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Austin Newborn Photographer | How to Prepare for an At-Home Newborn Photo Session

Austin Newborn Photographer | How To Prepare For An At-home Newborn Photo Session

During my nine years of being a professional photographer, at-home newborn sessions have grown to be one of my favorite type of sessions. I’ll be honest, it wasn’t always the case. When I was first starting out they used to scare me. Endless questions kept me up the night before… what type of light will the house have? Will I bring the right props? Will the siblings behave? Will the family be tired? Have I practiced my wrapping and posing technique enough? But most of all…will the baby sleep long enough to get some good poses in? I remember those days like it was yesterday. And, if I’m being completely honest, I still get butterflies the night before a newborn shoot – mostly from excitement, but a little from nerves too. And I like it that way. Because newborn photos are a big deal and they deserve the respect of a little bit of nervousness!

Through the years I have gained a lot of knowledge about what works to make a newborn session fun, relaxing, and produce the most beautiful photos. Below I share insight into my process, why it is different, and what families can do to prepare for the day to make it as easy and memorable as possible.

Oh, and I’ve got a special surprise at the end of this post!  I’m taking part in a blog circle with some photographer friends of mine.  We’re linking to each other’s posts, so you can check out what they’re up to. This month, I’m linking to a fabulous Newborn Photographer in New York and her post is about best time to schedule a newborn session.
But first, let’s talk about how to prepare for a newborn photo shoot!

Austin Newborn Photographer | How To Prepare For An At-home Newborn Photo Session

my shooting process

Nowadays, photographers seem to fall into one of two camps when it comes to newborn photography: lifestyle and un-posed or studio and posed. I like to provide a combination of the two. The first 45 minutes of your shoot consists of relaxed, lifestyle photos with the family. We get family shots, sibling photos, mom with baby and dad with baby. It is great because everyone is ready to go, fresh and interested (particularly toddler aged siblings). And then boom, it’s done! Dad can relax, toddler can go play, and momma can feed baby. Which is the perfect time for me to bring in all my fun props, and set up near a window. By the time I am finished setting up, baby is usually asleep and I can begin the posed series of photos. This whole process usually lasts around 3 hours, but the family is only involved for the first 45 minutes. The rest of the day is usually relaxing for them. Of course sometimes, the day goes a little differently, but 90% of the time this is the flow of the day. I love being able to provide a mixture of both lifestyle photos and posed photos to my clients, all done in the comfort of their home.  As an at-home newborn photographer, it is a privilege to be invited into this quiet space. This newness. To feel the raw  emotions of families in their familiar surroundings. And it always helps to know what to expect, which is why I’ve written this post!

Austin Newborn Photographer | How To Prepare For An At-home Newborn Photo Session

Austin Newborn Photographer | How To Prepare For An At-home Newborn Photo Session

Austin Newborn Photographer | How To Prepare For An At-home Newborn Photo Session

 

Austin Newborn Photographer | How To Prepare For An At-home Newborn Photo Session

 

Austin Newborn Photographer | How To Prepare For An At-home Newborn Photo Session

my shooting style

As a photographer, the most important aspect to me is light. It is the first thing I look for when entering your home. During the lifestyle section, I aim to shoot in the master bedroom, a family room, and the nursery.  I throw open all of the shades to allow as much natural light in as possible, giving the photos a light, bright, and airy look. While shooting the posed photos of the newborn I typically set up in front of the biggest window I can find that is not providing direct light. My backdrops are neutral, soft colors and I bring a collection of hats, headbands and other fun things for the parents to choose from. However, I always insist on at least one “clean” shot of the baby, with just the background and no props to make sure you have something simple and timeless.

