Want to know more about which newborn photography style is right for you?
If you are reading this then (maybe) congratulations - you are expecting a baby! Or perhaps you have recently become a parent and you are hoping to book a professional photographer to capture those special memories of your new addition to the family.
But what style of photography should you go for? As soon as you start searching the internet for photographers you will notice that there are a lot of options available to you and it can be quite overwhelming! You may have friends or family advising you to book the same photographer they used for a studio session, perhaps even someone they hired for their wedding photos, but don’t feel pressured into making decisions if that photographer’s style isn’t right for you and definitely don’t book a photographer with little or no experience in newborn photography. Hopefully this overview will help you to make the decision that suits your needs the best.
Lifestyle Vs. Posed Newborn Photography
Although the choices on the internet may seem overwhelming, really there are two main options of styles for you to choose from. These are posed photography or lifestyle photography. If you aren’t sure with what differences are, I’ll briefly explain each one, what is involved and some of the pros and cons so that you can make the right choice for you.
Lifestyle Newborn Photography
These sessions usually take place in your own home, although they can be at a favourite special place nearby, like the beach or a park. This is the style for you if you want to capture natural routine moments that reflect the connection between the baby and parents and don’t really want to be posing for the camera. The photographer will capture candid images all around your home such as rocking baby in the nursery, lounging on the sofa together or snuggled in bed. You can involve the whole family, from siblings and grandparents to pets. The photographer will go with the flow and capture ‘unscripted’ moments as they happen. Lifestyle sessions are very relaxed and are usually shorter than posed sessions, at around 2 hours. The finished results after editing will be stunning images that you definitely won’t capture yourself with a phone camera and they make beautiful collages.
Posed Newborn Photography
These sessions are currently very popular with more photographers training in this field all the time to achieve the adorable artful images that you see with babies dressed up in sweet props. If you want to capture images of your baby curled in those sweet poses, you need to booked in within 2 weeks of the birth, whilst the baby is still able to be curled into those positions that it formed in the womb. Book as early on in your pregnancy as you can. You would usually visit the photographer’s studio for this style of photography, although there are some photographers that will travel to your home with their equipment. The main difference with posed newborn photography is that the focus is more on the baby posed for a variety of arrangements rather than the family and routine, although you will also be able to have family shots and many will allow pets too.
Often the photographer will have an assistant on hand to help with achieving the poses whilst they capture the image (a lot of images involve the baby being held safely in position with the adults' hands photoshopped out in editing.). Usually, you will need to collaborate with the photographer in advance to plan themes, colour schemes, props, styles and poses that you want to achieve. But don’t worry if you are not sure - the photographer will have lots of suggestions for you. Most will have a selection of props available for you to choose from, but you should also be able to purchase your own to take - these make lovely keepsakes of special memories. Posed sessions are typically longer than lifestyle shoots at up to 4 hours. This is to allow time to settle the baby in an unfamiliar environment and time that might be needed for the baby to fall asleep to be posed.
Some photographers may be able to offer a choice of style or a combinations, whilst others specialise in one particular style.
**Top tip** always look at portfolios to review newborn work, especially if the photographer offers photography services for everything from newborns to weddings to property. You may be best off booking with someone who specialises in babies, children and families or even specifically just newborns.
Pros and Cons of Lifestyle and Posed Newborn Photography
Here’s a summary of some of the pros and cons of each style for you to see at a glance:
Hopefully this article has helped you to feel more informed about your photography choices and options that are open to you. Choose the style that fits not only the type of images you would like to have in the end and what you are most comfortable with, but also be realistic about how much time and money you are willing to spend to get the results you want. If you still can’t choose, then you’ll be able to find a photographer that can offer you both!
Regardless of which you choose, I hope that you end up with beautiful images that you can frame or put in a special album and treasure to remember a time when your baby was so tiny in years to come!
If you, or someone you know is planning to book newborn photography and would like to buy your own props and accessories for your session and treasure as keepsakes, take a look at my range of wraps, headbands, bonnets, hats and bow ties. Custom orders are always welcome if you’d like something special that is made just for you.
Coming up soon, I will be publishing an article with a handy list of question to ask (yourself and potential photographers) if you are considering hiring a photographer.