Which newborn photography style is "the best"?
Updated: Jul 20
You found out you're pregnant - congratulations! And you have made the decision to have the first moments of your beautiful baby's life photographed by a professional photographer. That's fantastic. But who should you choose? Newborn photography is very popular nowadays and there are so many talented photographers out there, it can be so overwhelming to select among the sea of photographers the right one for you.
There are many factors to consider before you book your newborn photographer, such as reputability, insurance, good knowledge of newborn posing safety - these are probably the most important ones. But there is also one more important decision you need to make before you start digging through the hundreds of photographers to find THE ONE - and that is what style you lean towards.
There are three main types of newborn photography:
- Birth/Fresh 48 photography
- Lifestyle newborn photography
- Studio style/posed newborn photography
This type of photography session takes place in the hospital. Giving birth is for many women life changing experience. Some mums to be want it to be very intimate and private, but some want to remember this time and have it captured forever. Birth photographer is going to be present with you during this memorable time, they will be like a fly on the wall, documenting those life changing moments for you to treasure forever.
Fresh48 photo session is slightly different from birth photography - it doesn't specifically photograph the birth itself, but it focuses on the new baby and the parents. As the title suggests, it takes place within 48 hours after birth and it is usually held in the hospital. It captures your beautiful new bundle of joy with all their freshness.
These types of photography will suit clients who like document style photography. It will capture all the beautiful raw details and emotions, and the resulting images are usually very moving and beautifully special.
If you are considering Fresh48 or Birth photography, always contact your photographer and discuss with them what you are comfortable with and make them aware of any special requests you may have. Also query with your hospital or birthing centre if it allows photographers to be present.
Studio style/posed photography
If you like beautifully posed and lit, artistically enhanced images that show your baby in beautiful snuggly outfits, wraps or props, posed in those beautiful squishy sleepy poses we all love, studio style (posed) newborn photography is probably the best choice for you.
These types of photoshoots and incredibly popular among new parents as they beautifully capture your new baby and create beautiful pieces of art. And they are incredibly adorable. Cute bonnets and outfits, beautiful delicate headbands and halos for girls, stunningly textured wraps, furs... The studio style photoshoots are mostly requested sessions we get. Parents love them because it not only perfectly captures the beauty of their little one, but it is also a fantastic opportunity to have a first professional family portrait with their brand new family addition, as family and sibling portraits are also included with our newborn studio styled session.
These sessions usually last between 2-4 hours, which may seem a lot, but there is always a lot of time allowed for feeding and soothing the baby. The aim of this style is to capture the brand new baby with all their cuteness to create beautiful, heavenly artistic images.
Things you need to ensure while booking a studio style photoshoot is that the style and aesthetics of your chosen photographer resonate with you. If your personal style is dark and artistic, it is probably not a best idea to go for a photographer whose portfolio is overflowing with light photographs with vivid colours. If you love bright and airy photographs, you probably won't find a right fit in a photographer who has very dark portfolio of images. Photographer's websites and social media is a good indicator of the artists' style. Check the websites of the photographers in your area and see what colour palette and style you like best.
Lifestyle newborn photoshoot
If you want to capture your little one in relaxed, everyday environment focusing purely at your baby and your family bond, the lifestyle newborn photoshoot may be the one for you. These sessions don't include any props or specialist outfits - they are all about your baby how they are right at that moment, documenting those first moments of their lives and your family. These sessions will take place in comfort of your home and they will document your new life chapter as parents, they will capture the connection and all those tiny details.
These sessions are usually pretty quick as the whole point of this style is to document the reality of becoming a parent, and capture the baby as it is, right in that moment. No complicated poses, no fuss. Just pure beauty of your little one.
The popularity of lifestyle newborn photography is increasing recently, and I am not surprised parents love these sessions so much. It is all about their baby. This style will suit parents who like modern and simple styles, who are not big fans of props and special outfits. It will be perfect for someone who wants to capture reality, the true bond between parents and their brand new baby in the comfort of their home, and create lovely memories of this special time.
To complicate things even more, some photographers like to work as a "hybrid" between lifestyle and posed sessions.
Outdoor newborn session with family
If you are a nature loving, adventurous couple, the outdoor newborn session may be best fit for you. These are usually held in the warmer months such as late Spring, Summer and early Autumn.
These sessions are generally focused on capturing the intimate, growing bond between parents and their little one, as well as few individual posed images of the newborn alone in a prop.
Photographing outdoors allows for the session to be stress free, no extensive posing, just natural photographs of you and your baby. This session is ideal as an alternative for post lockdown families who don't necessarily feel confident with indoor sessions yet, but still want to have some beautiful timeless photographs to document this exciting time of their lives, as well as for couples who just like to embrace the nature and enjoy the outdoors.
Which style is the best?
There is no "better" style of newborn photography. Some photographers offer just styled sessions, just fresh 48 or just lifestyle, some prefer to venture outdoors. Some (like myself) offer both, lifestyle and posed. And some offer all three. Which one to choose? It all comes down to personal preference and style of you, the parents to be. Those pictures will be hanging on your walls, so consider your decor as well while looking for the suitable style of newborn photoshoot.
Choose a photographer whose style you love and who resonates with you.
I know that finding the right newborn photographer can be daunting - there is such a small window in which the newborn photoshoot should ideally be held and you don't want to miss that, so if you need any help choosing the right photographer, feel free to get in touch so we can discuss which photo session/style might be right for you. Do your research, ask questions, make enquiries and see which newborn photography style you fall in love with.
Here at The Second Star Photography I offer studio styled (posed) newborn sessions and lifestyle newborn photoshoots, both of which are held in comfort of your home. I occasionally do birth and fresh 48, however it isn't my standard service I offer widely. If you like my style, or if you'd like to ask any questions, feel free to contact me. I'd be happy to assist and discuss which type of session would be best for you.