Welcome to the Melanie Foster Blog

celebrating OU seniors and Bartlesville and Tulsa families through photography.

Hey, y’all! 

I’m Melanie, the girl behind the lens at Melanie Foster Photography. Whether you’re getting ready for your upcoming OU senior or your Bartlesville or Tulsa family photography experience, I hope you’ll stay a while, pick up a few tips, and be inspired for your own MFP photo session! 

Bartlesville Lifestyle Newborn Photography | Ellise, Jared, Baby Eva


In my decade of experience as a photographer, I’ve learned just how fleeting life’s most precious moments are. 

In a blink of an eye, my little Ruth has grown from being swaddled in a blanket to toddling around our home. 

I know other families feel the same way – that life moves so quickly! That’s why I’m so grateful God is allowing me to steward my gift so I can preserve those memories for my clients. 

And there is nothing quite like a lifestyle newborn photography session, when a baby’s fingers are still so tiny, and they still have that quintessential “new baby” smell. 

So I was thrilled to drive a short two hours east of Bartlesville to Grand Lake in Grove, Oklahoma to take Ellise and Jared’s first family photos with their newborn, baby Eva!


Mom and dad sit with baby during in home lifestyle newborn photography session


Meeting Ellise, Jared, and Eva for Their Lifestyle Newborn Photography Session:

When I arrived at their Grand Lake home, I spent the first little bit getting to know more about them and bonding with them as a family. 

I knew we’d get along from the moment I saw their Berkey water filter in their kitchen.

And it turns out we have quite a bit in common! Ellise and I are both OU grads and we each now have a little girl. And we both treasure our time with our extended families. I have to imagine our shared interests and values are part of why they decided to invest in a lifestyle newborn photography session with me.



How I Create an In-Home Lifestyle Newborn Photography Session: 

What I love about in-home lifestyle newborn photos is that they truly capture the spirit of the family dynamic and the home. 

If you’re new to my page, then you’ll learn quickly that family and making a home are two of the most important aspects of my life.

In-home family photos with a newborn are less about the cute baby poses and props (although those are great!) and more about the connection between your family as you’re welcoming your precious gift of life into your lives. And those moments are some of the most holy and intimate you’ll experience.

So, in every session I photograph, I always find ways to make them unique to the client. That’s exactly what I did with Ellise, Jared, and Eva:


Diptych of dad holding newborn in chair and mom holding newborn in chair

Diptych of mom and dad holding baby and baby looking up at camera during lifestyle newborn photography session


Finding Inspiration Within the Family

Ellise had a really fun, eclectic style. She has an art degree from OU, and she’s finishing architecture school. She has let her style and knowledge flourish in their home!

I wanted to make sure the family photos we took together would be the perfect added touch to the art and decor throughout their walls. So I used that as my inspiration as I guided them through the session.


Baby girl nursery decor during in home newborn session


Choosing the In-Home Locations for the Lifestyle Newborn Photos

The beauty of an in-home location is you’re not confined to one single location. I love to use multiple rooms throughout the home because my clients will use rooms throughout the home with their baby. 

That creates a more “true-to-life” aesthetic to the gallery and printed photos

For Ellise and Jared’s new family of three, we started in the nursery where the blush pink wallpaper, antique curio cabinet, and family heirlooms really shined. I knew I had to incorporate those special elements unique to their family. 

We also chose Jared and Ellise’s master bedroom to utilize more of the natural light that shone through the windows. 

And finally, we took advantage of the gorgeous weather and finished our lifestyle newborn photos in their backyard which is right on Grand Lake!


Pink baby nursery decor during Bartlesville lifestyle newborn photography session

Diptych of mom holding baby and dad and mom sitting together with baby in a rocking chair


Determining When Is the Best Time to Take Newborn Photos

The newborn stage moves so quickly! So finding the best time to take newborn photos can be tricky for many clients. 

I recommend scheduling two separate appointments when clients book with me. I educate them to book one the week of their due date, in case the baby comes on time or a touch early. And then, I recommend they schedule a session 2-3 weeks after their due date, in case the baby comes on time or a little bit late.  


Diptych of mom and dad holding baby and mom and dad sitting in a chair with new baby


The Best Age for Newborn Photos

The great news for lifestyle newborn photos is that we’re not trying to position babies into poses. So, scheduling within the first week after birth isn’t always necessary. 

Instead, the sweet spot tends to be the first 7 to 14 days after birth. At that age, they’re still sleepy often and, for the most part, will snooze throughout it! That said, I’ve photographed lifestyle newborn photos with babies up to 12 weeks. Some mamas need a little extra time to heal, recover, and acclimate to their new little one.



The Best Time of Day for Newborn Photos

Fortunately, in-home sessions aren’t as reliant on golden hours!  For outdoor lifestyle sessions, photographers will tell clients to aim for 1 to 2 hours after sunrise or before sunset. At these two times, the sun’s light is much softer and creates gorgeous, glowy photos. 

That’s not necessarily the case with newborn photos in a client’s home. The windows act as natural diffusers on a sunny day, so the lighting is still beautiful even at midday!


Mom and dad hold newborn in master bedroom


How I Worked with Baby Eva’s Schedule

I know from experience that it can be nerve-wracking for new mothers to have a photographer come take photos of their baby. You may be worried about your house not being clean, how you’re going to get ready, the baby crying, or timing with feedings. Our newborn photos with Ruth didn’t go quite as planned (thank you colic!), but we still ended up with photos that I cherish more and more as time separates us from her session. It’s only natural to want it to go perfectly because we have such a brief window of time to schedule newborn photos!

The great news is that, as a seasoned Bartlesville photographer, and a mother myself, I know to always be on the lookout for the best details and moments to capture, and can work with a baby who may not be quite as settled as mama would hope.

One of my favorite parts of baby Eva’s session was at the very end. We were walking back inside from the yard, and she was tuckered out from all of the activity. I had already packed away my camera, but I knew we couldn’t miss out on those sweet sleepy shots. 

So, I quickly pulled my camera back out to take those photos of her sound asleep in her mama’s arms.


Diptych of mom holding baby and new baby yawning wrapped in a pink blanket


Helping my clients preserve these most wonderful memories, like lifestyle newborn photos, is why I keep pulling my camera back out. And the Perryman family was so amazing to work with!


Diptych of parents naturally posing during Bartlesville newborn lifestyle session


Find more MFP Bartlesville newborn photography sessions on our blog!


Diptych portrait of dad kiss newborn baby's forehead and holding newborn's feet during lifestyle session

Diptych of dad kissing newborn daughter's forehead and mom and dad holding newborn during family photos with newborn.

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