlers stay happy and engaged in the session. It also creates moments that can be beautiful candid shots - the family sitting around the table, the toddler eating their snack, and more!
Lastly, parents, you need to eat too! It truly will make the experience so much more enjoyable for everyone! You can schedule your session for either right after a meal, or have a good snack before your photographer is scheduled to arrive.
Think About Locations and Lighting
While I never tell my clients that they have to do a full deep clean in their home before their photos, I just mention that whatever is in the background, or lying around their home will end up being in their photos. For in home sessions, there are less things that I will remove in post shoot editing - a garbage can, or anything unsightly - but toys or household items I'll tend to leave! So if it is something you wouldn't want in your photos, I always recommend putting it away.
I do also suggest locations in the home that we will use. Typically there are 3 main ones: The main living room area, the master bedroom and the baby's nursery/bedroom. If, for example, your baby's nursery has 1 tiny little window, I'll probably do very few shots there, and instead focus on the part of the house that has the most natural lighting.
Have Important Items Ready
In my pre-shoot conversations with families, I always ask them to think if there are any important or special items that they would want included in their photos. Maybe it is a special blanket made by a family member, or a special outfit given by a friend. Whatever it is, I would love to have it as a part of your session! Make sure to have all of these things ready and available for us so that you don't have to go hunting for them on the day of.
Let's Capture Some Magic!
Your newborn photos should be a beautiful and memorable experience, so let's aim to make it that way! Hopefully these tips can help you feel prepped and ready for whatever the day may throw at you. If you are interested in learning more about a newborn session with me, check out my website here for my portfolio and to reach out! Comment below if you have any other great tips on prepping for your newborn photos!