Hi there!  I'm Caiti and I am a wedding & portrait photographer living in Prince George, Virginia.  I am a music loving, doughtnut eating, coffee drinking, mama of 2.  This is the place where you can come to see my latest work with my beautiful clients and learn more about me, my husband, and our sweet babies.  Take a look around and enjoy! 

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Newborn, Portraits

February 25, 2019

Preparing For A Home Newborn Session

Lifestyle Newborn Sessions have quickly become my favorite way to capture a newborn.  I used to have a home studio and I loved it!!  However, it didn’t become logical for me to do anymore so I phased out of it. I truly love studio newborn photography and know some girls who are simply incredible at it, though!  If it is something you are interested in for your baby, I can send you their way.  But the newborn photography I love to shoot is all lifestyle.  

With a home newborn sessions, you never have to leave your house!  You can just sit in the bed, nursing your sweet pea until I get there.  I have had mamas answer the door with the baby right there nursing on them and I just say “you go girl!”!  Your little one gets to stay where they are familiar without having to get bundled up to go on a car ride.  Also, I get to capture your family in their happy place.  This is where you will love, nurture, and grow your family so newborn photos there are fitting, am I right?

Something you will notice about all of these photos as you scroll through this post is that these photos are taken in well lit rooms.  I use as much natural light as possible to capture you & your family in the best way so that means…open up those blinds!  If a room is too dark, we just wont be using it!  Simple as that.

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Caiti Garter Photography, Lifestyle Newborn Photography, Lifestyle Newborn Session, Home Newborn Photos, Home Newborn Photography, Newborn Photography, Prince George Photographer, Nursery Inspiration

Another reason I love these sessions is because I get to capture the nursery that parents worked so hard on.  I have clients that create such beautiful, relaxing spaces for their children and that needs to be documented.  Unfortunately, my own son didn’t even have a crib until he was 4 months old, much less an entire room (in my defense, we were in the process of selling our house and moving so it was easiest to just give him a pack & play and a drawer in my own dresser for his clothes haha).  I am always so in love with the different ways people decorate their child’s’ nursery. 

During these sessions, your baby & your family are captured in a natural setting, without many props or anything like that.  I don’t do a ton of spot skin editing or specific posing…it’s very natural.  I do swaddle your baby up sweetly in different wraps.  I also love to photograph your little one in a sleeper or gown, while you snuggle them.  I definitely love taking cute photos of babies in baskets, sleeping soundly (or just blinking because, let’s be honest, plenty of newborns do NOT sleep during their entire session) so don’t be surprised if I do that!  

The photo below is one of my top 5 favorites from any home session.
Capturing life happening.
Caiti Garter Photography, Lifestyle Newborn Photography, Lifestyle Newborn Session, Home Newborn Photos, Home Newborn Photography, Newborn Photography, Prince George Photographer, Nursery Inspiration
Caiti Garter Photography, Lifestyle Newborn Photography, Lifestyle Newborn Session, Home Newborn Photos, Home Newborn Photography, Newborn Photography, Prince George Photographer, Nursery Inspiration
Caiti Garter Photography, Lifestyle Newborn Photography, Lifestyle Newborn Session, Home Newborn Photos, Home Newborn Photography, Newborn Photography, Prince George Photographer, Nursery Inspiration

Overall, I basically want you to have photos of you & your family snuggled up with your beautiful child!  As a parent, especially a mama, I know how rare it can be for you to get loving photos like that (that aren’t selfies) of you sitting in a rocker in the baby’s nursery, soothing him to sleep.  Or you cuddled up to your husband while he holds your daughter.  I get it and I want to capture those moments for you!!  

So – with all that said – what do you need to do to prepare for these types of session?!  Not a ton, honestly!  The hardest part is probably getting the nursery done (which isn’t 100% necessary) and getting yourself ready/dressed. 

