Michiana Family and Newborn Photography - What to Expect from a Documentary Newborn Session

There are a few specific life events that trigger the "I need pictures" area of your brain and probably the most common one is the birth of a baby. Newborn baby photography started becoming more and more popular in the last decade and now, it's almost more uncommon NOT to get them than it is to get them. There are few things more beautiful than a brand new baby and portrait photographers have showcased that through posed, swaddled, accessorized and propped babies. The images are adorable, undoubtably. However, the issue falls with this: they all look the same! I don't want to look at my newborn's pictures and have them look just like the session before hers. I want to see how peaceful she was in her new home, how little she looked in her crib, how curious our dogs were about this squishly little human and how utterly in love with her we were (still are). Doesn't that just pain a sweeter picture?

So now you're on board. You see the value in documentary newborn sessions. But what happens next? Here's the breakdown:

Choose your time frame.

When photographing newborns, often portrait photographers suggest getting them done between days x-y because the babe's are still pliable and sleepy (i.e. easier to pose). Your documentary newborn session can essentially take place as quickly or leisurely as your prefer. Some people want that immediate session within a day or two of getting home to truly get that newborn feel and to commemorate those first days as new parents. Others want to get settled in or let the newborn blemishes pass before the photo day. This is one of the great things; you choose whatever fits your needs.

Photos where you're most comfortable.

This is a big one for me. I am a homebody, and this was emphasized when I had a newborn. The last thing I wanted to do was pack up my baby and alllllll of her things (because, come on first time moms, we all know we overpacked every time we went out) and sit in front of a camera in a studio I'd never been to. The beauty of a documentary session is that you get to be in your own environment, doing what you'd be doing anyway. Fallen into the habit of nursing in your favorite chair? Perfect. Love putting baby in their bouncer while you prepare food in the kitchen? Great. Enjoy putting baby on your bed and just marveling that you created this tiny person? Lovely. Not only will these moments generate amazingly beautiful pictures, but will also help you remember what life looked like in this new chapter of your life.

It's more than "just" the baby.

When we think of newborn pictures, we usually think of just that: the baby. But documentary newborn sessions let everyone else get in on the moment. You get to choose the focus of your session. If you want solely baby focused images, no problem. We can do that! But often, we have other people (and even pets) that are a huge part of our newborn's story. Grandparents stop by with food, aunts and uncles come to get their baby fix, siblings patiently (or not) wait for cluster feeding to be done (see above haha), and furbabies learn to love the new addition. All of these things can be incorporated into your session and will be priceless additions to the photos.


Life is rarely (if ever) stagnant. Inviting a documentary photographer into your home ensures that no two pictures will be the same. Each moment changes the scene and you will end up with a gallery of images that are unique and beautiful. 

Interested in a newborn session? CONTACT ME.