When I walk into a client’s home, I get so excited because I cannot wait to see where they live. I love to look at their décor and how they decorate because that says a lot about them and their personality. I love decorating as well, so it allows me to really connect with them as I ask them questions about where they purchased their items, or where they came up with their ideas. Newborn sessions are very special to me, especially because I am in the home where they live. If you have children, think about the home where you first brought them home from the hospital. There are so many memories surrounding this time and being able to take images of a baby’s first few days of life in their home is priceless. So the first thing I do is walk around the home to get an idea of the light. I will also ask to see the nursery, because most parents would like to take some images in the nursery.
Newborn photography tips to help you find the beauty in your client’s home
- No.01Head to the nursery
In this image, I stood outside the doorway to the nursery so I could take a shot that had a feeling of just peeking inside and seeing new parents loving their new baby. It’s easy to work with new parents in a lifestyle setting. I just tell them to act like I am not there and just do what they would normally do when interacting with each other. I loved how the canopy looked over the crib so I thought this would make a nice “frame” for them in stand in. In images like this I prefer the parents not look at me, but focus on baby. Parents cannot help but give genuine smiles when looking at their beautiful baby.
- No.02Look for unique architectural features, windwos, or décor
I have always had a love for architecture and sometimes an idea for a shot will just stand out to me. This home was a photographer’s dream because it had an entire wall of windows, which included skylights. I knew I had to have her stand in this spot so I could really show off the lovely and unique features of their home. I love all the lines and how the doorway in the background created a natural frame. When I take an architectural image, I always come in closer and get another shot of my subjects. I like to give my clients several options. I fell in love with the windows in this nursery. They happened to have a guest bed in there as well so it made for a perfect spot for baby to be positioned right underneath them. The light from the windows is just magic to me! When I walked into the following home I fell in love. It was such a fun mix of antiques, but with a modern twist. If I can, I love capturing a family in their living room either hanging out on the couch or in a chair. The décor, along with amazing natural light, made for a great lifestyle image. This next image shows you never know what you are going to find! During this session we walked upstairs to see the older daughter’s room and this spot stopped me in my tracks. It had everything I love; a great window with amazing light and architectural interest. Some of my favorite newborn images were taken in this location. Another favorite location that I love to use is my client’s front door.
- No.03Using the front door
I am not sure what it is, but I really love front doors. I guess the front door is the entrance to the home and is usually the main feature on the front of a home. The family on the left live in a historical part of town and I knew I wanted to take one of them outside in front of their house. The light was so amazing with the family on the right; I knew we had to take some there. We actually took a lot of really good images of them sitting on the front steps too. I love when the unexpected happens. I was moving the dad around to get a good shot of him holding his son, when he moved in front of the door in their foyer. I was like, “Wait! That’s the spot.” Back lighting like this can be tricky, but I was thrilled with how it turned out. If weather permits, I will always take my clients outside.
- No.04Get outside when possible
Sometimes you have to get creative when looking for a good spot outside. I usually do newborns in the morning and through lunchtime. That means the sun is high noon so I look around the yard for a good shady spot. When the mom and I were talking at the newborn session, she mentioned she wanted to use her wedding veil and garter if possible. I usually do not use a lot of props, but happened to have the basket in my car. We looked around her yard and at the very far end near the road was a little patch of shade. You don’t need much room to set up a good shot! Mom held up veil on one side and I cloned her out during post processing. Sometimes your clients have really cool buildings in their back yard, as it was in this case. This was during the summer and it was nice and warm! The light was so gorgeous in their back yard and I fell in love with their storage building. I could not have been happier with what they were wearing for their session. The greens outside were heaven with her red hair and his blue pants!
- No.05A few tips for preparing for sessions
Make sure your client knows you will be using all parts of their home, if that is okay with them. Moms are getting used to having a newborn, so I like to make sure they know the rooms we will always use. That is typically the nursery and master bedroom. When looking around the room, I may move unnecessary items out of the way like tv remotes, digital clocks, etc. I like to set up a room to maximize it’s beauty. If you are not comfortable with having to decide locations on the spot, ask to do a walk through with your client before your session. This is helpful if you would like to see how the light is during the time you have scheduled your session.
- No.06At the session shot list
Framing. Look for anything that will create a natural frame around your subjects. -Find windows or any detail of their home that you find interesting or that has good light. -Front door, from either inside our outside. Parents love the shots of them in front of the front door! -Nursery. Parents love shots in the nursery, especially baby lying in crib. -Even though I did not specifically talk about this, the master bedroom is also one to put on your list. I love taking a picture of the baby at the foot of the bed. It really shows scale and how small they are. -Get outside! Find a nice shady spot for family to relax and get some images of the family interacting. Don’t forget to bring the best lenses for newborn photography.
Clearly I have been blessed with amazing clients with beautiful homes. But no matter where your client lives, their home is special to them and anywhere they are with their new baby is beautiful.