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Newborn Photography Indianapolis

My Little Reflections, Michelle McPhilli
My Little Reflections, Michelle McPhilli
My Little Reflections, Michelle McPhilli
My Little Reflections, Michelle McPhilli
My Little Reflections, Michelle McPhilli
What to expect
What is the best age to photograph my newborn?
I prefer to photograph newborns when they are 5-14 days old. At this age they are still considered newborns. They have adjusted to eating, and are not as easily startled. Yet they are young enough to stay super sleepy and bendy. However if your baby decided to come extra early, just contact me and we can work together. We can either postpone your session, or schedule something in the nicu with advice from the nursing staff.
Where do you photograph newborns?
The newborn session will take place in the convenience of your own home. I have a portable studio that I bring with me. When I arrive to your home. After I have met everyone participating, I will ask you to show me around. So we can find the best spot for me to set up. Next it will take me about 30 minutes to set up the space for your newborns session. And depending on your preferences we can discuss incorporating some lifestyle photographs in with your posed baby images. The session usually lasts around 2-4 hours. On rare occasions we will finish up early but please be expected for it to run up to 4 hours.  Your baby is in charge and will make the rules! And I will follow their ques and move at their pace. So it's best not to make plans directly after your newborns session.
What if I am self conscience about my home?
Seriously? You just had a baby! This should be the least of your concerns. I don’t mind if you have dishes in your sink, or laundry piled up. Honestly I will have a pile of pooped on laundry when I leave your home! So seriously, no worries. I am a mom. I get it! And honestly, if your home is perfect, I may question whether or not you are really human.. Just saying!
What do my baby and I need to wear to our session?
Parents should dress in neutral muted solid colors, no prints. I suggest picking out at least two outfits as one may get pooped on. For siblings dress them in natural muted solid colors as well.  For example khakis with a white or cream colored shirt. Please no clothing with words, logos, or graphics. If you are not sure, simply send me a text of what you are considering. I would be happy discuss wardrobe and accessory options with you. For your newborn, all you need is your baby! No clothes are needed. I have many options for them to wear during their session. It will consist of mostly wraps, bonnets, headbands, and cute outfits. Everything I bring will have been washed in hypo-allergenic laundry detergent. So there is no need for you to provide anything unless there is something you really want photographed. But I ask that you please take a look at my portfolio. So you know what to expect with the simplicity of the session. I do not use many objects/props in my photos besides a simple basket, florals, etc., as I believe the baby needs to be the focus of the photo and not a prop. I also want these photographs to be styled in a way that won’t become outdated, and will last for generations to come. Of course this session will be completely custom and tailored to your selected color preferences and style, within moderation. But we will go over all of this in your pre-session consultation.
Tips for Baby Fingernails
Please file the baby’s nails to ensure that they don’t scratch their little faces. The best files are the cheap emery boards you can get almost anywhere. Because baby’s nails are so thin and fragile, do not cut them with clippers. A nail file is all you need.
What days of the week do you photograph newborns?
I photograph all newborn sessions on Monday-Friday and we start anywhere from 9:30am - 10:30am. I do not photograph newborns on Saturdays as that day is reserved for my family. I understand that many of my clients have older siblings which are in school. While I know you do not want your child missing school, however you want them in the photographs, I just ask that you consider a half day for them for the session. I will do what I can to work around exams, etc.  I just can not accommodate everyone on Sundays. And I cannot shoot later in the afternoon because I have a family to tend to also. Thank you for understanding and your cooperation.
How do we pick the day for my session?
Since newborn sessions are typically booked weeks or months in advanced, what i do is when you book your session, your due date will be the tentative scheduled date for your session. I then ask that you call or email me in the first 2 days of life so we can pick the best day for your session. I prefer to photograph newborns between 5-14 days old. But please know that there are certain times of the year that I have an influx of newborns. Therefore booking in advance helps to keep me from overbooking the month. I can only do so many newborns each month. And I want to make sure I can get them scheduled on the best day possible shortly after they are born.
Tips for Jaundice
Another thing to consider is If your baby has jaundice or is still yellow from jaundice. It may be best to wait until the baby is almost 2 weeks old, or even a little older. This gives them a chance to work it is out of their system. Jaundice can be challenging to edit out of skin due to the yellow and red blotches it causes.
How long will my session last?
Shoots typically take 2-4 hours. I prefer that we take our time. And progress with the session based on the babies cues. Allowing plenty of time for feedings, and diaper changes. Quality over quantity is a great way to look at it with newborn sessions. Some babies like to sleep, but some do not. So please keep this in mind when it comes to expectations. I just go with the flow. A lot of it depends on how the baby is feeling that day. The sibling portion only lasts about 15-30 minutes. We will work out a time either earlier or later in the session for this. I know if they are in school that this maybe a factor. But I would like to get a sibling photograph and a family photograph, plus a few extra with just mom and her partner. The rest of the photographs I will focus on the baby.
Newborn What to expect

Newborn Photo Gallery

Newborn Gallery

Session Day

Plus tips to help the day go amazingly!

