Tips for Families Having In-Home Newborn Photos // by Toronto Baby Photographer Cami Mendes

Having a Lifestyle Newborn Session Photographed in Your Home?

Here are some great tips by Toronto Baby Photographer Cami Mendes:

1. A full belly equals a happy baby:

It’s a good idea that you feed the baby right before or right after I arrive. Depending on how long your full feeding typically takes, you may choose to feed while I set up. 

As you know, babies with a full belly are more relaxed and have better chances of sleeping, if we want to capture sleeping shots.

2. Keep your baby awake before the session:

Again, if we are aiming to capture sleeping shots of the baby, it’s also helpful if you keep your baby fully awake for 1-2 hours prior to the session. A good way to have them do this is by giving the baby a bath. It’s also a great way for the babies to exercise their lungs and tire themselves out a bit plus it makes their hair nice and fluffy (if they have any!). 

3. Ensure your home is warm: 

If we will be shooting the baby naked, if you can, please ensure your house temperature is set to at least 30 degrees. Ideally, we should all be sweating, which is okay, as long as the baby is very warm!

If you have an additional heater that we can bring to the bedroom or area that we’ll be using, that helps a lot as well. If the room is very warm, the baby is less likely to wake up and cry.

4. Make it a little noisy:

The sounds in the womb are very loud, some say as loud as a vacuum cleaner. So as you may already know, newborns sleep much more soundly if there is white noise in the room.

There are some great applications on iPhone that play white noise, but if you have any relaxing music that you like, feel free to set it up in the bedroom or wherever we’ll be shooting.

5. Have extra baby wipes & burp clothes handy:

There’s a good chance things will get messy, especially if we’re shooting the baby naked. But no worries - a little pee and poop hasn’t stopped a session yet! 

6. Allow me to position your baby: 

In order to capture the best shots, I’ll need to position your baby and change his hands and feet once in a while. You’re welcome to help, but sometimes the smell of mom or dad can make babies restless and want to wake up!

For this reason, some parents prefer to stay back and just watch. Of course, if the baby starts crying, mom or dad can come to the rescue. But if the baby is still sleeping, it may be better to let me change his position (under your supervision, of course). 

7. Siblings & baby:

If the baby has older siblings, it’s a good idea to make the sibling shots our very first priority and then let them go play while we finish the session. Toddlers simply don’t have the attention span to sit quietly and wait for us to call on them for their picture, so it’s good to get their poses done first while they are curious and excited about my visit.

By the time the session is over, they are usually open to participating again and that is when we can try to get some lifestyle sibling shots. If they don’t want to participate, I’ve found promises of ice cream & candy have magical powers! 

8. Natural light + decluttering:

Shooting in-home is all about finding the best natural light. So it’s very important that your home has naturally bright, well-lit areas. Artificial tungsten light doesn’t help, it actually makes it worse, so I actually prefer to have all artificial lights off. Once I get to your house, I’ll be looking for spots where the most natural light come in and that’s where we’ll be shooting.  

So, for best results, I kindly ask that you declutter all spaces in your home around where light comes in and where we may shoot in. By decluttering I mean hiding any distracting objects that may appear on the background and leaving only essential furniture and decor. 

I usually shoot in the parent’s bedroom and in the baby’s room if you have one. So it’s also helpful if the bed sheets and linens are bright and with no patterns. Finally, it’d be great is there is at least one clean, open space with a bare wall behind that we can possibly use for some clean, simple shots.

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Cami Mendes from Bellatrix Photography is a Toronto-based lifestyle professional family portraiture photographer shooting in many cities in Ontario such as Oakville, Mississauga, Burlington, Milton, Vaughn, Richmond Hill, Collingwood, Muskoka, and the Niagara Falls region including Niagara-on-the-Lake. Outside of Canada, Cami shoots weddings & portraits in Brazil, in & around São Paulo, Ilhabela and Rio de Janeiro, as well as in & around Oslo in Norway. Cami is a Canadian destination portrait & wedding photographer who has photographed in many other countries such as Norway, USA, Mexico, Indonesia, Ireland, Dominican Republic, Holland and Brazil. For more information, visit bellatrixphotography.com.


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