What is the difference between lifestyle and studio newborn photography?

Preparing for a new baby can be overwhelming. What kind of stroller do I need? Cloth diapers or disposable? How do I decorate the nursery? Do we want a newborn photographer?

And after deciding you want a newborn photographer you will often then come across the question of lifestyle or studio sessions. When I talk to some parents there are not sure of the difference between these. Aside from the look of lifestyle images vs. studio images, the experience will be different too.

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Newborn studio sessions focus on just the tiny little subject and their sweet features. It resembles that of a classic studio portrait showcasing the newborn and their sweet features. They are carefully wrapped and posed to achieve the perfect newborn portrait. The best time for this type of session is with in the first two weeks. They are very sleepy and they still welcome being scrunched up just like they were for such a long time. Newborns are flexible and can easily bend and fold to get those classic studio newborn poses.

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Studio newborn sessions can take awhile. I recommend that babies be kept awake for two hours prior to their session and then given a full feeding. After that I step in, swaddle with one of our newborn swaddles perfect for portraiture and then rock and soothe the newborn to sleep. Baby needs to be completely asleep to achieve any of the poses you see in the newborn studio gallery .  This is also true for achieving those close snugly poses with the parent and the siblings like shown below.

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The experience with these sessions is wonderful. You get to bring baby in, feed and then watch your new little miracle pose, make cute snugly faces while you kick back on the studio couch and relax. If you fell asleep you would not be the first parent, in fact it is encouraged! You will be tired those first two weeks and this is often your first outing with baby.

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Lifestyle photography is creeping into a very close tie for newborn sessions for me. These sessions take place in your home. It is not as important to keep baby awake for two hours or do a full feeding before I arrive. The focus of the session is on your interaction and your family. We do not need to put emphasis on preparing for those poses mentioned earlier. The other element we don’t need to worry about as much is the timing. Babies can be any age to have a successful lifestyle session where it can be challenging and maybe not achievable to get those posed studio poses after two weeks of age.

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The images will incorporate babies first home, first bed, changing table or just those places that they spent their first moments with their parents, siblings and maybe their furry family members. Wanting to include those furry family members might be another reason a client chooses to do a lifestyle session. The thought of packing up a new baby….. and your pup(s) might be exhausting. Staying in the comfort of your home can make a lifestyle session very appealing.

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Some people avoid lifestyle because they worry about not having the perfect clean house. Here is a secret… just outside this frame is a dog kennel, preemie hospital supplies, diapers, a car seat, a dog bed and a few pacifiers. Even though I come into your home it is my job to make the focus be your new growing family.

We still get plenty of beautiful images of your new baby by themselves. Check out more images in the lifestyle gallery.

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Hopefully this gives you a little more insight into the big decision of lifestyle and newborn photography. I am always happy to discuss both of these further to make sure we select the perfect session for your family.

Click here to fill in the details and book your session. It is very important to book your newborn session early. It doesn’t matter if you know the type of session you prefer, book and then decide. Priority is given to due dates so secure your spot to make sure you are not scrambling after baby is born.

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