How to Nail a Newborn Lifestyle Session
We love the new trend of capturing families at home with lifestyle newborn sessions. This type of photography allows families to stay comfortable in their own space and still get amazing photos of their little one in their first few days of life.
(Feature image by: Rachel Rossetti Photography)
An alternative to posed newborn photography in a studio, lifestyle newborn sessions capture the entire family exactly as it was that day. They provide an accurate representation of what life was like with that precious new life entered the world.
If you offer this type of session, it’s wildly important that you are diligent with the details and get it right the first time. This is not a session that can be re-done two or three weeks from now. These moments are fleeting and they need to be captured NOW.
Okay, enough pressure, lol.
We know you want to your best for all of your clients and are here to offer a few recommendations on how to nail a lifestyle newborn session. Ready to get started?
Preparing for a lifestyle newborn session is completely different than getting ready for a standard studio session. Instead of taking the time to set up the perfect place, your preparation should focus on getting to know your clients as much as possible.
Take the time to chat with and listen to your client prior to the actual lifestyle session. Ask questions, listen for honest responses. Share Pinterest boards. Stalk their Facebooks.
Reach out in whatever way will give you the most information to deliver a final product that you know they’ll love.
When you arrive at your client’s home for the newborn session, take time to look around and listen. What areas do they seem most comfortable and is there anything that they’d like to avoid being photographed?
Look for natural light that will help you snag the dreamiest of shots. See an opportunity for a great image that requires a little rearranging? Maybe you need to pull an accent chair over to a window or adjust a throw blanket. If you’ve taken the time to get to know your client, you should feel comfortable enough to make a recommendation that will help improve the photos.
Don’t forget that your clients just brought home a newborn baby. Those are some of the hardest (and most precious) days EVER. Be courteous about their home and a gracious guest.
Remove your shoes without being asked. Look over any ‘imperfections’ that would have likely been tended to if they hadn’t just brought home a new baby. Treat their space with the respect it deserves and most importantly, be patient.
Newborn babies are absolutely unpredictable. They may be having a great day or the worst day yet. If the baby needs to be fed, give mom and dad the time and privacy that they need to feed.
Pro Tip: Avoid scheduling anything directly after the session and unless your packages state a very hard-set time frame, please avoid keeping a constant eye on the clock. It puts unnecessary pressure, one everyone!
Make things easy.
Being a parent is tough, especially if it’s the first (or fifth) baby! Don’t make mom and dad’s life harder by making them jump through a million hoops in order to book their newborn lifestyle session with you.
Instead, try setting up a self-service booking system that will allow them to log online and choose the preferred date and time for their session. Now, things don’t always go as planned when it comes to babies entering this world. If they need to reschedule and it’s within your policies, make it easy for them to do that as well!
Don’t worry, this is pretty easy to do. Get started with a 14-day free trial here.
Last but not least, make sure your clients know what to expect. Be sure that whatever materials you use for marketing this type of session reflects the final product that your client will receive.
Each session will be different due to location changes, but your style should be consistent and the deliverables defined. Keeping everyone on the same page will help avoid any awkward misunderstandings.
Now go practice for your next session by photographing YOUR family in YOUR home.
This experience will not only help you refine your craft and become a ninja behind the camera, but it will also give you a better perspective on how to communicate with your client in terms of preparing for the lifestyle newborn session and the expectations afterward.