Newborn V | Fairfax In-Home Lifestyle Photographer

I photographed this beautiful and loving family at their home in Northern Virginia. I love in-home lifestyle sessions, as I believe that photographing people in the comfort of their own home captures the most truth and emotion, truly telling the story of the first few days/weeks following the birth of a new baby. I love the fly-on-the-wall aspect, for example seeing dad and the big brother play with blocks, middle brother toddling around and the newest family member finishing a bottle.

The family has asked the remain anonymous, but gave me permission to post both the images and a blog post, as I was so moved by their story. Prior to our session, mom had requested an image of her sons holding a pendant that was special to her. It wasn't until I arrived at the session that I understood the poignancy of that necklace. There were three boys at this session, however the first of these brothers was stillborn. The pendant shows his footprint and name, paying homage to their four children and an unimaginable grief.

I come from a family with four children, as I child I was aware that there was a tiny headstone at our church for a sibling of mine who was stillborn. It wasn't until I had children of my own that I asked my mom to tell me more. She choked up and revealed that had all of her pregnancies come to fruition, there would have been seven of us. She went through these losses before I was born, I truly cannot image the pain, but also the strength it took to persevere.

I tear up when looking at some of these images, I am so grateful that this family allowed me to capture their loving connections. One of my favorite things about newborn sessions is connecting with the mother. It's such a raw, emotional and hormonal time after the birth of a child. I loved getting to know this mama, to hear her birth story, and to share anything I can that might make the transition a little easier. In this family's case, I was in awe of how they handled a 3 year old, 11 month old and newborn with ease. 

Not to mention, these boys are all absolutely precious, make sure to look for her oldest being my big helper and helping to photograph baby brother!

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What's the Difference Between a Lifestyle Newborn Session and a Posed Newborn Session?

After receiving a few questions about the difference between a lifestyle newborn session and a posed session, I realized I haven't been very clear! Hopefully this post will shed some light on these types of sessions, and help you choose what is a better fit for you and your family.

Posed Newborn Session

The word "posed" has much more to do with baby than it does with the family. While we do get lifestyle-inspired images of your family, a posed session is focused on timeless images of just your baby. 

Posed sessions are the ones where it's best that baby be between 5 and 14 days old (but truthfully, I've had babies up to 25 days totally rock this kind of session). Since your newborn was up until very recently squished securely inside of mama, they are usually a) very amenable to posing in ways that show off their beautifully tiny features and b) sleepy enough to let me pose them.

From a photographic standpoint, posed sessions tend to be somewhat challenging, as each baby is different and you never truly know what you are going to get. But I guess I like a challenge because I absolutely LOVE these sessions. I look at these posed images as fine art, and feel so inspired with a blank/solid backdrop and your baby as the subject. 

Then there's mom and dad. I know that I wasn't looking or feeling 100% right after the births of my kiddos, and I don't generally display images in my home of me being a hot mess. The images that I have framed are posed shots of my children as teeny babies. And every time I look at those images, my heart is filled with love, rather than as a reminder of how sore, crampy, bloated and emotional I was. But everyone's birth story is different, you might have come out of labor a mother f-ing goddess. And if so, let's capture that!

This is where things probably get a bit confusing. In the packages that I offer, most people go for lifestyle family shots and posed newborn shots (Classic Package). In most cases, we do family shots on the master bed, or elsewhere in the house. While I do pose you initially, what I'm looking for is more about your family's love and connection. If there are older siblings, we do a few shots of just them with the baby. If you'd like images of just mom/just dad/just mom and dad with the baby, we do that as well. 

Logistics
With a posed session, I will essentially be moving into your house. I have a giant beanbag made especially for newborn photography that will confuse your husband and generally prompts questions on how I built it. I will set this bad boy up with a number of blankets to help achieve that solid colored, gradual fade backdrop. Then depending on baby, I will try a bunch of different poses, all of which are safe and meant to hide any private bits. 

  • Things I bring to a posed newborn session:
    • Posing bean bag
    • Different colored posing blankets for the beanbag
    • Posing pillows to help position baby
    • Flokati rug (great for sibling shots)
    • Crates/buckets/baskets for baby 
    • Wraps/hats/bonnets/headbands/newborn outfits all handmade by newborn photography prop vendors
    • Floor drops 
    • Space heater
    • Seamless backdrop paper and stand (if going with the premiere package)
    • Studio light with umbrella and diffuser
       
  • Things I need from you in your home
    • Heat turned up
    • An area of at least 6 ft by 6 ft in a dark-ish room to set up the bean bag
    • If we're doing seamless background for parent/family shots (premiere package) I'll need an area of about 8 ft by 8 ft with a hard floor

Lifestyle Newborn Session

Even in a lifestyle session I will do some hands on posing, but I view this as a more photo journalistic and natural approach to your newborn.

