If you are expecting a little one soon and have been searching for the right photographer to capture this special moment in your family’s journey, you may have come across a couple different styles of photography: Lifestyle and Studio. If you are wondering what the difference is and how to choose between them, then you are in the right place as I’m about to breakdown these sessions to help you figure out which one is best for you and your family.
1. Studio Newborn Sessions
Studio Newborn Sessions, or posed newborn sessions, are what most people think of when it comes to newborn photography these days. These sessions tend to focus primarily on the baby but can include a handful of posed parent and family images as well. The sessions are best done when the baby is less than 3 weeks old as the little one is more flexible and sleepier, which helps the photographer get them into those adorable squishy poses. That is not to say it can’t happen with an older baby, like us, most photographers will still offer sessions for babies older than 3 weeks, but just confirm with your photographer beforehand.
These sessions usually include a variety of backgrounds, props, and clothing to style it to your taste. Fabric for backgrounds and wraps on your baby; baskets, bowls and buckets for your little one to sit in; and hats, headbands and outfits for your baby to wear, are typically all provided by your photographer, with styling input from yourself before the session. Sessions are typically done in the photographer’s studio, but some do travel to your home as well.
These sessions allow for your little one to be the star of the show and capture not only precious poses but also all the adorable details of your brand new baby. They can also let you take a breather as you sit back and watch the session unfold from a comfy couch. In our studio, we often have parents take advantage of the quiet, cozy room and grab a couple extra minutes of shut eye as we work with the baby.
The biggest draw to Studio Newborn Sessions it that this really is the only time they can be done. Although most photographers offer Milestone Studio Sessions (such as Sitter Sessions, Cake Smash Sessions, etc.) and these sessions can be styled to match your newborn session in terms of colours, etc., the ability to pose your little one so perfectly really only happens when they are this tiny and flexible.
2. Lifestyle Newborn Sessions
Lifestyle Newborn Sessions are typically done in your home and focus on the interaction and connection between the baby, parents, and siblings. The sessions tend to be less posed and can also capture candid moments that happen during the session. The sessions can be done in the first 3 weeks like Studio Newborn Sessions but can also be comfortably done after that timeframe. Poses are much more candid in nature and therefore having a sleepy, super squishy baby isn’t as important as it is during a Studio Newborn Session.
Because these sessions take place in your home, Lifestyle Newborn Sessions can also capture décor details that would otherwise be missed in a Studio Session. The blanket you brought your little one home in, your nursery styling, and even their precious toys can all be captured as part of this session. I tend to grab images of these things while the baby nurses or gets changed (after grabbing a few candid images of that moment of course), and if these details are important to you definitely make sure to let your photographer know in advance.
A big plus to Lifestyle Newborn Sessions is that images and settings can be replicated as your little one grows up. For example, a newborn photo captured while cuddling on the couch can be similarly put together as a family photo a year (or many more) down the road as you cuddle up and read your favourite storybook in the same setting. It can make for some great milestone images for your little one and your family as a whole.
About the Author:
Stephanie Koning is a Newborn + Family Photographer in Ottawa offering both Studio + Lifestyle Sessions through her company Stephanie Beach Photography. When she’s not hanging out with families or cuddling newborns, you can find her at home playing with her puppy, working on the latest reno or craft project, or just chilling on the couch with her hubby.