j. wilson photography: metro detroit motherhood photographer
I love in-home newborn lifestyle sessions.
The beautiful part about in-home sessions is that you can truly be yourself while also capturing the beauty of this season in an authentic way. There are no long hours of delicate posing or blank backdrops that feel sterile. These sessions are laidback and flexible so that we can capture all the beauty that parenthood is.
NOTE: Lifestyle can be as real life as you want it to be. It's all about your comfort level--this shouldn't be a stressful process. Don't worry about dressing a certain way or cleaning the house top to bottom. You're tired and recovering, Mama. This is just some guidance for those interested. Think of it this way-- when your kids look back on pictures many years from now, will they notice your roots? Or the dust? Probably not. But what they will notice.. is the way you're looking at them--the moments of connection--the memories. And ultimately, that's what lifestyle photography is all about.
WHAT TO EXPECT:
After your baby arrives, I like to have my Mama’s shoot me a quick text, that way I can start to move around my schedule and find a good day for our session. Most all my newborn sessions take place when baby is anywhere from 7-21 days old. This is important because I like to shoot when baby is still super sleepy and milk drunk. I'm comfortable with going beyond 21 days since this is a lifestyle session, but I can't make any guarantees I'll be able to wrap/pose baby.
WHAT IF WE ONLY WANT BABY TO BE IN THE PICTURES?
Then some of this won't apply to you. I can absolutely only photograph baby. I send out a questionnaire so I'll know if parents and siblings are included or if we're only doing pictures of little one. I take a more natural approach to wrapping and posing--using natural light, focusing on the details, using textures and simple, muted colors. This will not look like brightly lit studio pics with cookie cutter poses and backdrops. If you want that style of session I can refer you to a very good local friend who specializes in those type of sessions.
WHAT TO WEAR:
*If you aren't concerned about attire you can stop reading and skip ahead FYI.
I get asked all the time, “what should we wear?” Well, honestly the answer looks a little different for every family and their personality.
Simple & comfortable
Earth tones & light neutrals--muted, maybe even with a pop of color
TEXTURES & KNITS.
But don’t be afraid to add a little pop of color! Whites, creams, grey, beige, light mauve or rose, sage, dusty blue and other subdued colors always photograph the best. It also helps to keep photos from looking heavy and dark. Think about the look & feel of what you want. What are the colors around your house? This will be your backdrop. Example: If you have a navy couch.. and hubby is wearing blue jeans and a navy sweater... he's going to blend right in. So take your home furnishing colors in to account also when deciding what to wear. Not a neutral kind of person, and love color? Then wear color! I want you to FEEL like you.
AVOID: Dark, bold, and neon. Big patterns. Logos and graphics.
Cozy, oversized sweater and leggings.. loose floral or linen dress w/ a chunky cardigan.. This is totally up to you! And if you're unsure, send me pics. I'm more than happy to take a look and help! TIP: Pinterest is your BFF. Pick out YOUR outfit first and build others outfits around that.
And what about Dad? Guys look great in a basic tee, solid colored sweaters or henleys. Think timeless. Brown, olive green, or tan pants photograph better than jeans.
Baby typically looks best wrapped up or wearing a well-fitting gown or set. I adore Lou Lou & Company if you need a recommendation! Locally, Modern Natural Baby in Ferndale has some good finds. Amazon has some cute ones too. I also offer some options for baby with my wraps, hats, headbands, etc. We go over more of that in my questionnaire.
I start sessions around 10:30 AM. Babies tend to be more content and sleepy in the later mornings. And that's when I'll have the most light.
I LOVE natural light--I'm drawn to it. We will be embracing your home’s natural light (open up those window curtains), turning off the overhead lights and taking advantage of the natural light as much as possible. This is why it's important to do these sessions during the brightest part of the day. We're in Michigan, and we have long winters filled with overcast days. I’ll get you all next to windows as much as possible. I personally prefer rooms where the bed or seating is facing the window light rather than behind but in most cases, we work with what we have in the space. Keeping things flexible and improvising in the moment is just how it goes in in-home photography. If I'm struggling to get enough light (my own house is unfortunately very dark) I will use my flash at a low power and direct it to the ceiling to keep from blinding anyone. The goal is to add just enough light to illuminate my images--not produce really obvious flash pics. Due to differences in lighting my editing may vary from light & bright to a bit contrasted, with deep shadows.
You know what is super helpful?
Sending me a few pics of locations you'd like to use in your home, so I can see what kind of lighting I'll have.
Please email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PREPPING IN THE DAYS PRIOR:
If you love the look of fresh nails and hair, or you've been meaning to get your eyebrows done, etc---this is your reminder--schedule your appointments. Keep baby lotioned up to help battle the dry skin and flakes. Try on any new outfits to ensure they fit, comfortably. Bodies change SO much during pregnancy and post-partum.
If it'd make you feel more at ease, pick up any areas we'll be using. It’s helpful for clutter to be cleared off of surfaces--the dressers, counters, floors, nightstand, etc., before the session. The best rooms to tell the story of your new baby are typically the nursery, living room and your bedroom (ideally on a white or very light/neutral bedspread). It's totally up to you--if you really want lifestyle and some real life, let it be. I do my best to remove distracting clutter if necessary for the particular moment but oftentimes I leave it too because it tells the story of your family. But if you know it'll bother you it's worth the prep work. So this is where you make a decision--either you want the imperfectly yet perfect picture of life in that moment, complete with piles of burp cloths and toys on the floor...or you want to spruce up before sharing your inner-space with Instagram. Your choice!