So let’s dive in!  And prepare for an abundance of photos.  WhoopsCaiti Garter Photography, Lifestyle Newborn Photography, Lifestyle Newborn Session, Home Newborn Photos, Home Newborn Photography, Newborn Photography, Prince George Photographer, Nursery Inspiration
Caiti Garter Photography, Lifestyle Newborn Photography, Lifestyle Newborn Session, Home Newborn Photos, Home Newborn Photography, Newborn Photography, Prince George Photographer, Nursery Inspiration
Caiti Garter Photography, Lifestyle Newborn Photography, Lifestyle Newborn Session, Home Newborn Photos, Home Newborn Photography, Newborn Photography, Prince George Photographer, Nursery Inspiration

1. The Nursery

This isn’t the only room I will use, but it is usually the primary one.  It seems to be the easiest one to keep clean once the baby arrives, too, because you don’t really use it much yet.  We tend to get this beautiful space all perfectly set up for the baby and then, they sleep in a bassinet beside our bed.  So the nursery stays pretty well kept!  Perfect!  I have had people hanging things on the way in there when I arrive though, which I totally understand!  And it isn’t anything new for me the move stuff around for you to take a picture of one side of the room, then switch it to take a photo of the other side.  Don’t feel any kind of pressure to have it perfect!  

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Caiti Garter Photography, Lifestyle Newborn Photography, Lifestyle Newborn Session, Home Newborn Photos, Home Newborn Photography, Newborn Photography, Prince George Photographer, Nursery Inspiration
Caiti Garter Photography, Lifestyle Newborn Photography, Lifestyle Newborn Session, Home Newborn Photos, Home Newborn Photography, Newborn Photography, Prince George Photographer, Nursery Inspiration
Caiti Garter Photography, Lifestyle Newborn Photography, Lifestyle Newborn Session, Home Newborn Photos, Home Newborn Photography, Newborn Photography, Prince George Photographer, Nursery Inspiration
Caiti Garter Photography, Lifestyle Newborn Photography, Lifestyle Newborn Session, Home Newborn Photos, Home Newborn Photography, Newborn Photography, Prince George Photographer, Nursery Inspiration

2.  Feed your baby close to your session time

When newborns have full bellies & have been burped, they are happiest AND sleepiest!  I recommend trying your best to have a feeding as close to your session time as possible.  Also, feed them while they are in just a diaper, that way we won’t have to wake him (or her) up to take clothes off & get swaddled.  If your baby doesn’t fall asleep – don’t stress!  A lot of times they crash within minutes of getting swaddled up tight.

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Caiti Garter Photography, Lifestyle Newborn Photography, Lifestyle Newborn Session, Home Newborn Photos, Home Newborn Photography, Newborn Photography, Prince George Photographer, Nursery Inspiration
Caiti Garter Photography, Lifestyle Newborn Photography, Lifestyle Newborn Session, Home Newborn Photos, Home Newborn Photography, Newborn Photography, Prince George Photographer, Nursery Inspiration
Caiti Garter Photography, Lifestyle Newborn Photography, Lifestyle Newborn Session, Home Newborn Photos, Home Newborn Photography, Newborn Photography, Prince George Photographer, Nursery Inspiration
Caiti Garter Photography, Lifestyle Newborn Photography, Lifestyle Newborn Session, Home Newborn Photos, Home Newborn Photography, Newborn Photography, Prince George Photographer, Nursery Inspiration
Caiti Garter Photography, Lifestyle Newborn Photography, Lifestyle Newborn Session, Home Newborn Photos, Home Newborn Photography, Newborn Photography, Prince George Photographer, Nursery Inspiration

3. Outfits

I do not recommend having lots of outfits for your baby.  I 100% believe in either swaddling them up or letting them wear a comfortable & neutral pretty sleeper or nightgown.  Babies are so pure and delicate so I love showing that in photos.  Plus, they will not be cooperative if they aren’t comfortable!  

As for what you and your husband will wear – again, I recommend neutrals!  White, cream, dusty blue, navy, soft pinks, & shades of grey are all great options!  Even black or soft greens are good choices.  I do NOT recommend wearing anything bright, bold, or with too heavy of a pattern.  Red, yellow, orange, and bright green tend to clash terribly with babies skin.  You want these photos to be soft and delicate, much like your newborn, not loud or harsh.  