 

Austin Newborn Photographer | How To Prepare For An At-home Newborn Photo Session

 

Austin Newborn Photographer | How To Prepare For An At-home Newborn Photo Session

 

Austin Newborn Photographer | How To Prepare For An At-home Newborn Photo Session

 

Austin Newborn Photographer | How To Prepare For An At-home Newborn Photo Session

 

Austin Newborn Photographer | How To Prepare For An At-home Newborn Photo Session

 

Austin Newborn Photographer | How To Prepare For An At-home Newborn Photo Session

 

Austin Newborn Photographer | How To Prepare For An At-home Newborn Photo Session

 

Austin Newborn Photographer | How To Prepare For An At-home Newborn Photo Session

 

 

how to prepare

Family photos will mainly focus on the baby and the relationship you share – tiny details of their bodies, curves of their faces and lots of cuddles with their parents – all of this is best done in the comfort of your home. We get a wide variety of images by using a couple different rooms and switching up posing – baby wrapped up, in a favorite outfit, naked or partially naked if the parents wish, feeding, and a variety of group shots. I even bring a little notebook with printed photos to show you what we are aiming for in some of the more posed family shots. I find it helps speed things up and gives clients confidence having a visual to look at instead of simply depending on my verbal explanation. It also helps me point out important details that elevate the photo, like where exactly to place your hand.

  • Worried your house is a mess? Please don’t stress…you just had a BABY! Clutter is expected! We don’t need much space, and we can always move furniture around and place it back at the end of the session. Your home should look lived in, especially with young ones in the house. Photos are usually taken in the master bedroom, in the family room, and the nursery. Taking a few minutes to tidy up these rooms (particularity bed side tables, coffee tables, and the floor of the nursery) help keep the focus on taking photos instead of picking up.
  • I do ask, prior to my arrival, that all blinds and curtains are opened and overhead lights turned off to help me locate the best lighting.
  • I also recommend keeping your home a bit warmer than normal during our session, especially if you are interested in a few bare skin shots of your newborn. Turn off the AC or crank the heat to about 75-80°  a half hour before to ensure baby is warm and snuggly throughout our time together.
  • Let’s not have an audience! Sometimes grandparents are staying with the family to help out with the newborn baby – yay! It is great if they are there, often they end up being a wonderful help. But, try to avoid scheduling friends and other family members coming over that day. The less people are in the home, the quicker and more relaxing it is to accomplish what we need to!
  • Continue to feed your baby how you normally do, but we may need to be flexible during the session! A fed baby is a happy and sleepy baby, so they may need to eat more often during the session than they normally do. We can take as many breaks as needed for feedings – these can make for some beautiful mom & baby shots.
  • Make the bed. Some of my all-time favorite shots are of the entire family snuggled up on the parent’s bed. A non-busy soft, neutral comforter works best, throw pillows or a blanket are a great way to add in color and personality! Simple crib shots of the baby are wonderfully soft and provide a great blank canvas to show off all their little details, and show off the nursery!
  • Plan outfits ahead of time! If you are planning for your newborn to wear multiple outfits, please have them washed and ready! If you know you want some bare skin shots and baby is sleepy upon my arrival, dress him/her in just a diaper or onesie under a swaddle or blanket so we don’t have to upset them by changing them more than once.

 

Austin Newborn Photographer | How To Prepare For An At-home Newborn Photo Session

 

Austin Newborn Photographer | How To Prepare For An At-home Newborn Photo Session

 

Austin Newborn Photographer | How To Prepare For An At-home Newborn Photo Session

 

Austin Newborn Photographer | How To Prepare For An At-home Newborn Photo Session

 

Austin Newborn Photographer | How To Prepare For An At-home Newborn Photo Session

 

Austin Newborn Photographer | How To Prepare For An At-home Newborn Photo Session

 

Austin Newborn Photographer | How To Prepare For An At-home Newborn Photo Session

 

Austin Newborn Photographer | How To Prepare For An At-home Newborn Photo Session

 

what to wear

For newborn sessions I like to recommend that families stick to dark, neutral colors such as black or navy. The contrast on the newborns’ creamy skin helps to bring the focus on your new baby. However, many people love the light and airy look, and in that case you may want to go for softer colors such as grey, white, or even a light pink or blue. In my outdoor family sessions I always say coordinate, but don’t match. With newborns I say the opposite – go ahead and match! By wearing a similar color (for example, jeans and the same color shirt or dad in jeans and a shirt and mom in a similar color dress)the focus is drawn to the baby, and not competing with the newborn.

