the journal




fresh 48



If you are a first time mama or your other children didn’t have newborn photos, you probably are overwhelmed with tackling the task of booking a newborn session. Let’s talk about what to expect with newborn photos in Iowa City, IA so you feel prepared. I am going to focus on an overview of the entire process (from start to finish) and later will post more details on the flow of my newborn sessions (so be on the lookout for a separate post).

I am going to give you all of my tips and tricks on what to expect with an in-home lifestyle newborn session with me in Iowa City. Pssst…If you haven’t already, you should also consider adding a Fresh 48 session taken at your baby’s birthplace.

in home newborn iowa city
in home newborn session iowa city

Before Your Session: Newborn Photos


I recommend scheduling your newborn session as far out as possible, at least 2-3 months before your due date. This ensures that you are able to book with your ideal photographer for newborn photos. But how do we know what date to book? When should we do newborn photos? Babies hardly ever arrive on their due date..

Don’t worry- I will block off time (+/-2 weeks) surrounding your due date (including weekend morning options) and we will find an ideal time for you. As we approach your due date, you or your partner (or another designated person), can message me when it’s “go” time and give updates as you are able. I am here to be flexible. Some families prefer to have a week to settle in and that’s totally fine! The general recommendation is within 10-12 days (to maximize sleepy and cuddly-ness). With lifestyle newborn photos, we have more flexibility with timing. I have scheduled newborn photos even a month out before and the session turned out just as beautiful.


I will send you a questionnaire along with your booking information so I can get to know you and your partner and/or family a bit before our session. This also ensures that we incorporate any ideas, special mementos/props that are important to you.

Newborn sessions take place within the comforts of your home, so we already have the location chosen (check). We will begin planning together the potential best spaces within your home. The rooms I tend to use are: living room, nursery, and master bedroom. It works really well if you send me pictures and/or video of the rooms so I can see what to expect with lighting for our session.

We will work together to plan wardrobe as early in the planning process as you would like. I can make specific suggestions and generate a wardrobe board (so you can see the outfits together) or even help with shopping (i.e. you tell me your favorite stores/budget and I can come up with different options).

Check out my newborn styling Pinterest Board for lots of beautiful choices. Clothing choices can include a comfy chunky sweater and leggings, a gorgeous dress, or romper-whatever you will feel comfortable in. Baby can be dressed in a knit romper, a knotted gown or a simple onesie.

newborn photos iowa city

It is important to prep your family and your spaces before our session. This includes explaining to them what to expect (reading this blog, reading my client welcome guide, showing your partner example photos). Our session together will include lots of family interaction and lovin’ and less posed “cheesing” at the camera.

If your baby has a toddler sibling, encourage them to practice holding baby and use of gentle touching before our session. With toddlers, it is best when they feel involved in the session so they can show off their room and toys to me before we get started. Toddlers also need lots of breaks and we will work together to try to incorporate them with the best timing.

newborn photos iowa city

>>Checklist for prepping your spaces

  • Consider changing bedspread to solid, plain bedspread or take comforter off bed if you have a “busy” pattern/design (to allow for cleaner backdrop)
  • Open blinds +/or curtains
  • Try to declutter (i.e. stuff on surfaces such as nightstands; hide cords/wires that are sticking out, etc)
  • Do your freakin’ best. After all you have a newborn. I am more than happy to help!

>>Checklist for prepping your babe

  • Try to stay on your “usual” schedule for the morning
  • Change baby’s diaper prior to my arrival
  • Feed baby prior to my arrival (it’s ok if you need to feed at the beginning of my session!)
  • Dress baby in simple outfit or swaddle (that way we don’t have to worry about waking baby for an outfit change if they fall asleep)

During Your Session: Newborn Photos

All of that prep stuff is now out of the way and it’s the big day. Your newborn session will be filled with all of the good stuff-lots of snuggles and loving on your new babe. Our session together is meant to feel like “just another morning”. I will guide you with positioning, “poses” etc, but I also love letting you just do what you do naturally. The more relaxed parents are the better. Please expect your baby to cry-because they are a baby and that happens! There is plenty of time to allow for diaper changes, soothing, feeding, etc. The session is completely “baby-led”-meaning the little one calls the shots. For example, if I place baby in one position i.e. laying on their tummy and he/she is not having it after some soothing techniques, then I will move on. I want to keep your baby comfortable and happy.

newborn pictures iowa city
newborn photos iowa city

After Your Session: Newborn Photos

After our session (within 48 hours) you will receive a few sneak peeks to social media (unless you have opted out of sharing). Please feel free to do a happy dance and share with everyone you know!! You will receive your full online gallery within 2 weeks of your session. You can also share your online gallery with friends + family. It is always a huge priority for me to get your images back to you in a timely manner.

Based on the newborn package you selected, you will receive full printing rights to the specified number of digitals in your package + a special slideshow. You will have access to my professional online store for the highest quality products that are archival quality (last to pass on through generations) and optimal color. Products offered include linen prints, photo boxes (linen, glass, wood), canvases, metal prints, modern calendars, frames and lay flat albums. I am more than happy to help design products (i.e. custom products, albums) and guide you along the way. It is so important to get those pictures off your phone and find a way to cherish them! I hope you now feel like an expert (or somewhat close) with what to expect with newborn photos.

If you are ready to book a newborn session, please click here to fill out my contact form.


What to Expect: Newborn Photos/Iowa City, IA Photographer