Getting your newborn baby’s photo taken is a once in a lifetime deal. I mean, they are only this little once, right? So making the investment to capture your little bundle of soft squirmy perfection needs to be taken with care. Ask yourself what are you looking for. Are you going for a beautiful posed portrait? Or do you want to tell the story of how your lives have been changed forever?
I did studio sessions for three years and I have experience with both kinds. Here are some reasons to consider when choosing between the two styles.
1. Lifestyle sessions tell a story. You may not realize it now because you have just begun the sleep deprivation part of parenting, but your life is going to change faster than it ever has before. This is your baby’s first home. It’s where you and your partner have made together in anticipation of this blessing, whether you were cognizant of it or not. You will spend hours in that glider chair your dear mother-in-law bought for you. The nursery probably hasn’t been destroyed by a busy toddler yet (unless this isn’t your first baby). Any way you look at it, this stage is a sliver of time that needs to captured and treasured.
2. Mom and Dad hold baby in a lifestyle session. In a studio session, the little one needs to be posed. It is an art that is mastered over time! The photographer or her assistant is going to be the one who will mold your baby into the desired pose, not mom. Mom might need to be an extra set of hands for safety reasons, but it will ultimately be your photographer getting them settled.
3. The timeline is a more relaxed in a lifestyle session. As you will read in reason number 5 it is best that baby is less than 10 days old, when they are more sleepy. Mom may still be swollen from the delivery. Some moms still might not be able to put their wedding rings on for the session. With a lifestyle session the first two months are a great window. You will have established a little more routine in that time. Dad can not be so scared of the yellow poop. And mom can feel a little more comfortable with themselves. Don’t worry, there are always things you are going to stress out about when getting your family pictures taken, but a lifestyle newborn session takes away a good amount of it.
4. Siblings are more relaxed in their own home. They are a big part of the story and we cannot forget them. After all, they are in a new role now! You can incorporate what that means to them for some truly heart melting gems. Do they like to read to their baby brother or sister? How do they like to help? Are they old enough to hold the baby or cuddle up next to her? The possibilities are endless!
5. Lifestyle sessions are more relaxed for everyone. Studio sessions require a lot of patience and time. Once you’ve held an awake baby you realize that they don’t stop moving. So in order to do those beautifully posed images safely baby must be asleep. Expect to spend on average 5 hours at the session. They are long because baby needs to be warm, sleepy, and comfortable and much of the time is spent on prop management. After all, those blankets need to be set up and baskets need to be arranged. In a lifestyle session, baby can be awake, asleep, feeding, changing, bathing. It doesn’t matter because it’s all precious. So there is no pressure to perform.
There is no argument that studio sessions create beautiful artwork and capture your gorgeous baby! But it’s not the only option when it comes to newborn portraits. After all, they are a part of a growing, changing, and dynamic family. Get it all I say! I love working with families who want to capture their lives just how it is. So they can go back a look at who they all were in that tiny sliver of life that you get to hold your newborn.