Preparing for your newborn session

It's a date!

You + me + your bundle of joy. We're going to make magic together! But to add that special sauce to the magic, there's a few things you should know. Ready? I've got you.

Location, location, location

I don't shoot studio sessions with families, and especially not with newborns. I want to bring honesty and authenticity to your session, and help bring out the personality and vibe of your family. The place that magic happens is your home. It's irreplaceable, it's full of you and what makes you you. 

Preparing your home

I get that you'll want to give your home a deep scouring, organize all your things, make it Pinterest-ready - but please stay calm. You've just had a baby, and now isn't the time for a complete renovation. If you MUST do something busy to prepare, focus on these two simple things:1 - Put clothes away, even if you just brush them all under the bed or throw them in a laundry basket in the closet. You can deal with that stuff later.2 - Make the beds, especially in rooms with great natural light (spoiler alert: those are probably the rooms we'll be shooting in).Your life is beautiful! It’s easy to get stressed about achieving perfection for something like a photo session, but I strongly recommend against it. My job is to capture your unique, beautiful life the way it is right now, so you can look back on this time for years to come. Your home doesn’t have to be perfect to be perfectly lovely.

Preparing your family

You can have perfect kids for your session - you just might have to redefine "perfect." Here's how:1. DON’T. STRESS. Just don’t. Babies sense stress like bloodhounds. Just relax and have fun. Babies cry - and that’s okay - so don’t worry when it happens.2. ENJOY YOUR FAMILY. Love looks good on you. I want to capture the best of your family’s connections and personalities and the love you share. Genuinely enjoying your time together in front of the camera is the best way to ensure beautiful photographs.3. BE AFFECTIONATE. Love is beautiful & so are you. Visual affection reads beautifully in photographs – hugs, kisses, snuggles, etc all speak volumes. Whether you’re holding your children or snuggling your sweetheart, relax and make it real. If you’re not sure what to do with your hands, make sure you’re touching one of your loved ones. That’s it. That’s all. Don’t worry about the shot – let me worry about it. All you have to do is relax and enjoy your family.

Preparing yourself

What to wear? How to pose? Where is my good side? How do I hide my post-baby belly? What colors look best on camera? Girl, I got you. Let's break it down.Maxi dresses flatter postpartum bodies. A light cardigan will cover your arms nicely (most people hate their bare arms in photographs, regardless of how toned they are). Choose a light, neutral palette for your whole family, and coordinate - don't match. Steer clear of busy patterns or tiny pinstripes.As far as posing goes, my goal is for you not to have to think about it at all. I don't want you to be hyper-aware of your body, or self-conscious - I want your mind to be totally taken up with delight in your new baby, in your partner, in your kids. I'll help guide you occasionally throughout the session. Typically, every new mom looks incredible lying on her side with her baby; it accentuates the most beautiful curves, and helps put her on the same plane as her newborn.

THINK BEYOND PINTEREST!

While an image of a naked baby in a Kitchenaid wearing a chef’s hat may be cute, it will also be dated quickly. My heart as a photographer is to capture natural, tender moments between families, in a way that is timeless. I make photographs intended to be heirlooms. Babies don't exist in a void - the best "props" for a newborn session are a mother and father’s arms.

The day of your session

When I arrive to your home for your session, I will take a few minutes to scout out the best spots for shooting. The main ingredients for the perfect spot are good natural light (no lamps or overhead lights) and clean, neutral backgrounds. The master bedroom, nursery, living room, guest room, or even a porch are commonly great options. I'll probably open blinds, move any clutter (seriously, don't wear yourself out cleaning up clutter! I can do this part), and maybe even move some furniture a little bit (I'll put it back, I promise).I work quickly capturing natural images so being photographed doesn’t feel like a chore - even to the most cranky dad or toddler. It’s important to me to provide a natural, safe setting for families to relate to each other and show their love.Newborn sessions typically take around 90 minutes or so, depending on diaper changes and feedings. I’m not watching the clock, so don’t stress over mishaps like spit up or blow-out diapers. We’ll let your baby set our pace. Babies usually need to nurse even more often than normal during a photo session, for whatever reason - so don't be surprised if your baby seems unnaturally hungry. We can take all the time the baby (and you!) needs.Newborn sessions should be a quiet, easy-paced experience that feels natural. I'm here to not only provide beautiful, timeless photographs, but help you enjoy the process as well. If you have any questions about your experience, please ask! I'm here for you.          __________________________

Emily Lapish - Life is beautiful, life is art.

Emily Lapish is a lifestyle photographer in Chattanooga, TN specializing in all things family-related. She spends her time fending off wild animals raising three boys with her husband, and enjoys long walks through Target while cradling a hazelnut latte. To book your session, or to schedule a free consultation, click here