Did you know that feeling scared/nervous and feeling excited manifest almost the exact the same way in our bodies? So wild (but it also makes complete sense).

With this in mind, I’ve adopted a term from the lovely Glennon Doyle that I use often when I’m experiencing some level of physiological symptoms that lead me to a combination of nervousness and excitement. The word is “scited” (read: one part scared, one part excited). Recognizing and labeling the mix of these two things has helped me to calm my nerves when they arise and tip the scales closer to the “excited” end of the spectrum.

What does this have to do with anything? I think feeling “scited” is pretty representative of how it feels the day you’re planning for somebody to come into your home and photograph the tiny human you’ve just brought into the world. My aim today is to hand-hold you through what to expect at your in-home newborn photography session so you can remove some of the “what-ifs” that lead to nervous energy so you can focus on being excited for the magic we’re going to capture. Ready? Let’s dive in.

A mother holds her newborn baby in her lap while Baby's toddler brother gives him a kiss on the head

Step 1: The Logistics

(i.e., the boring-but-necessary stuff. Skip ahead if ya like.)

The best time to reach out about booking your in home newborn photos is at least 3 months before your baby's due date, if not before. Delivery dates are unpredictable, and booking far enough in advance gives you assurance that I won’t be booked up when you try to schedule, plus some wiggle room in case Baby decides to make an early appearance.

Once you book, I’ll invoice for your session fee, send you a contract, and send a welcome guide your way for some additional guidance on how to prepare for your newborn photos. Once your session date approaches, I’ll also send out a questionnaire so I can get some more information on specifics to you, your family, and your vision for your photos.

Finally, if you’re so inclined, please contact me with any photos/videos of the areas in your home you’d like to be photographed in and of thoughts on wardrobe for everyone involved! I’m always happy to help answer questions and give you guidance for what might work best for your family’s photos.

A collage of lifestyle newborn photos taken in clients' homes by Miranda Melton Photography

Step 2: The Morning of your in-home newborn photography Session

Just a few easy elements of preparation should set you up for success at your in-home newborn photos.

1. Clutter:

Honestly I would be astounded to see a spotless home with any parent, and especially parents living in the sleep-deprived haze that comes along with having a newborn. We don’t need perfection here - just do your best to pick up the main areas you want to use (feel free to shove things into the closet; I won’t tell!) Just know that I’ll likely move things around a bit to better suit the angles I’m using, and I apologize in advance if I forget to move everything back before I leave 🫣

And if you want to embrace the chaos and leave the clutter in your photos as part of your story, I’m alllll about it.

Real > polished in my opinion, but if you want to fake the latter it can easily be done.

2. Heat:

Newborns have just been separated from their own personal 98.6 degree heater - keep this in mind! While we don’t need your house heated to 100 degrees to make your little one comfortable, I definitely recommend cranking the heat to keep your little one calm and collected. (*Pro tip: if you only plan on using a few select rooms during your session, close vents in the areas you don’t plan to use so that the heat can stay focused on those smaller areas. Also, if you’ve booked in the sweltering summer heat, just forego the air conditioning for a bit.) Trust me on this one - 100% of my smoothest-sailing sessions have happened in well-heated homes.

A collage of three lifestyle in-home newborn photos by Miranda Melton Photography

This one is pretty straightforward - open those shades before I arrive! I like to use the natural light in your home whenever possible, so having that at the ready will help things flow more smoothly once we begin.


Again, this one speaks for itself. A milk drunk baby is (usually) a happy baby, so whatever we can do to sync up the end of that feeding with my scheduled arrival time is ideal. I recommend having Baby dressed in the first outfit you plan to have them photographed in when you start feeding, and wrap them in a blanket or swaddle so any reflux incidents wind up on the blanket and not on their clothes.

Newborn baby sleeps in a Moses basket. He wears a green gown and lays on orange pillows. A cat comes in from the side

Step 3: The big event! (time for those newborn photos!)

Honestly, once you’ve gotten to this point the hard work on your part is done.

From here on out, we just hang out and document. If you’ve ever seen or experienced studio newborn photography, those photographers typically spend a decent chunk of time molding and settling your baby into the perfect pose. My approach generally doesn't involve this level of intricacy with posing your baby, and is more about capturing the vibe in your home, the details of baby’s tiny little features, and Baby’s unique natural movements and expressions. I truthfully do pretty minimal prompting when photographing newborns, and instead will have you sit or stand in good light and move around you snapping photos as you cuddle your babe. Easy peasy, friends.

All of that aside, there are a few little nuggets that are good to know ahead of time so you don’t stress if when they happen during your session:

1. We’ll do our best to keep Baby nice and milk drunk.

This means stopping multiple times for feeding breaks, feeding until Baby seems full and relaxed (seriously - stopping the feeding early is likely going to mean more time spent settling. Invest the time up front to let them get full and your baby will thank you for it.) It also means that you’ll likely get a little off-kilter if Babe is on any sort of regular feeding schedule - this will work itself back out in the end, and you’ll appreciate having a relaxed kiddo in your photos - promise!

2. When all else fails, swaddle.

If you have wraps from home that you want to incorporate we certainly can, but I will be bringing wraps for your little one as well.

3. Things to have at the ready:

Burp rags, pacifiers, nursing pads, backup wardrobe options in mind for everybody involved, and crumb-free snacks for siblings.

4. A note about siblings:

For the most part, we’re going to let them decide their level of involvement! This is one of my absolute favorite things about in-home newborn photography. If Baby’s older siblings are super jazzed up about being involved in photos, great! We'll lean into that and snap those photos before interest wanes. But if they’re over it, need a snack, or just plain want to sneak away for a bit, they totally can. In general I find that the more control we can give them, the better (and for the extra-enthusiastic siblings that never want to leave, I can 100% find ways for them to “help” when we don’t need them to be the star of the show).

A black-and-white collage of three in-home lifestyle newborn photos taken by Miranda Melton Photography

If you’re still with me, thanks for sticking around - that was a LOT of info. My hope is that this lengthy post has given you a bit more context on what to expect from your in-home newborn photos, especially if this is your first time experiencing this type of photography! If you’re still on the edge of your seat with wanting more mental preparation, make sure to check out this post on what to wear for your in-home newborn photo session. And if you’ve been on the fence about booking your photographer, it’s time to jump in - let’s connect so I can help answer any other questions and get your date on the books!

Again, I hope this little outline has been helpful. If you’re anything like me, having more information up front is sure to help you stay on the more positive side of being scited.