Preparing for a Newborn Photo Session at Your Home

I will try to keep this short and sweet because one of the best parts about having a Lifestyle Newborn Session with Mary Beth Miller Photography is that my goal is to keep your session SIMPLE and STRESS-FREE! The very last thing the parents of a newborn baby need to worry about is the photo session! But here are some tips for preparing for a newborn photo session at your home!

family sitting in baby nursery in pittsburgh home with dog preparing for a newborn photo session at your home!

I have had three babies and I know that the first couple weeks of having a new baby at home are not easy. Of course there are those super sweet moments where you just gaze into the eyes of your new baby but I also know the reality of the situation! You and your partner are tag-teaming for diaper and clothing changes, swaddling, feedings, burpings, rocking, etc. You haven’t slept more than two hours at a time in weeks and you probably do not feel like yourselves.

One of the best things about a session with me is that all of my newborn sessions take place in the comfort of your very own home. No need to worry about when and where you will feed the baby. No worries about buckling that tiny baby in a car seat to take them on a ride to a studio. No worries about packing and remembering to take the diaper bag. With a session in your own home, you feel more relaxed and comfortable. You have everything you need, right there.

mom dad newborn baby and dog on bed for lifestyle newborn photo session preparing for a newborn photo session at your home!

What do we wear?

I always tell parents to dress comfortably! I want you to not only feel good about yourselves but I want you to dress like you usually do! And feel free to change your outfit in the middle of our session! I am ok with lights, darks, prints or solids. I just ask that you avoid bright and bold colors like bright green, red or orange.

For baby, I prefer when they are just in a simple onesie or sleeper. Choose something that you love to put on them and pick out your favorite blanket for me to wrap them in. I’ll bring along a few blanket wraps, but I also like to utilize the items that a parent already has for their baby.

I want you to look back in 20 years at these photos and remember how much you loved that gray sleeper with the elephants on it or the muslin wrap with the giraffes on it that you received at your baby shower or the blanket that your mother knit while you were pregnant.

newborn baby in crib in pittsburgh home nursery preparing for a newborn photo session at your home!

What if my house is a mess?

You JUST had a baby so a messy home is not only expected but it is a reality! Your job for the last few weeks was to feed the baby and rest so I totally understand if your place has 12 coffee mugs scattered about and three laundry baskets on the floor.

If you really feel the need to clean up, then pick a room that gets the worst natural light and just stash everything in there. When I come to your home for a session, I seek the light. I tend to photograph families in their living rooms, bedrooms and in the nursery.

It is not necessary to use all three and we can totally stick to one room of the house that gets nice natural light. Whatever it takes to make you relaxed and comfortable.

preparing for a newborn photo session at your home!

Whatever you do, do not clean for me or for the session. If your Mom or bestie happens to stop for a visit, then you can put them to work and ask them to stash everything or do a light cleaning for you. Please do not feel the need to do a deep clean for our session.

I do not judge a sink full of dishes or a messy bathroom. If you follow my work then you know that I embrace reality. And if you were to pop into my home on any given day, I most likely will have a sink full of dishes and a messy bathroom.

So other than dressing yourself and the baby and stashing the laundry away, there is nothing else you have to do to prepare for our session! Really, I promise.

Do not feel rushed.

Although the average photo session is around two hours long, I do not set time restraints. If baby is feeling extra fussy and wants to eat 5 times or has three blowouts, we will take all the time that is needed to make baby happy. Just know that I love to photograph those “in-between” moments. The diaper changes, the feedings, the rocking and the cuddling. These are often some of my very favorite images from a newborn session.

dad and three month old baby sitting on chair in pittsbugh nursery preparing for a newborn photo session at your home!

Say no to cheese.

Seriously, please do not feel the need to look at my camera and smile. Just look at your baby. I do not know many adults that are comfortable being photographed so I tell my clients, do not look at me. You will feel so much more relaxed and comfortable when you get to just look and interact with your baby.

Once you are all relaxed, I will have you look and smile for a few images, because we know Grandma will cherish those.

preparing for a newborn photo session at your home!

I want to include the siblings! Yes, even your fur baby!

All of my newborn sessions incorporate the whole family. So yes, of course the siblings will be included! But please do not stress about how your toddler will behave for the photo session. No need to worry, I had three toddlers and this is usually how they tend to behave!

And I have a lot of experience photographing toddlers with newborns. Even if big brother or big sister has no interest in cuddling with or holding their new sibling, it’s totally ok. I will still capture images of your whole family hanging out together. You can read more about toddlers and newborns in this blog post!

pittsburgh mom dad toddler big sister and newborn baby on bed in home

And yes, I want to include the family pet(s)! They are a part of the family too! If your pup and/or kitty is comfortable and relaxed around the baby then I want to definitely include them in your photo session!

dog on bed with family during newborn lifestyle session

And yes, the Grandparents too!

I am also happy to include other family members like the Grandparents! Please feel free to invite them over to be included in a few photos!

So, just relax, I’m a professional that has photographed hundreds of families in the last decade. I assure you that our session will go smoothly and it will even be kind of fun.

Think of it as an afternoon just hanging out with your family and relaxing, and a photographer just happens to be there taking pictures. And I promise you that you will treasure those pictures for your lifetime.

Have a look at my newborn gallery to get an idea of what your session will be like!

Have more questions? Concerns?
Please get in touch to ask me anything!

Are you on Instagram? I’d love to connect with you there!

If you have not already booked and you are interested in a newborn or family session in 2022 please do not wait to get in touch. I know life gets busy and these things tend to slip to the bottom of the to-do list, but it’s time to make it a priority! Please get in touch before my schedule is filled up! I only accept a limited number of clients each month, so once my schedule is filled, it is filled. I can’t wait to hear from you and to plan a unique session for your family!

~All images by Mary Beth Miller Photography ~

Mary Beth Miller Photography specializes in lifestyle and documentary family, newborn and Fresh 48 photography in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania and many of the surrounding areas. Mary Beth has over ten years experience photographing families, newborns and babies in the Regent Square, Squirrel Hill, Shadyside, Greentree, Point Breeze and Highland Park.  Her style is very relaxed and natural and your family session will feel like a stress-free Sunday afternoon with your family!  

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    Mary Beth Miller Photography


    Established in 2009
    Family & Newborn Photographer serving the greater Pittsburgh area; Wexford, Mars, Cranberry Twp., and also serving Boardman, Poland, and Canfield, Ohio.

    Mary Beth Miller Photography

    best newborn photographers in Pittsburgh Expertise logo award

    Established in 2009
    Family & Newborn Photographer serving the greater Pittsburgh area; Wexford, Mars, Cranberry Twp., and also serving Boardman, Poland, and Canfield, Ohio.