When you’re researching different options for newborn photographers, you’ll quickly notice that there are very different types of sessions and each can vary greatly based on the photographer that you choose. Are you interested in having photos of your baby photographed in a studio with very precise poses and lots of props? Or would you prefer a more relaxed, less posed session in your home? Or maybe a hybrid mix?
There are so many options out there, and for new parents it can be a bit overwhelming to sort through all of them, especially in a big city where there are many photographers to choose from. So, I wanted to walk through what my style of newborn photography looks like and what you will expect when working with me!
I offer what is now often referred to as “lifestyle” newborn photography. This generally takes place in your home, and has a very relaxed, cozy vibe. A lot of parents love this option because it means they don’t have to get ready, pack up, and get the family to a studio when their baby is very young. It also allows them to show off the nursery they’ve been perfecting during the nesting phase! If you have other children, they often feel much more comfortable in their home environment, which generally leads to a better experience for them as they are adjusting to life with a new sibling.
Oh, and I almost forgot one of my favorite benefits of having the session in a client’s home… including pets!
So, what does a lifestyle newborn session with me look like?
When I first arrive, I like to meet everyone and get a little tour of the home. I will keep an eye out for areas with the best lighting, aesthetically pleasing backgrounds, and maybe try to think outside the box about where we can do photos. If the weather is nice, I also love to take some photos outside so I may walk around the yard a bit.
Once we’ve determined 2-3 areas to use, I generally will start with photos of the whole family together. If anyone needs some extra time to get ready, I will just start with whoever is available! Sometimes when I arrive the baby has just been fed and is super sleepy, so I may go ahead and take photos of them on their own. My process is very “go with the flow” and I don’t do the same things every session, which allows great flexibility to take photos of different groupings in a way that works well for the family and the new baby.
My sessions generally last 1-2 hours, and this leaves plenty of time for feeding breaks, diaper changes, etc. I never want to put any pressure on families to rush through things! So, I like to keep a very relaxed pace and my years of experience have made me very efficient.
My approach to posing is very casual and should never feel forced or unnatural. I always recommend that parents hold their baby however it is comfortable and cozy for them and the baby. I will ask families to get close together (I like to use the phrase “get snuggly” a lot). If I reposition anyone it is usually just to make sure that everyone can be seen and that they look comfortable. I love to make suggestions for things that are a little outside of the norm (like sitting on the floor or laying in certain positions) just to give variety. However, my goal is to always make it look very natural.
When working with siblings, I always try to do those early on in the session when everything is new and exciting, and they haven’t run out of steam yet. There are lots of different ways to photograph siblings with the new baby, and they don’t necessarily have to hold the baby to work well. Some siblings are too young to safely hold the baby while some just aren’t into it and that’s okay! I love letting them lay together in the crib, or just next to them on the bed. This precious big brother wanted to do all three!
I do have a checklist in my head of the groupings that I always aim for: each parent with baby, whole family together, sibling(s) with baby, baby alone, etc. so rest assured that those shots will always take priority.
Another thing to consider is how to style baby-only images. Some families prefer all of the baby’s photos to be very natural (laying in the crib, being held, etc.) and some prefer to have them in a basket or other prop. I am happy to do any of those things!
I use a questionnaire before all newborn sessions to help me determine what style my client is going for. This helps me to be prepared and bring any necessary props, etc.to the session. I also will bring wraps when requested to create images like this first one below. Using a snug wrap can really help calm a baby who is restless or fussy and is a wonderful tool to have.
So, I hope this gives you a good idea of what a session with me is like! My goal is to make the experience as enjoyable and stress-free as possible for the entire family. I know that being photographed at such a vulnerable stage in life can be nerve wracking, so my approach is always cool, calm, and composed.
Here’s a quick video to show you some favorite images from a recent in-home newborn session that I did:
If you’re in the Raleigh area and would be interested in having me photograph your newborn or family, please reach out to me via my contact page or you can subscribe to my email list here to get first dibs on booking availability and updates!