Take a walk around your home or the areas we'll be photographing in, taking one last look for anything you don't want in your pictures. Go stuff 'em in a closet for now. Make sure little one has a fresh diaper. Ideally, we want baby to be awake the 1/2 hr before I arrive, then feed them just before I get there--or when I arrive. We want them nice & content.. and milk drunk. Now, it's easier said than done with a newborn, so don't worry if the timing doesn't work out. If you would like any feeding/nursing pictures, we absolutely can do this.
Give baby and siblings faces and hands a quick wipe down. Check outfits for any stains they may have gotten at breakfast. Anyone wear a smart watch? They have a knack for glowing in pics. Every time. If this will bother you or be distracting take it off. Have Dad take his wallet, cell phone, keys, etc out of his pockets for the time being.
A lot of our time during your lifestyle session is candid yet somewhat strategic (on my part). I leave any ‘props’ that you’d want to include up to your discretion! You can absolutely round up your own items to incorporate into photos, such as your own swaddles, hats, basket, headbands, outfits, etc for babe. Have a momento or heirloom you want included in a shot? Grandma's pearl necklace, their first teddy bear, ultrasound pic, whatever--I'll find a way to incorporate it. Outfit/blanket changes are absolutely okay and I love when we get some a variety of pictures of babe in different outfits and blankets! Alternatively, I have my own collection of wraps, blankets, outfits, headbands, hats and baskets. This is something we go over prior to your session so I can plan. Preparation is part of what makes our session as stress-free as possible. And if you don't want any posed/wraps photos of little one, that's okay too!
So although lifestyle sessions are heavily candid, I'll still be assisting with some basic posing. Nothing wild, cheesy or awkward! If I notice I can't see baby's face while they're in your arms, I'll have you adjust. I might need you to change positions, angles, etc. I'll tell you when your hair needs to be tucked behind your ear... But really, my priorities are lighting, comfort, and showing your connection. And sometimes a little re-arranging is necessary to make that happen.
If you have any images you're drawn to please share. It really helps to see what you like and I can plan ahead. Shoot me an email at email@example.com.
LENGTH OF SESSIONS:
I aim for 2 hours. Occasionally, sessions will take 3 hours. This is especially the case if we're doing any posed/wrapped images or baby is unsettled/fussy while I'm there (even the most content babes have rough mornings sometimes!). And of course, throughout the session little one will need diaper changes, feedings, and soothing. So I don't rush--because baby runs the show and we follow suit and pivot as needed. That's part of the beauty of lifestyle sessions--they're laid back.
When will you get your pics? I post a sneak peek on my social media within 48 hours ( HERE and HERE). I'll be honest--as a Mama, life can be busy and unpredictable. I don't like to make guarantees or promises, then fall behind and disappoint. I do my best to return your edited images within 4 weeks. I will communicate if it's taking me long. Trust me, I know you want your gallery. But I also take my time with editing. I frequently give myself a break through the editing process so I can look at your gallery with fresh eyes and make changes if needed. Each gallery consumes me until it's complete, I promise you that. I don't rush and I pay attention to detail. Hand editing is slow, but worth it!
HOW MANY IMAGES WILL WE GET:
30 edited images, at the VERY least. There's a lot of factors affecting how many images your gallery will have. Are we also doing posed/wrapped images? Are there siblings to include? Was lighting sufficient for the entire time I was there? How cooperative baby is (well, let's be honest--Dad and siblings too!) during the session. When I'm finished I email you a link to your online gallery, where your edited images will be waiting for you to download, share and print.
WHAT IF BABY IS HAVING A ROUGH MORNING?:
Don't we all sometimes? All efforts are made to make little one comfy and soothed. I pivot however I can, but if I feel like we're struggling to have a fun, successful session we'll make arrangements to re-shoot. This is a worse case scenario, but it's happened--just FYI. I'd rather give it a 2nd go than not be able to deliver the images you deserve. I'm typically able to return within 3 days, if possible, even if it means rearranging my own schedule to accommodate yours.
WHAT IF SOMEONE IS SICK?
We're rescheduling, no question. Newborns are too susceptible and fragile. And we have some autoimmune issues in my house (including myself) so I don't take chances. I'd rather get a last minute phone call than have anyone in either of our households getting sick. NOTE: I am fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and up to date on all of my vaccinations. I frequently wash my hands and take Covid-19 tests.
Please reach out with any questions you have along the way. It's my goal for both of us to feel comfortable and prepared, and get the best use of our time together. You can reach me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and prior to our session I provide my cell number in case you need to reach me faster. I look forward to meeting you and your family! XO Jenn
J. WILSON PHOTOGRAPHY, LLC, IS A NEWBORN LIFESTYLE PHOTOGRAPHER AND OFFERS MATERNITY & FAMILY SESSIONS AS WELL. JENN WILSON IS LOCATED IN THE METRO DETROIT AREA AND IS CURRENTLY SERVING WAYNE COUNTY, OAKLAND COUNTY, MONROE COUNTY, & WASHTENAW COUNTY. THIS INCLUDES TRENTON, GROSSE ILE, FLAT ROCK, CANTON, NOVI, ROCHESTER HILLS, ROYAL OAK, BIRMINGHAM, FARMINGTON HILLS, GROSSE POINTE, LIVONIA, PLYMOUTH, ANN ARBOR, FERNDALE, WYANDOTTE, BLOOMFIELD HILLS, TROY AND THE SURROUNDING COMMUNITIES. CONTACT TO SCHEDULE YOUR SESSION.