What is a "lifestyle newborn session"?

A lifestyle newborn session is a newborn baby photo session that takes place in your home to celebrate your newborn's arrival and to document the various aspects of their life in these days that they (and possibly you) will have no memory of when they are older.

Lifestyle newborn sessions seek to artistically incorporate genuine and natural aspects of baby's life and the emotional connection surrounding it. The baby's parents (and any older siblings) are actively engaged in these memories, holding baby, nursing, rocking him (or her) in the rocking chair while singing a lullaby, baby in their crib, and many more sweet memories that are daily occurrences for you now but will fade as time goes by.

Because lifestyle newborn sessions seek to incorporate baby's daily life, your photographer will likely direct posing in various places around your home. Common rooms to incorporate include the living room, baby's nursery, and the parents' bedroom. Many lifestyle photographers, myself included, are natural light newborn photographers who value using beautiful natural light and not risking disturbing baby by bright artificial flashes.

A lifestyle newborn session is generally shorter than a studio newborn session, commonly lasting up to two hours. (A studio can be as long as four hours.)

Maybe you are like me and had no idea that this even existed! Back a few years ago, before I started my photography business, if you would have asked if I wanted newborn pictures for my babies someday, I would have told you, "No" - My reasoning for this? I didn't feel anything when I saw babies sitting in buckets or wearing frog costumes.

details of newborn baby boy's hands and feet. Sauk Rapids, MN newborn photographer

Why should I choose a lifestyle newborn photoshoot for my baby?

As my due date drew near with my firstborn, I came across the concept of in-home newborn sessions and I absolutely fell in love.

I couldn't afford a photographer at the time, so I determined I'd take my own once my baby came. Then, he was actually born and I realized that I couldn't stop holding my sweet baby - Putting him down felt unnatural, my crazy postpartum hormones were a wreck as well and all I wanted to do was snuggle my baby. So, instead of taking the newborn photos I thought that I would, I took lots of cellphone pictures of my little boy while he was in my arms.

I remember often wishing I could have someone sitting over my shoulder and capturing those moments while I was healing and loving on my baby. I never wanted to forget how I felt, even though I was tired, I knew there was a wonder to those newborn days.

Choosing a lifestyle newborn session allows for you to be able to rest in the comfort of your home, surrounded by familiarity, breastfeeding snacks handy, and all of baby's diapers, swaddles, clothes, and your favorite nursing chair close by. You can relax and take in the scent of your baby's hair, snuggling him (or her) close to your heart, sing to them, and all the while you have your photographer giving you direction and prompting to make sure that you are sitting in the right light and angles for beautiful and romance-infused photographic memories.

Baby will be safely in your arms or in natural positions, instead of dangerous poses.

For studio photography, you generally need to schedule your session while baby is younger than two weeks old so that they are sleepy for the session. With in-home sessions, you often have more flexibility to wait until you've had a bit more time to heal if you aren't ready to have the session until baby is three or four weeks old. (You'll still want to schedule them by four weeks so that the newborn squishiness isn't missed!)

You have both the space and the time to sit in the moment with your newborn, your husband, and any older children that you have. You're not rushing to get to a studio while making sure you have an extra diaper (or three...) - and you have the freedom, in your own home, to truly feel all the emotions.

There is a romantic and nostalgic aspect to natural light lifestyle newborn sessions, especially if you work with your photographer to choose outfits and color schemes that will flow cohesively together. Often times, adding in a gorgeous flowy long dress for mom not only helps you to feel as beautiful as you are, but adds an artistic and sentimental air of enchantment.

Newborn days absolutely have their hardships, but I am a firm believer that our babies and the love we feel for them should be celebrated, remembered, and honored. Photos are an excellent way to do this!

Your children will love being able to look back and see how tiny they were, and how much mommy and daddy were infatuated with them, what their nursery looked like, maybe you'll move and they will have no memories of their childhood home - They can have memories for all of these from their newborn photos.

And for yourself, mama, newborn life can be a whirlwind - When the tempest has calmed, you'll want to be able to look back and see how the sun really did shine through the raindrops (or the leaking milk and exploded diapers) to create a glorious rainbow of happy memories, warm kisses, and moments of calm.

dad holding newborn son on couch at home. St. Michael, MN newborn photographer
big brother holding newborn baby's hand on couch. St. Michael, MN newborn photographer

What should I do with newborn photos?

Just having an online gallery of photos to look through and share with friends and family is, of course, so wonderful! But, what else should I do with them?

(Firstly, make sure that you download your gallery and back up your photos to keep them safe, your photographer pays for storage in the gallery system they use and oftentimes your gallery will expire after a designated amount of time so that the storage space is freed up.)

• PRINT your photos! You can put beautiful prints in your baby's nursery or around your home. I have several different sizes of photos in my son's nursery, several 5x7s in a frame, and an 8x12 - (Only one newborn photo though! The rest are when he got a little bit older. I am definitely planning to try and do better at this for my second baby now that I have my business and understand the process!)

Your photographer may have a professional print store offered through your online gallery where you can easily purchase your prints, canvases, and other products. (If you book with me, I do offer this!)

• Baby birth announcements (your photographer may be able to assist you in designing these if they do not already offer them through their print and product store.)

• Photo album. (This is something that I do offer through my print store as well.) A beautiful album featuring your newborn is such a sweet keepsake, not only for yourself to look back on, but to be able to share with them as they grow!