How To to Prepare for Your Newborn Lifestyle Photo Session

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I'm Alexa, NJ wedding photographer, and I'm so happy you're here! View photo shoots and discover resources on my blog.

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Congratulations on your new bundle of joy! There is nothing like holding your fresh, itty bitty baby. Those toes! That grip! Those snuggles that just melt into your chest and soul!

As a professional preserver of memories, I believe capturing this special season of life for your baby and YOU is something you will never, ever regret. Junior will want his/her baby pictures to look back on one day. And you will, too, to see how far you’ve come (they grow up so fast!).

What is Newborn Lifestyle Photography?

As opposed to traditional newborn photography where babies are wrapped in blankets and photographed in little baskets and on beanbags, newborn lifestyle photography focuses on family connection. I act as a documentary photographer capturing you in your natural element, soaking in the sweetness of bringing home your greatest joy. I will guide you into poses that show you in the best light, but keep super staged stunts to a minimum. I do not arrive with any props, however, if there is something special of your own that you want to include in a photo, I’d be more than happy to.

So, is baby ready for their close-up?! Here are my biggest tips on how you can prepare for your Newborn Lifestyle portrait session…

Reach Out Before Your Due Date

Many websites will tell you the best time to schedule newborn photos is when your baby is 7-10 days old, but my favorite time to take newborn photos is around 2-3 weeks old. It is OK if your baby has their eyes open and are a bit squirmy. One of my main priorities is making sure mama and dada are photo-ready, too. Having a baby myself in 2023, I know how hard those first two weeks are (more like two months, heh heh). Take the time to settle in to your new life, catch some much-needed Zzz’s, have your core people meet the baby and feel comfortable before I, a stranger to your newborn, meet and mold ’em. (Disclaimer: I always wash my hands before starting our session.)

The best time to get on my radar is 1-3 months before you become a parent. I will make a note on my calendar of your due date and then ask you to reach out to me once your baby is born. It’s hard to pinpoint the exact day your little babe with enter the world – sometimes they’re early, sometimes they’re late. For that reason it is easiest to just reach out to me once they are here, and we can land on a date together for us to take your photos!

Clean These 3 Rooms in Your Home

The nursery, your living room and master bedroom. These are the three rooms I most often use. It’s a no-brainer we’ll be showing off your beautiful new nursery. We will want a second spot that has excellent natural light (you can open your shades all the way up to help, too!) to play into the lifestyle vibe we are going for. Usually, this is your living room. I like to have you all get cozy on the couch and capture you in your natural element. This is probably one of the top spots in your home you are spending with bebe! I recommend having one outfit change and this is when you will pull a clothing switcheroo. Not everyone loves their bedroom, but if yours is decorated nicely or in a neutral way, and again this space has excellent natural light, I also like to take some photos of you all cuddling up on top of the bed!

Channel Your Inner Beige Mom

Your clothing doesn’t have to be beige, but it should be in the neutral family. Solid colors – whites, beige, black, blue, pink, any pastels – work best. If you do have a fun, printed dress you want to wear, just make sure your partner’s outfit is solid so it doesn’t clash. (I stress neutrals a lot, mainly because it does my editing style the most justice, but if you are a bold color girly, please, please wear it! I LOVE colors too!) I am always happy to help play stylist and choose your outfits for your either ahead of time (just send me some pix) or right before we get started.

Here are some color combos I recommend:

As far as baby goes, neutrals (or say blue for boy, pink for girl) are best too. Don’t have a white or neutral swaddle or blanket? Add it to your registry because we’re going to want to use one! I will mostly be photographing baby in a swaddle since it is easiest to tuck them into and focus on showing off their facial features. If you do have an outfit (or two) that you really want them to model, we can get a few in that, too.

4. Expect a 2 Hour Session

Sessions are baby led. Yep, they’re the boss! If they need to be changed, fed or soothed we can stop at any time. A happy baby is a supermodel baby. Have other children or pets? Bring ’em in! We can definitely get some photos with all family members. Sessions are typically 2 hours for this reason – time for starts and stops and to add in multiple people (and pets!).

5. Feed Baby Right Before I Arrive

Though baby doesn’t need to be asleep during our shoot, it’s always easier when they are. I suggest giving baby a full feeding right before I arrive. If we need to change them into several outfits and swaddles, it’ll be easiest since they’ll just be derpy (the first word that comes to mind, ha) and asleep. Baby probably isn’t on a consistent nap schedule yet, but if you do have a general idea of when they like to sleep, make sure to let me know and we can schedule your shoot around that time! I prefer morning or early afternoons for Newborn Lifestyle portrait sessions.

You’re Doing Great, Mama!

Patience is key with newborns (as I’m sure you’re learning or about to learn!). Do NOT stress if baby is fussy. Have fun with it! I am confident I will be able to get you some photos that will make it at least look like baby is cooperating if they’re not! 🙂

P.S. One last thing I always like to do during photo shoots is play some light music – it helps set the mood for a relaxing and fun shoot!


The Parenthood Package

Includes a Maternity Session, Newborn Lifestyle Session & First Birthday Session. Ask me about how we can memorialize every milestone of your parenthood journey!

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