7 Things Mama Must Know About Newborn Session Photography

In home lifestyle newborn baby photo session by alison Bell, Photographer. Alisonbellphotographer.com

There’s several things mama needs to know about newborn session photography – BEFORE baby arrives! Even if you’ve done professional family photos before, baby changes things in a newborn session! Chances are you’ve never done a lifestyle photoshoot in your home, so here are the things every parent should know.

Timing is Crucial for Newborn Sessions

Newborns grow dramatically in the first 14 days of life. The ideal time for newborn session photography is between 6-10 days. Baby will be sleepier during this time and more cooperative. Six days postpartum also gives you time to get to know your baby’s preferences and schedule so you can have a small amount of predictability.

But don’t be fooled, even newborns can throw us curve balls!

BUT don’t let that keep you from doing newborn photos at home if you’ve had a longer hospital stay or just put it off too long. Just do the photography session because no one is getting smaller.

Book Newborn Photos in Advance

Because timing is crucial, book in advance. I block of the estimated due date on my calendar (Of course the actually shoot day is decided after baby arrives!). I only accept two families per week to make sure there’s room for early deliveries, late arrivals, and even the complicated or extended hospital stays for your newborn session photography.

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.

Be Patient

Sit back because baby is in charge during a newborn photography session. We’ll take plenty of breaks to feed, burp or change as baby wants to. Some newborn sessions are done in 45 minutes, others take the full 90 minutes. (Perk to doing it in your house! You can actually relax. Keep reading.)

Decide Wardrobe Before Delivery

Wardrobe matters SO much. (Not to freak you out or anything) The color you and Dad wear during your newborn session photography will reflect on to baby’s skin while you’re holding him. You’ll want to focus on neutral and light colors for that reason. So decided wardrobe well before delivery for everyone – mom, dad, baby, and siblings. Get my full guide on what to wear for newborns here:

free what to wear guide for newborn photos

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Prepare Two Rooms – Not The Whole House

Between nesting instincts and inviting a stranger into your home for a photography session, its tempting to go overboard here.


Please don’t. For everyone’s sanity. We need just two rooms for a lifestyle newborn photography session: a nursery and a living space. That can be the master bedroom or the living room.

If you don’t have a nursery, don’t fret. Two living spaces work well too! This is super common, I promise.

Props and Outfits

Keep it simple. Newborns typically hate being changed. During my lifestyle newborn sessions, we start off with baby in a simple white onesie like this one. Its classic and you can see all the details of her fingers and toes.

Next, we swaddle! Blanket goes right over that onesie with no issues.

Then IF baby is doing awesome and will tolerate a change in wardrobe we add in ONE (yes, just one) additional outfit. Usually that outfit can just slip over a onesie which works in our favor! Less crying!

Relax and Trust Your Photographer

I will take over when I get to your house. I’ll look for great light, ask permission to move a few things (apologies if I forget to put them back!), work with your good side, and tell you what to do – but in a fun big sister way. You’re not going to feel awkward.

You’ll do normal things during your newborn photography session- stare, kiss and look at your baby, stand in the nursery, hang out with Dad, sit on the couch and other normal, everyday stuff.

It’ll be easy.

Newborn Photography Session Photos

military baby photos
Newborn photography session
Newborn photography session
Newborn photography session
Newborn photography session
Newborn photography session
uniform newborn photos

More Newborn Session Photography Resources:

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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You can Google until your eyes bleed OOOR I can tell you everything I know.