Lifestyle Newborn Photos: You’ll Love Our 13 Thoughtful Tips

6 min read

Enhance your lifestyle newborn photos with a client experience that’s thoughtful, creative, and sure to impress.


15 thoughtful ideas for your next lifestyle newborn session

It’s relatively simple to make beautiful photos of beautiful babies. Unlike the chaos of weddings or family portraits, lifestyle newborn photography is gentle and quiet.

Add these subtle, personal touches, and you’ll be wonderfully unforgettable to your clients.

Keep reading for our in-home newborn photography tips…

Lifestyle Newborn Photos: Dad, Mom, and Baby sit on a linen sofa in a sunlit room. They are snuggled one after the other, and the mom is smiling at her newborn.

Hollyanne Portraiture

#1: Arrive early, then find your zen

You never want to bring chaotic energy into a newborn baby’s space. Arrive a solid 20 minutes early—but don’t go in.

Park around the block and just sit. Listen to some music. And get yourself into a headspace that’s worthy of a new human’s attention.

#2: Text your clients before you knock

In advance, arrange to text your clients when you arrive so that you don’t wake their sleeping baby. This also gives your newborn family a heads-up in case they need to do any last-minute prep.

Lifestyle Newborn Photos: Left / Dad, Mom, and Baby snuggle close in a full-length photo of the family on their gray couch. Right / A close-up photo shows both parents' hands cradling their new infant in the baby's onesie.

Hollyanne Portraiture

#3: Allow plenty of time

If you need a solid hour to complete a newborn photography session, you should probably allow two hours for the photo session. Babies almost always need to a meal and a diaper change. Provide plenty of wiggle-room for these small, natural “disruptions” that may not be photo-worthy.

#ShootProofPRO Tip: Discuss downtime

During booking, explain to your clients that the length of their session includes time for their baby to nurse or have a diaper change, etc. This will ease their minds and properly set their expectations.

#4: Dress for drool

Babies are adorable little smushcuddles of squishum happiness, but they also like to spit-up, pee, poo, and drool at the exact wrong time. Wear washable clothing to the shoot, and you won’t be stressed if (when) it happens to you.

Lifestyle Newborn Photos: In this nap-time photo, a newborn baby lies on a knitted blanket bathed in windowlight.

Hollyanne Portraiture

#5: Wear socks

Regardless of your regular habits, wear socks so you can remove your shoes upon entering your clients’ home. This shows respect for their preferences habits—and their flooring. And if you need to stand on the sofa to get the shot, you’ll be ready.

#6: Pack hand sanitizer

Before you even think about patting that sweet baby’s head, let your clients watch you pull out a little bottle of hand sanitizer and cleanse your hands. If you forget the hand sanitizer, kindly ask where you can wash your hands before you begin photographing. This gesture is always valued.

Lifestyle Newborn Photos: Left / Two parents lie on their bed, heads toward the footboard, as their baby sleeps between them. Right / A man and woman kiss lightly in the background as their newborn baby rests on the woman's knees. Only the baby's tiny head is in focus.

Hollyanne Portraiture

#7: Request a tour

“Could I get a little tour of your home so we can decide where to photograph?” A quick home tour lets you identify which areas will photograph best, and which rooms may pose a challenge due to tight spaces or low natural light.

#8: Let the baby be the boss

Verify whether the parents plan to change their little one’s outfit, and gently remind them, “We can photograph up to ___ outfits today.” (This should all be in your contract, but reminders are helpful for busy parents.)

And of course, if Baby doesn’t want to change clothes, well, Baby is the boss.

Lifestyle Newborn Photos: Left / A newborn baby sleeps soundly in their father's arms, one tiny fist tucked up beside their cheek. Right / A new dad proudly holds his newborn as he reclines on the bed at home.

Hollyanne Portraiture

#10: Guide your clients through “unposing”

In-home sessions often involve making family photos that include the newborn’s parents, siblings, grandparents, and even pets.

Unlike in-studio, posed newborn photography, however, lifestyle sessions aren’t meant for perfect newborn poses. (And you can’t really “pose” babies, anyway!) Practice some light posing guidance, anyway. The family members will be grateful!

  • “Have a seat on this sofa and snuggle close.”
  • “Why don’t you feed Baby while sitting together on the bed?”
  • “How do you feel about giving him/her/them a bath?”
Lifestyle Newborn Photos: A profile photograph of a newborn baby, swaddled and in their mom's arms.

Hollyanne Portraiture

#11: Photograph tiny reminders

Don’t just make detail shots of the nursery and its tiny baby things. Photograph the way these special items interact with the space around them. The stuffed animal in Dad’s leather armchair; the family pet asleep beneath the mobile Grandma made; the tiny baby shoes next to Mom’s crocheted slippers.

These may not seem terribly significant now, but they’ll hold special meaning when Baby becomes College Grad, and those trinkets are long gone.

Lifestyle Newborn Photos: A swaddled newborn baby lies at the foot of their parents' bed as Mom kneels over the infant whispering words of comfort.

Hollyanne Portraiture

#12: Simple and sweet

Because babies are sensitive little souls, it’s okay to approach your lifestyle storytelling with minimal gear. After all, babies are small, beginner humans with basic needs like hugs and snacks and lots and lots of sleep. Let your photographs reflect that fleeting reality.

Lifestyle Newborn Photos: Left / A sleeping, swaddled baby is photographed in-focus while Dad, who's holding his child, fades into bokeh. Right / Only the side of Mom's face is visible as she looks down at her sleeping newborn in a onesie.

Hollyanne Portraiture

#13: One moment, one million memories

One of the loveliest truths about new babies is that every little twitch and coo fascinates their parents. Simply guide the family into one perfect spot, then photograph arms cradling, eyelashes curling, tiny feet in tiny socks… The tender moments are endless.

Mold your style of newborn photography business to capture the deep, mysterious love between the parents and their child. Take a breath, absorb the energy around you, and photograph that.

Learn to make lifestyle newborn photos like this one, with the parents sitting on their bed with their newborn in their laps.

Hollyanne Portraiture


Written by ANNE SIMONE | Photographs by HOLLYANNE PORTRAITURE via Two Bright Lights