Preparing your home for a newborn shoot can feel daunting, especially as you’re in full survival and recovery mode. But let me put your mind at ease; it’s easier than you’d think. Today I’m going to highlight some of my tips to ensure that your home is ready for a successful newborn shoot.

1. Make sure every window, drape, or shade is wide open. We want as much natural light spilling into your home as possible. Fighting for natural light in a home can be tricky, especially on overcast days, but it has and can be done. If you’ve worked on a newborn shoot with me before, then you’ll know that I prefer to turn all of the lights off and let all of the outside light in. One worry that I can personally relate to is a naturally dark home. I live in a darker home and the light can feel like it’s never quite enough. Rest assured that I have been in almost every type of home in the Birmingham area, and will find the most flattering and useable light there is. Don’t forget, newborn shoots are just as beautiful outside as well.

2. Prepare everyone’s wardrobe ahead of time. You don’t want to be making last minute wardrobe decisions, especially if you’re postpartum. This is a delicate time and one when you should feel confident and comfortable. Those feelings will show up in your portraits. After I delivered my first child, I decided to squeeze myself into pre-pregnancy clothes for our shoot. I was uncomfortable and overly concerned with my body. Choose what makes you happiest and go with that for the entire family. Natural tones are flattering on everyone and can help with a timeless, natural look for your wall art.

3. Set the mood. I’ve noticed that homes have the most calm environment when the mood is set in advance. What does that look like? Having beds made, snacks and bottles at the ready, music gently playing in the background. These can do wonders for everyone involved. This can feel difficult when you’re juggling a toddler and newborn, but it can be done. Take a few minutes prior to our shoot to calm the home, light a candle, and have a little pep talk for the family. And in those desperate moments a bribe never hurt anyone!

And that’s it! In-home newborn shoots are incredibly intimate and an instant keepsake for your family. Preparing as much as you can for your shoot will pay off for you in the short and long term when you look back at your portraits hanging on the wall or as you flip through an album.