When Caitlin asked me if I would be interested in doing a newborn / family at-home session, I was overjoyed! Steve and I had the pleasure of photographing her and Frank’s wedding two (almost three) years ago! Finding out about their new little addition, Sofia, made us so happy! We love catching up with our previous couples, and continuing to photograph them is especially wonderful.
Caitlin first asked me a few weeks after Sofia was born, so it wasn’t exactly a newborn session. Typically, I worry that babies who are passed the one-week mark will be super fussy and cry a lot. But not Sofia. She was one of the happiest babies ever! She was so easy and only got a little tired in the end. And when we tried to put reindeer antlers on her, she was over it, lol. But otherwise, she was giggly with wondering eyes.
So what exactly is an “at-home” session? Well, it’s exactly what it sounds like. We come to you, in the comfort of your own home and we do a portrait session there. It allows for a level of comfort and coziness in front of the camera that helps melt away stiffness. Of course, with times being what they are, I wore a mask the entire time. Steve didn’t come with me on this shoot in order to limit the amount of us in the house. I washed my hands as soon as I entered and I kept from touching Sofia. In general, if you’re looking for a newborn photographer that’s going to do elaborate poses and put your baby in a fruit basket, I’m not your gal. I was very up front with Caitlin about this. She knew my shooting style and was totally ok with me being more documentary. This is how Steve and I approach our shoots in general, we give you direction and tell you where to sit/stand/put your hands – but then we just let it flow! We love the honest moments that happen in between the “staged” stuff.
Personally, I adore this type of at-home session. It works wonderfully for engagement sessions, as well. It’s more personal, intimate and sincere to your relationship or family dynamic. You can also outfit change more easily, and with a baby involved you don’t have to worry about lugging a million things in your baby bag to the session, everything is right where you need it at home! You can kick your shoes off and be more relaxed.
1. Clear some excess clutter out of the rooms you think we’ll be shooting in.
2. Open all of your blinds, choose the rooms that get the most natural light. Bedrooms, family/living rooms, nurseries, even the kitchen are most likely where we’ll be shooting.
3. For family sessions with older children, have an activity planned. Baking cookies or a craft are always a good idea. This goes for engagement sessions, too! Nothing more romantic than opening a bottle of wine and cooking together!
4. You don’t have to be super dressed up for an at-home session. For most outdoor sessions we recommend one casual outfit and one dressier outfit. But at-home, anything goes! Well, almost anything. PJs and comfy clothes are definitely welcome – but remember you’re getting your picture taken so still keep in mind you want to still be an elevated version of your day-to-day self!
5. If it’s a session around Christmas-time like this one, find a neutral colored blanket (or furry blanket like we used here!) to put in front of the tree or a fireplace. And just make sure there’s enough room in the space to back up from the tree.