Newborn Prep Guide - BirchTreePhoto

Newborn Prep Guide (in-home)

Congratulations on your baby! It's such an exciting time and I'm so glad you've chosen me to document it for you :-)

Let's go over a few things so you know what to expect during your newborn session:

Photo Style

There are two types of newborn sessions - studio and lifestyle. Studio is mostly focused on baby with a lot of posing. These are done in a studio and typically take 2-3 hours. Lifestyle is what I do, which takes place in your home. The photos are much more focused on everyone together (baby, mom, dad, and siblings if there are any) in your natural environment. In my opinion, they are much more meaningful since they include everyone and more contextual since they're in your home. I also bring a basket and fur for a couple cute/posed/wrapped photos of baby alone.

Date & Time

The best time to have the session is within two weeks of baby's arrival (three weeks max), so let me know as soon as baby comes so we can schedule a specific date. The session will last around 1 hour. It may take longer depending on how sleepy the baby is and how cooperative siblings are. We take the baby's lead and they may need to be fed or cuddled in between shots. We'll take as many breaks as necessary, so don't hesitate to ask!

A few other things to keep in mind:

Bring on the heat!

Babies love to be warm, so please increase the heat in the house before the session. This will make the posed basket photos much easier. 

House Prep

Since the backdrop will be your home, please have the following areas nice & tidy so we can start shooting right away. I know it can be difficult after just having a baby (with two kids, our house is a perpetual mess!) so a simple straightening is fine in key areas:

I love to shoot near windows for gorgeous light - if you have a few large windows or a bay window, please have the area accessible.

The nursery is a must!

The master bedroom is also a great location if you have white or lighter colored bedding. Please have the room ready and bed made.

Any other areas of the house that you guys like to hang out in, or play with the kiddos will work too.

If we have time (and the weather is nice), we may get a couple photos outside!


We want the baby to be as sleepy as possible for the basket shots, so try to give them as much awake time as possible before the session so they're nice and tired. If they're wide awake, we'll start with the lifestyle photos first.


A hungry baby is not a happy baby! If they're nice and milk-drunk, they'll be much easier to pose. You're more than welcome to nurse/feed right before we start. We can always stop to top the little one off, too. Don't be afraid to ask!


For lifestyle family photos I always recommend simple clothing without crazy patterns or heavy colors that will be distracting. Casual and comfortable is preferred, with neutral/light colors. Avoid dark shirts as they will prevent light from filling in around you.

For dad, I think a grey or cream henley looks the best. A V-neck T shirt also works. Jeans are OK.

For baby, I love to keep it simple as well. A white (or off-white) onesie is classic and great for photos. Simple low contrast patterns are ok, but the cleaner the better. Burt's Bees actually has super cute onesies at Target that work great too. You're welcome to have a couple outfits ready. 

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