The purpose of this article is to provide some insight of why choosing a lifestyle newborn session is the right choice for a modern mom and dad. Early on in my photography career, I followed some of the traditional concepts for newborn shoots. The traditional method involves setting babies in adorable poses with prop equipment (e.g., beanbags, baskets) and accessories (e.g., headbands, hats). However, over the years, I have discovered my love for lifestyle sessions. The lifestyle method is a much more organic approach to capturing a newborn in the first few weeks of his or her precious life. Lifestyle photography is about capturing your new baby in a very natural and honest way and it’s about portraying the special connection between the parents and child. It is minimalistic in approach with main focus on shared moments between family members and the natural beauty of a newborn baby.
Home is where the heart is.
A family’s home is an ideal location for a newborn session. Parents and children alike feel more comfortable at home. The added comfort allows the family to feel more at ease. As a result, the family is more likely to exhibit the unique aspects of their relationship with one another, including a shared love and happiness. The home is also where a family spends a majority of their time after the birth of their child, and thus, is an appropriate stage for capturing these early moments. Finally, in choosing to select the home as the setting for the newborn session, the family has the opportunity to show off the baby’s nursery. At home session provides a perfect chance for parents to implement their own style. Parents often decorate their child’s nursery with such love and care that it would be a shame not to preserve its memory.
The goal of a lifestyle newborn session is to photograph the baby in natural poses. We want to capture the baby as he or she naturally lays, sleeps, explores her/his environment visually and even sometimes flashes a smile. In so doing, we can preserve a memory that reflects the true personality and uniqueness of each child. A real memory, as opposed to just another cute picture. Another goal is to use items that are on hand and specific to the family photographed while still trying to keep the environment simple and organic. Such items may include the baby’s blanket, stuffed animal, the parent’s favorite outfit for him or her, or a favorite swaddle. Sometimes, even a family pet that loves to lay next to the child may end up being a great addition to a picture.
Families, families, families.
Lifestyle photography sessions do not solely focus on close-ups of the newborn. Rather, an equal portion of the shoot is dedicated to photographing the family’s interaction: the emotion and joy between the parents, the parents and child(ren), and sometimes, the extended family. I adore catching that perfect moment when a new dad looks at his bundle of joy with pure love in his eyes or capturing the smile only a mom can make when looking at her newborn. Those honest connections are impossible to recreate in the studio environment.
Unlike more traditional newborn sessions, lifestyle sessions are much more relaxed. We don’t adhere to a strict timeline or design. We go with the flow and let the child lead, relieving the stress normally attributed to traditional shoots. When the baby sleeps, I have the opportunity to capture his or her natural un-posed beauty. When the baby is awake, I can capture the parents cuddling or playing with him or her. The relaxed environment helps the parents, who are already dealing with a great deal of stress, and also helps prevent the baby from getting upset. Baby doesn’t need to “perform” in any sort of way and parents get to enjoy all the moments as they naturally occur.
No Rush, Baby!
Traditional photographers looking to pose newborns in specific positions must schedule the session shortly after the child’s birth, typically within five to ten days. The reason is that babies sleep more during the first days after their birth and photographers can easily manipulate them into cute poses. One great advantage to lifestyle photography is that families do not necessarily have to rush to have a photography session within the first couple of weeks after bringing their baby home. While it is nice to capture these early moments, parents have a lot to handle at this time, and may need additional days to prepare for the shoot. With lifestyle photography, a newborn need not be asleep during the shoot, so it allows more flexibility.
Traditional methods of posing or dressing a baby often follow popular styles for the given period. The problem is that such poses, props or outfits go out of style in time. What might be popular today may look out-of-date when you later flip through your photo album. A lifestyle session avoids the risk and temptation of temporary fads. Instead, we capture the true and unique qualities of your newborn, family, and home. These memories will never go out of style.
Lifestyle newborn session is not just about taking beautiful photos, it is about creating a story, a story that is specific only to the family photographed. The first moments when new life is brought into a home is the happiest of times. Parents are filled with emotions of love and joy. New experiences are created and shared. A lifestyle newborn session documents these special moments and at the same time conveys in the most authentic way a beautiful story of one’s life.
BOJANA KORACH IS A PUBLISHED LIFESTYLE PHOTOGRAPHER SPECIALIZING IN NEWBORN, FAMILY & CHILD PHOTOGRAPHY IN THE SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA. CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR PHOTOGRAPHY SERVICES.