When I had my two babies, I had the traditional baby photos taken of them posed with an endless array of headbands and props. The images are beautiful, but they don't tell the story of what those first few days home with my babies were like. They don't elicit the wide array of emotions I was feeling in those first few weeks, so for me, although they are beautiful, they feel meaningless. When I started to photograph other people's families, I decided I wanted to approach newborn sessions a bit differently. Your time with your newborn goes quickly; I want to help you to remember the emotions you felt in those first few days with your baby; therefore, my goal is to focus on the love and connection that exists within the family. Ultimately, that is what you want to remember and hold on to.
To photograph your new baby, I will come to your home and stay approximately 1-2 hours. I love the natural setting of a family's home and photos showing the perspective of those first few days of REAL LIFE with your new bundle of joy.
In the weeks leading up to the session, I will try to get to know you and your family. I will ask to see photos of your home, to gauge the light in your home and determine the best place to photograph.
On the day of the session, I will take a moment to explore your house and determine which rooms will be 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, so there is no need to turn on any lamps or overhead lights.
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.. For example, I might open curtains and raise blinds, move books and clocks off a nightstand, or move diapers and wipes off the top of the changing table. Don't worry about the clean up, I will put everything back as it was before I leave. Don’t feel obligated to 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, by putting away items that you don’t want to see in your images, but beyond that, I love to capture your home and your family just as you are! Plus, you are a new mom, you don't need to stress about cleaning.
Lifestyle images are supposed to be natural images. So, don't worry about getting glamorous for the images. You should choose outfits in which you are comfortable and that represent your style. Neutrals such as cream, taupe, gray, black, etc. generally photograph best, so I recommend simple, classic outfits for your family that complement each other. Try to avoid outfits with too many prints and bright colors. This is because bright colors can 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 pants 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.
For lifestyle newborn images, there are a couple of options that work well for a baby. 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 diaper and a receiving blanket (the Aden + Anais muslin swaddling blankets are my personal favorite) is also a great way to capture newborn lifestyle shots.
Having a warm place to shoot is important to a successful session. If you could raise the thermostat a bit before I arrive (or turn off the A/C in summer), that would be great. I love to get shots of baby’s hands, feet, belly button, etc., and we don’t want her to get too cold. I suggest the temperature being around 78 to 80 degrees, I know this is difficult for a new mom, who often feels overheated, but we need to keep baby comfortable to get the best images possible.
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.
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 diaper change or while you are comforting a fussy baby. Those images are often my favorites!
Lastly, please don't stress out about anything. If the baby cries and is fussy, don't worry. We can stop for a feeding whenever necessary. As a mom of two, 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.
My turnaround time is about two weeks. I carefully select and hand edit each image in your gallery so that they look their best. When editing is completed, I will send you a link to an online gallery where you can choose your images and download the high resolution files. You will be able to share them with family and friends and on social media if you choose. I will also blog your session on my photography blog website and share a few of my favorites from our session on my Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/teresagerghtyphotography). 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.
If you are interested in a lifestyle newborn session, contact me.