About a year and a half ago, I decided to make the switch to Lifestyle Newborn Photography. At first, it was an extremely intimidating decision. After all, I spent years building my client base and people seemed to love their adorable Littles squished into buckets and surrounded by elaborate prop setups. But, as my photography style evolved, I began to realize that it just wasn't me. Slowly, I started mixing the two styles....toting buckets and bags and backdrops for posed photos and encouraging clients to participate in some lifestyle images around their home. More often than not, my clients' favorite images were those capturing true emotion with their baby...using the backdrop of their home. Eventually, I took the leap and have not looked back. I packed up my hats and backdrops and posing bags and instead, invested in a few simple wraps and blankets to bring with me to sessions. Now, my "props" are geared toward complimenting my clients' homes and accenting the beautiful nurseries and bedrooms that they have put their hearts into decorating.
There are a million reasons why I prefer this style, but I won't bore you with all of them...Just my top 3!
~1) We are capturing EMOTION: No matter what kind of session I am shooting, my favorite images are always, always, always shots where my subjects are NOT looking at my camera. I want your galleries to be a real and accurate reflection of your life in THIS moment. And what holds more emotion than those first moments with your new baby at home! The way new parents are completely mesmerized looking at their baby, the pride that beams from a BIG brother's face, the love that makes a family...it's pretty much my fav.
~2) LOW Stress: So many times during my "posed" newborn days, I watched my mama's stress throughout the entire session when baby didn't want to sleep or pose the way we wanted them to. And that's not the way it should be. Lifestyle imagery allows us to capture beautiful images without the pressure on Little One to "perform" or "cooperate." More comfortable for baby and for mama = a more relaxed session...and that shines through in your images.
~3) Each session is Different: Because no two homes are exactly the same, each session is unique and showcases things that are important to you as a family vs. standard "props" and backgrounds. Years from now, when your children are looking back on these images, they will be filled with things that matter.
So.... now that you have scheduled your session, what can you do to prepare?
~1) A warm house and a full belly: Babies are most content when they are cozy and fed. To ensure that we have a solid stretch of shooting time with a happy Little, I usually suggest that you feed and change about 10-15 minutes before our session. They just a diaper and blanket will do until I arrive.
~2) What to wear: Since these sessions are taking place in your home, I always suggest that you try to coordinate to your decor, while still staying relatively neutral. Grays, creams and pastels are some of my favorite tones because they allow the focus and center of attention to be where it should be... On your precious baby!
~3) Where we will shoot: Having a new baby at home is tiring and hectic. Don't worry about a clean house or dirty dishes in the sink! It's FINE!!!! Typically, we are shooting in the nursery and master bedroom.... and occasionally one or two other well lit or especially striking areas of your home (like a great foyer or stunning staircase, for example). It's best to remove as much clutter from those spots as you can...but by all means....leave that overflowing laundry basket in the corner. I'm pretty used to moving/navigating around any distractions.
And let's not forget the siblings! Aside from new baby, capturing your older children become a BIG brother or sister is an extremely important aspect of every lifestyle newborn session. Lifestyle photography allows for them to play a huge role in the creation of your first memories as a new family. And I've been known to keep lollipops in my camera bag...which is usually a big hit ;-)
It's safe to say that Lifestyle Newborn sessions are my favorite and there is not one single moment that I've regretted making the switch. Thank you to my amazing clients for opening the doors of your homes to me and for trusting me with the precious memories of your newest additions!