What To Expect During A Newborn Lifestyle Photo Session

I have always gravitated towards a less posed, more documentary style of photography. I love incorporating people into their surroundings, and making art in unexpected places. So it was a natural fit for me to gravitate towards lifestyle newborn photography!

What is newborn lifestyle photography?

Newborn lifestyle photography sessions focus on the connections between the new baby and their family. It’s amazing how quickly it feels like this baby has been a part of your family forever, and one of my favorite parts of my job is watching parents’ wonder over this new person in their life.

Lifestyle photography is a blend of documentary style photography, blended with some gentle direction (aka posing). Your session takes place in your home, but I will help find a spot with beautiful light, and will guide you into positions that feel natural and comfortable.

While the photos from this type of session may all look like spontaneous moments, there is often direction and prompting behind the images.

What are the advantages of an in-home lifestyle session with my newborn?

1) You get to include your home.

Even if you’re not in your “forever” home, you are in the first home your child will ever know. And that place will always hold a special place in your heart! The color you picked for the crib sheets, the way the light streams into your master bedroom…

2) Comfortable.

This is especially helpful if you have older children. Having a new baby in the house turns your life upside down for awhile, and it’s nice to have the comfort of your own things nearby. Your snacks, your coffee, your children’s favorite cartoon.

3) You can’t forget anything!

This was huge for me in the early days! I’m certain I spent the first six months in a constant state of “I forgot something”. At home, you have it all – diapers, postpartum care needs, an extra outfit when the first one inevitably gets puked on.

4) You can include your pets.

Most of my newborn clients have at least one dog, if not two, and a huge percentage of them get included in their newborn session. While I won’t take photos of the baby *on* the dog, I will make sure to include them to the extent you are comfortable with!

Do you take photos of the baby alone? Why am I in so many photos?

I will include at least one set of photos with the baby by themselves. My priority with my newborn sessions is to incorporate the family as much as possible though, so the majority of the session will take place in arms.

What is baby-led posing?

Baby-led posing is a term that is new to me, but as soon as I heard it, realized this was something I had been gravitating towards in my style of newborn photography.

In baby-led posing, I won’t spend hours trying to get your baby to sleep so that we can put them in unnatural positions. It’s stressful for the baby, as well as the whole family, and that’s the last feeling I want you to have during your newborn session.

If your baby is sleepy, we will let them stretch out in the crib, on your bed, or on a blanket on the floor. If your baby is fussy, we may need to do their close-up photos in your arms. When you look back on these, you will see them curled up, safe and happy in your arms, rather than remembering the two hours we spent rocking and bouncing a fussy baby.

Do you include props in your sessions?

No. While I am open to including small items of importance in your session (small signs, stuffed animals), I cannot promise to include them. As you can see on my site, I do not incorporate props into any of my work, and do not have the training to safely do so.

How long is a newborn lifestyle session?

Newborn lifestyle sessions are typically one to two hours. I ask my clients to set aside two hours so that we aren’t rushed. Babies inevitably decide that photo day is the day they need to grow big and cluster feed, so I want to make sure we have time for feedings and diapers changes. As well as snacks and coffee breaks for Mom and Dad!

What if my house isn’t magazine-worthy?

I have photographed newborn sessions in living rooms full of moving boxes, in cluttered master bedrooms, and in crowded home offices. I promise you – all you need is a window with light, and I will make it work!

If you are nervous about your home, let me know during the booking process, and I’m happy to look at photos/do a zoom call to let you know my thoughts on your space.

Will you tell me what to do with my hands?

Absolutely! My job as your photographer is to set the scene for you to interact with your family and baby in a way that is comfortable and natural for you. Think of my as the director of your movie: I will put you in the best light and position, then give you prompts and things to do to bring about the interactions you would naturally have with your family.

What is your typical shot list for a lifestyle newborn session?

At my newborn sessions, I typically work in the following order:

  • Entire family
  • Siblings
  • Mom with baby
  • Dad with baby
  • Baby Solo

Depending on everyone’s mood, we may switch things around a bit. But if you have older kids, know that my absolutely number one priority is getting their photos over and done with as soon as possible!

When do I schedule my session?

Babies are unpredictable at best! While I prefer my newborn clients schedule prior to delivery, we won’t actually put you on the schedule until you are settled and home from the hospital. I will have you email or text me to let me know you are ready to schedule, and I will get back to you with dates that work best.

What time of day is best for a lifestyle session?

All of my newborn sessions start between 9 am and 10:30 am.

What age is best for a newborn lifestyle session?

Since my goal is not to have a sleepy baby for your session, lifestyle newborn sessions can take place anywhere from the first week through 12 weeks. Babies do tend to lose the “newborn” look by about 8 weeks post-due date, but that’s not a hard and fast rule. Older babies are more interactive and smiley, and can be a lot of fun during a lifestyle session!

How do I book a lifestyle newborn session?

You can find more information on my newborn session page! While this page includes information for Cheyenne clients, I’m available for newborn sessions all over northern Colorado, including Fort Collins, Wellington, Bellevue, Timnath and Windsor. I’m also more than happy to travel to locations beyond (Longmont, Loveland, Boulder, Denver) that, and will provide a custom quote for anyone who is interested.

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