How to prep for your in-home newborn session

February 2, 2021

Inviting a photographer into your home for a newborn session may be one of the best decisions you've made since packing adult diapers in your birthing bag! They bring everything to you, newborn care is mostly handled for you for 1-2 hours, and you get a show of overwhelming adorableness all from the comfort of your own couch.

I decided to learn the skill/art of newborn photography from the incredible Ashley Bridgewater (located in Southeastern Idaho - look her up) because, to be honest, they intimidated me! But I have learned that one of the most important things you can do as a newborn photographer is creating the right conditions for success.

While the photographer does her job to learn how to securely wrap babies, safely pose, gather wraps, and employ soothing techniques, much of the preparation depends on the parents. If this sounds overwhelming, don't stress just yet. Most of these tips are pretty simple, AND... I have bullet points.


  • Choose a room/wall where you think you get the most light to use as the "studio" and keep that area tidy.
  • Open the blinds/windows wide open to let in as much light as possible, and turn off any electric lights.
  • Give baby a bath 1 hour before the session, include a little lotion-ing sesh immediately afterwards.
  • Keep baby undressed down to a dry diaper.
  • Begin breastfeeding/bottle feed baby 15-30 minutes before.
  • Turn the thermostat up to 80 degrees about 10 minutes before the session.
  • Keep lotion and wipes/tissues nearby for poop, eye boogers, and other little messes.
  • Prepare any sentimental items you'd like implemented beforehand and keep them nearby.
Additional notes:
  • Mother, plan to stay mostly hands-off during the session as babies sense of smell is almost super-human. I will take care of your baby and will ask for assistance if necessary.
  • Sometimes babies cry. While I will never put your baby in a dangerous or compromising position, dressing, undressing, wrapping, etc. can sometimes result in some temporary unhappiness.
  • I like to include parents/family in some of the photos I take for newborn sessions (I consider myself a mix of posed-newborn and lifestyle newborn photographer), so if it's important to you - and if you have the energy for it - get yourselves dressed up to your comfort level.

And there ya have it! The times my clients have followed these steps, we have had successful sessions with very sleepy, happy babies.

Good luck mamas and papas! I can't wait to see you and your beautiful babies!


Susan is a birth photographer and videographer serving Mesa, Arizona and surrounding cities in the East Valley including Chandler, Gilbert, Queen Creek, Scottsdale, and Tempe. Considering a photographer for your birth? Contact Susan for EDD availability.

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