For Mom – soft comfortable clothing! A knit top, cotton gown or simple tank will keep you comfortable and provide a lovely background for mom and baby shots, especially for the more intimate close-ups. Soft clothing and bare feet look great in the home setting.

For Dad – comfort is key! Wear what you would normally wear around the house on a grocery shopping day – comfortable, casual and low-key. This can be as simple as moccasins, jeans and a plain colored tee or button-up that nicely compliments your partner’s outfit. Try to steer clear of large logos, bright colors and bold patterns. Plain and simple is best!

For Brother/Sister – comfortable is absolutely key! A cotton shirt and shorts or a little cotton dress in a color that matches what mom and dad are wearing.

Austin Newborn Photographer | How To Prepare For An At-home Newborn Photo Session

 

Austin Newborn Photographer | How To Prepare For An At-home Newborn Photo Session

 

Austin Newborn Photographer | How To Prepare For An At-home Newborn Photo Session

 

the best time to take newborn photos

I recommend getting in touch about your session a few months prior to your baby’s birth to tell me your due date so we can pencil in a spot on the calendar and talk through your session details. When the baby arrives, you can send me a text after delivery when things have calmed, and we will arrange the exact time/date for your session.

The first two weeks is the best time to take newborn photos. During this time he/she will be at their very teeny-est and they are eager to stay small and curled up, which is great for cuddle shots and the posed photos. It is also best for fitting them into the cute newborn headbands and hats. It is also easier to keep them in a deep sleep which helps achieve the poses that accentuate their baby curls and rolls.

I excel at shooting in natural light, it flatters skin tones so nicely. For this reason, sessions are normally done in mid-morning or late-afternoon when window lighting is as its best glow.

Austin Newborn Photographer | How To Prepare For An At-home Newborn Photo Session

 

Austin Newborn Photographer | How To Prepare For An At-home Newborn Photo Session

 

Austin Newborn Photographer | How To Prepare For An At-home Newborn Photo Session

 

Austin Newborn Photographer | How To Prepare For An At-home Newborn Photo Session

 

Austin Newborn Photographer | How To Prepare For An At-home Newborn Photo Session

 

 

I hope this helps you prep and plan for your at-home session! Any tips/comments may be left below – hope to see you soon!

Oh and don’t forget to follow along the blog circle. There’s a group of six of us this month, and next up is my friend Hali Tomczak .  Click the link to check out her blog post and stunning work: Upstate New York Newborn Photographer

 

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Lindsay is an award winning, published, natural light photographer with over 13 years of experience. Based in Austin, TX, she specializes in photographing brands, families, maternity, and newborns. Lindsay serves the greater Austin area, including: Bee Cave, Cedar Park, Round Rock, Georgetown, Lakeway, Leander, and Pflugerville.

