Preparing for your Lifestyle Newborn Session - Laura Cardan

Preparing for your Lifestyle Newborn Session

What to Expect

In-home newborn sessions typically last  2-3 hours (1 hour for baby only session.)  This allows for time to feed, change and allow baby to settle where needed. Sometimes Mom’s and Dad’s need a break, as well.

When I arrive I will scope out your home for areas with the best light and the most picture friendly colors/décor while looking for distractions that may need to be temporarily moved. I primarily shoot newborn lifestyle images in the nursery, master bedroom and living room however it’s more about finding the rooms with the best light and color scheme. The baby will typically determine the flow of the session. They eat when they want and sleep when they want.  I work around that and try to limit the amount of time I am not capturing memories for you.  If you have older children or pets I may utilize feeding and changing time to grab some shots of them alone or with a parent.  

Although this is lifestyle session, I do offer gentle guidance for posing and will bring stretchy wraps to wrap the baby in to help them settle.  

I also travel with a bean bag poser and white blanket so I am prepared if we need to improvise with locations.  This will allow me to get some simple shots in great lighting.  

How to prepare

First, let me say, please don’t stress over any preparations. These are all suggestions, but are also things we can easily do as your session progresses where necessary. You’re a new parent and I know all too well how exhausting that is.

Prep your space:

Your home does not have to be perfect. I promise. It’s your home and it’s supposed to look lived in. Simply focus on tidying up a bit and  putting stuff in the room where it belongs or toss it in a closet until I leave. I do that often.  

I typically shoot in the nursery, parents room and living room so these are the rooms you’ll typically want to focus on. I also love to photograph baby with mom and dad on their bed, on the couch, anywhere comfortable and snuggly. If things are missed, don’t worry, I will suggest moving them if they are distractions.

Crank up the heat (or turn off the air conditioning).   

This is an important step for a smooth session.  You want it warm enough that baby is comfortable in a diaper or onesie.  You can test the temperature ahead of time by allowing them to lay unclothed.  This makes for the best possible session as baby will be comfortable and settle more easily.

Baby Prep

If they have hair it is a good idea to wash it just before your session so excess oil is not visible.  The camera tends to magnify everything.  

If baby’s skin is a little dry or flaky, try applying a small bit of baby lotion to those spots before your session.  Try not to rub or remove the dry skin as it is likely to make red spots.  Dry flakes are much easier to remove in post than red spots.

Double checking ears and noses for dry skin and others things that don’t belong are also a good idea as these are difficult areas to work with during image touch-ups.

Collect any items you want used in the session beforehand such as blankets, stuffed animals, heirlooms, or special outfits. We’ll go through these together to determine what and how we can use the items in your session. 

Parent Prep

During a newborn session hands and fingernails are often visible.  Take care to moisturize and clean nails before your session.

One of the biggest questions I get is whether or not to wear shoes.  I typically don't think it's necessary, especially if we're posing on the bed but if you're more comfortable wearing shoes please do so.  Most men tend to like to wear shoes where women are comfortable bare footed.  If your shoes require socks blend your socks with your pants so they don't stand out.

Again, I say, "Please Don’t Stress."

If baby gets fussy or alert or wants to feed often, know I am not in a rush and I will not bail because baby isn’t cooperating. Take some deep breaths and enjoy this time with your new baby. Ultimately, I want you to enjoy this experience as much as I enjoy capturing it.


I make my schedule to allow for the unknown to happen and not ruin the process.  My galleries are delivered quickly to give me time to come back and capture anything I missed or simply because somebody just wasn't cooperating.  This is a peace of mind I love to offer my clients and I feel is important in lowering the stress of a portrait session.

Please contact me with any questions!



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