Posed vs Lifestyle Newborn Photography – What’s The Difference?

 Lifestyle vs Studio Newborn Photography When you’re researching newborn photographers, you’ll no doubt find that there is a huge spectrum of different styles of photography to choose from.

At either end of the scale you have posed, studio photography, and lifestyle photography. But there are also lots of variations in-between – for example some photographers will bring their studio to your home to take posed photographs there. Other studio photographers (like me) shoot a more natural, less posed style of studio newborn photography.

So what are the differences between these different types of newborn photography, and which is right for you? In this post I’ll explain the differences, and why one style may be better for your family than the other.

What is posed, studio newborn photography?

Posed studio newborn photography is probably what most people think of when they think of newborn photographs. Sleepy babies, naked or with cute little outfits on, or perhaps wrapped up in blankets. Depending on the photographer they may be photographed on blankets, or in props such as bowls, baskets, prams or boxes. The vast majority of photographers who photograph in this style will also include family portraits, and sibling photographs within the session. Here are some examples from my posed, studio sessions:

Finance Newborn Baby Photo ShootLifestyle vs Studio Newborn Photography

What is lifestyle newborn photography?

At the other end of the spectrum you have lifestyle photography. Lifestyle newborn photography takes place at your home, and will usually spend the majority of the shoot focussing on the connection between you and your baby, and photographing your baby within their new surroundings. The photographs are generally more natural, less posed and your baby may be awake or asleep when they are photographed. Here are some examples from a lifestyle family session at one of my client’s homes:

Lifestyle vs Studio Newborn Photography

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Which style of newborn photography should I choose?

The most important factor when you are choosing a photographer has to be whether or not you like the photographs. If you love the studio style of photography but not lifestyle, then the answer to this question will be very straightforward for you, and vice versa.

But what if you like both styles? Which should you choose? Here are some considerations that may help your decision:

What would you like to do with the photographs after the session?

If you’re planning to hang some on your walls for example, which style of photography would complement your decor best? If you would like to send birth announcements what kind of photograph do you envisage having on the front?

Lifestyle vs Studio Newborn Photography
An example from a lifestyle session

Do you want your home to feature in the photographs?

Lifestyle photography will use your home as the backdrop to the photographs. This can be a wonderful way to capture your family – in the place where memories are made, and where your baby will grow up. On the other hand, you may have just moved in, be mid-renovations or not got around to decorating the house the way you would like it to be just yet. In these cases a studio session could suit you better as your home doesn’t need to feature at all.

Lifestyle vs posed newborn photography - which is the best
An example from a studio session

How old is your baby?

Many families make the decision to book a newborn photo shoot after their baby has been born, and this may have a big influence on the style of photography you choose to go for.

I like to photograph newborn babies in the studio when they are under two weeks old – they’re still very sleepy and enjoy being curled up in the poses. As babies pass the two week mark they spend more of their day awake and like to stretch out – so the older that they become, the better fit a lifestyle session will be for you. The baby in the photograph below was 2 months old for her family session at home.

Over to you

Are you ready to book a newborn photo shoot? Or do you have some more questions you’d like to ask first?

Get in touch with me here – I’m always happy to answer any questions you have and would love to hear from you.

Related Links

When to book newborn photos

How to choose a newborn photographer

My newborn photography portfolio

How much does newborn photography cost?

How to find the funds for your newborn photo shoot

Do you want To Hire A Newborn Photographer But Don’t Know Where To Start?

Download the FREE Newborn Photography Buyer’s Guide and learn how to choose the best photographer for your family.

Picture of Clare Murthy

Clare Murthy

I’m a newborn, baby and family photographer working with families from South West London and Surrey. I specialise in timeless, natural photography with no props or unnatural posing. I photograph babies at my studio, and families in beautiful outdoor locations. I'm based on the Surrey / London border, close to Hampton Court.
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