lifestyle .vs. posed
Are there any sweeter things to photograph than a cuddly and snuggly newborn baby with tiny fingers and toes, their little yawns and baby sneezes? Perhaps not! I absolutely LOVE capturing newborn babies and their families in what is called a "Lifestyle" Newborn Photography Session. In this blog I will be explaining to you why I personally chose for myself (and my business) to take lifestyle photography and what you can expect from these sessions.
When an expectant mama enquires for a newborn session, one of the first things we discuss is if they are expecting to have an in-studio posed baby photography (i.e. think babies in baskets, floral props, backdrops etc) or at-home / outdoor lifestyle photography session. For my business, I offer the latter and the two session types will ultimately come out with very different results.
And now here comes the caveat before anyone gets upset because they have just booked/done a posed photography session for their baby. There is absolutely nothing wrong with in-studio posed baby photography sessions and in fact you can capture absolutely beautiful images as I know many studio based newborn photographers' work very well. It really just boils down to personal preference (and their business decision) on the photographers part, which session type they choose to offer.
1. capturing the unposed moments (i.e. no props required)
Capturing the unposed moments has to be the biggest difference between a lifestyle photography session and a studio session. Lifestyle sessions are all about capturing LIFE!
It's that picture of you butterfly kissing the baby's belly or feet uncontrollably or the big yawn the baby has let out caught on camera. It's the picture of your baby wrapped up in his first blanket from their grandparents. It's even the crying! And yes it's absolutely okay if the baby cries in your arms, there is no need to stress! I will be there to document every precious and beautiful moment and it's really not about creating a perfect pose. From a safety perspective as well, newborn babies are very fragile little humans. I like them to be in their parent's arms where they feel the most relaxed and comfortable, allowing me to capture those authentic everyday moments and real memories.
2. from your living room to garden - your choice of location
As a Lifestyle Photographer, I come to you! The backdrop is your home, or your garden, where I can capture the baby in a comfortable, calming, and safe space. The images of your home will be so important in years to come when you look back. The favourite couch, toy, blanket, kitchen table where the family gathered - all of it will be there to look back on.
Natural morning light streaming through the window will be fully utilised as I will avoid using flash as much as possible so as not to disturb the baby and also it will create a beautiful and natural look.
3. you can set the time frame
Often Newborn Photography Studios would suggest to you to take your baby photos within ten days of birth. This is so that the baby can be soft and sleepy and they can be propped easily. With lifestyle photography, there is no distinct timeline requirement. Of course the earlier the better perhaps as they grow so fast but I have taken newborn style sessions of babies from a few weeks, even a few months old. Sometimes the stress of parents adjusting to new life with baby and trying to incorporate a photo session is not worth trying to fit in the early days. Months down the line would mean both baby and parents are comfortable and relaxed in the new environment and also we may have the advantage of more interactions and smile of the babies to be captured too!
4. you are in it!
As a photographer, and especially as a lifestyle photographer, my mission is to tell a unique story. Story-telling is one of the most important things that I focus on when I take my images. I believe the best way to tell a story about the newborn baby is to feature the natural interactions of them with their parents - even siblings, sometimes grandparents, and pets! If "a picture is worth a thousand words", surely capturing you in your precious baby's story is something incredibly important and worthwhile!
Thank you for reading and if you are expecting or have a newborn baby - don't miss the moments - book your session today to get your images captured that you will love forever!