This beautiful girl’s parents were kind enough to let me post photos with no identifying information, so please enjoy some images of this gorgeous baby!
I photographed baby T at his home in Arlington, Virginia. His mama allowed me to post images without identifying information, but I've decided to take it a step further and not include images of this adorable little guy's family. But take it from me, they are beautiful! One of the first things I noticed about their home was that it was pretty much my dream decorating. I'm sure T's mama thought I was insane, but I thought this adorable little horse family on their window represented them, mom/dad/sister/brother.
Also, I get the biggest kick out of newborn facial expressions. Baby T did not disappoint!
After receiving a few questions about the difference between a lifestyle newborn session and a posed session, I realized I haven't been very clear! Hopefully this post will shed some light on these types of sessions, and help you choose what is a better fit for you and your family.
Posed Newborn Session
The word "posed" has much more to do with baby than it does with the family. While we do get lifestyle-inspired images of your family, a posed session is focused on timeless images of just your baby.
Posed sessions are the ones where it's best that baby be between 5 and 14 days old (but truthfully, I've had babies up to 25 days totally rock this kind of session). Since your newborn was up until very recently squished securely inside of mama, they are usually a) very amenable to posing in ways that show off their beautifully tiny features and b) sleepy enough to let me pose them.
From a photographic standpoint, posed sessions tend to be somewhat challenging, as each baby is different and you never truly know what you are going to get. But I guess I like a challenge because I absolutely LOVE these sessions. I look at these posed images as fine art, and feel so inspired with a blank/solid backdrop and your baby as the subject.
Then there's mom and dad. I know that I wasn't looking or feeling 100% right after the births of my kiddos, and I don't generally display images in my home of me being a hot mess. The images that I have framed are posed shots of my children as teeny babies. And every time I look at those images, my heart is filled with love, rather than as a reminder of how sore, crampy, bloated and emotional I was. But everyone's birth story is different, you might have come out of labor a mother f-ing goddess. And if so, let's capture that!
This is where things probably get a bit confusing. In the packages that I offer, most people go for lifestyle family shots and posed newborn shots (Classic Package). In most cases, we do family shots on the master bed, or elsewhere in the house. While I do pose you initially, what I'm looking for is more about your family's love and connection. If there are older siblings, we do a few shots of just them with the baby. If you'd like images of just mom/just dad/just mom and dad with the baby, we do that as well.
With a posed session, I will essentially be moving into your house. I have a giant beanbag made especially for newborn photography that will confuse your husband and generally prompts questions on how I built it. I will set this bad boy up with a number of blankets to help achieve that solid colored, gradual fade backdrop. Then depending on baby, I will try a bunch of different poses, all of which are safe and meant to hide any private bits.
- Things I bring to a posed newborn session:
- Posing bean bag
- Different colored posing blankets for the beanbag
- Posing pillows to help position baby
- Flokati rug (great for sibling shots)
- Crates/buckets/baskets for baby
- Wraps/hats/bonnets/headbands/newborn outfits all handmade by newborn photography prop vendors
- Floor drops
- Space heater
- Seamless backdrop paper and stand (if going with the premiere package)
- Studio light with umbrella and diffuser
- Things I need from you in your home
- Heat turned up
- An area of at least 6 ft by 6 ft in a dark-ish room to set up the bean bag
- If we're doing seamless background for parent/family shots (premiere package) I'll need an area of about 8 ft by 8 ft with a hard floor
Lifestyle Newborn Session
Even in a lifestyle session I will do some hands on posing, but I view this as a more photo journalistic and natural approach to your newborn.
With a lifestyle session, I will bring waaaay less stuff to your house, and will instead be using your environment as a backdrop. This includes baby's nursery, common areas in the home, and possibly the master bedroom or a siblings room as well. We won't miss the details like your newborn's tiny little fingers and toes, but they will be framed differently than they would in a posed session. Baby might be in his/her crib, on a family heirloom quilt, or laying next to big brother while he reads a story. My posing of baby will be very minimal with this type of session.
