5 Shocking Things Moms Must Know Before Booking A Newborn Photoshoot

newborn photoshoot

Not only do newborn photoshoots capture beautiful moments with your baby, but they also help you create timeless memories of the first few weeks of this special journey. To ensure a successful in-home newborn photography experience, there are five key things that all moms should be aware of before booking their newborn photoshoot.

free what to wear guide for newborn photos

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Hey! I’m Alison, lifestyle photographer, recovering homeschool mama of 4 boys circus and USMC family.

I’ve been photographing families for 12 years. One thing I’ve learned: photos never lose their value.

But the thought of dealing with 3 hour studio photoshoot is just too much. 

Not only do you have to worry about getting everyone dressed and to the studio on time, but spaces can be cramped and uncomfortable – and take forever!

In home newborn photos are half the time and capture the intimate details that studios simply can’t.

Alison Bell, Photographer

How Newborn Photos Work

  1. We book your due date. I only take 2 families per week to leave plenty of wiggle room. Baby’s gonna do what baby’s gonna do! We get wardrobe set before delivery.

2. After baby arrives and everyone is home, we set the actual photo session day. Newborn sessions are weekday mornings usually around 10am and last up 90 minutes and are easy and painless.

3. Two to three weeks after photo day we gather again virtually for your Gallery Reveal & Order appointment! Buy only what you love. Digital files come with the print products.

A successful in-home newborn photoshoot

Having a baby is an incredible experience, and capturing those first few weeks with beautiful photos will help you remember the emotions and moments of joy that accompany the newborn stage.

In-home newborn photography sessions can be particularly special because the photos evoke the feeling of being in your own home and surrounded by family.

Before booking your session, here are five tips to make sure you have a successful in-home newborn lifestyle photoshoot.

baby's photoshoot

What NOT to do for your newborn photoshoot

I’ve compiled a list of a snarky list of what NOT to do for your newborn photo session. I created it so you can make the most of your sessions and photos!

Stop doing these 5 things:

  1. Don’t plan outfits until after delivery
  2. Wait to hire a photographer before the baby arrives
  3. Don’t tidy the house
  4. Forgetting the toddler’s nap time
  5. Plan 5 baby outfits and use them ALL


  • Expect your body to fit in pre-pregnancy clothes

I don’t think anyone could have prepared me for what it was like to be perpetually sleep-deprived. If there’s one piece of advice for ruining your photo sessions, it’s PLAN.

Plan early. The earlier, the better.

baby's photoshoot
Alison Bell, Photographer

1. Don’t plan outfits until after delivery

Instead, plan as soon as possible. Baby needs a quality white onesie. Dad needs more than gum shorts and a T-shirt, and you mama, need to feel comfortable and confident in a postpartum body.

>> What to wear for a newborn photoshoot.

2. Wait to hire a photographer

Newborn photographers book 1-3 months in advance. I block space on my calendar for every newborn session, max 2 a week. It doesn’t take much to fill up! If you know you’re doing it, do it early.

3. Don’t Tidy The House

Don’t take this the wrong way: you don’t need a Southern Living home. Just declutter 2 rooms. That’s it. Nursery and one living space – the living room, a den, or the master bedroom. What has good light? What room do you like the best? It’s that simple.

baby's photoshoot
Alison Bell, Photographer

4. Forget the Toddler’s Nap Time

Newborn photos at home are far easier with siblings than going to a studio. You have your house, your own tv, their own snacks, and boundaries (ie not pulling gear off studio shelves…)

But there’s one thing mamas tend to forget when scheduling their in-home newborn photoshoot: the toddler nap.

My kids came in rapid-fire succession under 2 years apart each. They were on a morning nap for a long time!

If big sister naps at 10 every morning, let’s start photos at 9. A simple time change around her schedule will make the world of difference in her demeanor.

newborn photoshoot
Alison Bell, Photographer

5. Plan 5 baby outfits and use them ALL.

Wrong. No more than 3 maximum and that’s only if the baby is calm and cooperative. Babies hate being cold and hate being changed. Start the newborn photoshoot with a white onesie, then swaddle and maybe, maybe one other outfit if it’s important. Keep it simple, folks.

Alison Bell Photography newborn photography virginia beach 24 by Alison Bell, Photographer
Alison Bell, Photographer

BONUS: Expect your body to fit in pre-pregnancy clothes

It’s not happening, and it’s normal. It took months to grow a baby it’ll take months or years to reshape itself. Be kind to your amazing body and dress accordingly.

You can be casual or elegant but choose clothes that have forgiving and flattering material and little to no waistline. Long tunics, leggings, jeans, and maxi dresses are viable options.

Relax and Enjoy Your newborn photoshoot

Capturing beautiful moments with professional photographs is an incredible way to document one of life’s biggest blessings—the birth of a child—and treasure those memories forever. With these five newborn photoshoot tips in mind, expecting moms can rest assured knowing that they are prepared for their at-home newborn photography experience and ready to capture those magical first few weeks together as a family!

newborn photoshoot

I'm a USMC spouse, South Carolina native, recovering homeschool mama of a 4 boy circus. They've taught me the most important facet of family photography: KEEP IT FUN!

Alison's Process

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I find joy in chaos. The louder, the better!

I'm a USMC spouse, South Carolina native, recovering homeschool mama of a 4 boy circus.

They've taught me the most important facet of family photography: KEEP IT FUN!

hey, I'm Alison!


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