by Nicole Lewis, Baby & Family Photographer
Choosing a newborn photographer and a style of photography can be a very hard decision, especially when you're sleep deprived and recovering from your delivery. Don't worry, I'm here to help you make the right decision for your family.
The first thing you need to know, there are a couple of different styles of newborn photography: The Lifestyle Session and The Studio Session.
The Lifestyle Session
This style of photography involves both the baby by themselves, as well as the baby with their parents. Lifestyle sessions don’t involve any type of props or formal posing. Instead, they are more candid in nature, with the primary focus placed on the new bond between parents and child.
Advantage: You don't have to go anywhere
The last thing a new mom wants is to pack up and travel with their new baby and siblings etc. My sessions are done in the comfort of your own home! You may not be in your forever home yet but its important to you that you see where they came home from the hospital.
There is no better backdrop than your newborn's first home! You put a lot of thought and care into decorating your baby's nursery and you'd probably love to remember it exactly as it is right now. You can also share images of your baby's first bedroom with your child years from now.
Disadvantage: Reality Bites
The reality of welcoming a new baby into your home is not always as pretty as a studio backdrop. Let's face it, you might not have time to clean the laundry, do the dishes or wash your hair. While a talented photographer can definitely work miracles in this department, it's something to consider when inviting them into your home for a lifestyle shoot.
Advantage: A Natural Feeling
If you are looking for natural interaction between you and your baby, a lifestyle photography session may be right for you. It's definitely easier to achieve a relaxed, natural feeling in the images when you're comfortable and many people feel more comfortable at home than in a studio setting.
Advantage: You can include your family fur baby too!
These important members of the family aren't always welcome in a studio environment. If you definitely want to include all members of your family in the photoshoot, a lifestyle session at home may be the answer.
The Studio Session
This style of photography also involves both the baby by themselves and the baby with their parents. They will take place in the photographer's studio or in a rented studio space. They often involve props and formal posing. They tend to be more formal in nature with the primary focus placed on the positioning of the baby and the props.
Advantage: Polished & Formal
If you're hoping to achieve that polished, poised image with everyone staring into the camera lens standing against a perfectly lighted snowy backdrop, a portrait session might be the best option for you. Portrait images tend to look stiffer and more formal. (Think of the family portraits from your childhood that lined the fireplace mantel.) But if you're willing to make the trip to a studio, a portrait will make a beautiful family keepsake for years to come.
Disadvantage: They can take a really long time
Babies are hard to photograph, even for the best photographers. They don't always cooperate with what we want them to do. They are awake when we want them to sleep, and they're asleep when we want them to be awake. To get that perfectly poised image you're looking for, you may need to spend some time waiting for the perfect moment to arrive. You know the one: when the baby is changed and dry, well-fed, and sound asleep all at the same time. Believe me, that perfect Anne Geddes moment is a real practice in patience.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nicole Lewis is a Toronto-based photographer who offers lifestyle, maternity and family photography sessions, as well as Fresh48, cake smashes and birthday portraits. You can find her work featured in Looks Like Film, Life and Lens Blog and 100 Layer Cake.