What to Expect from Your Lifestyle Newborn Photo Session

family in their South Philadelphia home during their lifestyle newborn session
Some family cuddles in the middle of our Philadelphia lifestyle newborn session

You woke up with the insane compulsion to clean the house, you’re putting the tiny little clothes on tiny little hangers, or you’re constantly packing and reorganizing your hospital bag – you’re definitely approaching crunch time to your baby’s arrival. Though it’s exciting, it can definitely become stressful planning and trying to ensure everything is in order before their arrival. This is a big time of change within your family and it’s always a great option to have your pregnancy and/or your squishy newborn stage documented. This is why I have designed my lifestyle newborn sessions to be as easy and stress-free as possible! The experience of your session is just as important as the newborn photos that come from it. 

lifestyle newborn photos in a modern South Philly home

Scheduling Your Lifestyle Newborn Session

newborn baby boy smiling while sleeping during his lifestyle Philadelphia newborn photo session
Smiley baby 🙂

I recommend having your lifestyle newborn photo session officially booked AT LEAST two months before your due date. Not only does having your newborn photo session booked early guarantee you a spot on my calendar (we use your due date as a placeholder), but it also gives you one less thing to worry about before you go to the hospital. Once your newborn arrives, you can reach out to set up an official session date. I recommend scheduling your lifestyle newborn session for within the first 2-3 weeks after the baby is born if you want to have squishy newborn photos. If your family needs more time to adjust to life with a new baby, it’s perfectly fine to wait to book your session a bit later. Life can move kind of fast and life with a newborn can be overwhelming, so if you need to push back your session a few weeks or to around the 6-9 month mark when your baby is starting to sit up and develop their personality, we have that flexibility. Anytime you document your baby is always the right time to document your baby – there’s no need to feel pressured to fit within a certain time frame. 

South Philadelphia family during their at-home lifestyle newborn photoshoot
We made sure to include Laika and she brought the sass.

Shoot for the Moon, Land Amongst the Stars

lifestyle newborn photo session with an older sibling in Chalfont, Pennsylvania
While this was Lorena’s newborn photo session, we of course made sure to grab some fun photos of Luca!

I think the easiest way to describe my sessions is that they are very go-with-the-flow. My sessions are always baby and child-led. We will work around the baby’s schedule to make them comfortable and to ensure the best photos possible. I typically recommend feeding them either right before I arrive, or as I’m arriving. If we need to take a small break to be soothed or fed – then that’s what we’ll do. My lifestyle newborn sessions usually last an hour and a half to two hours, which gives us time to accommodate for any breaks. There’s never a pressure to rush and finish your newborn session within a specific time frame. Not every baby is predictable, it’s okay if we can’t get your newborn to sleep during the session. We’ll do everything we can get them to settle, but it’s perfectly fine if they stay awake. Even newborns get FOMO sometimes and just want to see what’s going on in the world around them. If we can’t get a specific shot, we’ll move on and retry it a bit later in the session – but if it’s just not working we’ll adjust and try something that works better for the baby. Your photos will still be beautiful!

newborn girl in her crib during her lifestyle Pennsylvania newborn photoshoot
Lorena definitely had a little FOMO and wanted to stay awake to hang out with us.

My approach to newborn sessions is a more documentary, lifestyle mindset. I prefer a more natural in-home approach to photographing your newborn, rather than a studio approach. I aim to capture this time in your life as you will remember it – with all of its laughs, tears, and chaos. My goal is to give you a mix of posed and candid throughout your session. I usually start by putting you in good lighting and giving you some posing tips so you feel both comfortable and confident. We’ll spend time getting all types of different photo combinations, prioritizing the baby with each parent, the baby with any pets, the baby with any older siblings, and of course individual photos of the newborn. Sometimes the in-between moments can be quite magical and where my favorite candids come from. I don’t bring or use studio props or items, but I’m always happy to include any personal items within your shoots, such as family heirlooms. I love including items that are regularly included in your family’s life, but I also bring blankets that we can use to supplement if needed. 

newborn girl with her older brother during their at-home Philadelphia lifestyle newborn photos
This is one of my favorite outtakes, we even featured it in our Best of 2023 blog!

Memories for Life

newborn girl in Chalfont, Pennsylvania during at-home newborn photoshoot
Sometimes a simple white onesie is the best.

After your lifestyle newborn session is finished, we’ll schedule a time for you to come into the office to view your photos for the first time and discuss all your digital and print options for family archiving. My goal is that you walk away from your session and photo reveal with everything taken care of, so that you don’t have anything to add to your to-do list and you and your family can enjoy more time with your newborn, knowing your photo needs are taken care of. Especially as a first-time parent, I understand you may not know how to start your family archive, and I would be happy to give you the tools to help you get started. It should never require electricity to see a photo of someone you love. 

Family of 4 in Chalfont, Pennsylvania during lifestyle newborn photo shoot
Pure chaos, just how I like it.

Time flies! When you’re ready for the next stage, here are some tips for planning your cake smash session.

newborn size compared to stuffed animal during lifestyle newborn photos

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