I am so excited to be working with you and I can’t wait for our time together during your portrait session! It’s normal to be a little nervous about your session. I still get nervous before having my own photos taken - and I do this for a living!

Newborn sessions are such a sweet time to celebrate your growing family, the miracle of your new baby, and the relationship you have with them. I've created this guide to help you get the most out of your photos, and by the time you’ve read through all these tips, you'll have all your questions answered and feel more than ready and prepared for your session. Then, I’ll take care of the rest! Your only job is to be yourself, snuggle your sweet newborn and let me create photos you’ll love forever. I can’t wait to get you in front of my camera!

Newborn Lifestyle Sessions are all about celebrating your growing family and capturing the connection, love, and relationship that your family already has for the newest addition! Throughout the session, I'll capture moments of baby with each family member, the family together, baby alone, and details of baby's nursery.

what is a newborn lifestyle shoot?

I recommend scheduling your newborn session for when baby is 1 - 6 weeks old. Before babies are 2 months old, they tend to enjoy tighter swaddling and have a more predictable sleep schedule. That said, if you need more time to adjust to your new life, we can wait as long as you need for your newborn session. That's the beauty of lifestyle sessions - because we're capturing the connection between you and your baby, there are sweet moments at any stage of the newborn journey! 

I recommend in-home sessions begin around 11am, because that is when light inside the house tends to be the most even. However, if a different time would work better for your baby's sleep schedule, we can definitely be flexible with the start time.

Newborn sessions usually last between an hour and an hour and a half. That said, when it comes to newborn sessions, baby is in charge! If we need to take breaks for feeding and diaper changes, we'll take all the time we need!

SELECTING YOUR SESSION TIME & DATE

Almost all of my clients choose to have their newborn lifestyle sessions in their homes. It tends to make it easier on you and your baby, since you have everything you need right at your fingertips, plus we can capture your family in the space that means so much to you, as well as details of the nursery you've spend so much time decorating especially for your new baby! These details are ones worth remembering!

That said, if you feel you'd rather not have the session in your home, we can also opt for a studio space. The good thing about a studio space is the beautiful lighting, plus you don't have to worry about cleaning your own home! I recommend the Lumen Room if you're interested in a studio space. Each of their studios has furniture options that we can use to make your session look cozy and homey!

SELECTING THE RIGHT LOCATION

Give yourself some grace... your home does not have to be straight out of an HGTV magazine to have an in-home session! When I arrive at your home, I'll do a quick walk-through to see where the best natural light is.

Typically, we'll be in your bedroom, living room, and nursery. I suggest tidying up, making sure your bed is made (I suggest using a light colored neutral quit or comforter on top) and bedside tables are free of personal items, and that your baby's nursery is decorated the way you like it—I always love photographing your baby's room, so that you have those sweet memories captured! Open the blinds & curtains to let in as much natural light as possible, and don't be surprised if I move the furniture around a bit to get the best light possible - I promise I'll put everything back! 

If baby has brothers & sisters (including furry ones!), we normally include them in photos at the beginning of the session! In this case, I suggest having a friend or family member come help out during the session so that once the siblings are done taking photos, they can go play, leaving Mom and Dad to finish the session with baby.

If you're including siblings, I recommend having snacks on hand as well as any small objects (like toys or lollipops) that might help me get their attention when it’s time for them to look at the camera. If they are old enough to understand you, it’s a good idea to prepare them for what’s to come before the session starts. Explain how much the photos mean to you so they know to be on their best behavior. A lot of families discuss and pick something fun in advance as a treat after the session if they’re good listeners, like an ice cream cone, for example. It also helps if their bellies are full and they’ve had some good rest beforehand.

Once you prepare them physically and mentally, then feel free to give them (and you!) grace! They’re little, and we know that some days don’t always go as planned. I’ve seen it all and will make sure to get you great photos, regardless of their moods. My goal is to make this as fun and stress-free as it possibly can be for you and your family!

SIBLINGS & PETS

I recommend selecting softer, lighter tones and avoiding ultra-bright, bold colors. The camera loves shades of soft pink and muted blues, mixed with sophisticated light neutrals like heather gray, creams, leather brown and white. When choosing your outfits, I recommend keeping in mind the word “complement” rather than “match.” Feel free to vary the shades of the colors, too. That softer color palette fits beautifully into a cozy home environment, and can easily be paired in so many different ways.

Keep it simple and comfortable. Neutrals and soft colors work best as they don't take away from the natural beauty of your sweet new baby! To help out as you choose your outfits, I've put together a Pinterest board for you below.

OUTFITS

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Dresses look most stunning because they really flatter every female body, especially on camera! Remember: There is no such thing as “too dressed up” when it comes to your portrait session, so don’t be afraid to have some fun! Long, full-length, flowy dresses and skirts look amazing on camera because they bring extra movement to the photos. 

Stick with soft, muted, neutral colors. For in-home sessions, you can skip the shoes! If you opt for pants, I recommend a loose & flowing shirt, and maybe a layered cardigan to compliment it and make your session feel extra cozy!

