Three reasons to have your newborn session at home with siblings | Northern Virginia Family Photographer

Whether you're a first-time parent or bringing home your third baby, time is somehow warped during those first few newborn weeks. This is one of the reasons I love newborn sessions at home. With a new baby, and especially if you have other little ones at home, there's no time for anything but the essentials. It may sound stressful, and it sometimes is, but there's something freeing about just giving up all the extraneous things that are pulling at you and focusing only on what matters. 

Toddler boy sleeping on Dad’s shoulder while Mom takes shoes off by Northern Virginia Family Photographer Nicole Sanchez

Eventually life has to pull you back in because other things do need to happen, like dentist appointments and oil changes, but for a few short weeks, you have every excuse in the world to tune it all out and just soak up your baby. Or all of your babies. So here are three of my favorite reasons to have your newborn photo session at home. And bonus alert: this was a film session, so I'll be sharing this family's sweet film soon.

  1. Sessions at home are best for kids.

    Introducing a new person with a camera to your kids is enough fun all on its own. Packing up the family and dragging them to another location for photos is a recipe for stress for everyone, especially with a newborn who needs to eat and be changed often. Kids hate being rushed and generally do the opposite of what you’re hoping for when they feel pressured. Having a session at home is immediately more relaxed. Kids are more comfortable and more likely to be themselves, which is exactly what you want captured in family photos.

    Family documentary sessions at home are flexible and made to suit your schedule. Kids need a snack? Great! Baby (or Dad) needs to nap? No problem. Daily rituals like meal times or snuggles or activities like baking or playing a silly game that you made up together are the bread and butter of family sessions. These are the real moments where you’re building connections with your children that will last a lifetime. No coaxing or cajoling necessary.

  2. Home is center of family life.

    Because home is the centerpiece of all that happens in your family’s life, it’s the best place to document the things that matter to your family right now. Whether it's a raucous game of Uno, seasonal crafts at the kitchen table, or sharing a love for baking treats, it’s what you do in your home that makes your family unlike any other. It’s the place you feel safest and most loved. These are the strongest memories that you and your kids will have from this short time in your lives. And it’s amazing to look back on these photos and see how life changes. What seems like a stage that will never end actually does someday to be replaced by something else. These stages come and go throughout childhood and can be easily forgotten if not documented.

  3. Home is part of your family’s legacy.

    I’ve written a lot about the importance of printing your family’s photos. When these photos feature your home, they become an even greater part of your family’s legacy and your children’s emotional foundation. Your home gives insights into who you are and what is important to you. When children see tangible photos in your home that highlight ordinary but beautiful everyday moments, they receive the message that they are important, family is important, and home is important. And that what they do every day matters.

Mirror reflection of family with newborn at home by Northern Virginia Family Photographer Nicole Sanchez

Nicole Sanchez Photography works with busy parents in Northern Virginia, Washington, DC, and Maryland to create stress-free photo sessions that take all the loving, fun, and chaotic moments of family life to make beautiful photos and films that families will love looking at year after year.  Contact Nicole today to start planning a custom photography experience that's perfect for your family.

A Day in the Life of a Preschooler | Northern Virginia Family Photographer

Ever wonder what your child's day is like at school? My son attended the same preschool from the time he was four months old until his last day last week.  He started a new school after Labor Day and I'm so glad I had the opportunity to shoot a Day in the Life session at his preschool before he left. 

Preschool Documentary Alexandria Virginia

One of my favorite things about documentary photography is showing parents aspects of their lives that they don't usually see. Usually that's because they're the ones taking the pictures or living the moment. That's why hiring a photographer is a wonderful way to capture meaningful parts of your life that you live but don't necessarily see.

In this case, I get to show parents an aspect of their children's lives that they don't usually see because they're not there. And it was doubly fun for me because this is the second documentary session I've done at this school, so seeing the children's growth after a year was really a pleasure. 

Longer documentary sessions like this one (an eight hour session) can be hard to schedule around, especially for busy families. One solution is to break the session up into multiple days. For a family session, this could be shooting a morning routine or midday activity one day and then a bedtime routine in the evening the next day. This allows for a more complete story, and may be easier to schedule for families for whom an eight hour stretch is difficult to fit in.

For this preschool session, I was able to document a morning lesson, outdoor play, naptime, lunch time, and free play for multiple classrooms over the course of several days. The result is a full story of the children's day that gives parents a glimpse into a special part of their child's life. Any parent who has to spend time away from their children knows how it is to wonder what your child is up to while you're apart.

Preschool story of a day Northern Virginia Family Photographer
Documenting a day at school | Northern Virginia Family Photographer

These are wonderful moments to have documented not just for parents but also for children. At this age, they often don't remember their time at preschool. But the love and dedication from their teachers is a wonderful thing to show to them as they get older. This time goes by so quickly and the care and lessons they receive now lay the foundation for a lifetime of learning and social interaction. 

School playground | Northern Virginia Family Photographer

Learn more about documentary sessions here. And sign up for my email list below to receive tips for capturing your own family's everyday.