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We recently moved to Austin and we’re looking for a professional maternity photographer to capture this beautiful memory for us. We are so glad to have found Lindsay as she not only recommended a perfect place according to our expectations but also made us so comfortable.Me and my spouse both loved her work!
Karima H.
Karima H.
Lindsay is an outstanding photographer! It is truly an experience working with such a professional and gifted photographer who is so friendly and easy to work with! I highly recommend Lindsay. My headshots for the next phase in my career have come out better than what I would have imagined and so grateful to Lindsay for that! Can't wait to work with Lindsay for our family photos next!
Bhavana S.
Bhavana S.
Lindsay is excellent at what she does. Our family had a wonderful experience with her and the photographs are mind blowing. This is our first maternity photoshoot ever and we are happy to say we will go back to Lindsay for our next event. Lindsay is very responsive, accommodative, relaxed and fun photographer. I have a 4 year old who hates to pose for photographs. Guess what, Lindsay got around that easily and got him engaged for an hour. Lastly, my goal was to make my wife Happy and worth the effort. I am happy to say Lindsay knocked it out of the park. Highly recommend her.
Sri Krishna V.
Sri Krishna V.
Lindsay is an absolute dream to work with! We have been lucky enough to have her shoot both our family photos and maternity photos a year apart. I was blown away with the results each time. She perfectly captured the moments we wanted to hold on to forever. We will continue to work with her in the future as our family grows.
Katie P.
Katie P.
My wife and I did a mini bluebonnet session with Lindsay and she did a wonderful job! She let us include our dog and she was super accommodating to make it a mini maternity photo session for my wife who was 36 weeks pregnant. The photos were ready super quick and the website for accessing the photos was simple and convenient. Thanks Lindsay!
Jarrett T.
Jarrett T.
Amazing work and quick turn around; very responsive communication and beautiful results
Dallas D.
Dallas D.
Lindsay did an amazing job working with our large extended family of 15. We get to spend lots of time together, but have never taken the time to have someone else capture those moments. We are so happy we now have this beautiful images to cherish. Lindsay was helpful on choosing a beautiful location, different groupings of our family, and even encouraged us to have some fun photos/less posed--that turned out to be some of our favorites. We can't wait to work with Lindsay again in the future.
Julia D.
Julia D.
We just had our family pictures taken by Lindsay. She did a great job! Very friendly and easy to work with. We will definitely be scheduling Spring pictures with her! I also think her pricing is pretty reasonable as well. You won’t regret!
Lauren R.
Lauren R.
Lindsay does a fantastic job taking family photos! My family has used Lindsay a couple of times for our family photos and we are very happy for the photos she took. You will not be disappointed in selecting her. She is very responsive, professional, and edits your photos and gets them to you in a timely manner! :)
Megan W.
Megan W.
WOW! Don’t have enough wonderful things to say about Lindsay! She did our extended family photos last week and we were ALL so impressed with her (even the guys that don’t normally like to take pictures!!). She kept our crew of 18 people moving and got through all the shots we wanted in no time, even with kids and babies in tow. She captured such precious moments of our families and will cherish these pictures for generations to come. Lindsay was a dream to work with on the back end as well, very responsive and organized, and we had our edited prints back in days!!! She is warm and friendly so much FUN to work with!! We’re already thinking of what occasion we can hire her again for!!
Miranda M.
Miranda M.
Lindsay was a dream to work with! We did a mini session with our 4mo newborn and Lindsay far exceeded our expectations. From the get go, she responded quickly and answered all of our questions. As first time parents and wanting to get family photos done, we had no idea what to expect. Lindsay made us feel comfortable and made the session fun and easy. She had our photos to us in a matter of days and they are beautiful! We would absolutely use her again in the future and I wouldn't hesitate for a second to refer her to family and friends. Thank you again!
Stephanie H.
Stephanie H.
We hired Lindsay for a family session with our newborn son. She was incredible by providing warm, caring service with professional photos. We can't wait to hire her again when our son becomes older!
Grant L.
Grant L.
Such a great photographer.! We did holiday pictures but I can’t wait to do a full shoot with her. Captured my kids perfectly❤️
sarah S.
sarah S.
Lindsay is a great photographer and I can't recommend her enough. We did a family photoshoot with her. I wanted perfect fall colors and the golden hour light for our shoot. Lindsay was so accommodating regarding it and moved around shoot day to make sure we achieve both things. The photoshoot itself was amazing. She made the whole experience a breeze. I was nervous how my 3 year old will be but Lindsay was able to make her pose and smile and the photos turned out great.
