He’s finally here! I captured Kendal’s maternity portraits what-seems-like yesterday, and baby Brooks has made his grand debut! When I first captured Kendal and Jake in 2018 for their engagement session, I would have never dreamt that I would have the joy of photographing them five years later as they started their family. As I moved around their home for this in-home Chicago newborn photography session, it was a blast from the past looking at so much of my work on the walls of their beautiful home and smiling at how sweet this life can be. ✨ Moments like these make me especially grateful for this amazing work I get to call a career. But it’s so much more than that. These connections, the stories, and all the life that happens from one year to the next—there’s nothing like it! This isn’t just photography; it’s creating beautiful heirloom art from everyday life.
Brooks was the PERFECT model, barely making a peep our entire time together. He did, however, give us a few precious newborn faces. Those little lips always melt my heart! And their pup Addie was a proud big sister and was SO excited for the session. She hit her marks and was right on cue every time, always careful not to overwhelm her baby brother.
Preparing Your Home for a Newborn Session
The fact that their home could be featured in a home and garden magazine helped set the stage for this amazing session. The fresh, neutral walls and timeless décor made every room feel bright with tons of natural light. Seriously, their home has photography studio-level setups.
But, before you go running to Pottery Barn, rest assured that I want your home to look and feel like you. You can get this same lovely backdrop with what you have. Simply tidy up, clear off the shelves and counters, and tuck away odds and ends, and you’re good to go! If you do end up adding linens or décor, neutrals, greenery, and classic pieces are ideal. You don’t want anything to detract from your family and newborn as the focal point. (I won’t tell if you need to stuff things into a closet or cabinet temporarily—we’ve all been there! Life happens.)
Newborn Tips: Preparing for Your In-Home Newborn Photos
Lifestyle sessions are great because I can come to you, and you can do your session in the comfort and privacy of your own home. Plus, it’s a beautiful way to document the nursery. But there are still a few little tips I like to give families to help ensure a smooth and tear-free experience:
A full belly equals a happy baby.
Aim to feed your baby right before I show up. Most newborns tend to (loosely!) follow the natural “eat, wake, sleep” cycle, so you’re more likely to have at least a few minutes of alert, happy baby time. Many newborns tend to snooze through most of the session, and that’s totally normal (and so are a few tears here and there). There’s no need to try to keep them awake for the whole session. Newborns are surprisingly easy to photograph—the older-infant and toddler stages get tricky!
A heating pad under the bed for solo shots is imperative.
I bring a heating pad with me to all newborn sessions. It stays under the mattress pad for gentle warmth during the session and does not come in contact with their skin. A cozy, warm baby will often stay asleep and snuggled up while we photograph them.
Don’t forget the sound machine!
I usually bring one with me as well. Soft waves and gentle background noise help soothe and calm babies. (A sound machine is a worthy investment for all new parents!)
When is the best time to book a newborn session?
Ideally, you want to schedule your Chicago newborn session sometime in the first two weeks after birth. During the first two weeks, newborns still have that fresh newborn look with the tiny wrinkles, soft lanugo (hair like peach fuzz), and froggy legs from being inside the womb. These characteristics fade over the next month as they plump up and stretch out. Don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions! I’m here to make this a sweet and memorable experience for you and your family.
Ready to book your Chicago newborn session? Let’s get in touch!