Boston Family Photographer - How to Prep for an In-Home Maternity or Newborn Session


The more in-home sessions I do, the more I fall in love with capturing people in their natural environment. It makes sense that we feel more comfortable in our own homes which absolutely reflects in photographs. With that said, when clients ask for in-home sessions it gives us photographers a little anxiety, because we don't know your space or the natural lighting situation. 

It's an honor to be invited into anyones home, so I've put together a little prep-list to help you get ready for our session! General rule of thumb, when it comes to in-home sessions, less is always more. 


1. Clean your space

This one may be obvious, but I doubt as new parents, keeping a catalog worthy looking room/nursery is at the top of your priority list, and that's totally understandable! For our session, if you can have the space clean and tidy beforehand, the less time I have to spend organizing when I get there. I'll usually remove a few things that aren't needed and move around furniture just slightly to best fit the light. 

Extra tip: Natural light and neutral interiors go hand-in-hand. If your room is painted bright purple, sunlight will come through the window and reflect the color purple onto objects in the room (including you) and we don't what that! If you have a room with a neutral color palette and lots of natural light, like the master bedroom or living room, consider having your session there. 

2. Wear neutrals

I never tell my clients what to wear, with one exception. To piggy-back off of tip #1, when light comes through a window and hits bright vibrant colors, it can reflect that color onto objects in the room, including you. For this reason it's best to keep your clothing neutral. I also like it when you're barefoot, because who walks around their house in high heels or boots!? 

Extra tip: Gather all those little things that mean something to you, like the little one's first shoes, so we can include those in the photographs. 

3. Get comfy

More times than not, we'll be working in a tight space. I'll probably be pinned against a corner or a wall to get as wide as possible so I'm not all up in your personal space. However, sometimes this is inevitable, so try to relax and forget I'm there. 

4. For newborn sessions, have 2-3 outfits ready to go

You know all those cute outfits you bought? Now is the perfect time to whip them out! You can approach outfit selection like hot sauce - mild, medium and spicy. Choose a simple outfit, a more fun outfit, and one extra special outfit. 

Extra tip: Think about getting photographs of your little one without clothing. This decision is 100% up to you. I like to bring it up beforehand so you have some time to think about it rather than me asking you on the spot. 

5. Select the best time & space

For most sessions, I try to shoot as close to golden hour as possible. However, with in-home session, we will choose the time your space gets the best natural light. It helps if you send pictures ahead of time so I know what we're working with. We’ll also want to leverage the room that gets the most natural light — whether that be the kitchen, living room, master bed, nursery or even an entry way. I will, hands down, take an empty hallway with beautiful natural light over a dark styled nursery any day.

6. Think about story telling

As a photographer, I'm always trying to tell your story through my photographs. Instead of creating "posed" situations, think about creating a task-based timeline that genuinely shows us who you and your family are. Capturing your morning routine or your newborn taking a bath - there’s so much we can do to make the session more authentically you. I'd love to help you do this! 

resourcesHannah Cochran