© Debra Li Photography

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What IS A LIFESTYLE NEWBORN session?

 

As a lifestyle newborn photographer, I focus on the connection between your baby and all the members of your family who have so eagerly awaited this new bundle of joy! My goal is to highlight your connectedness and to tell a story about your tender first moments together in an honest and natural way. We will capture your newborn with each family member--parents, siblings, pets, grandparents--as well as all together as a family. I don't bring my own props or specialize in stylized newborn poses but will definitely be taking lots of individual photographs of your baby and all his/her tiny baby details and am happy to include any special baby blankets or heirlooms that you may have.

WhAT IS THE IDEAL AGE FOR A NEWBORN SESSION?

 

One of the (many) beauties of lifestyle newborn photography is that it is not limited to the first two weeks after birth like stylized newborn photography is. The "ideal" age depends on your vision for the kind of photos you want. The first two weeks after birth will produce images where your new baby is in a deep sleep and sweet and dreamy. If you prefer photos where your newborn is more awake and engaged, a session can take place anytime in the first few months. 

WHAT CAN WE EXPECT DURING THE PHOTO SESSION?

It is such a privilege to be invited into your home during these first, intimate, and sometimes chaotic, moments of your growing family! On the day of your newborn session, I am entirely yours and will not schedule any other sessions immediately after yours. This allows us to truly let your baby determine the flow of the session and to respond to your baby's needs without the stress of worrying about a time crunch. 

We will start with you showing me around your home as you share your thoughts on where you would like to shoot, the places and items that are special to you, and it will give me a chance to observe how the light falls in different parts of the house. We will generally be shooting in the master bedroom, nursery, and living room.

Newborn sessions can be unpredictable because babies are unpredictable! On average, you can expect the session to take about 1.5-2 hours and you can expect lots of flexibility, feeding/diaper changing breaks, and even some down time. (More on that in the next section!) But most of all, you can expect lots and lots of cuddles and kisses and adoring of your baby and each other! I will gently pose you and give you suggestions at times, but mostly I am creating a space for connections to happen naturally as the magic of your family discovering its newest addition takes over.

 

How CAN WE PREPARE FOR OUR SESSION?

Mentally prepare yourself to just love on your newborn. Sounds easy, doesn't it? I totally understand that newborn photography is an investment, and as a result, you want everything to go perfectly! It can be stressful when it doesn't feel like it's going perfectly in the moment--maybe your baby is crying or needs a diaper change or needs to be fed or simply needs a nap--but that's okay, I promise! We have lots of time. Just love on your new baby, comfort them, cuddle them, respond to them, and interact with them as if you're not being photographed and trust me, your love will photograph beautifully!

Clear your schedule. Don't schedule anything for a few hours after our session. Ideally, the only schedule we'll be working around during our photo shoot is your newborn's!

Make your bed. Don't worry if your house is a little messy--after all, you just had a baby! However, we'll be using the bed in your master bedroom for lots of cuddly pictures, so now's the time to bust out your cutest pillow shams, throws, and comforters, keeping in mind that light, neutral colors photograph the best because they'll distract the least from your baby. When in doubt, go with white linens to create a beautifully timeless, clean, and bright aesthetic.

Let the light in. I'll give you a little "homework" ahead of time to scope out what time of day your home gets the most light. Before I come, it would be helpful to raise the blinds and open the curtains to bathe your home in light so that we're ready to jump right in!

Make a plan for siblings. Newborn sessions require a little patience since they can take 2+ hours. I generally try to get all photographs that include siblings out of the way first so that I get them before their patience runs out. They may choose to wander back and see what we're doing and join in for more photos later in the session. If your older child is still quite young, it can be helpful to invite a friend or family member over to help watch the sibling during the latter part of the session so that you can focus on being in photos with your newborn.

HOW CAN WE PREPARE OUR NEWBORN?

 

Your newborn's daily schedule is one of the biggest considerations when scheduling a newborn session. However, there's no way to ensure that your newborn will be happy and cooperative throughout the whole session. That's where the patience and remembering to relax comes in for the adults! 

 

Feed and burp well. It can be helpful to feed your baby right before the session so that they're sleepy and content, but make sure to burp them well so that they're not uncomfortable from gas.

Don't change their routine. The days leading up to your photo session would not be a great time to try out a new routine, diet, or even get vaccinated. We want to eliminate as many variables as possible that might make your little one uncomfortable.

Beautify. Check your baby for eye gunk and boogies. If you prefer photos where your newborn is in the buff, loosen up your baby's diapers and clothing about 15 minutes before our session to help the little imprint marks disappear.

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