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How to Prepare for an In-Home Newborn Session - San Jose Newborn Photography

All of my newborn sessions are a combination of lifestyle and lightly posed. This means that we'll be using your home for the bulk of the session to paint your story of these early days together. Here are some really great tips on how to prepare your home and what you can expect during your session:

1.) Let the light in! I'll be turning off all of the overhead lights and lamps in the room that we're in and using natural light. If you have drapes, shutters, curtains, just be prepared to let me open them to let in as much natural light as possible! If you feel like your home is exceptionally dark or you have dark painted walls, let me know about this ahead of time so I can talk to you about some additional tips or bring additional lighting to your session.

Family standing in front of large windows in home with newborn baby in Willow Glen, Ca

2.) Clear the clutter! I know that this one is hard. A brand new baby doesn't allow time for much cleaning and I completely understand that. But if you can try to have laundry, play mats, bottles, etc tidied up, it will save us a lot of time. Pro-tip: You can even fake this by corralling all miscellaneous items in a laundry basket that's hidden out of frame! Rooms that we'll be using are the master bedroom for family in the bed, the living room for snuggling on the couch, and the nursery for crib shots.

Family lying on bed together with newborn baby in Willow Glen, Ca
New parents lying on bed with newborn baby in San Jose, Ca

3.) Have the nursery ready! It's very likely that Baby won't even be sleeping in his nursery at this point, so it makes sense that the crib mattress might not have sheets, or that the nursery itself has become a catch all. But having the nursery photo-ready allows me to get some of those beautiful shots of Baby in his own space, or images of you and your partner looking over the crib. Plus detail shots of special items are always so sweet to look back on!

Newborn baby in nursery on changing mat in San Francisco, Ca
Picture of baby looking through mobile in crib in San Jose, Ca
Mint green nursery in San Jose with handmade details
Nursery details in Willow Glen for newborn photographs

4.) Flexible feeding! I recommend starting to feed Baby about 10-15 minutes before I arrive. I also suggest to try and keep her awake for as long as possible for the hour prior to my arrival. That way you can fill her tummy, and she'll be ready to take a good nap by the time I get there. Be prepared to feed her a little extra than normal today since full babies are the most content. Please also consider using a pacifier!! If you don't want to use a pacifier for nipple confusion, I completely understand. However, if you're open to using a pacifier, it will help us sooth her into that deep sleep we want her to get to that might take much longer without one.

Sleeping baby with black hair in swaddled in San Jose, Ca
Baby feet on white sheets for newborn session in Willow Glen, Ca

5.) Warm up! Warm babies are the most content. Consider turning your heater on. This might be uncomfortable for us, but it will definitely help with that deep sleep I was talking about earlier.

Baby sleeping with arms up during Bay Area newborn photo shoot

6.) Something special: I bring some blankets and wraps to keep a neutral and cohesive look to your images, however, it's fun to use something that is unique to your home, or special and important, like a handmade blanket. A stuffed animal can be a fun way to document growth during the first year as well!

Baby on black and white rug in Silicon Valley

7.) Older babies: The best time for newborn sessions is within the first 10 days of birth, but that doesn't mean that older babies aren't great candidates for newborn sessions! Setting realistic expectations for older babies is important. They might not be as tiny or as sleepy during their session, but there are actually a lot of wonderful things that can happen with older babies. Like incredible eye contact, smiling at the camera, or even holding their head up while lying on their tummies. If you've missed the 10 day window, don't let it stop you from booking!

Baby looking straight at camera in Mountain View, Ca for newborn photographer

8.) Go with the flow! I know that having a baby can be overwhelming in those first few days. I've been there twice personally, and many more times with clients. But if you just are willing to be flexible with feeding, pacifiers, and are able to follow some of the tips above, we'll be able to have a wonderful session where you will look back and be able to treasure these first few days with your new family.

If you have any questions or would like to book a family or newborn photography session with Laura Pope, please email me at or contact me here!


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