Lifestyle Newborn Photo Tips | Michigan Newborn Photographer

April 5, 2022

Mother holding her newborn baby girl in the rocking chair

Lifestyle newborn photos are some of my favorites to capture. There is something about a new baby, and the fresh dynamics of the family that pulls my heartstrings every time. I still remember the first days and weeks after bringing my own children home as newborns. From the sleepless nights to the little peach fuzz on the back of their ears, and the tiny dimples on their knuckles…

The newborn phase goes by so slowly when you are IN IT, but when you look back you realize that it all flew by. That’s why these sessions are so near and dear to me. As you probably know if you’ve been following me for any length of time, I get all mushy and sentimental about photos. My children’s lifestyle newborn photos are some of my most cherished things to look back on, and I love freezing these special moments in time for the families who entrust that responsibility to me. 

I get a lot of new moms and dads who reach out to me about their upcoming due date, and they have so many questions regarding lifestyle newborn sessions. How do they work? How do I know what day I will do the session? What rooms should they clean? Where can they find cute baby outfits? What should they wear? I figured that it would be a really great idea to compile one large blog post with all of these answers and more, as a resource to anyone who is expecting a baby and planning to have a lifestyle newborn session in their home!

I hope that this is helpful to you as you plan and prepare for your own lifestyle newborn photos! If you are already on my calendar, I can’t wait to see you! If you are expecting a baby soon and would like to see about getting on my calendar, please send me a note! I love documenting this special time for families, and I would love to chat with you! I accept a limited number of newborn due dates per month, so reach out as soon as possible!

Now, without further ado…

Here are some of my favorite tips/faqs to prepare for your session. These will ensure that we capture beautiful lifestyle newborn photos that you will cherish forever!

  1. How do we decide on a date to do the photoshoot? 

Scheduling is a little bit different when it comes to newborn sessions. Since we don’t know when the little one will make their arrival, I reserve your due date in my calendar. After you deliver, and once you are home and settled, you will send me an email letting me know that baby has arrived. At that point, we will get a firm date scheduled (preferably within 2-3 weeks of birth)!

  1. When do you do newborn sessions?

Newborn sessions are scheduled on weekday mornings, usually at 10am. The light tends to be better at this time of day, and while I am always prepared to shoot on a dark or rainy day with lighting equipment, I prefer not to if I can get away with it! This also seems to be the best time for baby. In my experience, newborns tend to be a little crankier at night!

  1. What is the typical flow of a lifestyle newborn session?

Lifestyle sessions are very relaxed. When I first get there I will walk around your home to get our plan for the day. Plan on me being there for 2-3 hours. I usually start by taking some detail photos of the nursery, followed by some family shots, then I follow the baby’s cues for when we can work in some sibling and solo shots! Please make sure that the house is nice and warm, baby will be in short sleeved onesies and swaddles for some shots and we don’t want him/her to feel chilly!

Babies of course need to eat. If you CAN, try to feed the baby right before I get there. Then when the baby needs to eat again you can do that while I am there and I can get some cool shots of nursing or bottle feeding (if you wish) as well as some fun detail shots, etc.

  1. Will you bring any wraps/props/backdrops?

I typically prefer to keep these sessions pretty organic, and true to life so I do not do a lot of newborn posing, and have phased out the use of “props” such as headbands, bonnets, and wraps. I find that a white or pastel onesie or a snug newborn outfit looks the most true-to-life and “homey”. OR you could do a sweet knotted gown, my favorite ones can be found at this link (the adorable blue one below is from here)! —–> Lou Lou and Company. Another place you can check out for some cute outfits is H&M baby. If you had your heart set on a white wrap, let me know – I can always throw one in my camera bag!

Fun fact: the photo below was taken on the baby’s older sister’s bedroom rug! Sometimes we can find the cutest “backdrop” in the most unlikely of places! Think outside the box for some cute items to photograph baby on, from an accent rug in your home, to a cute blanket, or even your crib sheets – there are always so many options that you would have never thought we could use!

Newborn stretching
  1. What rooms will you use in our home?

The room where we will be spending most of our time is the nursery! I love getting shots of everyone in and around the nursery glider and in front of the crib. I do shoot a lot in parent’s bedrooms as well, so just be mindful of that before I arrive. One of my favorite things about these sessions are that they are REAL LIFE! So if our shoot takes us to the kitchen, where you both need a cup of coffee (or a glass of wine!) – then I will capture it. I even included a couple of kitchen photos below, I love unexpected and out of the box ideas like this!

lifestyle newborn photos on nursery glider
Mom burping her newborn baby
lifestyle newborn photos in the nursery with goldendoodle dog.
big brother kissing newborn sibling's head
lifestyle newborn photos
lifestyle newborn photos in kitchen
Mom and Dad having coffee in the kitchen while holding their newborn baby
lifestyle newborn photos
lifestyle newborn photos
Mom in the nursery on glider with her newborn baby
lifestyle newborn photos in kitchen
  1. What should we wear???


Neutral colors. Anything white, grey, beige, pastel, etc photographs beautifully against your baby’s skin. When you wear very bright colors (such as hot pink, yellow, or red) they can reflect onto the baby’s skin and make it look strange in photos. If you need help deciding, feel free to pull a few things out of your closet for me to peek at. Chiffon is beautiful and my absolute favorite for newborn sessions! Maxi or midi dresses work great. The most important thing is that you feel good in what you are wearing. I love when mom’s dress it up, it looks incredibly beautiful in photos! Try to avoid tight clothing and jeans.

Here is a link to one of my favorite places (next to Amazon) to look for dresses ——> Lulu’s

Mom snuggling her newborn baby on her bed.
Mom fixing newborn baby's outfit
lifestyle newborn photos


Jeans or khakis and t-shirts or plain sweaters – as well as button-downs (no small patterns). Make sure to be able to roll the sleeves and leave them untucked. V-neck sweaters look great over button-ups as well in the wintertime. Be yourself!

lifestyle newborn photos
Dad touching nose to nose with newborn baby
lifestyle newborn photos


The same rules apply for siblings as for Mom and Dad! Neutrals always look nice: a pretty white dress for girls with bare feet is adorable, and jeans with a button up or a v-neck is so cute for little boys! These are NOT hard and fast rules by any means though, if you want to insert a little extra pizzaz and personality into your portraits with a fun outfit for the new big bro or sis, then by all means, feel free to do so!

Newborn baby and his sibling

Check out some more of my favorite lifestyle newborn photos below!

lifestyle newborn photo, in master bedroom
lifestyle newborn photos
Silhouette of mom and dad with their newborn baby standing in front of a window.
lifestyle newborn photos
lifestyle newborn photos in the nursery.
Newborn baby boy in blue knotted gown being cradled by his mom
lifestyle newborn photos
lifestyle newborn photos
Mom laying with her newborn baby
lifestyle newborn photos
lifestyle newborn photos
lifestyle newborn photo, mom cradling baby in black and white
lifestyle newborn photos
lifestyle newborn photo in nursery, with whole family and pets
lifestyle newborn photos
Newborn cranky face
lifestyle newborn photo: mom and dad snuggling baby
lifestyle newborn photos
In-Home lifestyle newborn photos
lifestyle newborn photos
Newborn being cradled by her dad

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ABOUT Ashley

Ever-focused on capturing timeless and genuine images; found in moments of connection and authenticity. 

I am a born and raised Michigander, and the mitten state will always hold my heart. When I'm not behind the camera, you can find me snuggled up on the couch with a good book or taking leisurely walks down the nearest Main St. in search of the best tacos and margs. As much as I love my work, nothing beats quality time with my loved ones - they're my ultimate inspiration!



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