What to Expect from Your Newborn Session | Florida Family Photographer

I cannot wait to capture your sweet baby. There is something about a newborn baby that just fills you with wonder isn’t there? You brought a life into this world mama! It’s amazing, overwhelming, awe-inspiring, intense, and sometimes hard. Not to mention that the sleep deprivation can make you feel like you’re walking around in a haze. That’s how I felt after the birth of my son anyway. My husband and I are both professional photographers but the sheer mental, emotional, and physical exhaustion of it all meant we didn’t take nearly as many photos as we had planned those first few months. I cherish the ones we did take even more because of that!

There may not be a more special time in life than right after a child is born, and it is such a fleeting phase. For me, this is one of the biggest reasons I consider it a real privilege to document your growing family. And, it’s why I want you to feel totally prepared and ease when the day of your session arrives.

Everything You Need to Know About Your Newborn Session

My Approach: My approach could be called “lifestyle newborn photography” but I tend to lean towards a documentary approach because I think capturing life just as it is, real and raw, is the most beautiful way to make a photo. That means if baby needs to stop to feed or get a diaper change, or a change of clothes, I’ll probably discreetly follow you around with my camera and capture those everyday real moments too. In my opinion, some of the best photos out there are unscripted and unposed. But don’t worry, I will still give you plenty of direction during most of the shoot. Please review my portfolio gallery to make sure my personal shooting style resonates with you before scheduling a session.

Day of the Session: When I arrive, I will take a quick tour of your home and scout out the best areas for family and sibling photos, as well as baby and mama photos. Depending on the lighting situation in your home, we may use the living room sofa, your baby’s nursery, or a master bed. Please don’t feel like you need to clean your house before I arrive. You just had a baby, and I don’t want this photo session to add stress to your life in any way. I am happy to help you clean up just the area we’ll use for photos.

Second Photographer: As you may know, my husband and I generally do shoots together. With JC as a secondary photographer, you get two vantage points on your family and photos that come from two unique styles and perspectives. You can see more of his work on his website. Plus, if you have a large family with lots of kids, a second photographer can really help to capture moments a solo photographer might miss. And even though our styles differ, we edit our images harmoniously, so you get a gallery that still flows well as a whole. That said, if for any reason you feel more comfortable with just one photographer, please let us know. We are happy to work with your preferences.

How to Prepare Your Family

Your Baby: Your baby is absolutely perfect just as he or she is. That’s why I skip the props, artificial lighting, and unnatural poses. Try to feed your baby about 15 minutes before I arrive, but if it doesn’t work out, no worries. I recommend a plain white or neutral colored onesie with no distracting words or images on them. (Maybe have two ready because hey, spit up happens!) We will probably take it off at some point and get some nude or diaper-only newborn photos too. If you have a favorite swaddle, have that on hand too to wrap the baby. And that, my friend, is all you’ll need. 

We’ll let baby guide the session, meaning if they aren’t feeling laying on their back or stomach or side, we won’t force it, and if they are awake or want to sleep or prefer to stay in your arms the whole time, that’s fine too. We will go with your baby’s flow. Keep in mind that newborn sessions can take some time and that is completely fine. I always schedule ample time for this kind of shoot and I’ll never be in a rush.

Parents: You just had a baby, which means both of you are probably ecstatic and exhausted. Your emotions may be all over the place and I totally get that, I’ve been there. Please don’t worry too much about your appearance. Just like your baby, you are perfect just the way you are. Especially after having brought a new life into this world! This is a unique time that won’t be perfect, in fact it will likely be filled with a whole host of new challenges, but it is most certainly beautiful and I aim to capture that.

Brothers and Sisters: A new baby means a big change for any siblings in the house, which is why I’ll take a go with the flow approach here too. We’ll do whole family and sibling photos first to get them out of the way before the kiddos lose interest in me and the session. I may make suggestions to your kids or toddlers, but we’ll never force them to do anything if they aren’t feeling it. Let them know ahead of time a friend is coming to take some pictures of the family for best results. 😉

Clothes and Accessories: I recommend keeping things simple wardrobe-wise. Neutral colors and minimal accessories will make the session more relaxed and highlight the naturally beautiful dynamics of your family. Your clothes will never be more beautiful than you are!

I’ve included a few more FAQs below, but if you have any questions at all that haven’t been addressed here – even if you haven’t booked a session with me – I’d be happy to help. Just shoot me an email at me@ashriffo.com and I’ll do my best to answer any other questions you have.


This is really completely up to you. A baby is considered a newborn for the first three months, right? So anytime you feel ready is fine by me. There are pros and cons to taking shots the first week of life, the first month, or the third. If you really want to document that new, just-arrived-home baby we can schedule as early as the day your baby is born. If you aren’t having a home birth, I’m happy to meet you at the hospital or birthing center. If you are feeling too overwhelmed right after the birth, wait a little longer. My husband and I didn’t do an official lifestyle newborn shoot of our son until right after he turned three months. You can see some of those images throughout this post. 😊

If nothing else, we are flexible as all get out. If you want us to meet you somewhere else, let us know and we can work out the details. Just make sure the place you choose is somewhere you can feel comfortable with your family and a brand new baby.

Kids and babies always seem to wake up on the wrong side of the bed the day you have a photoshoot scheduled, don’t they? Honestly, this does not bother us at all. It can be tough for two grown adult people to make it through a one-hour engagement session without feeling worn out, so we don’t expect a child to feel differently. We take a very chill approach with kids and babies and can generally get some beautiful photos even if they cry or don’t seem to be cooperating. One of the main reasons I love family photography is the children. They never pretend to be anything they aren’t just because a camera is in the room. It delights my documentary loving soul.

Absolutely. We will wear masks to your shoot and are happy to take a COVID-19 test before we come to your home, upon your request. Newborn safety is our priority. If we have any symptoms of illness at all, even if we test negative for COVID, we will reschedule your shoot. We ask for you to please do the same if anyone in your family is ill.

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