Caiti Garter Photography, Lifestyle Newborn Photography, Lifestyle Newborn Session, Home Newborn Photos, Home Newborn Photography, Newborn Photography, Prince George Photographer, Nursery Inspiration
Caiti Garter Photography, Lifestyle Newborn Photography, Lifestyle Newborn Session, Home Newborn Photos, Home Newborn Photography, Newborn Photography, Prince George Photographer, Nursery Inspiration
Caiti Garter Photography, Lifestyle Newborn Photography, Lifestyle Newborn Session, Home Newborn Photos, Home Newborn Photography, Newborn Photography, Prince George Photographer, Nursery Inspiration
Caiti Garter Photography, Lifestyle Newborn Photography, Lifestyle Newborn Session, Home Newborn Photos, Home Newborn Photography, Newborn Photography, Prince George Photographer, Nursery Inspiration
Caiti Garter Photography, Lifestyle Newborn Photography, Lifestyle Newborn Session, Home Newborn Photos, Home Newborn Photography, Newborn Photography, Prince George Photographer, Nursery Inspiration
Caiti Garter Photography, Lifestyle Newborn Photography, Lifestyle Newborn Session, Home Newborn Photos, Home Newborn Photography, Newborn Photography, Prince George Photographer, Nursery Inspiration
Caiti Garter Photography, Lifestyle Newborn Photography, Lifestyle Newborn Session, Home Newborn Photos, Home Newborn Photography, Newborn Photography, Prince George Photographer, Nursery Inspiration

4. Blankets & Props

Like I said before, I do use blankets and SOME props.  I will most likely have a basket or two in my car, in case we need it, but a lot of times I use what my clients have.  This is a great way to showcase something you already own or have in the nursery.  I also always have my bag full of blankets & swaddle cloths with me.  However, if you have blankets you love, be sure to have them ready!  Whether it’s a swaddle blanket or a big chunky one with lots of texture that we could have the baby lay on, have them out to show me.

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The basket that Duke is in below is actually used as a changing pad on his changing table.  It was the perfect addition to his session, as well!  I never would have thought to use this as a changing pad..his mama is a genius.
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This picture below of Lawson was taken on the quilt that came with her nursery bedding and I LOVE IT!
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This picture of Madelyn was taken in her bassinet and it was the perfect spot to put her!
Caiti Garter Photography, Lifestyle Newborn Photography, Lifestyle Newborn Session, Home Newborn Photos, Home Newborn Photography, Newborn Photography, Prince George Photographer, Nursery InspirationCaiti Garter Photography, Lifestyle Newborn Photography, Lifestyle Newborn Session, Home Newborn Photos, Home Newborn Photography, Newborn Photography, Prince George Photographer, Nursery Inspiration

5. A quick clean up

Okay…let me just say that your house does NOT, in any way, need to be spotless.  DO NOT feel that kind of pressure.  I know what those first few weeks are like and cleaning my house was not at the top of my priority list, that’s for sure.  

You will want to have the parts of the house that we are using tidied up though.  For your own sanity and to save valuable session time.  You can ask your loving spouse to do this while you shower or feed the baby.  I have had clients have a friend or one of their parents come over for a helping hand before a session, or they come over the night before to help pick up the spaces we will be using.  I don’t want this to sound like your house needs to be super clean, because it doesn’t.  I am often moving things around, staging a space, before taking a photo. But, I know my clients feel so much better when we can move from nursery to master bedroom or living room, without rushing around the pick something up real quick.  Just move anything you don’t want in that space to a spare room or something!  It doesn’t have to be anything fancy! 

