Courtney Malone

Here you'll find some of our most recent family stories, as well as tips and tricks for aspiring lifestyle photographers.

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Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About Lifestyle Newborn Sessions

Hey you! Today I’m sharing ALL the details on lifestyle newborn sessions! If you’ve ever wondered what a lifestyle newborn session is like, or what it’s all about, this post is for you!

Lifestyle newborn sessions have been the bread and butter to my business since it’s very start! Since very early on, I’ve been drawn to a more natural approach to newborn sessions. While this has evolved over time to include Fresh 48 photography (hospital newborn sessions), as well as pure and natural “unposed” studio sessions, the lifestyle session has remained a staple.

There’s just something about those first weeks at home with your new baby that are so special. The lifestyle newborn session aims to capture the sweetness and tenderness of this time, using your arms, your home and the beautiful nursery you’ve created as the most perfect backdrop.

These sessions are family focused, using mom and dad as the props to photograph baby in! To me, these are the photos our little ones will want to see and show their own children when they are grown! They are sentimental and timeless.

To help give you some insight into a lifestyle newborn session, I’ve created a question and answer style post to help you know what all it entails and what you could expect from a lifestyle newborn session!

What is lifestyle photography?

Lifestyle. It’s a term that we are hearing more and more – lifestyle photography, lifestyle images, lifestyle blog, lifestyle lifestyle lifestyle.

So what does it really mean when we are talking about Lifestyle Photography? What exactly is lifestyle photography, and why should we care?

FOR ME, LIFESTYLE PHOTOGRAPHY IS ABOUT CAPTURING THE WAY WE FELT, NOT THE WAY WE LOOKED. IT’S A WAY TO RELIVE A STORY AGAIN AND AGAIN, AND TO BE TRANSPORTED BACK TO THE TIME AND PLACE OF A PRECIOUS MEMORY.

To me, this is the perfect way to capture the beauty of adding a new little life to your family! As my daughter gets older, I care less and less about what I looked like after she was born, but rather how I felt in those early days as a new mom. I want to see her sweet tiny features, and remember how little she was in my arms. To me, lifestyle imagery is a beautiful way to tell the story of a growing family.

I’ve heard newborn photos have to happen right away. Do these sessions have to take place super early while baby is still sleepy?

Not at all! That’s the beauty of lifestyle. It’s true that for a “posed” newborn session in a studio session, it’s best if baby is very new and still very sleepy! This helps them stay calm, relaxed and able to be easily posed for these photos! As babies get “older”, around the 2-3 week mark, they tend to wake up a little and be much more alert, requiring a little more to settle. Lifestyle sessions don’t have to take place during that super sleepy window, because it doesn’t matter if baby is asleep or awake for their session, as long as they are happy and content! Because they are held in your arms for most of the session, they have an easier time staying happy and cozy, plus, loving arms of parents make the most beautiful backdrop in my humble opinion!

Where do these sessions take place?

Lifestyle sessions take place in your home! To me, it is so special to have photos taken in the place you brought your baby home to. For my family personally, it is no extra meaningful to have photos in my daughter’s nursery from when she was just weeks old, as that room literally no longer exists in our house after a renovation! The little corner where I rocked her so many times is now the stair well to the second story of our home! I treasure the memories captured in that space, because we put so much love into it as we prepared to welcome her into our lives.

Having photos in your home does NOT mean you have to have a perfectly decorated space, or a house that is clean from top to bottom! All you need is a space that is meaningful to you, which creates the perfect backdrop for a session.

Does lifestyle mean no posing?

Lifestyle sessions are relaxed and natural, but I always still pose my clients and tell them exactly where to stand, put their hands, where to look, etc! As a professional, I like to guide my clients through poses that create authentic and natural connections, and also create flattering angles for everyone involved! You’ll still be guided through poses for a non-posed look with a lifestyle session!

So… what happens when you show up at my house? What if the baby is unsettled?

As a mom myself with a very strong willed, independent little lady, I know that things don’t always go according to plan on photo session day, and I always keep this in mind when I arrive at a clients home! I like to give some helpful tips to get baby into a nice relaxed state before I arrive, but it just doesn’t always work for them on that day, and that is okay.

When I arrive at your home, we’ll say hello and get to know each other a little more! I’ll then have you show me the nursery and any other space you are considering for photos, wash my hands, and get started! I’ll guide you through all of my favorite poses to get my signature images, and will also get creative to capture your unique story. If baby needs a break to feed, settle, get a new diaper – we take it! We go at baby’s pace for these sessions, so don’t feel stressed if baby cries or gets upset at any point. I can assure you, it happens 100% of the time!

How long do lifestyle sessions take?

This just depends on how many breaks we need to take for baby! Sometimes I can capture the entire session in a little over an hour, and sometimes we need more like 90+ minutes to help baby settle, stop for a feeding break, etc. It just depends on what baby needs, and we will always go at their pace.

Do you pose babies during a lifestyle session?

This is a great question! While I always photograph babies on their own during a lifestyle session, I only do it in natural settings and ways that “make sense” in the home. This means baby will be photographed in your arms, in their crib, on your bed, etc., depending on your specific home and lighting. To me, this results in the most natural and timeless types of images that truly tell a unique story! Photographing your baby in this way creates images that will take you back to this special time again and again, and I love that about it.

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