with Courtney Slazinik
Newborn Photography Tips: Finding the Beauty in Your Client’s Home

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.
    Head 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. Newborn photography tips: Finding beauty in your client's home by Suzanne Carey via Click it Up a Notch 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. Newborn photography tips: Finding beauty in your client's home by Suzanne Carey via Click it Up a Notch

  • No.
    Look 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. Newborn photography tips: Finding beauty in your client's home by Suzanne Carey via Click it Up a Notch 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! Newborn photography tips: Finding beauty in your client's home by Suzanne Carey via Click it Up a Notch 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. Newborn photography tips: Finding beauty in your client's home by Suzanne Carey via Click it Up a Notch 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. Newborn photography tips: Finding beauty in your client's home by Suzanne Carey via Click it Up a Notch Another favorite location that I love to use is my client’s front door.

  • No.
    Using 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. Newborn photography tips: Finding beauty in your client's home by Suzanne Carey via Click it Up a Notch 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. Newborn photography tips: Finding beauty in your client's home by Suzanne Carey via Click it Up a Notch If weather permits, I will always take my clients outside.

  • No.
    Get 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. Newborn photography tips: Finding beauty in your client's home by Suzanne Carey via Click it Up a Notch 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! Newborn photography tips: Finding beauty in your client's home by Suzanne Carey via Click it Up a Notch

  • No.
    A 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.
    At 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.

Read more newborn photography tips

10 Tips to help dramatically improve your newborn photographyNewborn tips for the on-location photographers10 tips for photographing your baby

  • February 20, 2014 at 10:41 AM

    This post was so great! I’m doing an in home newborn session soon and this was full of great tips and inspiration. Thanks!

  • February 20, 2014 at 11:14 AM

    Photography is my retirement hobby. All sorts of stuff, but mostly front doors and entrances, porches etc. Although I am not a baby photographer, your thoughts and ideas can be used in architectural photography also. Blessings.

  • Jacqueline
    February 20, 2014 at 11:20 AM

    Love how the dog is watching the baby, too, in that one shot! Must’ve been a pretty cooperative canine!

  • February 20, 2014 at 11:22 AM

    Beautiful photographs! And such a great article too! I always photograph newborns in their home but need to step out of my comfort zone and this was just what I needed :)

  • February 20, 2014 at 11:50 AM

    What great tips and beautiful photos. I’ve never thought of the front door before…I just might have to start incorporating it into my sessions! LOVE

  • February 20, 2014 at 11:57 AM

    Such wonderful tips Suzanne! And, your photography is breathtaking!!!

  • February 20, 2014 at 12:15 PM

    This is great, Suzanne! I love your tips, and your images are gorgeous.

  • February 20, 2014 at 12:46 PM

    This is wonderful, since I’ll be doing an indoor newborn session real soon. I do not have a flash. Any pointers on lighting when you do not have a flash?

  • February 20, 2014 at 1:02 PM

    I love the use of background architecture as framing for the subject in the foreground.

  • February 20, 2014 at 2:00 PM

    Suzanne!!!!!! Shut up! What an awesome tutorial! Nice job, friend! All of the images are amazing.

  • February 21, 2014 at 9:35 AM

    Love all of these ideas and tips. Wonderful!

  • Christine b
    February 22, 2014 at 8:54 AM

    So many wonderful tips and beautiful images! Thanks for sharing!

  • February 22, 2014 at 10:12 AM

    Great post, and beautiful photography! I love lifestyle sessions. Thanks for sharing some helpful tips!

  • Yogi
    February 25, 2014 at 10:30 AM

    Loved the article. Each picture is a special in a unique way. Like the picture where that little girl is sitting near a window. Awesome.
    It would help if u could give some information on how did u set the lights and how did u choose the right camera settings to get the portraits.

    • yogi
      February 25, 2014 at 1:13 PM

      in my earlier post I mention about a picture of a girl sitting near a window but I suppose that was from another article, so pl disregard. I apologize for the mistake.


  • March 3, 2014 at 3:38 PM

    LOVE this post! Do you use flash for your session or just natural light! If you do use flash do you mind sharing what type? Thanks!

    • March 6, 2014 at 11:25 AM

      Hey Sarah,

      This was written by a guest photographer. From the look of her work I think she only uses natural light.

  • Kelly Kardos
    March 5, 2014 at 9:20 AM

    Clearly you have a magic touch for this. Gorgeous photos. I’m flying up to be with my daughter and my 6week old grandson next week and I’ll be doing the newborn photos. I’m so nervous as I’m not a people photographer. I’ve asked my daughter to scout some locations as she has cats and I’m asthmatic so I can’t do the photos in their home. What lens(es) do you like to use on your shoots? Thank you for all the tips here today. Kelly

    • March 6, 2014 at 11:26 AM

      Hey Kelly,

      This was written by a guest photographer. You would need to contact her directly to find out what lenses she uses :)

  • Robyn S
    October 13, 2014 at 8:48 PM

    Suzanne, or Courtney,

    I have been having an issue with doing on-location newborn shoots and the house is dark. It’s either cloudy or the house gets very little light due to tree shade. In one instance, it was 60 degrees outside and raining, but I just couldn’t get enough light to take any really clear photos – I have some good shots, but they are either grainy or blurry.

    Any suggestions?


  • January 13, 2015 at 11:04 AM

    Great tips! Beautiful images!

  • Better-Photography
    June 30, 2015 at 7:43 AM

    Beautiful, beautiful photos….

  • Romina
    February 1, 2016 at 10:55 AM

    The thing is when you arrive to your client home and the house is dark, the deco is ugly. Is Easy when you have the perfect house but what to do if that doesnt happen!

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