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Caiti Garter Photography, Lifestyle Newborn Photography, Lifestyle Newborn Session, Home Newborn Photos, Home Newborn Photography, Newborn Photography, Prince George Photographer, Nursery Inspiration
Caiti Garter Photography, Lifestyle Newborn Photography, Lifestyle Newborn Session, Home Newborn Photos, Home Newborn Photography, Newborn Photography, Prince George Photographer, Nursery Inspiration
Caiti Garter Photography, Lifestyle Newborn Photography, Lifestyle Newborn Session, Home Newborn Photos, Home Newborn Photography, Newborn Photography, Prince George Photographer, Nursery Inspiration
Caiti Garter Photography, Lifestyle Newborn Photography, Lifestyle Newborn Session, Home Newborn Photos, Home Newborn Photography, Newborn Photography, Prince George Photographer, Nursery Inspiration
Caiti Garter Photography, Lifestyle Newborn Photography, Lifestyle Newborn Session, Home Newborn Photos, Home Newborn Photography, Newborn Photography, Prince George Photographer, Nursery Inspiration

Bonus:  Preparing the siblings

This won’t apply to everyone so you may be able to skip this one.  If you have other children, you are going to need to prepare them for the session.  Just a little pep talk is normally enough for most kids.  If they are ready when I get there, I do the family & siblings pictures first so that they can be done.  It is totally okay if they aren’t ready or if they want to watch me do photos of there little sibling alone first.  Some kids benefit from watching what I am doing for a little while so they can warm up to me.  Others are ready to dive in!  YOU know your kid best.  One thing to prepare for is that this is a whole new experience for them and it can be overwhelming – from the new baby to doing a photoshoot in their home that is centered around this new baby…it can be a lot to take in.  Just give them some grace and don’t be too upset if they don’t look right at me and smile perfectly.  You will still get a sweet photo of them looking at each other or snuggling up in a chair or in the master bed.  Those usually end up being parents favorite images!Caiti Garter Photography, Lifestyle Newborn Photography, Lifestyle Newborn Session, Home Newborn Photos, Home Newborn Photography, Newborn Photography, Prince George Photographer, Nursery Inspiration
Caiti Garter Photography, Lifestyle Newborn Photography, Lifestyle Newborn Session, Home Newborn Photos, Home Newborn Photography, Newborn Photography, Prince George Photographer, Nursery Inspiration
Caiti Garter Photography, Lifestyle Newborn Photography, Lifestyle Newborn Session, Home Newborn Photos, Home Newborn Photography, Newborn Photography, Prince George Photographer, Nursery Inspiration
Fur siblings count, right?  We just use treats to bribe them…no pep talks.
Caiti Garter Photography, Lifestyle Newborn Photography, Lifestyle Newborn Session, Home Newborn Photos, Home Newborn Photography, Newborn Photography, Prince George Photographer, Nursery Inspiration
Caiti Garter Photography, Lifestyle Newborn Photography, Lifestyle Newborn Session, Home Newborn Photos, Home Newborn Photography, Newborn Photography, Prince George Photographer, Nursery Inspiration
Caiti Garter Photography, Lifestyle Newborn Photography, Lifestyle Newborn Session, Home Newborn Photos, Home Newborn Photography, Newborn Photography, Prince George Photographer, Nursery Inspiration

I know I just threw a lot of information at you but I hope it was helpful!  If you are thinking of doing a home newborn session, you won’t regret it!  These photos are such sweet memories to have.  If I could go back in time, I would get a picture of me rocking my babies to sleep in their nursery…because we all know we don’t think about taking these type of pictures on our own on some random Tuesday.  Oh well!  

Let me know if you liked this post or if you have had a session like this, and if you loved it!  I would love to hear your thoughts!

Caiti Garter Photography, Lifestyle Newborn Photography, Lifestyle Newborn Session, Home Newborn Photos, Home Newborn Photography, Newborn Photography, Prince George Photographer, Nursery Inspiration
Caiti Garter Photography, Lifestyle Newborn Photography, Lifestyle Newborn Session, Home Newborn Photos, Home Newborn Photography, Newborn Photography, Prince George Photographer, Nursery Inspiration

XOXO

Caiti 

  1. Lisa Flagg

    February 25th, 2019 at 1:09 pm

    Caiti, as a grandmother, I will cherish the pictures you have taken of Brooklyn and Duke forever! I love every single one. You are so talented and certainly bring out the best in your subjects!

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