When you have a baby, it’s only natural that you want to document this special time in your life. And, what better way to do that than with a professional newborn photo session?
Whether you decide to go the traditional route or a more lifestyle approach, newborn sessions are a great way to capture those precious early days. But, what’s the difference between the two? And, more importantly, which is right for you?
In this blog post, I’ll share all you need know to know about lifestyle newborn photography to help you make a decision if this is the best option for your growing family.
The difference between traditional and lifestyle newborn photography
Traditional newborn photography
These are the kind of photo shoots you see in magazines or online, where the baby is posed in a variety of ways.
When you Google “newborn photographer near me”, the majority of results will show you those traditionally, overly posed newborn images.
While these types of photos can be beautiful if done right, the experience can also be stressful. First, there’s the hassle of getting everyone dressed and ready to go to the studio. Then, there’s the task of getting the baby to “cooperate”. Some photographers need around 4h for this type of session.
Lifestyle newborn photography
In contrast, lifestyle newborn photography is a relatively new style of photography that captures natural and candid moments of your baby and family in your own home or in a location that is meaningful to you.
Lifestyle newborn photography is much more relaxed. Instead of spending hours trying to get the perfect shot, we just let things flow naturally. We capture all the little details, like the way your baby grabs your finger or the way they snuggle into your neck. These are the kind of moments you’ll want to remember forever.
The goal of lifestyle newborn photography is not to capture picture-perfect moments and expressions. Instead, it aims at capturing the essence of your new family, and the special bond between you and your baby.
It is really all about connection over perfection!
So, which is right for you? If you’re looking for a low-stress way to document this special time in your life, then a lifestyle newborn session is definitely the way to go.
Lifestyle newborn sessions focus on the connection between parents and the baby. This can be done in a variety of ways, including:
- Parents and baby together
- Each parent and baby
- Each parent and all children (if applicable)
- Baby and siblings (if applicable)
- Baby alone
- Parents together as a couple
While I personally don’t follow a strict shot list, I have a workflow that allows me to create enough variety in your final gallery in a way that is efficient and relaxing for everyone.
The benefits of lifestyle newborn photography
The benefits of an in-home lifestyle newborn session are many.
When you have a newborn, life can feel like one big blur. You’re sleep deprived and trying to figure out how to function as a parent while also taking care of a tiny human. The last thing you want to do is to pack up all your newborn’s things and drive to a photographer’s studio for a traditional newborn session.
And who can blame you? Traditional newborn sessions can be STRESSFUL.
Lifestyle newborn sessions are the complete opposite. They are relaxed, stress-free, and take place in the comfort of your own home. You are free to enjoy your baby without worrying about getting to the right location or timing things just right.
You won’t have to worry about trying to get the baby asleep in between poses or taking a picture at just the right moment—you’re free to take as long as you need! And you can take as many breaks as you need to feed and comfort your baby. Plus, you’ll get many meaningful images as a result.
I will come to you and photograph your family in your own space. This makes for a more relaxed session, which in turn, results in more natural, organic images.
In the comfort of your home
While lifestyle newborn photography can be done at a studio or outdoors, the most common option is in your home.
And here the main benefit is that you don’t have to travel anywhere! You can just relax, get some rest and enjoy the moment with your little one. You can read all about the benefits of an in-home newborn session in this blog post.
Quick and with no unsafe posing
Lifestyle newborn photography sessions are quick! In 1-2h you will get more than enough images for you to choose from.
Because there is none of those traditional poses that can take A LONG time to set up, the session flows quickly with no pressure on you or your baby.
Instead of posing your newborn, you or I will simply place him or her into a position that he already is naturally used to. Then we observe as your newborn moves, interacts with you, or sleeps soundly. And I’ll capture these moments as they naturally unfold. I will take pictures of your little one from head to toe so that we can capture every sweet detail about their personality as well as their unique features.
This is a much safer approach than traditional newborn photos. You can read all about my reasons for not posing newborn babies in this blog post.
Each session is as unique as your family
Each session is different because each family has different traditions and living arrangements. This is a huge part of what makes lifestyle sessions so unique!
While I ensure consistency in my work through the tones, light, workflow, and approach I photograph, no two sessions are the same.
Whether you have a newborn, toddler, or preschooler at home, I’ll work with your schedule to fit in our time together as best I can. I’ll also help you create an atmosphere that feels relaxed but still fun for everyone involved—whether that’s lying down on the couch or sitting up in your favorite chair breastfeeding your baby, snuggling, or reading a book.
To tailor the experience to your family’s unique routine and personality, I’ll ask you to fill out a questionnaire sharing useful information with me. For example, an approximate routine, your children’s temperaments and how I can connect with them, any concerns, your goals, etc. All these questions matter so we can adapt the experience to your family’s needs.
You’ll be amazed at how much more relaxed and comfortable you feel when you have time to just relax in your own space during a lifestyle newborn photography session. Your images will show off more of your personality as a family, resulting in meaningful and authentic results.
About your newborn photographer
Hi, there! My name is Mariana. I am so thankful you are looking at my work on my website and blog.
As a fine art maternity, baby, and family photographer, I specialize in families with young children. I am an award-winning photographer and rated among the top 50 family photographers in the world by the Photojournalist Family Association. I’ve also had my work featured at various well-regarded publications, including the Motherhood Anthology and the Kindred Path.
If you love my work, I would love for us to start planning your session. Together, we will create a collection of fine art love-filled images through a stress-free experience. My approach to photography includes a mix of very natural posing and photojournalistic moments. This allows for an experience where your whole family feels comfortable and relaxed. So all you really have to do is to enjoy being with each other.
I’m based in Toulouse, France, and I serve families worldwide, with regular trips to Paris, London, Marseille, Munich, Basel, and Zurich. I also love photographing in Dordogne and Pays-Basque.
Here are some additional blog posts to help you prepare for your newborn family photos
Choosing your newborn photographer: The complete guide to your experience
Family newborn photos: Why I don’t pose newborn babies
How to prepare siblings for a newborn session
How to choose the best newborn photographer for your family
What to do next
If you feel ready to hire me as your newborn photographer, or would like to meet me to discuss your vision, please visit the contact page to send me a message. I’d love to meet you! If you’d like to see more of my work, I invite you to browse around my website to learn more about my style and get the feel of my images.