7 Tips for Beautiful, In-Home Newborn Photos for Nashville Moms

In-Home Newborn Photos

I’m so glad that lifestyle newborn photography became a thing – the trend of in-home newborn photos began in the early 2000’s and took off like wildfire (with good reason). While I love traditional studio photography and do offer studio newborn session as well, there’s just nothing quite like intimacy and familiarity of memories made within the walls of your own home. Particularly if you have other small children participating in the shoot, not having to rush out the door and pack everyone up can be a huge bonus.

With almost a decade under my belt doing in-home newborn photos around Franklin and Nashville, TN …. I do humbly call myself an expert. I’ve learned a lot over the years about what works and what doesn’t when it comes to natural, joyful, lifestyle newborn sessions. I’m excited to share with you now, my top 7 tips to make your photos beautiful and stress free.

If you’re a photographer, you can grab my free Client Prep Guide to customize and send to your own clients for their in-home newborn photos. Grab it HERE.

A woman sits in a rocking chair holding a newborn as a toddler girl stands beside her and touches baby's head during in-home newborn photos

1. Crank the thermostat

78 or above is what I tell my clients for in-home newborn photos. A cold newborn is not a happy newborn. They will be more relaxed, sleepy, and content for the session if they are warm. We’ll all be sweating a little by the end of the session, but I promise it will be worth it! And it’s nothing that a little Photoshop magic can’t fix if it shows in your images.

DISCLAIMER: this temperature is appropriate for a short window of time during in-home newborn photos and closely working with baby. It is NOT SAFE to keep it this warm for baby otherwise. Overheating is a known link to SIDS and is not advised. As soon as your newborn session is over, crank that temperature back down to a normal, comfortable number.

A young family of four smiles with a newborn and young toddler girl during in-home newborn photos

2. Feed baby

Feed baby within 30 minutes of starting. A fed baby is usually a happy (and sleepier) baby. Also, be prepared to take feed breaks as needed during the session. Sometimes a little “top off” will do just the trick. It also gives an opportunity to document some sweet moments between mom and baby, if desired. This can be done tastefully and delicately, so even if it might sound weird to you at first, these photos might end up being some of your most cherished memories.

3. Pacifier

Keep a pacifier readily available. Sometimes a quick fix on the pacifier can help settle a restless baby. Newer pacifiers are pretty enough to even use in photos…some of my favorites are these and these.

Newborn baby rests in his mother's arms

4. Tidy Up

Hide clutter in the rooms that have best window light. Usually, the rooms I utilize most are the nursery and master bedroom. Occasionally, however – especially in older homes like you find here in downtown Franklin, TN and Nashville- the windows in bedrooms are small and/or singular. In that case, we might be using the living room or even the kitchen. So, any room with bright window light is fair game!

5. Open the Blinds

Speaking of windows….open all the blinds. In my session prep guide, I include this tip and it’s an easy time saver for me. Of course, I can do this if clients forget – nbd. I’m all about that light! So we’re going to let as much in as possible.

A mother and father hold a newborn baby in front of a window

6. Remove any crib bumpers.

I know they are sweet and you deliberated for months over just the perfect bedding – but remember what I said about wanting all the light? I love to get photos of your newborn in their crib. That crib bumper, however, casts lots of shadows that aren’t desirable. I promise, it’s a small sacrifice that will make a huge difference.

7. Neutral, soft clothing

Last, but not least….and I know you’ll be shocked by this one 😉 … mom, dad, and siblings should wear light and neutral colors for in-home newborn photos. A neutral palette is an easy way to keep the focus on baby, not on outfits. White is of course a favorite, but all neutrals work well and have a timelessness that won’t fade with trends. Dark and bold colors also have the tendency to throw color casts onto baby’s skin – which is sometimes not even completely fixable in photoshop.

A toddler girl holds her baby brother as she sits in a rocking chair.


Kristie is an experienced Nashville Newborn Photographer + Maternity and Family Photographer. Her work has been featured in places like Nashville Baby Guide, The Kindred PathMaury County Living, and multiple other local online and print media sources.

Her clients enjoy a luxury portrait experience from start to finish, which includes Kristie’s assistance in planning every detail. Clients are drawn to her use of natural light, bright and natural editing style, and her unmatched attention to detail. If you would like to learn more about the KLP experience, let’s chat more!

To ensure a true luxury and full service experience for clients, KLP only books a limited number of sessions each month.


June 22, 2022

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Since 2013, Kristie is a Nashville, Brentwood, and Franklin published photographer who specializes in motherhood, newborn, and family photography.