With a lifestyle session, I will bring waaaay less stuff to your house, and will instead be using your environment as a backdrop. This includes baby's nursery, common areas in the home, and possibly the master bedroom or a siblings room as well. We won't miss the details like your newborn's tiny little fingers and toes, but they will be framed differently than they would in a posed session. Baby might be in his/her crib, on a family heirloom quilt, or laying next to big brother while he reads a story. My posing of baby will be very minimal with this type of session.

With a lifestyle session, it's less important that baby be within that 5-14 day time frame. I've shot lifestyle sessions for babies as old as 3 months, and these can often be great because you start getting real smiles, rather than the sleepy-and-pooping-smile you get with a very new newborn.

Much like I mentioned above in the posed session explanation, my family shots almost always take on a lifestyle feel. We do family shots on the master bed, or elsewhere in the house if you'd prefer. While I do pose you initially,  I'm looking for your family's love and connection. If there are older siblings, we do a few shots of just them with the baby. If you'd like images of just mom/just dad/just mom and dad with the baby, we do that as well. 

Logistics

  • Things I would bring to a lifestyle session:
    • A few neutral wraps/swaddles for baby
    • Studio light with umbrella and diffuser
  • Things I need from you in your home:
    • A few clean/tidy areas (this is why I personally wouldn't be the best candidate for this type of shoot) but if you are, you are amazing
    • If you'd like some parent images with a seamless backdrop-look, I'll need about 6 feet of an undercoated wall as a backdrop
    • Regarding the below gallery, there are more images to come, I need to pull them off of the cloud, but I wanted to have this blog post up as soon as I could.

Family Images

To sum it all up, these are my current packages, and the family images you can expect:

  • Lifestyle - Family lifestyle images included, similar to below
  • Petite - JUST your newborn, no family images included
  • Heirloom- Family lifestyle images included, similar to below, either lifestyle or for a simpler look, against a seamless backdrop or painted wall in your home

Newborn-ish Cora | Arlington Virginia Newborn Photographer

If you're new to the concept of newborn photography, you might not know that most photographers think the ideal times for photographing a newborn are between day 5 and 14 (give or take a few days). While I agree with this time frame, I wouldn't turn someone away for contacting me a few days late...I mean, new parents already have quite a lot on their plates!

Stacey contacted me after she and her husband Benji welcomed beautiful Cora to the world. With the craziness surrounding the holidays, we were unable to make the shoot happen until Cora was about 6 weeks old. While we weren't able to get some of the sleepy, squishy newborn shots I usually aim for, we were able to get tons of images of baby Cora that might not be as doable with a super new baby. 

First we did the family portion of the session at a gorgeous nearby park. It was an unseasonably warm November day, so baby Cora stayed nice and comfy cozy throughout. We worked with the natural surroundings and got some great images capturing the love in this family, not forgetting adorable pup Sierra!

Then we headed back home for the newborn portion of the session. Cora was an absolute rock star, just like her mom and dad!

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Isn't that sweet smile enough to melt your heart?

Isn't that sweet smile enough to melt your heart?

I just love this smirk!

I just love this smirk!

Since Cora was a little bit older for her shoot, we got a lot of great shots of her looking right at the camera!

Since Cora was a little bit older for her shoot, we got a lot of great shots of her looking right at the camera!

I love utilizing design in the clients' home, like this beautiful rug in Cora's nursery.

I love utilizing design in the clients' home, like this beautiful rug in Cora's nursery.

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Newborn Asha | Ashburn Newborn Photographer

Meet baby Asha, isn’t she stunning? I met Asha’s family around the holidays last year, they were new to the area and looking to have some family photos for their holiday card and I am honored that they chose me. They’re the nicest people, and their son Kavin, is not only sweet and adorable, but also the best dressed little guy I’ve ever seen. It was so nice getting to hang out with them while I took these photos, they are just so laid back and indulged my need to try out a multitude of props on their little one. Tina (mama), must share my excitement for knitted things, as she had already bought a few outfits meant for newborn photography which we enthusiastically included in the session!

I tell my clients that when I come to their home for a session, it might look like I’m trying to move in. I bring a lot of things, and I mean A LOT of things. I generally advise clients not to dress their newborns in any fancy outfits…as cute and tiny as those little NB sized clothes are, a lot of times they swallow up a tiny little baby and don’t photograph well. I have lots of swaddles, wraps, bonnets, hats, headbands and other pieces made exclusively for newborn photography, and I will bring those items to your session based on your answers to the pre-session questionnaire. Mama just went above and beyond in this case 

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