Amanda Bellan - Award Winning - Nationally Published Senior Photographer - Cleveland, Ohio

In Home Newborn Session Prep Guide

First things first

Please have everyone dressed and ready for the start of the session so we can maximize our time together. Newborn sessions normally last between from 60-90 minutes.

When I arrive I would like to take a quick tour of your house to scope out the areas with the best light! I know you just had a baby so please don’t worry about cleaning everything up. Uncluttered houses photograph best so if there are rooms that you know get great light please try to declutter them. If there is a darker room you know we won’t use you can stash things in there. I know babies need a lot of gear so I would stick baby swings and other such equipment in the stash room so they are not in the shots. Places I typically shoot if the light is good are the master bedroom, nursery and great room.

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Natural light works best for at home sessions. Bright and sunny days are best to produce those light and airy shots. Rainy, stormy days may be too dark and if so we may need to reschedule. Also, natural light and artificial light don’t mix so please turn off any lights and open all shades and blinds.

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What to wear

I understand you just had a baby and your body is still changing. I want you to feel beautiful and be comfortable, so please keep that in mind when choosing what to wear. Start with your outfit and choose something that you love and coordinate everyone else around you.  Dresses are always a great pick! Casual clothes at home look the most natural. Newborns look best in something simple- a white or pastel color onesie that is well-fitting or a cute swaddle blanket generally work best. Don’t do anything too matchy-matchy. Everyone has a unique personality and it is great to let that shine in clothing. Accessories look great in photos. Clean up chipped nail polish and remove any stickers, temporary tattoos or markers on the skin as they will show up in the photos. Super bright red/pink/orange create a weird reflection on skin so best to avoid those colors in shirts. (for pants, skirts and accessories it is fine)

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How it works

Try to feed baby just before or as I arrive if you’d like to do any nursing shots. This will be discreetly done but can be some of the sweetest and most cherished photos you will have. This feeding works best in just a diaper and wrapped in a blanket. Newborns like to be warm, please have the AC and any ceiling fans turned off at least 15 minutes before I arrive.

Baby dictates the session. If the baby is calm and/or asleep when I arrive then I will do baby shots first. If the baby is awake then we will do family first.

Have music playing! This is one of the absolute best ways to lighten the mood at home.

If there is anything that you want to try to incorporate (handmade items, special gifts, childhood items, etc) just have those set out for me to review.

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Things to keep in mind

Babies and kids feed off of our energy so is it best to keep things light and cheerful. Give yourself more time to get ready so you are not rushed and frazzled. If there are siblings, be sure they are well fed before the session, just avoid sticky and messy things, like any juice that may stain, chocolate and candies. Please turn off TV and electronics 15 minutes before I arrive as we all know how hard it can be to pry kids away from their devices. We want everyone to be in a good mood! Don’t fuss at your kids for not being perfect! Just enjoy all your blessings and let me capture your imperfectly perfect life!

The purpose of the session is to show the connection with you and your baby, so I won’t do really posed images but will guide you a little on what to do and will capture what happens naturally. It will be great to document these early days at home with your sweet new baby!