How to Prepare for Your In-Home Newborn Session

One of the biggest questions I receive from my new clients is how to prepare both mentally and physically for your our in-home newborn session. Newborns are unpredictable, and you’ve already got so much on your plate when baby arrives that I want to help ease any concerns you might have about welcoming a stranger into your home during this season.


I typically conduct newborn sessions within the first two weeks of baby’s life. My moms-to-be usually reach out during the second trimester to book me (often they book a maternity-newborn bundle-which saves money on recurring photography). Once booked, I schedule a consultation call to learn more about your family and your photography priorities as well as go over my process and answer any questions you might have. If you’ve chosen a maternity package we schedule this during our call, usually for between 26-30 weeks of pregnancy. Click here to check out some of my newborn bundle options.

Booking in the first two weeks ensures that baby is sleepy and easy to pose. I usually tell moms to text me after baby arrives so we can choose a date that works for both of us. These are typically weekday mornings when both parents are on leave. Of course if that isn’t an option for you I can be flexible!

I like to think my in-home newborn work stands out because of the natural, relaxed posing on a simple white backdrop mixed with the candid, lifestyle images of the family. I like to keep things relaxed but light and airy. The best way to achieve those results is by learning how to prepare for your in-home newborn session below!

How to prepare for your in-home newborn session

Before I arrive

Feed baby right before I arrive, so they are nice and sleepy. Try to have the house temp around 75 F. I will bring swaddles, backdrops and bows but if you want props I ask that you provide your own. Tidy up any places that you might want portraits done (the nursery and bedroom nightstands are typically ideal). Make your bed or be ok with me making it (I don’t mind)!

When I arrive

The first thing I do when I arrive is look around for ideal window lighting. In the mornings this is often a large or low to the ground south-facing window (and it can be in any room). This is where I will set up my newborn backdrop and posing bag. I’ve done these setups in dining rooms, playrooms, nurseries, etc. The decor doesn’t matter, just the light! This backdrop is the key to the “magic” that happens during my posed, full newborn sessions. I don’t use it for my lifestyle sessions, though, since these photos are just of your baby wrapped in a swaddle.

newborn photographer set-up in-home image before and after
My newborn posing setup and resulting image

If siblings are involved I will start by swaddling the baby and taking portraits of the whole family, then we will move into individual newborn posing. Since toddlers/siblings aren’t always excited about photos I may spend a few minutes introducing myself to them before we get started, and I will usually let them be completely done with photos once we’ve gotten all the images with them that we need.

how to prepare for your in-home newborn session Indian Hill Cincinnati
Sibling and family portraits with baby

I have an entire posing flow that I go through that includes siblings, photos with each parent and baby, photos of the whole family, photos of just mom and dad with baby, and solo portraits of the baby posed. Of course if you have something specific in mind, especially if it’s something you’ve seen on my website, I’d love to know about it so we can reimagine that scene for your family!

Indian Hill Cincinnati in-home newborn session
I love photographing your family snuggling together!

After I leave

Because newborns typically have blemishes and redness on their skin, I will retouch their skin slightly in photoshop along with all of my usual image coloring and adjusting that I do when I edit photos. If you have additional requests for retouching, please let me know! I am happy to edit anything that isn’t permanent like bruises, scratches drool, or even background distractions if it will help you love your images even more. I typically limit special requests to 10 of your favorites so that I can get your gallery back to you in a timely manner. Galleries are emailed to my clients within two weeks of our session, but if I am able I try to send a sneak peek (either by text or posting a blog post if you’ve given me permission to post) within a few days.

How to prepare for your in-home newborn session

Ashley Conrad is a light and airy photographer specializing in family, newborn and maternity portraits in the Greater Cincinnati Area, including Northern Kentucky.

My goal is to create a portrait experience that allows you to truly enjoy our time together. I provide a style guide and optional wardrobe to help point you in the right direction and ease the pain of choosing outfits, as well tips on how to prepare your little one for a fun, breezy session that results in beautiful portraits and sweet memories that will last a lifetime.

Click here to see more of Ashley’s newborn photography portraits.

If you’re looking for inspiration for your own portraits, check out my inspiration page for ideas!

Interested in scheduling a session? Contact Ashley


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Photography by Ashley Conrad