Olivia Marie was born on October 10, 2021, and just 11 days later we had a lifestyle newborn session done in our home. We had Mel B Photography take the photos and couldn’t be happier with that decision. We had used Melanie twice in the past and felt confident she would be able to capture this precious time for our family. And as you can see below, she truly did!
What is a lifestyle newborn session?
Lifestyle newborn sessions usually take place in the home and include parents, siblings, pets, etc. Home is where life happens, and it’s hard to recreate that exact vibe anywhere else. The photos are usually taken in the nursery or the parents’ bedroom, but you could also do the living room or outside. Your home is unique to you, so these photos will inevitably be something special that cannot be duplicated. Lifestyle newborns are a great way to document the nursery, too, especially if you spent a lot of time and energy making it perfect for your little one.
One of my favorite things about shooting photos in your home is the ease for the family:
- No driving anywhere
- It’s impossible to forget anything at home
- If you need to grab the kids a fruit snack to bribe them with, you have your whole pantry at your fingertips
- If you need to nurse your newborn (which I suggest doing right before your photographer shows up), you get to do that in the comfort of your home
- The session feels shorter for the kids
- Marcus and the kids were able to play in the other room while we focused on baby only shots for the first half of the session
Do I have to clean my whole house?
No! But it does require you to have prepared at least one space to take photos. In order to get the best photos and gallery it is a good idea to pick up and clear the clutter in the areas you want to take photos (like the nursery or parents bedroom). But don’t take that to mean your whole house has to be spotless. Ours definitely wasn’t!
A good photographer like Melanie will find a window with great light in a simple area in the home and work with that. Your house not being in tip top shape should NOT be a reason you shy away from having newborn photos taken!
How to make the most out of your lifestyle newborn session
- Use family heirlooms or sentimental items. Think baby blankets, special outfits, books, mementos from their birth or hospital stay, etc.
- Include pets! They make for really sweet photos.
- Select outfits based on the space you’ll be in. If you are in the nursery, be sure to pick clothing that doesn’t compete with the background.
- Communicate with your photographer before your session. Giving your photographer as much information up front gives them a chance to prepare and direct the session to make the most of your time together. Tell him or her:
- Who will be in the photos (siblings, pets, grandparents, etc.)
- If you have anything special you want to photograph or have any props/outfits for the baby you want to include
- Where you are hoping to shoot in your home and possibly where you have the best lighting
- If you have certain shots or poses you know you want to capture
- It can get a little hectic during the shoot, especially if you are trying to wrangle toddlers or have a fussy baby. You don’t want to forget to take a photo that was really important to you!
- Trust your photographer! Some poses might feel a little silly, but I promise you – they know what looks good!
- Print your photos! Melanie recommends a photo book because:
- Of the ease to print more of your photos without having to find more space on your wall
- It can be used as a conversation piece like a coffee table book
- You’re looking at every image from your session and getting the full story as opposed to the select few you chose to hang on your wall
- Books are a keepsake
- They make great gifts, especially for grandparents!
Why we continue to use Mel B Photography
We first used Melanie in November of 2020 for our holiday photos. We did an in-home session and it had the exact cozy feel I was going for. You can read about that experience here, along with tips on how to have a great indoor session and how to put together family outfits for a photoshoot. We used Melanie again in early 2021 for a studio session that ended up being our pregnancy announcement for Olivia. I’ve also purchased a session from her as a gift to my parents.
I was impressed with both of the other sessions we’ve done together, but I was over the moon when I got this lifestyle newborn gallery back. Melanie is great behind the camera in both the way she interacts with her clients and of course in her work itself. She definitely has an artistic eye and was able to catch moments I didn’t even realize were happening. You will not regret working with her if you get the chance – I promise!
Melanie serves Northwest Houston, so if you are in that area, definitely reach out to her! She does family, couples, maternity, newborn and even birth photography. Melanie regularly does indoor and outdoor sessions and even rents studio space from time to time. We’ve used her for full sessions, but she also hosts mini sessions throughout the year if you are looking for something a little less involved.
If you are pregnant and looking into newborn photography, I highly encourage you to look into her packages. Her prices are very reasonable, especially when you opt for one of her many milestone packages! I would recommend one of the sessions that includes a maternity session. A regret of mine is not getting maternity photos when I was pregnant with Adeline. You might not feel your best at the time, but I promise you will look back at those photos with kind eyes and be so thankful you captured this special season.
The front yard marquee
I knew I wanted to capture a front yard photo welcoming Olivia home. The beautiful name marquee and balloons made it that much more special!
The marquee signage in front of our house is by GF Lit, which is located in Houston and Dallas. It was a fun and unique way to welcome Olivia home! The marquees (which light up at night) are popular for birthdays, engagements, weddings, baby showers and corporate events. They were great to work with, and I would recommend them if you want something that really makes a statement! View their instagram account here.
The balloons were designed and installed by The Party Topper. They serve the Houston area and do incredible work! I would absolutely recommend using her for any balloon needs you might have. Her garlands are great for birthday parties, baby showers, grand openings or honestly any event you can think of! See their instagram account here.
I received this photo session from Mel B Photography, the name marquee and the balloon install in exchange for a blog post with my honest review. As always, all opinions are my own.