4 Tips for 4-Figure Worthy, In-home Newborn Sessions | TKP Education
Kristie Lloyd, Kristie Lloyd Photography
In-home newborn sessions…most photographers either love them or hate them. When I first started in photography over 10 years ago, I dreaded them. Home interiors all looked different, window light was so undependable, and I typically left feeling frazzled and disappointed - especially if baby wouldn’t sleep. Many years and lots of experience later, I LOVE in-home newborn sessions and consistently average $2k+ sales from each one.
So how to you go from dreading in-home newborn sessions to loving them? From lack-luster pictures to album-worthy portraits? I’m excited to share with you my top 4 tips for beautiful, 4-figure worthy in-home newborn sessions.
In-home lighting and the overall environment requires professional gear if you want professional results. A full frame camera and quality lens capable of handling low-light and tight spaces is a must! An aperture of at least 1.8 is a non-negotiable in my bag. My most frequently used gear:
For the vast majority of my in-home newborn sessions I rely on natural, window light. I almost always shoot at the widest aperture to achieve the most light and I love the softness of shooting wide open.
However, sometimes there’s still not enough light, even shooting wide open with a high ISO. So, I do always bring a speed light, in case I need to bounce flash to avoid overly noisy images or muddy skin tones. I have both a Nikon SB500 and a Godox V860ii.
Preparation is key! Educate your client ahead of time on how to prepare their home, themselves, and their baby (and any siblings). As the hired professional, they WANT you to provide direct communication and instructions. So, consider this your permission to be bossy! You can grab the exact guide I send to my clients HERE.
Clutter is often inevitable, especially for families with a new baby and young children. So, if you arrive and see things out of place, simply ask if it’s ok to move them. Clear off night stands, move toys out of sight, straighten bed linens, etc. The small details make BIG differences in your final image.
Tell them what to wear! I offer a Client Wardrobe and bring my moms their chosen dress(es) to wear. I also utilize Style and Select to “shop” for the rest of my client’s family. They appreciate this SO much and the obvious bonus is that the photos look better when they’ve been hand styled by me.
Go to the light! What if the light is limited, you ask? Then, you need to know how to maximize it! How?
1. Open all the blinds (but do turn off all lamps and ceiling lights)
2. Move to a different room or part of the house with more natural light
3. Move your subjects closer to the window
4. Use a reflector
5. Use flash (on camera or off) to bounce light from the ceiling, a wall, a window, or my personal favorite - a corner.
6. Wear white yourself …a small and subtle detail, but if you are standing directly near baby, you can actually create some natural light reflection this way.
There are multiple ways to maximize your light, so just be prepared for the challenges of in-home lighting. Practice in your own home! This is the easiest way to practice with in-home light. Pull in your own kids, pets, or partner!
SHOOT WITH THE END ARTWORK IN MIND
The reason many of you probably have read this far…how to make 4 figures+ on in-home newborn sessions! Most of my newborn clients invest in an heirloom album. So, when I’m photographing their session, I stick to a repeatable posing workflow that I know will display beautifully in an album to tell a cohesive story. I always start in the nursery and finish in the master bedroom.
My workflow is not dependent on baby sleeping. I take a parent and baby led approach to posing - that means no beanbag needed and no complex or forced posing. This not only helps me create gorgeous, emotive images, but it also helps me be organized, efficient and finish newborn sessions under 2 hours. It also allows me to capture the organic in-between moments without derailing. Some things just can’t be easily posed or prompted…like baby yawns, genuine laughter, or mom’s adoring gaze down at baby as she breastfeeds. So, when those moments happen, I don’t want to miss them!
Creating the images is only one piece of the puzzle. By offering finished artwork, not just digital downloads, you serve your client well AND significantly increase your room for profit. Don’t be trapped in the common misconception that clients only want digital images these days. It’s simply just not true!
If you are tired of the “fake til you make it approach”, I’d love to come alongside you as a mentor. Inside of my signature coaching program, Light & Luxury, I teach photographers how to elevate their in-home newborn portfolio + brand to start attracting their dream clients. You’ll get my exact blueprint for 4 figure, album and wall worthy lifestyle newborn sessions!
Enrollment is currently open and I would love for you to join us inside. Get more info HERE!
Kristie Lloyd, Kristie Lloyd Photography