One of the most frequent topics of discussion with new clients revolves around choosing an in-home newborn session and what that entails. I’ve been in apartment buildings, starter homes, gated communities, grandparent’s homes, and everything in between. Each time has produced beautiful newborn portraits. There’s a misconception that you need to have an impeccably decorated home with a ton of available space. I’m here to tell you that that is not the case. Let’s look at the 4 reasons to choose in-home newborn portraits.

1: Details and Sentiment

You’ve been dreaming of your baby’s nursery decor for months and have finally put on the finishing touches. The nursery will soon turn into the most visited room in your entire house; tons of diaper changes, nursing in your rocking chair, late night swaddling. As the years go by, and your baby is in full on toddler mode, that room will go through another transformation and you won’t quite remember each detail about that nursery. That’s where I come in; utilizing each available space in your nursery and documenting as much detail as I can. You put thought into the bedding, art, and family heirlooms displayed, and these details deserve to be photographed and remembered. These pieces also hold significant sentimental value. While many newborn props are very cute, I’ve found that they can lack a personal touch and sentiment. I’ve been able to use great-grandmother blankets, 30 year old outfits, bassinets that were passed down through generations, engraved silvers that all hold incredible value with each particular family. No detail is too small.

2: The Comfort of your Home

There is nothing quite like snuggling with your brand new baby in the comfort of your own home, on your own couch. Those spots are hard to leave once baby is asleep and you’re in the midst of sleep deprivation. When I arrive at my client’s homes, 9 times out of 10 the parents are still getting ready…and that is perfectly fine! Newborns notoriously do not care about your schedule! Why not take your time getting ready, you’re at home for goodness sake. There’s freedom in being able to take your first portraits as a family in your home, not worrying about travel and packing half the house to come with you. Postpartum recovery can be rough for most women and the added stress of what to bring along to a newborn shoot can feel daunting. Another scenario that plays out quite a bit is new moms wanting help choosing their best outfit for portraits. As much time as I spend in a baby’s nursery, I’ve also spent significant time in that mom’s closet. Home is where you’ll feel 100% most comfortable and that’s especially true for any older siblings. They thrive in their own spaces and will typically open up for their time in front of the camera much quicker. I’ve also been invited into many a big boy/girl rooms to play during mid-shoot.

3. Unique Images

Unique images that fit the personality of your family is always a big goal of mine when shooting newborn portraits. Being in your home and finding the most meaningful nooks is what helps produce those unique images. No one else is going to have your exact same nursery or front foyer. You’re going to hold your baby close and swaddle them just the way you want to. These small details that make up your household and preferred parenting styles are what’s going to come through in the portraits. The highlight is your brand new baby and your new family dynamic, but the way that looks does not have to look cookie cutter or highly produced. In fact, the in-between moments that I catch while you’re taking a feeding break, diaper change, or outfit change are the images that can speak the loudest.

4. The 4th Trimester

The 4th trimester is a combination of feeling blissful and wearisome. Just like the pains of childbirth, it can be easy to forget the first few weeks of parenthood when you’re far enough removed from it. Yes, newborn babies do sleep a ton, but images of them sleeping peacefully are not indicative of their first days at home with you. The reality is that they gaze up at you with those slate blue eyes, trying to figure out the world around them. They’re trying to figure out how to take a pacifier and if they prefer their arms in or out of a swaddle blanket. You and baby are figuring it all out together. Why not document these days as they are? Why not embrace eyes that are wide awake and why not embrace images of you shushing them back to sleep after a feeding? This is what parenthood looks like and this is what your newborn baby at home looks like. Embrace this beautiful reality, it is true and it is good.