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Welcoming a new baby to your home is such an exciting season. It fills you with swell after swell of joy, wonder, gratefulness and yes... exhaustion, too. These moments are so precious and fleeting, so I want to make your lifestyle newborn session as EASY as possible for you. Here are some things to know to help you have the best experience.
Preparing your space
Having a newborn in the home means that laundry and dishes take a back seat for a bit. Your daily routine has been thrown out the window and adjusting to your baby's needs is probably leaving you low on energy. Good news, though! Preparing your home for a lifestyle newborn session does not mean calling a maid service or using your few moments of quiet on chores.
I don't need rooms that are perfectly tidy, but rather a couple of spaces with good, natural light. Feel free to give me a quick tour of your home when I arrive and we can decide together which spaces are best. Once we've pin pointed the right areas, I will move anything distracting (with your permission, of course). Oftentimes, I leave the space mostly as it is because it helps to tell your family's story.
dressing and getting ready
Like any photography session, "What do I wear?" is a common question. My advice is to pick outfits for you and your family that are comfortable and neutral (try to stay away from graphic t-shirts and hats that will distract from baby). This doesn't mean there isn't room for colors and patterns - I just suggest using them in your accessories or for special images such as a flowery robe while nursing.
Feel free to break out the bows and colorful swaddle blankets for the baby's solo pictures. Baby could also have a solid or neutral onesie for under his/her wraps. Photographing baby in just a diaper or diaper cover is also an option.
Having a back up outfit close is a good idea in case of any "messes" that may occur. Keeping baby wipes and burp clothes handy is smart as well. It's completely okay for us to take a quick break when the messes happen - and they will happen. Oftentimes, it's a welcome reprieve and a chance to laugh and talk about baby life.
getting baby in the best mood
Managing baby's mood is often the most stressful part of newborn photos for parents. I've found that it is best to have your baby changed into his/her first outfit and then settle in for a feeding before I arrive (or while I am setting up/touring the home). This way, if baby falls asleep while feeding, he/she won't be woken up by a wardrobe change.
It's also best if the space is warm to help baby stay comfortable and avoid startling or crying during all the transitions. You can bump up the thermostat or bring in a small space heater (also good for soothly white noise) for the room we are shooting in. This may also mean that you choose outfits for yourselves that allow you to stay cool.
Taking breaks for feeding and changing is always a part of my plan. Please don't worry if your baby needs this time during the session, and have some supples handy. I can use the time to capture images of nursing (if that's your thing), or just take 5 - it's all good, momma!
including siblings and pets
I love capturing the entire family! Including big brother or sister, and even the family pet, is a fun and welcome addition that completes the story these images will tell. When planning to have a sibling or pet join in, consider energy levels and how each will respond to baby. Keeping your baby safe is my top priority. When I arrive at your home, let's take a moment to discuss when the best time will be to add them in.
You may also want to plan on having some helpers at home to keep the kiddos and pets entertained while other images are being taken. Inviting grandparents over to give siblings the added attention they are craving since baby's arrival is a great idea. This way, you can completely relax during your photos with baby and will have extra hands for all the transitions.
More than anything, momma, take a breath and enjoy these moments. Your family is beautiful and I am privileged to capture it all for you!
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Hi! I am Jamie Smith, owner of Oak Tree Photography in Southern Oklahoma.