Styling A Newborn Photography Session
Featuring Ellicott City, Clarksville, and Columbia, MD Newborn Photography by Melissa Porta Portraits
You’re probably here because you are expecting a baby, and maybe you’ve already booked your newborn photography session! That is a huge step and I am so excited for you! Your photographer may have asked you if you have any requests for your session or would like to be involved in the planning process, and sometimes expecting parents need help knowing where to start with this question, and I want to help! You are giving yourself a rare opportunity to participate in the artist’s vision before the artwork is created. Not only that, it is going to feature your soon-to-be favorite person in their most innocent and beautiful state – before they become a one-year-old who can’t sit still for a camera, then a toddler with a snack in their hand and food on their face at all times, a kid with messy hair who won’t let you style it and refuses to wear the outfit you’ve picked out….you get the idea. I want you to TAKE FULL ADVANTAGE of this amazing opportunity you have given yourself! These images will likely turn out to be your favorites, and it is a great idea to spend time thinking about ways your photographer can really customize the styling for you!
Here are the 4 things I ask my clients to think about
WHEN “ARTISTIC VISION” FEELS OVERWHELMING
Think about the rooms in your home where you plan to display your custom artwork (because these days, why even invest in professional photography only to add to your collection of images on your devices and social media pages?) All of my sessions are brought to my clients’ homes, so I have the benefit of actually witnessing everyones’ decorating style – even if you ACTUALLY hope your home is going to look completely different in the near future (I feel that). But that is why this information is super important to me! I plan my sets in advance, so arriving at your doorstep is not the best time for me to realize you have very modern taste, or lots of bright white walls, or lots of rustic accents. And maybe you no longer love your decor – that’s good to know too! It may be as simple as taking a look through some home decor blogs – what style resonates with you? At a minimum, I always ask how you are decorating your nursery, or, what would a dream nursery look like for you? Any particular colors you love to decorate with, and any you’d like to avoid?
Seasonal Colors and Themes
As a Baltimore Photographer, my clients and I are fortunate (if you want to see it that way) to experience all four seasons. So in the spring, we just feel the soft pastels (see a bonus guest blog post at the bottom of my page for some spring inspiration!), and in the fall, rich earthy colors speak to us more. It is worth deciding with your Photographer ahead of time if you want to use the season as inspiration for your newborn session, to capture the time of year that your baby was born so when you look back at your artwork, you are transported to that moment in time.
If it is left up to me, I use one bed and two buckets, baskets or bowls in every session. I do this to give variety not just in the style of props but also in the poses used in each. But, my clients often have fallen in love with certain images and they may really want to use two different baskets, and maybe they don’t love the bucket or the bed, and that is totally cool! Some people like no props or maybe just one, some people want mostly images with props. Don’t like babies in bonnets? That’s allowed! Again, preference is just that – we need to know yours to make sure you love YOUR images. Please don’t ever feel afraid to point out the things you love or don’t love to your photographer – it does not hurt our feelings! It is so great to know things like that ahead of time, before planning setups around certain items that you may actually not love.
Of course, you’ve hired your Photographer because you absolutely love their style and their portfolio. So you are certainly free to tell them “I trust your talents, I don’t need to be involved in the planning”. Photographers are artists, so I don’t know one who doesn’t love to hear that! For me though, client satisfaction is always a top priority. If all of these other questions don’t help you make some decisions, it may be as simple as looking at other images and choosing the ones you like best! Maybe you notice that you are drawn to images of a baby on all-white, or you really love the dramatic black-and-white images. You may prefer a variety of colors, just one small pop of color, or all neutrals. And if you want to include color, would you prefer a traditionally gender-specific color palette? Maybe you’d like to branch out from pink for girls and go with purple, or even blue or green – and I definitely support this! Do you like lots of wood accents or to keep things more white and bright? Do lots of textures make you feel cozy, or do you prefer the smooth and simple? There is no wrong answer to any of these – it is a preference, and everyone has one!
most importantly, just remember…
Your custom art is intended to be passed on through your family – and not in the way that your grandma may have handed you a box of old deteriorating photos because she just couldn’t bring herself to throw them away. Professional print labs now provide MUSEUM QUALITY PRINTS, so Photographers are now tasked with providing TIMELESS images to their clients. My mindset when styling my images is to keep trends and anything “Pinterest worthy” to a minimum – the people should be the focus of every image, and you should still appreciate the style in 50 years. Keep this in mind as you scroll through the millions of images out there of newborn babies, and ask yourself the questions on each topic listed above – your family will be sure to absolutely love your customized newborn photos for generations!
Featured Family Photographer:
As we’re gearing up for outdoor family sessions to return as the weather starts improving (soon, hopefully!), I’m excited to share this inspiring post from Minneapolis Family Photographer Michele Quattrin of mQn Photography, Family Photos in the Spring, with 5 great location suggestions for your springtime outdoor family photos! And for those families who are expecting in the next few months, Michele’s images are the perfect inspiration when thinking about colors for your Newborn Session, since it can be hard to really envision springtime when it’s so cold and gloomy out!
Hi, I’m Melissa
I am an Ellicott City, Clarksville, and Columbia, MD Newborn Photographer.
I bring my studio to my clients’ homes throughout central Maryland. I am known for my subtle and simplistic style using earthy neutrals and muted accent colors, and for providing an exceptional client experience. Interested in learning more about my in-home sessions?