As anyone with children will tell you, newborn babies change so quickly in those their first few days and weeks. If you’re planning to capture those first moments with a specialist newborn photographer, you might want to think about your style, and that of the photographer you are considering.
Generally speaking, there are two genres of newborn photography: “posed” and “lifestyle.”
Posed newborn photography usually takes place in your home with a mobile studio, or in the photographer’s home or studio; with your baby carefully positioned in various womb-like poses on a blanket stretched taught over a soft, comfy bean bag.
Here's some pull-back shots below of me in action in some of my families’ homes, kindly supplied by my clients...
Before your session, we chat about your favourite colours and style; to help us pick colour schemes and props which most suit your tastes. Since the images created will likely be on proud display on your walls, we try to pick colours and props that will suit your home. My style tends to be pretty timeless and classic - I create images that will last the ages - not only because my printed products have lifetime guarantees :-) - but also because these images will be the heirlooms you pass down to your children, and their children. And who wants a framed print that screams the 2010s on their walls?
I also love to personalise each session to you, so if you have an item of sentimental significance which you would like to include, it would be my pleasure to integrate it in some of the bespoke images we create.
For example, Reggie, in the image below, was born at just 23 weeks young… the lamb he is photographed with is an item of special significance to mum and dad, and so we wanted to make sure we had at least one photo of Reggie with his lamb, together.
I recommend posed newborn photography sessions take place whilst your baby is still between about 5 - 15 days new, as at this age they are still used to curling up into the womb-like positions typical of this style of newborn imagery (Although I have successfully photographed newborns who are around 5 weeks new, in the same style).
Lifestyle newborn photography is focused on capturing your new baby in the natural environment of your home. I usually create these images in your living room and bedroom as these rooms give us plenty of variety for beautiful lifestyle images. Before the session we talk about the rooms, how they are decorated etc. so we can work out the best settings for our session and how to prepare the rooms.
I always offer the option of more classical family portraits as part of my lifestyle sessions, as well as within my posed newborn sessions; I find that parents still like to have these studio style images for their walls and albums.
For lifestyle photoshoots, there is much more flexibility in photoshoot timings, and we can quite comfortably still do newborn lifestyle photography up until your baby is around 6 weeks new.
My most popular sessions are posed newborn photoshoots with a few lifestyle images added to the end of the shoot - giving you the best of both worlds.
Editing Style: Regardless of the style of photography you go for, you may also want to find out what level of editing your photographer will go to in Lightroom and Photoshop (or other image editing software). You can often see a photographer’s editing style and skills when you look closely at their images - for example has the skin been over “softened” (looks plastic) or is there an obvious blur applied to the background? Are the colours consistent within a gallery? Do skin tones look healthy? (If in doubt, look for editing which is not obvious).
Personally, I hand edit all of the images I create. My style is timeless and classic, with a slightly artistic, fine art feel to some images (where it suits them), whist still keeping the memories authentic and true. I edit in both Lightroom and Photoshop, using each for different purposes.
I usually remove any temporary skin blemishes, unless you prefer me not to. This can manifest as flaky skin or baby acne in newborns, which I tend to remove, but without making your baby’s skin look plastic or giving that ‘soft focus’ look so often associated with the 1970s. If you have any specific concerns regarding skin blemishes or anything like that, please let me know and I will be mindful of it during the editing stage. Of course, kids habitually have runny noses and the like, and I can easily remove these thing for you.
When you have a newborn photography session with me, your final gallery will consist of colour images, but I also love the timelessness of black and white imagery. For this reason, when an image lends itself to a black and white conversion, I will also include this second copy of your image in your gallery too.
What next? I would highly recommend looking at the portfolio of a few different local newborn & baby portrait photographers when you are picking your newborn portrait session. Find a photographer whose art you adore (not just looking at lifestyle vs posed images, but also the colours, textures and props they use (there’s a whole other blog post just in that)), and whose editing style you like. Once you’ve found a shortlist, check out their reviews on Google & Facebook and after that, there’s nothing like speaking to a photographer on the phone. For me certainly, this is when I can answer all your questions as they come, and we begin to form the connection that we cement during your photoshoot.
If it feels right in your heart, then I’d say ‘go for it!’
For more details on newborn photography sessions (whether you choose to book with me or not) feel free to give me a call or leave a comment below.
P.S. I do hope you’ve found this blog post helpful, please feel free to share your feedback with me and to suggest other topics you’d like me to write about.