Here’s Part III in my series, “A sneak peek into a Portrait Session”. This blog post gives insight into the Lifestyle Newborn Sessions that I offer.

Part I, about family, maternity, and engagement sessions can be found here

A lifestyle newborn session is one that’s more natural, laid back and unposed. Your home is used as the backdrop (instead of a studio) and a mix of candid moments and posed family portraits are taken along with the natural portraits of your new bundle of joy in their crib & snuggled in your arms.

In this blog post I’ll answer some questions you may have about newborn sessions; how long are they, what happens at one, etc. I strive to make my sessions stress free & the last thing I want is for you to feel nervous or unsure about what will happen! Since I love making lists, lets do it that way…


1) We schedule the Session!

I usually plan portrait sessions in person at a coffee or ice cream shop, but sometimes it happens over the phone instead. During this “pre-session consultation” I ask a lot of questions to get a feel for your personality, interests, and needs. We discuss important details like what a lifestyle session is, what rooms in your home you may want to include and how to prepare them for the session, what color theme are you going with for the nursery, outfits and expectations. We also talk about products and pricing. I offer advice and answer questions along the way. Then we probably chat a little more about life and share some laughs. By the end, we’ve scheduled a date within one month of your due date and discuss the contract. At this time I send over an electronic contract to be reviewed, signed & submitted at home, and ask for a deposit to be sent to seal the deal. Once the Session is reserved, I send a few of my helpful pdf’s via email that will help you prepare for a lifestyle newborn session.

2) Notify me when the baby is born & Pre-Session Confirmation

When the baby is born, notify me right away! I’ll email you with specifics to confirm the session. I will also get in touch with you the day before the session to pick a time based on your feeding schedule & when the natural lighting in your home is best. (This is all part of the plan and would have been previously discussed, as well as repeated in the emailed pdf’s.)

3) Meet up for the Session.

Lifestyle Newborn Sessions are done in your home, using the family environment as the background. It is recommended to tidy up a little bit before the session to make the home look “photo ready”. Once I arrive, we’ll share our hellos & have some small talk as I ooh and aahh at your adorable new bundle of joy.

Then I’ll take a tour of your home and then we’ll get started. Typically we use the nursery, parents bedroom and couch areas. I look for lots of natural light and like to incorporate the places in your home that you normally snuggle your little one in.

In addition to the candid portraits captured in your home as described above, I include ONE of the following newborn poses: Basket Pose or Black and White Hands Pose. Your choice!

4) Photo Shoot Time!!

Each Newborn Session is unique, but most lifestyle sessions take approximately 2 hours. I would typically start with baby in their crib and then move onto parent poses in the nursery. If siblings are involved I try to take those at the beginning of the session. I keep things casual and we’ll work together to take a variety of photos in the different locations in your home. Most photos of just the baby are unposed, but if we can get them to sleep, then I will do a few wrapped/posed photos.

As it comes time to feed or change baby, I love to photograph the candid moments.

I recommend solid colors and simple outfits for these sessions. If you’d like I can help you pick out a few things after I get there!


5) Leaving the Session

As the session wraps up, I pack up my lighting equipment and camera, while bringing my bag of sample products back into your home. I like to spend some time {about 10 minutes} showing you a selection of products, so that you’re able to see & feel the wonderful items that I offer. I’ll show you my albums, what my high quality canvas gallery wraps look like, a session box, and a few other products. In addition, I’ll photograph the walls in your home that you’re planning to decorate so that I can create a mock-up of a gallery wall for you. {My clients have always loved seeing these mock-ups before buying!} After that I give you my post-session package and collect the remaining balance from our session.

6) Processing the Final Images

After the session, I go home and backup all of the files to multiple devices. Over the next two weeks I cull through all of the images to find the best of the best and then digitally process them to their final form. These are the artworks that will be a part of your final image gallery. 


I hope that this article helps you feel more comfortable with what to expect at a portrait session with Heather Palecek Photography. To hear what others have said about their experiences, click here.