Nailing the Outdoor Newborn Session

Like just about every line of work out there, the photography world has been impacted by Covid. The approach I have to take as a Boston family newborn photographer is different now too. Fortunately, the weather in Massachusetts currently allows for outdoor newborn sessions for clients who prefer that option. Doing newborn sessions outdoors is a little tricky though, so I thought I’d share 3 tips for helping your session go smoothly.

Stay Close to Home

This one isn’t absolutely critical, but as someone who just had a baby not too long ago, this would be my preference as a client. The thought of packing up everything necessary for a newborn is stressful enough, never mind thinking of adding a long drive on top of that. Plus, I think we all know that a lot of babies haaaaate the car seat, so why deal with a screaming baby any longer than is necessary? For this particular family, we chose a location that was about 10 minutes from their home. It’s a place that they take their toddler often, so it had meaning for them, too. Win win!

Timing is Key

When it comes to outdoor photography, time of day is always super duper important. For beautiful, soft lighting, you really have to shoot at sunrise or sunset. However, I might argue that with a newborn, the time of day that is best for their mood is ideal. This baby’s witching hour (like so many) was late afternoon/early evening, so that took 5:30 pm off the table. I would have suggested that we shoot at 7:30 AM, but the forecast said overcast all day so we decided on 10:00 AM. That allowed both of us to have a leisurely, non-stressful morning ;). Of course, the forecast ended up being wrong and the sun came out quite a bit. The Dark Sky app failed me! This just meant we had to stay in the shade and couldn’t utilize the open fields as much as I had hoped to. C’est la vie.

Blankets and Baskets

In a normal, non-Covid world, I am NOTTTTT a fan of babies in baskets. I’m a lifestyle photographer through and through, so it’s just not my jam. HOWEVER, I can occasionally get behind a Moses basket. They’re timeless and vintagey and as far as baskets go, they’re as good as it gets. For outdoor newborn sessions, they’re super handy to have. Typically I photograph babies in their cribs, on rugs, and on the master bed for different backdrops. None of those are options when outdoors, so I recommend shooting with one or two blankets, and embracing the Moses basket as well.


Melissa Rabbitt is a Boston family newborn photographer who is now booking December and beyond. You can get in touch by clicking here!


Oh hey! I’m Melissa, a Boston family & newborn photographer, but I like to refer to myself as a toddler-whispering, child-taming, photographic ninja.