July 18, 2023

Creating Natural Light for Lifestyle Newborn Sessions

FILED IN: Recent Work

Baby Girl Lifestyle Newborn Session in Nursery

I was talking to a friend recently who told me that when her daughter was born, she was so excited to book a in-home lifestyle newborn session.  She had special areas of the home that she wanted to feature – the nursery, the family room, and other areas of the house that held special meaning to them and that she envisioned them making memories together.  However, when the photographer arrived, she realized that some of those areas she was so eager to feature simply “wouldn’t work” because of the lack of natural light in those spaces.  They focused the session right up next to a couple windows in the house, and while she did like the images in the end, she was disappointed that she wasn’t able to get beautiful images in the specific locations of the home that held so much meaning to her.

It made me so sad to hear this story because as a Charlottesville family and newborn photographer, one of my absolute favorite things about in-home lifestyle newborn sessions is creating those meaning images in the very places that families will continue to grow and make memories each and every day.  I know that for many of my clients, they spend months planning and preparing the nursery of their dreams and are so eager for me to photograph their entire lifestyle session featuring the nursery and all those tiny details they put so much thought, time, and effort into.  For other clients, the family couch, or maybe the kitchen table or counter, is important to them because those are they places they love to gather as a family.

I am a strong believer that in-home lifestyle sessions are so much about really showing the love of a family in the location where they will spend most of their time together, growing, learning, and creating sweet memories within the every day moments.  And sometimes they moments may happen in rooms, apartments, townhomes, or houses that are not perfectly lit with natural light.  Or maybe those memories happen at a time of day when the sun is on the other side of the house.  Or maybe even those memories happen on a cloudy or rainy day.  It is important to me that as a professional photographer, I can do everything in my power to still document those precious moments and create beautiful artwork for my clients to see every day up on their walls or to fill a beautiful album that my clients flip through together while snuggling on the couch.  I wa

nt to always be prepared to create stunning images that my clients can enjoy however they choose.

With that in mind, I took matters into my own hands earlier in my business to learn how to create my own “natural light” for any in-home sessions that may require it.  Of course natural light streaming in from windows is ideal, but I wanted to be ready to fill a gallery of sweet moments and memories regardless.  Continuing to invest in education is an important way I continue to serve my clients each year, and I was so excited to jump into to the idea of learning how to create a natural light look when there may not be ample natural light available.  No need to tell clients that I can’t photograph their beautiful nursery or to reschedule because it’s cloudy out (as if exhausted newborn parents have time for that!).  Charlottesville is a super transient town, which means many clients live in apartments or townhomes.  No need to worry about whether they live on an end unit or in the middle, because I can create those images and capture those moments regardless.

Baby Boy Nursery with Dog

This is one of many ways that I love being able to serve my newborn clients as well as one of the many reasons clients reach out to me from Richmond for their in-home lifestyle sessions.  It is such a blessing to be able to serve clients from all over central Virginia and even Northern Virginia for their newborn sessions!  No matter your apartment, townhome, or house, if it is the place that you call home, then I am ready to capture your most cherished memories in that wonderful place.  Let’s document this incredible season of life together – whatever that looks like for you!

Lifestyle Newborn Sessions

comments +

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

follow along @ashley.mckinney.photography


inquire now

with us!


Ashley McKinney is a maternity, newborn, baby and family photographer serving the Charlottesville, Virginia area including Richmond, Washington D.C., Lynchburg, Crozet, Ivy, Keswick, Harrisonburg, Culpeper, Lake Monticello, Staunton, Palmyra, Zion Crossroads and the surrounding areas.

charlottesville VA newborn & Baby Photographer