Studio vs At Home Baby Photography. Which One Is Best For My Family?
Your gorgeous baby is changing every day, and growing up fast. Booking a baby photo shoot during their first year is a popular way to document this precious time, and make sure you capture all of the little details you don’t want to forget.
When you start researching photographers, you’ll find many different options available to you. From a documentary style photo shoot at home, to highly stylised studio shoots, and many other options in between.
So how do you decide which of these options is right for your family?
In this article I’ll explain what you can expect from a baby photo shoot in a studio and a baby photo shoot at home, and three factors you can consider to help you decide which is best for your family.
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Baby Photography In A Studio
Within a studio environment there are lots of different variables, which will determine the finish of your photographs:
- Some photographers will use studio lights, and others will use window light
- Some photographers will use lots of props, outfits and/ or colour. Others will have a more minimal style
- Some photographers will photograph babies of certain ages: for example only babies over 5 months old, or only newborn babies and babies who can sit but can’t yet crawl. Others will place no restriction.
- Related Article: Natural light vs studio lights in photography. Which one is best?
- Related Article: What’s the best age for baby photos?
Baby Photography At Your Home
Similarly, when you have a baby photo shoot at home, the overall finish of your photographs will be different depending on the photographer’s style.
At one end of the scale you’ll find documentary photographers, who capture life just as it is. They’ll take a photo journalistic approach to photographing your baby, and whilst they’ll do everything they can to make sure they photograph from the best angles and perspectives, and making the most of the available light, documentary photographers usually won’t move the subject, objects, or furniture in the room.
At the other end of the scale you’ll find lifestyle photographers, who will usually have more input into the set-up of the photographs. They will likely discuss the best parts of your home to take the photographs in with you. You’ll also probably find that they will give quite a bit of direction about where to sit / stand or where your baby should be, and may move objects or furniture that could be distracting to the viewer out of sight.
You’ll also probably find photographers who’s styles fall between lifestyle photography and documentary photography.
- Related article: Lifestyle vs Posed Newborn Photography. Which Is Best For My Family?
Studio vs At Home Baby Photography. Which Is Best For You?
So now that we’ve explored the different styles of baby photography that you can find in a studio, and when a photographer comes to your home, how do you decide which is best for your family?
I suggest considering 3 factors as you make your decision:
- Which style of photography do you like best?
- How old is your baby?
- Do you want your home to feature in the photographs?
Which style of photography do you like best?
You may find that as you look through the different styles of photography – from highly stylised studio shoots to documentary shoots at home and find that one immediately jumps out at you as a style that you love.
If so, I recommend going with that. If you love a photographer’s style, chances are you will also love the photographs that they take of your baby.
You may find, however that you like both. For example, if you lean towards a clean, natural style of photography, you may like very natural studio photographs with minimal styling and lifestyle photographs taken at home. In this case, I recommend considering your baby’s age and whether you want your home to feature in the photographs too.
A 10 day old newborn baby, photographed in my studio
How old will your baby be at the time of the shoot?
As I mentioned earlier in the article, some studio photographers will only offer shoots at certain milestones during the first year – for example newborn, 3 months, 6 months (when babies can sit but not crawl) or around the time of their first birthday. Others may photograph babies at any stage during the first year.
Photographers who offer lifestyle or documentary style photography often have fewer restrictions around a baby’s age when they photograph them, provided they are past the newborn stage.
If your baby is newborn, some lifestyle photographers still prefer to photograph them under two weeks of age, and may recommend that you wait until your baby is 6-8 weeks old, or 3 months old if you’ve missed that stage.
- Related Article: What’s the best age for baby photos?
Do you want your home to feature in the photographs?
Finally, the last consideration is whether you want your home to be in the photographs. If you choose an at home shoot, your home will obviously be the backdrop to the photographs, and very visible in them as a result.
If you’re mid renovations, or planning renovations you may not be happy for this to happen, and so a studio shoot may be a better option.
- Related Article: How to get your home ready for an at home photo shoot
- Related Article: What to wear for a family photo shoot at home
Over to you
I hope that this article has helped you to decide between a studio or at home shoot for your baby. Which option have you decided on? I’d love to hear. Let me know in the comments below.
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