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I recently did a newborn session for a client who asked if newborn sessions should really take place within baby's first 5 days. While I've never personally gone through the process of giving birth, I have been in the homes of many families have done those things and I'm going to be honest... Trying to get a newborn session done within baby's first 5 days is ambitious to say the least!

That's not to say it cannot be done. But those first few days after coming home from the hospital are a whirlwind. If you're getting enough rest and the baby is doing well, you can certainly schedule a session within those first 5 days. However, when clients book a newborn session with me, I try to get the session done within the baby's first 6-10 days. Prior to the 6th day, the baby is still adjusting to life outside of the womb. Breast milk starts to come in between days 3-5, so scheduling the session before day 6 can lead to many breaks for breastfeeding, restlessness for the baby, and fatigue for mom. Of course if the baby is not breastfeeding, the complexity of this timing doesn't apply.

From day 11 and on, the sleep pattern starts to change and the baby starts to develop muscle tone in the arms and legs. The baby may start staying awake for slightly longer periods of time between feeding, which can make the newborn session last a little longer. And when muscle tone starts to form, it can make the baby a little less flexible for the tight swaddle wraps you see in newborn photos. So ideally, I try to get the session done within baby's first two weeks.

Some photographers lean towards only doing the session in the morning time, since that is when babies are most sleepiest. But I have found that morning doesn't always work light-wise with lifestyle newborn sessions that take place in my clients' homes. So I work to schedule these around times when the light is strongest in the rooms my clients like to use. Typically clients use a combination of the nursery, the master bedroom, and/or the living room. If you're not sure when those times are, no worries! I have a few resources for helping us figure that out. Especially since the light in those rooms will be different today as compared to 6 months from now, as we enter a different season with either shorter or longer days.

Hopefully this post has help shed some light (no pun intended) on when it's the best time to schedule your newborn session. Each baby is truly unique, so it's possible that some or all of these guidelines may not apply. But having been a lifestyle newborn photographer for over 10 years now, and photographing over 100 newborns, these general guidelines for scheduling have worked for most clients. If you're looking for more tips on newborn sessions, you can check out my post on how to prepare for your session here! And if you have any questions, drop me a comment below or shoot me an email. I'm happy to help!

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It may seem like such a small detail, but outfits are actually a huge contributing factor to how well your images turn out. I cannot stress this enough!

Between personal styles, wardrobe limitations, and a room full of opinions, it's not always the easiest job to get everyone on the same page when it comes to dressing an individual person, a couple, or the entire family for a photo session!

Thankfully it's not rocket science and chances are you probably already have what you need in your closet! If not, I bet Old Navy has something on sale right now that you could pick up if needed!

Here are some Do's and Don'ts when it comes to your wardrobe for your photo session!


  • Wear clothes that fit well - If you feel comfortable, you'll look comfortable!

  • Complement the setting - Use texture and color in your wardrobe that will look cohesive with the location we'll be shooting at.

  • Dress kids in clothes they love - If the kids are happy, everyone is happy!

  • Wear complementary colors - Outfits should consist of a limited color palette that will complement complexions and accent other outfits.

  • Wear prints wisely - Clothing and accessories with medium and large patterns are best. Try mixing with solids to balance things out.

  • Dress for the season and weather - Being dressed for the season will make your photos look natural because you'll be more comfortable during the session!

  • Wear clothes and accessories that reflect your style - keep it classic and timeless, but don't be afraid to add some personality!


  • Don't dress teething little ones in dark solids if possible. Their drool will stand out on their clothes and I can't guarantee that I'll be able to photoshop it out.

  • Don't wear busy patterns and extreme colors - Overly bright colors are distracting and will clash with the location. Small, intricate patterns can create an effect known as Moiré which looks like a rainbowing or circular pattern on these prints. I cannot fix this in Photoshop. So it's best to avoid these types of patterns.

  • Don't wear poorly fitting clothes - Clothes that are too big or too small, are restrictive, or wrinkled are very obvious in photos and won't be photoshopped out.

  • Don't wear anything that's too trendy - Go for a timeless look and avoid clothes that will look dated in a few years (hello, shoulder pads!)

  • Don't wear distracting items - Big jewelry, sunglasses (especially transition lenses), and hair bands on your wrist are more noticeable in photos. I suggest keeping it simple. We want you to be the focus of your images, not these other things.

  • Don't be a walking billboard - Don't wear sneakers with brand names, logos, characters, or words that are visible. These things can also fall under the list of distracting items.

  • Don't wear underwear that is hard to conceal - Avoid bra straps with a spaghetti strap dress/top, or underwear with lines that are visible through tight skirts, or even underwear with print that can be seen through sheer fabrics. Ladies--Invest in a good nude color bra for this exact reason!

  • Don't show more skin than you want to show - Only show as much shoulder leg, midriff, and neckline as you're confident in capturing for a lifetime.

I hope this was helpful and provided a little bit of reassurance that putting together outfits for the family is not as complicated as you may think, but it does require some forethought and planning. Also, one of the perks to booking your session with me is gaining accessing to my Style & Select subscription. What is Style & Select? It's a digital stylist that will show you REAL outfits in real time. It's fun, and more importantly, SO easy to piece together a cohesive look with this tool. I can't wait to see the outfits you come up with now!

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In order to get things off to a great start, please have all of the details and momentos you want images of in one place. If these are all in one central spot and ready to be photographed when your photographer arrives on your wedding day, This will help your photographer get through the detail stuff quicker so that they can focus on you getting ready and having fun. Champagne toasts, anyone?! hehe This will also help ensure you have everything you need in one location! I suggest designating a wedding party member (or friend who will be present for the getting ready portion of the day) to be in charge of your wedding details on the day of. This will be helpful for your photographer!

  • Gather all of your wedding details, including your fiancé’s. Keeping each of your items together in your shoeboxes is an easy solution.

  • Have your rings and jewelry cleaned. Make sure you plan ahead for this, especially if shipping to a jeweler is required.

  • Remove tags, stuffing, and plastic from your wedding dress and hang it on a nice hanger. If you've bought a personalized hanger, be sure to have it ready. Be sure to also remove tags, stickers, plastic wrapping, etc. from jewelry, shoes, and anything else you’re wearing.

  • Have your dress and veil steamed. Wrinkles in either of these items will be distracting.

  • Bring two copies of your full wedding stationery suite (invitations, envelopes, menus, programs, etc.).

  • Ask your florist to provide cuttings of flowers and greenery that match your wedding florals for your photographer to use in styled images.

  • Select a perfume or cologne that your fiancé will always be able to associate with the memories of your wedding day.

Having been a wedding photographer for a number of years now, I can tell you that most wedding days slightly run behind schedule. So when you take the time to prepare all of these items before the day of, you'll save yourself a TON of unneeded last minute stress. Again, consider enlisting the help of a wedding party member or a close friend to be responsible for these items. I bet you'll find they're more than willing. Probably because they'll want to make sure your day is the best day ever! If you have any other tips and tricks for prepping wedding day details, I'd love to hear about them. Drop them in the comments below!

Host: @styledshootsacrossamerica

Concept & Planning: @heatherbengeofficial

Venue: @sunstonewinery

Hair & Makeup: @sunkissedandmadeup

Stationery: @ohelevenstudio

Florals: @parkersandposies @blushbotanicals

Cake: @Lelepatisserie

Rentals: @partypleasers

Men’s Wear: @themoderngroom_

Gowns: @styled.gowns

Linens: @nuagedesignsinc

Models: @lizkoetsier @rhathon

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