Updated: Aug 9, 2022
When expectant parents come to me asking about newborn photos, one of the questions I often get is, what should we choose, Lifestyle or Studio?
I thought I'd take a bit of time today to go over some of the differences between the two types of sessions.
No matter which type of session you choose, I work with you to plan and customize your session for your needs. Once you've booked your session you will also receive a full session prep guide and options for one-on-one wardrobe consultations. My goal is to help you from booking all the way through printing your photos for your wall or with the creation of a beautiful heirloom album.
So, here we go. How to decide if you'd like Studio Newborn or Lifestyle Newborn Photos...
Are you looking for Candid or Posed?
TLDR: Want candid? Go with lifestyle! Want posed/wrapped baby? Go with Studio!
The first question I ask expectant parents when they are trying to decide between a Studio Newborn Session and a Lifestyle-in-home session is:
Do you want the wrapped, posed, baby in a basket type photos? Or do you want more candid?
Lifestyle sessions are in your home, and are more candid. Yes, we get photos of baby alone, and even in a wrap or two, but we don't have access to all of my props, baskets, wraps and headbands like I do in Studio. Lifestyle sessions are just that, they show you at home, your life!
Studio photos take place at my NE Seattle Studio, and are posed.
If you prefer more posed photos, the Studio is a great choice. I have an abundance of props, baskets, wraps and headbands and also many different set ups for baby.
Who do you want included in your photos?
TLDR: For studio sessions, a Classic Session includes posed photos of baby and baby + parents. Choose an Heirloom Studio session if you would like to include sibling photos to allow for additional time and saftey of siblings poses. Lifestyle sessions can ibe booked as either Classic or Heirloom
Studio posed newborn photos and parent photos take an hour and require a separate setup in the studio than what is used for photos including siblings. So, if you want posed baby photos AND family photos, please book your studio session as an Heirloom session. The session is then broken up in to two separate parts. Based on your other kiddo's schedule's we'll either have older siblings come for the first half and leave (I ask one parent or another caregiver to either take the kiddos home or to the park etc.) or they show up for the second half only. Basically, we set the other kiddos free and then change the studio set up and move to baby posed photos.
If you only want pictures of your baby alone and baby+ parernt then you can book as either a Classic Session or an Heirloom Session.
If you are hoping to stay in the range of the Classic Session Package and still want family and baby photos, then a lifestyle session is the better pick. Due to the fact that lifestyle sessions are more candid and don't involve wraps and set ups we can fit sibling and newborn within the hour timeframe of Classics Session when it's a Lifestyle Session.
What's your timeline for photos?
TLDR: Studio book 1-2 weeks after due date. Lifestyle sessions can be more flexible with timing,
Due to the wrapped sleepy posed nature of Studio photos, I recommend scheduling a Studio newborn session for about 10 days to 2 weeks after baby's due date. When you schedule your session, I ask that you schedule based on your due date, and then when baby arrives, we can adjust the date up or out as necessary if baby comes early or late.
Lifestyle sessions can be a bit more flexible on timing. I've done lifestyle "newborn" sessions anywhere from when baby is a week old, to when baby is 3 months old (or even older!). Because it's not essential to have baby sleepy for poses
Does getting out of the house sound nice, or stressful?
TLDR: Studio means no set up or clean up on your end, lifestyle means no travel? What's better for your situation?
Some people find getting out of the house with a newborn (and siblings) in toe to be a stressful ordeal, so the idea of packing up to head to my studio sounds overwhelming. Other's find the opposite, that getting out of the house is a nice change of scene, and when you come to me, I deal with all of the set up and clean up, you don't need to do anything.
Think about what might be best for you and your family.
Bonus Tip - What NOT to worry about for your session:
If you want lifestyle sessions, don't worry that your place "might not have any good photo spots" I'll be doing a more in-depth post on this in the coming days, but long story short, I can make most any spot work! Also please don't worry about having a spotless house. I've been there in the early days, if you get the chance to clean or rest, rest. I really only need one somewhat tidy room with decent light to work with!
Still can't decide. There's nothing saying you can't do both!
A popular option is to book a Studio Newborn and then a Lifestyle session for when baby is closer to 3 months old. I actually find doing that can be extra helpful if there are siblings involved. A little bit of extra time for older brother(s) and sister(s) to get used to the new little one!
I took this little one's newborn photos in studio at one week old and then 4 months later came by to do a lifestyle session. This gave the parents a bit more time to settle in at home (and finish the nursery because baby girl came early!). It also gave us an opportunity to have photos of her at different ages.
Plus, I offer a 10% booking discount for any two or more sessions booked at the same time (and payment plans are available!) Contact me for details.
Here are some side-by-side examples of Lifestyle vs. Studio:
Family Photos: Lifestyle left, Studio Right
Baby only Photos, Lifestyle left, Studio Right
Parent(s) and baby: Lifestyle left, studio right