Guide to Newborn Photography Sessions | Heather Lerryn

Yay! You’re pregnant, congratulations! One of the many things new parents are preparing for is who choose who they want to document their new little one in all their cute, cuddly and squishy glory.

Chances are you’ve seen how much choice there is out there in terms of booking a newborn photographer and maybe you’re thinking about booking a lifestyle session but you’re not sure what to expect.

First and foremost, newborn sessions should be stress and worry-free, after all, how you feel during the photos will be replicated in how you feel when you receive them.

Leaving the house is likely to sound unappealing: visitors come to you, shopping is done online and delivered to your door, bonding and sleep are top of your priority list.

Here’s a helpful post talking about lifestyle photography and how you can have those irreplaceable early days captured by a specialist newborn photographer without leaving the comfort of the family home.

Newborn photoshoot top tips

So, what is a lifestyle newborn session?

At-home lifestyle newborn sessions are about capturing the connection and love for your new arrival. They are very relaxed, which, when you’ve just given birth is ideal.

The session is spent documenting natural interactions between you and your baby (snuggles, kisses, loving gazes) and the good news for the more camera shy is, you will rarely have to look at the camera unless asked! Lifestyle pictures don’t carry the risks of worrying if their hand or foot isn’t in the perfect position as you’re not propping up your baby in unnatural poses. Instead, you’re enjoying them as they are, happy and safe in your own family environment. If siblings are involved it means they feel secure in their own environment. They have the freedom to be in the room where the pictures are taking place but also have their own space if they want quiet time with their own toys and books.

newborn photoshoot top tips for new parents

How long will the session last?

Sessions typically last 1-2 hours and are flexible with time to allow you to take breaks, feed your baby and change if needed.

Being in your own home means that the time pressure is off. 

This is such a special time in your family’s life. There will be so many emotions during the shoot—love, excitement, wonder, amazement. It will be tough, but try to relax! Mums tend to stress themselves because this is a new experience and because they want things to be “perfect.” I will take your baby’s lead and allow him/her to be the focus of the shoot.


My house is a bit messy and not very bright

So you‘ve just welcomed your bundle of joy to the world, the last thing I want you to do is to worry about cleaning your house for photos! Most houses contain a level of chaos and that’s particularly true when children are involved. Don’t panic, we usually shoot in the main bedroom and nursery (if you have one) or the living room if it has the best light. This will all be discussed beforehand and chances are, you’ll only need to clear off your bedside tables and have your bed made with a neutral quilt/comforter on top. Your bed makes for a great place for cuddly family photos!

You do not need to have a spacious bright and airy home, all we need is a bedroom or living room with a good window.

newborn photoshoot top tips for new parents

Is there anything I need to do before you get there?

My biggest tip, breathe and relax! Let’s give bub a feed beforehand and keep the house extra toasty, these two things help keep babies sleepy and happy while being photographed. You can enjoy your day with your family, relaxed and happy in your own home, with no time pressures and no stress. This simple approach of newborn photography at home will result in beautiful pictures that you can all enjoy for many years to come.

newborn photoshoot top tips for new parents

What if my baby is fussy?

Believe me, not all babies are super sleepy the whole session, in fact, it’s quite rare! Having a gallery with both awake and sleepy shots is so special, you get to see their full personality even if they’re only 7 days fresh. We will allow plenty of time for feeds, nappy changes and as you’ll be snuggling baby for most of the session, so soothing them is all part of the shoot!

Instead of elaborate set-ups, let’s focus on your here and now. Let’s take pictures of you rocking your newborn to sleep in the chair by the window where you sit and feed. Let’s take pictures of your partner soothing your baby to sleep as they walk around the living room. Let’s take pictures of you all snuggled together, happy and proud of your tiny one or sharing a yawn as you remember the days of a full night’s sleep.


Blog post written by Heather Lerryn for Smalltot. Heather is a newborn and family photographer based in Hampshire and creates beautiful and natural maternity, newborn and family photos. Discover her work at and follow her on Instagram @heatherlerrynphotography. 


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