How to prepare for a newborn photography session

April 5, 2021 Family, Maternity, Newborn

baby boom

I have been photographing newborns since my best friend had her first baby (#2 coming soon!!) in December of 2017. As my business has grown, I've done more and more maternity and newborn shoots and I LOVE it! This year it feels like everyone I know is expecting, including many of my clients! To help them (and you) with preparing for a newborn photo session, I've come up with some tips for success. I hope you find this helpful!

Enjoy these images of Jessica, Tyler and Huxon taken in 2020. <3

Maine Newborn with parents


Once you find out your due date and are ready to share the news, you should reach out to your photographer. Provide them with your due date to schedule your maternity and newborn session. Maternity is typically in the third trimester, between 30-35 weeks. Newborn sessions are typically within the first 10 days of life because they grow so fast! Every photographer knows that babies don't always come when we tell them to, so stay in touch and keep the photographer updated so you can reschedule if necessary.

Maine Newborn Photography Session


How do you choose WHERE the photos are taken? Melissa Walden Photography does not currently offer studio newborn sessions, so these photos will be done at your home. Taking the photos at your home makes the photographs that much more intimate and personal. If you have a family member or friend that has a home that would work better for lighting, space, etc., reach out and ask them if they mind you borrowing their home for a couple hours. Here's a checklist to prepare your home for a newborn shoot:

  • Clean: Make sure the rooms we will be doing photographs in do not have items laying around making it look cluttered.
  • Light: Choose which rooms to use by looking at the amount of natural light each room offers (feel free to message me if you're unsure!). Rooms with plenty of windows are good options!
  • Multiple Locations: If possible, it's always nice to have at least 2 different areas to take photographs for variety.
Maine Newborn Photography Session


This is the most commonly asked question of any session and the answer stays the same for almost all of them! Don't overthink your outfits (I know it's easy to do). Pinterest is your friend when thinking about outfits! Some examples for mom are a jumper, jeans with a t-shirt and sweater or a dress. Dads can wear jeans (or shorts) and a t-shirt. The baby should be wearing something that covers up the diaper as much as possible (like a onesie). Barefoot is suggested opposed to socks, but slippers are a good option too! Here are some outfit tips to get you started:

  • Avoid Patterns: Solid outfits usually look the best. As you can see from these photos, Jessica chose a pattern but it is very subtle and everyone else is wearing solids, so it worked very well for this session!
  • Neutral Colors: Black, White, Tan, Gray, etc.
  • Coordinating Colors: Don't try to match everyone's outfits (unless that's what you're going for of course). Use colors that compliment each other and don't clash.
  • Simple: Simplicity is best, don't overthink it and add too many things to your outfit! Layering is always a good option for variety (cardigan, etc.)
Maine Newborn Photography Session

Baby Prep

The best time to photograph a newborn baby is when he/she is sleeping! I know babies sleep a lot so you would think this would be easy but sometimes they don't want to cooperate! You know your baby best, so work with your photographer to figure out the best time of day for lighting and baby happiness. Lighting is typically best indoors between 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. depending on the season. Plan to feed your baby right before the session starts. Fully belly = nap time! Be prepared to stop during the session and feed the baby. DO NOT feel rushed or stressed out if the baby is not cooperating or fussing. The photographer will have factored that in already when they scheduled your session.

Maine Newborn Photography Session


Props are NOT necessary for a newborn session with Melissa Walden Photography, but they are an option! There is an option to include a backdrop in your session which can be good to create a plain, solid background for your photos. A blanket for the baby is a good idea to have on hand. If you have a sign, special outfit, etc. feel free to ask if they can be incorporated into the photos. I will be able to capture beautiful images of your family with or without any props.

Maine Newborn Photography Session

Special requests

Your newborn photographs are meant to capture this special time in your life, so feel free to make it unique to your family! If you want a photo with your first born (doggo) and the baby, just ask! I think that is adorable and I'm always happy to accommodate those requests. It is helpful to discuss your ideas with the photographer prior to your session because they have experience and advice to give.

Maine Newborn Photography Session

Other things to know

  • Newborn sessions should be stress-free, enjoyable and fun! The baby will fuss at some point and that is OK. Please remember Melissa has done newborn sessions and knows what to expect. :)
  • Newborn sessions with Melissa Walden Photography are typically two hours. This factors in the time the baby will need to be fed, take a break, etc. So you will not be in front of the camera for two hours straight!
  • Lifestyle sessions essentially capture "real life." There will be assistance with posing and prompts as needed to ensure beautiful photos.
  • The cost of a newborn session with Melissa Walden Photography is $650 and includes 30 edited images in a personalized online gallery with printing rights (additional images will available for purchase).
Maine Newborn Photography Session