Tehreem F.
Tehreem F.
We thoroughly enjoyed our downtown family session with Lindsay! She was able to capture some truly sweet and special moments with our energetic 2 year old. The pictures were ready in a week and we love them! We look forward to working with Lindsay again in the future as our family continues to grow!
Katelyn H.
Katelyn H.
Lindsay has so much talent and a great eye. We've been doing family photos for years and this is the first year where I feel like we really nailed it. Lindsay is wonderful at getting your best angles. We will definitely use her again. I LOVE our holiday photos!
kerry M.
kerry M.
Lindsay captured our family holiday photos this year and we love them! She was great with our three tween boys and the photos are great! We recommend Lindsay!
Kelli H.
Kelli H.
I hired Lindsay to do Fresh 48 and in homeNewborn photos for my first baby and she was amazing! My son ended up spending the first five days of his life in the NICU and Lindsay was amazing at being flexible and finding a time to come do the photos in the NICU once things settled down a little bit and my son was healthy enough to have photos taken just before he was discharged. Not only that but she created beautiful images in the world’s most poorly lit little area of the NICU where my son was stationed. Perhaps even more importantly she came in to take the photos with a great positive energy and immediately made us feel comfortable even though we were in a stressful situation and had nurses hovering around us. For the in home session, she was amazing at capturing stunning shots and had creative ideas about how to get the best photos. She also was so good with my son in his individual photos taking care to make him comfortable and cozy. Finally I want to add that Lindsay’s turnaround for the completed photos was SO FAST!! All in all, it was a great experience and we will treasure our photos forever. Thank you Lindsay!
Rachel T.
Rachel T.
Lindsay is such a talented photographer! I feel lucky to know her!
Kathryn F.
Kathryn F.
Amazing work! We have been using Lindsay once a year for the last 10+ years for our family photos!
Jen C.
Jen C.
She is an amazing photographer! She is so patient with our kids capturing moments we will treasure for a lifetime. Highly recommended her for family and newborn photo shoots!
Jayde A.
Jayde A.
Lindsay is creative and talented. Her experience and knowledge shows in her work. We enjoyed her personable, easy-going, and warm personality and her attention to detail. Lindsay was punctual and efficient with the time we had together.
Michelle K.
Michelle K.
Lindsay Herkert is an amazing photographer! I had the pleasure of having her photograph my family for many years in a row. Her passion, creativity, and professionalism show is every shot she takes! Austin is lucky to have her!!!
Stacie M.
Stacie M.
Lindsay is a extraordinary photographer. She has captured some of the most beautiful moments in our lives. She has been taking our family photos for over 8 years now. She has such a talent and passion for photography. It is her gift.
Kristin A.
Kristin A.
Lindsay is amazing!!! We truly treasure our photos. Highly recommend this kind, awesome, and very talented photographer. Thank you Lindsay for capturing these moments in our lives.
leighann W.
leighann W.
Beautiful work and has a great eye! Not only are her pictures gorgeous but she makes the process fun and stress free. As a parent the words “family photo session” and “stress free” don’t usually correlate but with Lindsay that is what you get. She has an amazing ability to connect with children and understands the challenges of photographing them! My kids loved her and it was reflected in the images she took. Can’t wait to use her again!
Melissa R.
Melissa R.
Lindsay was great! She was easy to work with before, during, and after the photo shoot. The digital album was delivered quickly following the session and she captured gorgeous natural light photos of my family. A true master at her craft, highly recommend!
Sophia B.
Sophia B.
Lindsay has been my family’s photographer for 10 years now and she is hands down the best!!! She has done our family pictures, newborn pictures, first birthday pictures, varies holiday themed pictures, etc. She is extremely professional, creative, friendly and a perfectionist when it comes to her photography! I highly highly recommend her to anyone who wants amazing, high quality, pictures. You will not be disappointed.
Jaimie J.
Jaimie J.
Lindsay was so great! We had some interesting hurdles to jump on our photo shoot day (cold weather, a site she hadn’t really had a chance to preview) and she handled it all like a pro! Our pictures turned our wonderful! She even captured our two rambunctious puppies!
Allie M.
Allie M.
I have hired Lindsay for years for everything from our birth photos, newborn shoots, cake smash, and annual family photos. Shes incredibly professional, always comes prepared, has amazing creativity and makes us all feel so comfortable in front of the camera. I can not recommend her enough. Her photos have captured some of my favorite memories and we are so grateful for her work!
Amanda G.
Amanda G.
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