Preparing for a Lifestyle Newborn Session

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© 2020 Danielle Hardesty Photography

Darien, IL Photographer | Chicagoland Photographer

Fort Wayne, IN Photographer | Cedarburg, WI Photographer

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Preparing for a Lifestyle Newborn Session


Newborn Lifestyle Session


A Newborn Lifestyle Session Prep Guide


What is a newborn lifestyle session?


This is a unique session designed to capture this intimate transition as your family welcomes a new member. This is not your typical family looking at the camera, everyone 'SMILE' session. It allows the photographer to capture the sweet kiss of a newborn's sibling, the strong embrace of a father's hand, or the tender snuggle between mom and newborn. The newborn does get a mini shoot in a basket, crate or bowl.


Why would I choose this over a posed studio session?


1.) The most important reason is so you can relax. You are in the comfort of your own home and that shows in every lifestyle gallery. Since we are based out of the western suburbs of Chicago, we know the winter can be brutal and no need to risk taking your newborn outside in the frigid temps. Also, you won't need to worry about siblings running all over a photography studio filled with expensive equipment! We can let them play in their environment and hopefully this will allow us to catch them in their element. The transition to being a big brother or sister can be rough especially when they are still little themselves.

2.) There is only one short season of life where this new addition to your family will be so little. Let's capture that so you can relive the memories for many years and have something to look at when they are off to college or start having babies of their own someday.


What should I expect when you arrive to my home?


~Upon my arrival, I will spend a few moments looking around to find the best light, formulate a plan and then we'll get started. Don’t worry about your junk drawers and closets, we won’t be taking any photos of those! Your home does not need to be company clean but should be tidy to ensure the best backdrop for our photos. I may need to move a couple items or take wall art off the wall but promise to put it back if I do. This will help minimize distractions from the photos and provide the best backdrop possible. If you have a white comforter or blanket, please have it available and let me know so I don’t bring more gear than I need to. I promise I'm not moving in!


~Please have your home as warm as you can handle it whether that means turning up the heat or turning off the air conditioning. A temperature of 75 or so is great. This will help the newborn to sleep better during our session. I will be bringing a sound machine with me to help minimize noise distractions.


~Please feed baby just before I arrive, as close as possible. Please loosen the diaper and change any tight fitting clothing the newborn may be wearing so that any marks on the skin will settle before we begin. Swaddling them in a blanket is a great way to have them ready but still keep them warm. We will take breaks for changing, feeding, etc. which is why the session time can be so lengthy.


~Have a family pet? Please have them in a comfortable place until they join the session where they can relax and not feel anxious about visitors in your home. This will help minimize your nerves (and those of any siblings) and help keep the newborn settled during our session.


~Prepare siblings best you can even if they are still toddlers. Feel free to use the following example or create your own. “Miss Danielle is coming to take some pictures of mommy, daddy, baby ____, (any other siblings) and you! She is going to let us play and read and has some special friends she will bring with her. You can be a big helper to her by listening and she might have some special jobs for you to do while she is here. She will be bringing a helper that will sometimes be talking with us or playing or helping keep baby _____ safe. We are going to have lots of fun and then afterwards we can (or will) _______ (eat lunch, go outside, play at the park, watch a movie together, take a nap, etc…)


Your Home is Ready, Are You?


~For clothing color choices, I recommend denim, neutral colors and solids doing your best to avoid prints, wording, or anything else that might distract from the moment we are capturing.


~Wear comfortable, relaxed clothing. I don't walk around my house in high heals, my Sunday best fully donning hair and makeup and I doubt you do either so keep it low-key. Less is truly more!


~Moms...do take a few moments to prep yourself so you can feel like your best self in this season that is filled with post-pregnancy bodies, tired eyes and hair buns for days!


Most importantly, remember to relax. I'm here for as long as you need and it is common for siblings to throw a tantrum or newborns to need a little extra attention so just let it be. Don't feel embarrassed, I've seen more tantrums than you will ever know or ever want to watch yourself! It's ok to feel nervous...most people do when they have their photo taken but just remember...you will love the photos forever no matter what happens!


Ready to book your lifestyle newborn session? Contact us right way and we'll schedule it. These sessions are best booked in advance to ensure availability.

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