How to Choose the Best Location for Newborn Photos

A new mom shushes her newborn baby while standing barefoot in the middle of her messy living room.



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I'm Marjorie


I work with parents who want relaxed and unposed photos, providing them with images that capture the joyful and unscripted moments in life.

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If you’re considering getting newborn photos, you may be wondering what is the best location for your photo session. 

But really, the bigger question you should be asking yourself is this: Do I want to capture life as it is or do I want my photos to feel like a special occasion?

Answering this question is fundamental to choosing the right photographer for your family and therefore determining where your photo session should take place. 

Here’s a blog post I wrote on Finding the Right Newborn Photographer. I answer some of the most common questions from parents such as:

  1. What’s the difference between portrait, lifestyle, and documentary photography?
  2. Should I have a session at home or on location?
  3. Why do the costs vary so much between photographers? What exactly am I paying for?

Here’s the intro video to give you an better idea—

Should you take newborn photos at home, in a studio, or on location?

As a documentary photographer, I exclusively offer at-home sessions. 

Here are 3 reasons why I think at-home sessions are the absolute best when it comes to newborn photo sessions:

1. You’re in your comfort zone

Chances are, when your baby first arrives, you’re going to be figuring a lot of things out. Whether this is your first child or not, there are lots of big changes coming your way. Having the home-field advantage during your newborn session will provide a sense of comfort. You’ll be surrounded by your favorite things and all the items you hand-picked for your baby and their nursery. 

2. Your personality will shine through

A studio is, by design, a fairly neutral environment made to accommodate a variety of clients. Your home, on the other hand, is all about your personal taste, your preferences, and your personality. Documenting your home, as well as your family, will add so many important details to your photos. Not to mention, they will make your photos look uniquely yours. 

A mother kisses the head of her newborn baby, who lays on a textures grey blanket.

No need to pack everyone up to be somewhere at a specific time

Newborn babies haven’t settled into a routine yet so they can be quite unpredictable. Having to get everyone ready and out the door can be a stressful pursuit. Increase your chances of being in a calm and relaxed mindset by having your session at home. That way you avoid disrupting your baby’s natural schedule with a newborn photo session. 

For argument’s sake, here are also 3 benefits for having a session on location or at a studio:

  1. LOCATION AND LIGHTING WILL ADD BEAUTY TO YOUR PHOTOS – If you’re going to a studio, you’d have to assume it’s been thoughtfully designed to give your photos a beautiful aesthetic. The same goes for shooting on location at a specific time of day – surely it was selected by the photographer to feel cinematic and provide you with beautiful lighting.
  1. NO NEED TO TIDY UP YOUR HOME – You’d be surprised with how quickly your home can get messy when you’re busy caring for a newborn baby. Automatically check this one task off your list by leaving your home for your newborn photo session.
  1. YOU GET TO GO ON A LITTLE ADVENTURE WITH YOUR FAMILY – Newborn days can feel repetitive and lonely. Having a photo session outside your home can provide your family with a great opportunity to get some fresh air and spend some quality time together.

If you’re curious about how I conduct newborn sessions, check out my website for more info!

How do you decide what location is best for your family?

To reiterate, the big question you have to ask yourself is this: Do I want to capture life as it is or do I want my photos to feel like a special occasion?

There’s no right answer, it’s really a matter of preference. But however you answer will determine where your photo session takes place – and more importantly – what kind of photographer you hire. 

If you are interested in capturing life as it is, it sounds like a documentary photographer is the best fit for you. They are trained to capture your family in an unobtrusive and honest way while working with whatever environment and lighting situation they encounter. 

If you want your photos to feel like a special occasion – ones where you’d spend a good deal of time thinking about outfits for everyone and and maybe even get your hair and makeup done – you’re better off with a portrait or lifestyle photographer. From there, you can pick a specific photographer based on their portfolio and what kind of aesthetic is appealing to you.

Check out my post where I outline the three different genres of newborn photography available out there – portrait, lifestyle, and documentary photography – and how to find the best photographer for your family. 

My 3 favorite locations to take newborn photos at home

During a newborn session, I’ll mostly photograph the baby in one of these 3 spots:

  1. In their parents’ arms
  2. In their crib or bassinet
  3. On your bed, either with the whole family or on their own

IN THEIR PARENT’S ARMS – What’s more delicious than holding your newborn baby? Not much. These photos focus on connection and emotion. They will generate the most organic and real moments of your session since you get to just hang out together and enjoy each other. 

Mother holds newborn baby in her arms

IN THEIR CRIB/BASSINET These are great to attain a sense of scale and let your baby be free in a totally safe space. There are multiple angles available when the baby is in their crib, including my favorite, bird’s eye view.

Overhead photo of a newborn born in his crib, his pose reminds us of superman

ON YOUR BED – Bed photos are another opportunity for a family to curl up together and be close. They are great for wider shots of the whole family as well as close-ups of the baby, and down-to-the-diaper images. 

Every home is different and there may be other location opportunities around your home, depending on where your family likes to spend time and the actual space and lighting. 

To view a variety of newborn images, visit my portfolio page. 

And finally, if you’re local to Los Angeles and think we might be a good fit, reach out so we can have a no-commitment, 10-minute chat!


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