With a lifestyle session, it's less important that baby be within that 5-14 day time frame. I've shot lifestyle sessions for babies as old as 3 months, and these can often be great because you start getting real smiles, rather than the sleepy-and-pooping-smile you get with a very new newborn.
Much like I mentioned above in the posed session explanation, my family shots almost always take on a lifestyle feel. We do family shots on the master bed, or elsewhere in the house if you'd prefer. While I do pose you initially, I'm looking for your family's love and connection. If there are older siblings, we do a few shots of just them with the baby. If you'd like images of just mom/just dad/just mom and dad with the baby, we do that as well.
- Things I would bring to a lifestyle session:
- A few neutral wraps/swaddles for baby
- Studio light with umbrella and diffuser
- Things I need from you in your home:
- A few clean/tidy areas (this is why I personally wouldn't be the best candidate for this type of shoot) but if you are, you are amazing
- If you'd like some parent images with a seamless backdrop-look, I'll need about 6 feet of an undercoated wall as a backdrop
- Regarding the below gallery, there are more images to come, I need to pull them off of the cloud, but I wanted to have this blog post up as soon as I could.
To sum it all up, these are my current packages, and the family images you can expect:
- Lifestyle - Family lifestyle images included, similar to below
- Petite - JUST your newborn, no family images included
- Heirloom- Family lifestyle images included, similar to below, either lifestyle or for a simpler look, against a seamless backdrop or painted wall in your home
Meet baby Asha, isn’t she stunning? I met Asha’s family around the holidays last year, they were new to the area and looking to have some family photos for their holiday card and I am honored that they chose me. They’re the nicest people, and their son Kavin, is not only sweet and adorable, but also the best dressed little guy I’ve ever seen. It was so nice getting to hang out with them while I took these photos, they are just so laid back and indulged my need to try out a multitude of props on their little one. Tina (mama), must share my excitement for knitted things, as she had already bought a few outfits meant for newborn photography which we enthusiastically included in the session!
I tell my clients that when I come to their home for a session, it might look like I’m trying to move in. I bring a lot of things, and I mean A LOT of things. I generally advise clients not to dress their newborns in any fancy outfits…as cute and tiny as those little NB sized clothes are, a lot of times they swallow up a tiny little baby and don’t photograph well. I have lots of swaddles, wraps, bonnets, hats, headbands and other pieces made exclusively for newborn photography, and I will bring those items to your session based on your answers to the pre-session questionnaire. Mama just went above and beyond in this case
When I go into a client’s home for a newborn session, my top three objectives are to capture the family connection, their personalities, and life as it is that very day. Those days right after the birth of a new little baby seem to fly by, which is why I think that newborn photography is so important. Sure, in that moment you’re exhausted, probably pretty sore and banged up, and not exactly in the mood to get the whole family dressed up and smiling for photos. But I know from my own experience that those are the images that I treasure the most. I look back now at images of my children as newborns and can see their personalities as I know them now, shining through even then.
So back to personality! I met Giana (mama to Ari and Adam) through my hospital’s new moms group, her daughter has grown up alongside my son. Knowing her family, I knew there would be no shortage of personality with this clan. And I was not disappointed. Enjoy a few of my favorites from this great session!
I met Luke's mama in my hospital new mother's support group when she had her daughter, who coincidentally was born in the same hospital on the same day as my son. We might have even passed each other shuffling through the halls in our hospital gowns. Well, I would have been shuffling, I'm sure Olga was skipping out of the hospital! Our children are now good friends, and so are we. Obviously I was beyond thrilled that she asked me to photograph this sweet guy.
Olga and her husband took my prep guide very seriously which was AMAZING. When I travel to homes for newborn sessions, I strongly suggest to new parents that the rooms where I'll be shooting be around 80 degrees to keep the star of the show warm and happy. Olga and Matt followed directions diligently, and that played a big part in the session being such a success.
With it being so toasty, we got the family shots out of the way first, and then we all sweated it out in the sauna while baby Luke did his job as an excellent model.