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How to Choose Between Lifestyle or Portrait Photography Styles

Updated: Jul 12, 2022

Choosing the style of your newborn photography session is an important decision. You will be looking at the photos created during your session for the rest of your life, and they will be cherished by your children and perhaps grandchildren as well! I know that is strange to think about, but I am sure you have a few cherished photos of when your parents and possibly your grandparents were young, right? Likewise, your tiny newborn will appreciate these newborn photos when they are older and will likely compare how they looked as newborns to how their children look. So even though you might just be looking for some lovely photos to share online, the true worth of newborn photography comes from how long these photos will be looked at, which will likely be for many, many years to come.

Understanding the significance and longevity of the photos is essential in choosing the right style for your family. The two different types result in different outcomes, and it is vital to understand what makes each style unique. I will do my best to break down the two different styles in this post.

Newborn Lifestyle Photography

Newborn Lifestyle sessions result in candid images but are actually guided into "poses" by the photographer. What I mean is these images look candid but are always posed to look natural and not stiff. Your photographer guides you into beautiful natural-looking poses, taking into consideration the lighting in your home and proper composition to create images that looked like a fly on the wall took them. The goal of these sessions is to capture all the love, magic, cuddles, laughter, and even tears that are present in your life when you have a newborn. These sessions are real, sometimes raw, and always take parents back to how it felt to hold that tiny miracle in their arms. I often get parents to look at each other, and the love for their partner washes over their faces! It is wonderful and truly an honor to capture these moments for parents to relive over and over again.

Newborn Portrait Photography

Newborn Portrait sessions are primarily photos of the baby alone on a blanket-like backdrop and in props such as baskets and bowels. The baby is often asleep and is slowly and carefully moved from one pose to another to create various images. Professional newborn photographers go through extensive training to ensure that the baby is safe moving from one pose to the next. It is crucial to find a qualified newborn photographer and never try to create newborn portraits at home. A baby's safety and comfort should never be jeopardized for a photo; please don't put your baby's safety at risk.

Most images created during Newborn Portrait sessions are close-ups of the baby. These images are edited to remove any bumps, scratches, and flakes that are present on almost every newborn's skin. Since more retouching is required in these types of sessions, there is usually a slightly longer turnaround time than lifestyle sessions. Additionally, this type of session is best completed before the baby is two weeks old when they sleep most of the time. These sessions can be conducted when the baby is older, but if the baby is strong and active, we might not get as many poses during the session. Often photographers will pose the baby in props to give a variety of images for Newborn Portrait sessions.

How to Choose?

Both newborn photography styles offer something unique and different. When deciding between the two, you should consider how you would like to display the images. Newborn Portraits are more formal and look great in nurseries and in loving rooms because they are truly works of art. Lifestyle images can also work as wall art but usually work best in an album since they tell a story of what life was like during the newborn time. Also, consider your own personality, are you drawn to candid images or prefer formal photos? Additionally, don't forget to discuss your options with your photographer! Photographers are here to help our clients get the best experience possible and are happy to help guide you in making any decision regarding your session.


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