What to expect at your newborn photo session

Congratulations! A brand-new family member is set to arrive, and you’re thinking of hiring a photographer to document this special time. A newborn session in your home, or even outdoors, is a fun and comfortable way to capture this moment in your family’s history. I know the idea of planning a photoshoot in your own home, on top of the never-ending-parent-to-do list, can be daunting. But don’t worry! I’m here to make it as easy as possible. Keep reading for some quick info on what to expect at your newborn photo session. Hopefully, this will help answer any questions so you can decide whether this type of session will be a good fit for you and your family.

A reflection in a mirror of a  mother in a long white dress holding a swaddled newborn baby.
On the left, a letterboard with the words "Hello World, Leo Joseph, 8.5.20, 8lbs 4 oz, 20.5 inches" On the right, a mom and and dad holding a newborn swaddled son.
On the left, a mom and dad holding a newborn swaddled son and the father is kissing the baby's head. On the right, a black and white images of a mother and son holding a newborn son who is swaddled.

Lifestyle Newborn Photography

My personal style for newborn photography is best described as lifestyle with baby-led posing. This means your baby is documented in the most natural way – napping in a beautifully lit corner of your home, curled up in your arms or interacting with the entire family. I’ll capture the tiny details – the teeny toes, the wispy hair, the sleepy yawns, and the curly limbs – with minimal posing or props. Instead, I’ll document the beauty of your baby, your family and your new life together as genuinely as possible.

Because newborn sessions are typically held within the first 10 days of life, please be sure to contact me early in your pregnancy so we can get a date set on the calendar. Throughout the remainder of your pregnancy, we’ll keep in touch and decide if the tentative date needs to be changed. Life happens and babies arrive when they want to. If a change of date is needed due to an early or late arrival, we can definitely work around it.  

A black and white image of a father and mother holding their newborn baby swaddled son in front of a big window.
On the left, a father in a blue shirt holding his newborn son while smiling. Not the right, a close up black and white image of a newborn baby's head.
On the left, a black and white image of a fathers hands holding a sleeping newborn baby boy. On the right, a color, close up image of a newborn fingers wrapped around his father's fingers.

Timing & Scheduling

A newborn session will last approximately 2-3 hours. This gives us plenty of extra time for feedings, snuggles, soothing, diaper changing, and getting baby to sleep. Sessions are usually held at a client’s home, although we can definitely do an outdoor session if the weather permits. 

A newborn baby wrapped in a grey swaddle sleeping in a crib in a nursery. Above the bed is his name on the wall: Leo Joseph.
A closeup of a newborn baby's face while sleeping in a crib.
On the left, a newborn baby in a crib making a puckered face at the camera. On the right, a sleeping newborn baby wrapped in a grey swaddle .
A black and white closeup of a newborn baby's feet.

Since I specialize in natural-light photography, the best time of day to schedule a shoot depends on the time of year and optimal lighting conditions in your home. This usually means mid-late morning. Of course, I am flexible and will work my best to accommodate your family’s needs.

A pre-session consultation is done over the phone so we can finalize all the details. Here, we will discuss your family, location ideas, what to wear, what vision you may have for the photo shoot, and how image purchasing works.

The Big Arrival

Once your baby arrives, just reach out to me – within 24 hours if possible – and we will confirm that everything went as planned and our date still works. If for any reason, your due date or birth plan changed, there are any medical issues, or if you feel like things are just too hectic in the first few weeks of delivery to handle an in-home session, we can arrange for a family session at a later available date at no additional charge. 

When everything is good to go, I’ll arrive and snuggle that baby as long as I can. Oh, and take some fun and beautiful photos, too. 


The health and safety of my clients, their families and my own family is my top priority. Due to COVID-19 restrictions I will be masked during our session. I will wash my hands when I arrive and have sanitizer with me at all times. I am happy to wear disposable gloves if you would like. I will also monitor my temperature for 48 hours prior to our session.

If you or anyone in your family has a fever, is sick or has been exposed to someone with COVID-19 in the two weeks prior to the session, please reach out to me and I will happily reschedule.

A father holding a newborn baby up and smiling and kissing it.
A father holding a newborn baby up and laughing.
A black and white image of a father holding a newborn baby up while the baby yawns.
A father in a blue shirt holding his sleeping newborn baby in his arms.
A father in a blue shirt holding his sleeping newborn baby in his arms while the baby is on his stomach.

After the Session

A few days after your session, with permission, I will post a sneak peek of 1-3 images on social media. Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and Facebook so you can get tagged and be the first to see them!

Within two weeks of your session, you will receive your custom, password-protected, viewing gallery of 50-60 digitally enhanced, high-resolution images. Your private, online gallery will be live for 30 days before it is taken down to make room for new client images. In that time, you can share your gallery with friends and family, download your high-res digital files, post on social media, and since your photos come with a print release, you can print the photos as you wish. I also partner with one of the finest professional print labs in the country, so you can order stunning professionally printed gift prints, wall art and any additional a la carte products directly from your gallery shop. So easy!

On the left, parents golding they baby in a nursery. On the right, a baby stares at the camera while it's father holds it. Behind the baby is a record player.
On the left, a black and white image of a baby yawning at the camera. On the right, a baby stares at the camera while it's father holds it. Behind the baby is a record player.
A black and white image of a father holding a newborn baby while its mother caresses the baby's head.
A black and while image of a newborn baby making a funny face at the camera.
A mother holding her newborn son on her beige couch, in her living room. She is in a long beige dress and there are many framed pictures above her head on the wall.
A mother looking down at her baby while the baby looks up at the camera.
A mother and father on the couch holding their newborn son. On the left the image is in black and white and on the right, the image is in color.
On the left, a mother and father sit on the front stoop of their house, holding their baby and smiling at the camera. On the right, a closeup of the newborn baby in his parent's arms making a funny face.

Let’s keep in touch

I love the excitement and joy a new family member brings. But even more than that, I love to document those feelings for families to enjoy forever. Now that you have a better understanding of what to expect at your newborn session and are ready to book your date, or simply have a few more questions, feel free to reach out at any time.

And also remember that yes, newborn photos are wonderful. But so is a session where your baby can sit up, smile and clap.

So, if you are reading this a little later than planned, and a little bummed that you missed documenting that newborn stage – maybe due to your hectic schedule, Covid restrictions or any reason at all – just remember that there is never a wrong time to photograph your baby. And I’m here to help you capture these days as soon as you are ready.

A mother and father on a rooftop deck holding their newborn baby and smiling at each other. The city of Philadelphia is in the background.
How to prepare for your newborn photo session

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