How to Prepare for a Lifestyle Newborn Photoshoot

If you have been thinking about having a lifestyle photoshoot for your newborn photos then this post is just for you! I’m breaking down how to prepare your home, your family, your baby and most importantly yourself for your newborn pictures.


How to Prepare for a Lifestyle Photoshoot

Over the last couple weeks, I’ve been introducing you to what is lifestyle newborn photography. We talked about the difference between posed sessions and lifestyle sessions and why I love a relaxed lifestyle photoshoot.

Since lifestyle photos are all about being relaxed at home you probably are wondering how can you prepare your home and your family for your session. It’s not as hard at it sounds I promise!

Let’s start with locations.

Obviously, I will be coming to your home for the session but we don’t shoot in every room. Typically I like to start in the nursery. I love to document all the adorable elements of a nursery. The mobile that was picked out after hours of Etsy searches, the blanket that was handmade by an excited Grandma, the rocking chair that has been passed down for generations. Those are the elements that add to the overall design you’ve created and I want to make sure we capture that.

Typically after that, we will move to either the master bedroom or the living room. This is mainly dictated by light. I’m looking for the room with the best light that has space for the whole family to cuddle. A bed or a couch is the perfect spot to gather everyone including the family dogs for a beautiful portrait.

Now let’s talk about cleaning.

I have two children and I vividly remember the plethora of houseguests after baby. I completely understand how overwhelming it can be to take care of the baby plus entertain family and try to recover from delivery. So do not stress about cleaning. Like I said we are only going to be in two locations, so your entire house DOES NOT need to be spotless! In fact, if I see a spot I want to shoot and there is stuff in the way I will happily move things around to give you the illusion of a spotless house. I just might need a slight reminder of where to put it back! If it fits in the budget I highly recommend having your house cleaned before the baby arrives so it is one less thing to stress about!

lifestyle photoshoot

Preparing the family.

The first question I always get is what are we going to wear?!?!? Don’t worry I’ve got you covered! I have great what to wear guides and tips with easy outfit ideas. Plus my clients get exclusive access to an online stylist that will help you put together outfits for the whole family and help you shop for them. So you can relax knowing everyone will look stylish and put together for your lifestyle photoshoot.

The second part of preparing your family is letting them know what to expect. For Dad know that I will need 1-2 hours of your time but I won’t be photographing you the entire time. In fact, you’ll probably only in front of the camera 20min or so. If you have other children then Dad will spend a good portion of time keeping them entertained before and after their turn. For siblings tell them that someone fun is coming over to take their picture. Feel free to offer bribes for good behavior, you have my full support!

lifestyle photoshoot

Preparing mom.

You are the most important person in this session. You are the comforting arms that your baby will settle down in, you are the food source and if you are stressed the baby will pick up on it. So give yourself an extra hour to get ready. I’m not kidding. I want you to take your time and have time to feed the baby as you get ready. The more relaxed and beautiful you feel the better the photos. Everyone picks up on mom’s mood so as long as you are happy they will be too!

Lifestyle Newborn Sessions

Preparing baby.

This part is pretty simple, make sure they have a full belly when I arrive along with a clean diaper. Plain white diapers work best so patterns don’t show through. Dress them in a simple white short sleeve onesie so I can get started with photos of them in the nursery. We can take breaks during the session for feeding top offs if needed. Have any special props like bows for girls ready so I can incorporate them into the photos.

lifestyle photoshoot

If you follow these tips we will have a great lifestyle photoshoot!

If you enjoyed this post, you might also love:

5 Tips for Choosing a Newborn Photographer

What is Lifestyle Newborn Photography?

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I'm Melissa

Welcome to my blog! I'm Melissa Arlena a Northern Virginia Newborn Photographer based out of Fredericksburg, Virginia. Sit back, relax and check out my latest work along with tips and advice for preparing for your maternity or newborn session. I'm so excited you are here!

Areas I serve

DC, Alexandria, Falls Church, Arlington, Fairfax, Springfield, Lorton, Woodbridge, Stafford, Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania & Richmond area.


Maternity and Newborn Photography

I'm a Virginia born and raised photographer, DIYer, and educator sharing life, love and all my latest projects with you!

xoxo, Melissa Arlena

diyer, sailor, mother, dog lover, military wife


based out of Fredericksburg, Virginia

540.307.0233 • [email protected]