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I'm the lady behind the lens, ready for all your photographic needs &
cat-related content.

With coffee in hand, I provide a range of photographic services, from weddings & unions to headshots and small business branding. As a stage performer turned photographer, I give special commitment to being intentional, and making you feel seen and comfortable throughout the entire process.

Hey, hey! Sarah here.

mama bear slippers near furniture

In Home Photography Guide

dad in blue shirt kisses cheek of smiling baby in front of cream colored wall

DMV Photographer Sarah Laughland Photography

So, you want to have an in home photography session, but not sure how to prep for it? Hi, hello, I am here ready to help! 🙂

I’ve got a handful of tips and ideas for preparing your home for a photoshoot that really tells your story and makes use of whatever space you have. Rather than posing newborns and having kids sit politely on the couch, I prefer to capture them in their element. Playing, eating, climbing, sleeping, reaching, rolling, jumping, you name it. If you allow it in your house, let’s capture it!

funny face caught by maryland newborn photographer

How In Home Photography Sessions Are Guided

Rather than “posing”, I like to offer “prompts” and cues (dance teacher, it me). I will probably find the best window lighting and place you for some more smiley photos in front of an empty wall. Around that, I’ll place you to get the best lighting, and I’ll go about getting candid photos from there. 

mom and dad look down at newborn baby on bed in onesie and bib

How to Prep Your Home

  1. Let’s talk about natural light for a minute. Natural light is the key, babyyyy! When different light sources are mixed, aka window light and an overhead fan light, the result isn’t very pretty. It can make skin tones look bleh, and it’s just best to go with one light source unless we’re getting funky and creative. I’ll ask that all other lights be turned off and we just work from the windows and doors!

2. Cleaning up is obvious, I know, duh, but find the areas with the best natural light and make sure you clear away all clutter. Minimal is best, as it takes away distractions and let’s us photograph you and your people in a lovely, clean backdrop.

3. When we think photography, especially for younger humans, we think “oh no, posing…”, but let’s switch that narrative and think “oh yay, activites!”. For kids, having their favorite activities and snacks on hand can be super helpful. I’ve mentioned this in another one of my posts entitled “6 Tips for Camera Shy Couples“, but in the acting world we are taught to always engage in an action. Action always results in real moments and natural looking photos. It also keeps kids (and adults) from getting bored, which is obviously an added bonus. 

4. Collecting details before I arrive. If you think you might want specific details incorporated or photographed, and you don’t want to forget, collect them beforehand! You can either mention them in our planning discussions or keep them together on a chair or table, so we can easily get to them during your shoot! These can be mementos, memory boxes, shoes or clothing, an RBG bobble head (see below). Literally anything. 

black and white photo couple poses on floor and in chair looking toward window holding pregnant belly

In Home Newborn Photography

For new little humans, make sure they are fed and changed right before I arrive for a happy baby, happy parental kind of situation. For full lifestyle sessions, we will pause as we need because life happens, so don’t stress about that one bit! I fully expect a necessary change of clothes!

If you want them awake, then make sure they nap before, and if you want them peaceful and dreamy, wait until right before I arrive before putting them down for a nap. Having the temperature up a little bit can help as well, so we can get those adorable photos without your bae getting too cold. 

black and white image of newborn baby toes

Ideas of Areas Great for Picture Grabbin’:

+ The couch, if there’s good lighting surrounding it

+ Chairs, and we can always move them around!

+ Beds

+ Floor, especially if the kids have a fun mat or carpet

+ Neutral Walls

+ In front of a crib

+ On a porch or in the backyard

+ Kitchen, if we want to get creative and make some snacks or delicious beverages! 

mom and daughter in window light for in home maternity photography

Check out my insta for more tips and to follow along for updates!

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  1. […] the rest of their newborn photography at home and be sure to check out my blog post about prepping for in-home sessions!! Want to follow along to see sneak peeks? Check my insta for all the behind the […]

- Michele & Adam

"Sarah was absolutely amazing to work with! Every single picture we got back was nothing short of perfect. Our families and friends were amazed at how great our photos turned out as well as the volume of photos we received. She made sure to capture moments that were special to us on our wedding day, as well as make time to get all of the family photos we wanted. Something that I found to be really helpful was how organized Sarah was. She sent us questionnaires to get to know us and even created a day of timeline so my partner and I, and our families and bridal parties, would know what to expect and when formal photos would be taken. Her attention to detail and caring nature ensured that our photos reflected not only our wedding day but our personalities as well. I cannot say enough good things about her and her work. She is a fantastic photographer and a great person to work with.

"photos reflected...our personalities.."

"photos reflected...our personalities"

-Glennis & varun

"...Sarah went above and beyond our expectations. She spent ample time talking with me about my vision of the day, provided a detailed itinerary to help me stay organized, and was a listening ear when I needed practical wedding advice. Her warmth, kindness, and genuine nature helped us feel comfortable in front of the camera. In addition, we are delighted with Sarah’s technical qualities as a photographer - her sense of mise-en-scène, attention to detail, and her remarkable ability to capture poignant and symbolic moments in an inter-cultural, inter-racial, pandemic wedding."

"Sarah went above and beyond our expectations..."

"She made everything easy and is warm and kind..."

- Kaleigh & Hannah

"Beyond being a good photographer, Sarah truly works to make her clients feel comfortable and special during her sessions. She is incredibly personable and there were never any awkward, empty moments during our session! My fiancee and I were truly in the moment and Sarah allowed us to have candid, special moments together while she captured them for us to remember forever...Our day was stress-free thanks to her detailed planning...I absolutely recommend Sarah for anyone and everyone. We are forever thankful for her openness and hard work."

"Sarah allowed us to have candid, special moments together..."

"Sarah allowed us to have candid, special moments together..."

-leila, singer & actress

"Sarah creates a fun, creative, and safe environment that brings out the very best you to photograph. I had a great time in my headshot session with her and I ended up with beautiful photos (that actually look like me) I would be proud to bring into any audition room. 10/10 would recommend!"

"Sarah creates a fun, creative, and safe environment..."

"She was so positive and helpful through the whole process!"

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