Shooting in a client’s home, in a space where they live, work, and play; a place where coffee and pancakes are made, where love is shared, and where so many memories are created, is really a one-of-a-kind experience, but even more so after the birth of a child. I love that this is the trend in newborn photography, because I fully believe that there is nothing quite as special as photographing a newborn in their new home with parents that have spent countless hours putting a nursery together, hanging shelves, building a crib, and all the other things…but more than that, building a life together within the walls of that home.
With all of that being said, not every family I photograph is going to have a lifestyle blog-worthy home, which is 100% fine, and actually more fun to me because I get to be a little bit more creative in where and how I shoot. Sometimes, we are left with just one or two spaces to photograph in so we have to make the most of it! I should add that this particular home is absolutely stunning, but I wanted to keep it simple to show you that you don’t HAVE to have a fancy set up to deliver a gorgeous set of photos. This series of 10 different poses took me a total of 10 minutes to shoot.
What You Need
Lifestyle newborn sessions should be kept simple. No need for special props. No need for special lighting. My only tools for these photos included a window, a chair, this adorable family, a swaddle the family had on hand, my 5D Mark iii, and Sigma Art 35 mm f1.4.
Ok, so let’s dig in! Here is my list for 10 different shots, all in the same location in 10 minutes!
10 In-Home Newborn Photography Poses In 10 Minutes
Pose 1: Mom in chair holding baby, dad kneeling on floor, both looking at baby. My only prompt here is to look at baby and for dad to touch baby too.
Pose 2: The baby handoff
My prompt for this pose is for mom to hand baby off to dad. I remind them to look at each other and smile during the switch.
Pose 3: Dad in chair holding baby, mom kneeling on the floor, both looking at baby. This is just a reverse of Pose 1. I remind them to stay connected.
Pose 4: Dad in chair holding baby, mom kneeling on floor, looking at the camera. This one is a continuation of pose 3, but simply having them look in your direction gives you another quick pose.
Pose 5: Dad in chair holding baby, mom sitting on arm of chair, looking at baby. For this shot, I always tell mom to wrap her arm around dad and then connect with baby.
Pose 6: Dad in chair holding baby, mom sitting on arm of chair, looking at camera
See where I’m going with this…There are always 2 variations of every shot. Look at baby, then look at camera.
Pose 7: In tight and over the top. I always try to shoot from as many perspectives as possible. For every shot that I take straight on, I try to think of one other angle to shoot from. Birds-eye view is always a flattering perspective!
Pose 8: Just dad. I guess I could call this one pose 8 and pose 9 because you know I’m going to ask him to look at baby and at the camera.
Pose 9: Just mom. I’m sure you could see that one from a mile away, and yes, you guessed it, looking at baby and at the camera!
Pose 10: From the door.
At the end, if things are still moving along nicely, I ask mom and dad just to have a moment together, with or without baby. I give them some space and stand back in the doorway to shoot. I love the story of this shot…a quiet moment to study their new baby or to embrace. I don’t give them a ton of direction on this one because I want it to be a real moment. I wait to see what unfolds before me and then give some direction if needed.
That’s it! Now you can move on to another area or two of the house and use these very same poses there! You’ll have a full newborn gallery on your hands before you know it!
I’m so excited to share more tips and tricks with you at my in-home lifestyle shootout! I can’t wait to see you all in Lexington in March! Also, be sure to check out the link to the most adorable carriage house we will be shooting at during my styled shoot! It’s the cutest thing EVER!!!! Please say you’ll come!
Erin Dorsey is a storytelling photographer that lives in the Metro-East/St. Louis area with her husband and 3 children. She specializes in documenting families. Her passion lies in telling an authentic story that is truly unique to each family. She loves traveling, especially to the beach, home decorating, and margaritas.