Home Temperature

The day of the session I ask that you turn your thermostat to 75 degrees. Babies love warmth. They actually prefer temperatures between just above 80 degrees. But we don’t need to make the whole home this warm. I will bring a portable heater with me. This way I can adjust the temperature depending on what your little one is wearing. So if we are doing naked photographs, then I can increase the temperature for the studio space.



I love pets! I have 3 of my own. However I ask that for the time of your session that you please keep them out of the room that I will be photographing in. Safety of your newborn is most important. And I do not want an excited puppy to come in and accidentally knock over equipment. Or a sweet kitty to decide to try and climb some lighting gear. So please baby gate, crate, or place your pets in another room for the duration of newborn session.


How to get baby extra sleepy

I suggest that you keep your new baby awake for approximately 1 hour before their session. This helps to ensure they are sleepy for the session. Giving them a bath is a great way to keep them awake and makes them extra sleepy. However, depending on your little ones schedule, I find it best not to alter it too much. So if their nap time is a little earlier or later than my prefered start time. Let me know. And I will do what I can to work with you on scheduling. Because we certainly don’t want to make the baby cranky by changing their schedule too much. 20 minutes prior to my scheduled arrival to your home. I will ask you to give the baby a full feeding; because a full baby is a happy baby! This also gives their little tummies time to calm any gassiness they may experience. I do want to say that their schedule will be slightly off this day, because being a model is hard work! Babies have a tendency to be extra hungry during a photography session. So I do ask that if your baby is giving feeding cues that you please feed them even if it is not their normal feeding time.



If you are breastfeeding and your baby has gas issues, and most do, please do not eat  the following foods for 48-72 hours before your session; “milk, cheese, yogurt, pudding, ice cream, or any food that has milk, milk products, casein, whey, or sodium caseinate in it. Other foods, too — like wheat, corn, fish, eggs, or peanuts”

- - Jan Barger - lactation consultant



Please do not drink caffeine 72 hours prior to your session if you are breastfeeding.


White Noise

I will also play a white noise machine to mimic the sound of the womb. Babies find this sound very comforting.


Baby Talk -  Crying

Babies cry- it’s their way of communicating. If your baby fusses it could mean a number of things. I have experience that helps me know if they are hungry, uncomfortable or just not happy about being moved while sleeping.  I like to work as a team with the parents to keep baby happy and safe


Studio Setup

When I arrive to your home, you and I will find the perfect place for me to set up my portable studio. I will make a couple trips to and from my vehicle to bring things in, to set up the space. My setup usually takes about 30 minute. Hopefully by this time the baby has had a good burp, and probably a poop too. Then I will begin the session.  



If you have other children it is best to have another adult keep them occupied or take them out and come back later as they will get bored and a bit restless.



You may want to to plan for snacks or food for yourself and your other children as sometimes sessions go on through the lunch hour.


End of the Session

When I am finished photographing your new baby, I will pack up everything I brought and take it out to my vehicle. Please do not worry about soiled blankets or props. I will place them inside a bag, and wash them when I get home. Any furniture I moved, will be placed back where it was when I arrived.

Newborn how to plan

Things to Keep in Mind


  • Newborn sessions mostly consist of feeding, snuggling and soothing the baby. And less time actually photographing, so just expect lots of down time.


  • Be patient. If your baby is wide awake, or fussy, don't worry about it. Your newborn can feel your stress. And we want to keep the environment super calm. We will try and get them comfortable again, but if that does not seem possible, we will take a break.


  • Be prepared for messes of all kinds. Babies need to potty, they go! They don't care who, what, where, or when they spit up, poo, pee, or vomit on. That is why I will be dressed in comfy yoga pants as I work and why you (if you want to be in the photos with your newborn) would want to have an extra set of clothing ready.


  • Ladies please be sure your nails are tidy and clean (no nail polish) as your hands will be in the images.


  • Gentlemen who shave please use a new razor, some shaving cream and a moisturizing after-shave lotion to avoid bumps and redness. Please trim your beard, sideburns, mustache or goatee. Please make sure your nails are clean and trimmed.


  • For your younger children please arrange for childcare for them when they are not being photographed. Young children do not have long attention spans (a few hours is too much for them) And I don’t want you worrying/stressing about what your little one is getting into. An extra adult is very helpful. And will help to keep energy calm.


Newborn Investment

     A custom newborn session is $495. With this investment you will receive a 2-4 hour photographic session, 10 beautifully edited digital images for you and your family to share for generations to come. The session will focus on your newborn but will include immediate family if you choose. You will be presented with a gallery of 30+ images to choose from. You may add more if you choose for an additional fee. Are you interested in gift prints, wall art, albums, or photo boxes? These items are available as an add on. Feel free to contact me and I will do my best to answer any questions you may have. 

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