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  • Magic Arrow Photography

How to prepare for your in-home family session to get newborn photos with a beautiful story.

Updated: Mar 1, 2022

Couple admires their newborn at their in-home family session.

When it comes to storytelling, there is no better place to do a family session than in your family's home. Your baby's first steps, first words, and late night story sessions all take place within this comfortable space. It's a great idea to ask your photographer to capture you and your littles inside your home for that reason- your home is part of the story.

When it comes to planning in-home family photos, we often get asked for advice on how to prepare, so we've combined a list of our top tips and tricks to help you prep for a comfortable and beautiful home family photography session.

1. Think about the spaces within the home that tell the story

As your family photographer, we start by asking our families to think about the story their home tells. Do you gather every morning in the kitchen to make breakfast together? Do you have a nightly living room hangout time, or a bedtime story spot? If you do, let us know so we can think about some options for using those spaces.

It's a great idea to send a couple quick photos of the potential spaces via email prior to the session, so we can think about the natural light each one has to offer, and we can give recommendations for how we can use the space.

2. Keep it simple

The best photos always focus on the emotion and connection between the people in the frame, so don't worry too much about what's in the room, on the walls, or next to the couches for props. When we arrive in the space, we'll usually remove anything that distracts from the people in the shot (which we'll always put back in place when the session is over).

It's helpful to remove clutter prior to our arrival, but there's no need to go crazy with the cleaning. No one will see the cobwebs or dust on the counter- we promise.

A mother holds her sleeping baby out to the camera for an adorable portrait at their in-home family photography session.

3. Wear comfortable clothing with neutral colors

Comfort is always king when it comes to clothing for these sessions. It's so important to feel like yourself when you dress for a session like this and with the home environment, keeping it comfortable and simple always works.

We suggest gravitating towards neutral colors for clothing. Homes tend to have different colored walls and different colored elements within the shot (couches, pillows, wall art, etc), so wearing neutral colors guarantees you won't clash with anything in the space.

Cream, tan, white, grey, black and earth colors like olives and navy blues tend to work really well.

Avoiding bold patterns also helps keep the focus on your faces. If one of you wants to wear a minimal print like a small polka dot, keep that in mind when planning the other's outfits so you avoid clashing.

Since you're in your own home, outfit changes are easy. Feel free to have an alternate look in mind to swap into for a couple shots.

For babies, always having a second outfit nearby is a good idea. You never know when an outfit might get covered in drool or other baby surprises.

A father holds his newborn's hand during their in-home family session.

A newborn sleeps in his mother's arms during their in-home newborn session.

4. Brainstorm some activities to do together

What are some things you do as a family that are special to you? Our documentary style approach to storytelling features those activities and the best photos come from us observing you doing what you do everyday. Whether it's baking cookies together, sitting on the couch to read a story, coloring pictures, snuggling before nap time, all these pastimes have meaning and can make for beautiful photos.

5. Take your time

Some photographers put time limits on these sessions, but we don't think that serves this type of capture. Families need space and time to settle into their natural state, so we plan to hang out with you for the time you need to get the photos captured. Typically, sessions span between 1-3 hours depending on what's happening that day during the session. It's so important to have breaks for mom and baby, time for rewarding littles with snacks, outfit changes, or just taking a pause.

The bottom line:

Having these memories to look back on will be something you thank yourself for when your kids are all grown up. It's important to capture this time together in our lives, so think about booking a family photography session with us today. Magic Arrow Photography works with families all over New England and specialize as a Maine family photographer. Inquire via the contact page to learn more today.

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