ACCESSORIES

WHERE TO SHOP

HAIR & MAKEUP

MANICURE

wardrobe tips

Outfits

Keep it simple. For newborn sessions, we love to focus on the details of your baby's tiny fingers, sweet little toes, and their precious features! Too many accessories in mom and dad's wardrobe can feel a little distracting. If you have any heirloom pieces or items you wear daily that feel natural to include, those tend to add a special touch without detracting from the focus on your baby. I always suggest making sure your wedding rings are cleaned, too!

Although it might seem counter-intuitive, I recommend that you do not get a spray tan before your session, even a few days prior, because it tends to photograph orange even when it’s applied subtly and by a professional. Your actual skin tone will photograph the most beautifully and naturally.

ACCESSORIES

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ACCESSORIES

WHERE TO SHOP

HAIR & MAKEUP

MANICURE

Outfits

While not necessary, many of my clients opt for professional hair and makeup. Many services are even willing to come to your home so you don't have to leave! It looks amazing on camera and removes the stress of getting ready on your own. Professional hair and makeup will give you an extra boost of confidence in front of the camera, and it always photographs like a dream. If you’re working with a makeup artist, have her apply your makeup in natural light, if possible, so that it looks fresh and not too heavy. 

hair & Makeup

NEED A REFERRAL?

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ACCESSORIES

WHERE TO SHOP

HAIR & MAKEUP

MANICURE

Outfits

There will probably be times during your session when I'm shooting you holding baby's hands or feet, your wedding rings, or details that will show your hands! Which means it's a good excuse to get a manicure, or DIY your nails at home. I love neutral colors that aren't distracting!

This is also a great time to have your ring cleaned (or grab a Bling Brush and clean it yourself!). My favorite spots to get my nails done in Dallas are Bellaucres and Hiatus Spa!

manicure

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ACCESSORIES

WHERE TO SHOP

HAIR & MAKEUP

MANICURE

Outfits

Long, fitted pants and buttoned up shirts are the most sophisticated and masculine looks for men. They draw attention away from his legs and feet and place it where you want it: on his handsome face. So, for your session, it’s best to avoid shorts and sandals, as well as any pants that are loose or baggy. Fitted dress pants or fitted colored pants work best on camera. Solid shades of gray, white, and light blues are a strong complement to most women’s outfits, whereas pinstripes or plaid patterns tend to distract the eye. I also recommend staying away from graphics and logos.

wardrobe

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WHERE TO SHOP

Outfits

I recommend dressing baby in light colored swaddles or onesies! There will be plenty of time for us to switch swaddles or outfits throughout the session, so I suggest laying out your options so they're ready to go. Feel free to incorporate bows or headbands. We'll also take a few photos of baby just in his or her diaper so we can get close shots of those sweet little fingers and toes!

WHAT TO WEAR

During your session, parents are welcome to have one outfit set or two! For siblings, I recommend keeping it to one outfit, and of course, baby can have a few different swaddles.

Most of my clients who choose two outfits will bring have a more dressy outfit, and then another slightly more casual or cozy outfit. Remember, though, you don’t have to have two looks if it’s too stressful to coordinate or if you’d rather just stick to one look. One outfit that you love will be so much better than one outfit you love and another you’re not very excited about. So, one or two? It’s really up to you!

I specialize in lifestyle newborn portraits rather than overly posed newborn shots because I love capturing the relationship between you and your new baby! That said, I'll still capture individual photos of your sweet little one, including detail shots of his/her little toes and fingers. If you have any special requests or ideas, I'm happy to incorporate them into our session! I love when families include heirloom items, family quilts, or baby blankets that are special to you.

props

When it comes to posing for your newborn session, you don’t need to worry about a thing! I’ll guide you through the entire process beginning with “poses” that are super easy and natural. If I tell you to do something that feels a little funny, it’s probably because I know it’s going to make you laugh - and that’s the photo I'm actually looking for. My goal is to always capture you and your family just the way you are - with candid giggles, sweet snuggles, and authentic moments that capture your relationships with each other. So relax, and trust me - I've got you!

Throughout your session, I'll keep an eye on your hair, makeup and outfits to make sure things stay in place. I want you to feel as relaxed as possible and enjoy our time together! 

POSING

I know that I just gave you a lot to think about. I created this guide to help make your newborn session experience something you’ll look back fondly on for years and years to come. At the end of the day, though, the outfits you select won’t matter nearly as much as the memories you make together. Your future memories are the most important thing to me, and we want your session to be a time for you to just be yourselves and enjoy it. Have fun together. Laugh a lot. And I’ll take care of the rest!

Within one week, you'll have a sneak peek from our session! Your full gallery will be delivered via email within 4-6 weeks of our session date. You'll have access to fully-edited high-resolution images from our time together!

Set Date, Time, & Location with SKP
Review Guide for Style Tips
Schedule Hair & Makeup
Choose Your Outfits
Gather snacks & small toys for siblings
Open curtains & blinds to let in natural light
Turn off lamps & overhead lights
Prep nursery, bedroom, and living room, clearing off clutter.

I can't wait to see you! If you have any questions, please feel free to email me anytime at hello@samikathryn.com

Lots of Love,