Choosing a photographer to document your most precious memories can be a daunting task! Before you can even begin the search for the perfect photographer, you need to decide which type of session you'd like. And in case you didn't know, there is more than one! To help you get started in your search, here is a quick explanation of posed, lifestyle, fresh 48, and birth story photography sessions and the benefits of each option. And if they all sound appealing, you certainly don't have to choose just one!
Types of newborn photography
1.) Posed newborn photography
This is probably what you picture when you think of newborn photos. This is also the type of newborn session we primarily do at Puddles & Pearls Photography. Posed newborn sessions are typically done in a studio, but can also take place in your home with a photographer who travels. The main focus of a posed newborn session is your baby! Poses, props and styling are used to emphasize the tiny details of your newborn in an artistic and creative way. Good posed newborn photographers have had a lot of training in how to position the baby safely and use angles and lighting to capture those sweet chubby cheeks, lips, eyelashes, and tiny fingers and toes in the most flattering ways. A lot of editing is typically done after the session to even out skin tones, remove dry skin flakes and tone down red patches. While posed sessions are primarily focused on the baby, parent, sibling and family shots are also incorporated at some point during the session. Flattering posing, lighting, angles and full photo retouching is also done on those images as well which can be very appealing for a new, just gave birth, swollen, sleep deprived mama! If posed newborn photography is what you are looking for, I strongly advise you to do your research on your photographer and make sure they are adequately trained in safe newborn posing and studio practices.
2.) Lifestyle newborn photography
Lifestyle newborn sessions are typically done in the client's home, although some photography studios are setup for a lifestyle feel. Rather than the main emphasis being all about the baby, the focus is on the family and welcoming the newest member. The styling and posing is much more natural with a lot of candid shots of the family interacting. A photo documentary of your life, just as it is at that moment! For this type of session you will be holding and positioning your baby, so your photographer doesn't necessarily need to have a lot of training in newborn posing as they typically don't position the baby very much, if at all. They do however need to have a lot of experience and knowledge in family photography and lifestyle posing that is both natural looking and flattering. If your home doesn't have a lot of natural light, you'll definitely want to make sure your photographer is knowledgeable in using off camera flash. As this type of session is meant to depict real life, there is typically minimal retouching done to the images.
3.) Combination of Posed and Lifestyle
If both posed newborn photography and lifestyle newborn photography sound appealing to you, consider choosing a photographer who does both! While most newborn photographers stick to one or the other, there are some that do both. At Puddles & Pearls Photography studio, we primarily do posed newborn photography images, but we do have a section of the studio setup to give a more natural lifestyle feel with a bit of a rustic, boho style. The individual baby images are posed fine art images, but we like to do a mixture of fine art poses and natural lifestyle poses for the family portion of the session. There are traveling photographers who do a mixture of posed and lifestyle posing in the home as well.
4.) Fresh 48
A fresh 48 session takes place in the hospital, birth center, or home within the first 48 hours after the baby is born. This type of session, like a lifestyle session is a documentary style session with the main focus on the baby. You'll typically get images of the baby in the hospital blankets, the clear hospital bassinet, ink stamped little feet, hospital bands, and welcome baby charts. There are usually a lot of close up detail shots of the baby to document their tiny features. This is the type of session that can also document big brother or sister meeting the new baby for the first time, or grandma, grandpa or other family and friends coming to meet the new addition.
5.) Birth Story
Birth photography is a type of photography that is rapidly growing in popularity. This is a also a lifestyle, documentary style of session that captures the birth of your precious baby. Typically for this session, the photographer acts more as a fly on the wall, quietly documenting the birth while creating minimal distraction for the family and birth support team. While in labor, you tend to tune everything else out which can sometimes make the entire process seem like a very painful blur. A birth photographer allows you to experience the process from every one else's perspective. You'll be able to see your strength, your partners support, and the love and emotion of the experience in a completely different way. The look on your face when you hold your brand new baby for the first time, the look on your partners face, cutting the cord, weight and measurements, and depending on the time of day and birthing environment, siblings meeting the new baby for the first time.