This is a common consideration for parents-to-be as they plan a newborn photography photo session for their new baby. So, today, I’m discussing and comparing the process of taking newborn photos at home with a newborn photoshoot carried out in a photography studio. I’m going to outline general considerations and include some example images.
For comparison purposes, you’ll see the same family being photographed in both settings.
Backstage video showing how I do newborn baby photoshoot at home.
Let’s compare Alison’s newborn photo sessions at home and in the studio.
I photographed Alison’s session at the studio first. Since I know the family very well and over the years have done a few photoshoots with them, I proposed to do a session at home as well. So that I can create content and show you guys the possibilities with both options. I love both for different reasons. It will be up to you to decide which option is for you.
A home session is altogether a different approach. More chilled and candid. There is still some direction from me to make sure we have the best light and angles. You can actually watch the video at the start of this story. It shows very well how I did photos. I love the fact that kids are always a lot harder to control. So it is a lot of playtime to get them to do what you want them.
I hope that these images of both newborn photos at home and a newborn session in my photography studio, has been useful to you?
Please read to find out the pros and cons of each type of newborn photo session.
Why have a newborn baby photo session in your home.
Because you can!
You don’t have to visit a photography studio if you’d rather have photos in your home setting. You have a choice about where you would like your baby to be photographed, so it’s completely up to you!
Easier for you
The obvious benefit is that you don’t need to leave the house – the photographer comes to you and brings all the equipment they need. I realise that it can be tricky getting organised to leave the house with a newborn baby, so choosing to have newborn photos at home will save you having to do this.
Also, it may actually be physically impossible to leave the house. Like if there were complications during the baby’s birth and you’ve been advised to stay at home.
Simpler, natural baby photos
Another difference between home and studio sessions is that your baby is very often going to be clothed at home, whereas posed newborn photography is done with the baby wearing no clothes.Paragraph
If you choose a home session, it’s important for you to realise that I don’t bring any props with me. By props, I mean the buckets and the posing aid beanbags that I have in my photography studio and which you may have seen in my newborn photo gallery examples.2
I literally have so many props and it would be very difficult to bring them all along to your home. But, I would still bring with me maybe a few wraps, hats and outfits – basically, small items I can place in my bag. Newborn wraps are great to swaddle your baby, to cover certain parts of the body and to make nice cosy portraits. Newborns also feel more secure when they are swaddled.
You can include other family members and pets
You may also want to include other family members and pets. For example, I had a situation recently when the parents really wanted to include their cat into the photos. I knew that the cat wouldn’t pose at the studio and most likely would try to hide away. So, I recommended that we do the newborn photo shoot at home and this worked really well!
The cat was very relaxed during the shoot and the parents were super happy about being able to include the cat in the photos.
Candid, natural newborn photography
In general, family photos done in the home environment can look very candid and involve a lot less posing compared with a typical newborn photo session. I’ll ask you to sit on your bed or couch. While you are cuddling your baby and going about your everyday life, I would simply take natural portraits.
Considerations when choosing a newborn photo session in your home
If you are keen to have newborn photos at home, it’s important that we discuss a few things before the session is confirmed.
Available Daylight in your house.
I will need to know about your home and the natural light that you get in the house. That’s because I don’t tend to bring my studio lighting with me and will be using the natural light in the photos. Good natural lighting is one of the most crucial elements of my work as a home newborn photographer. I usually either ask parents to send me pictures of the rooms ahead of the session or would assess the space myself when I visit you for a pre-session consultation.
If there is very little light or small spaces, I will make you aware that this could impact the quality of your portraits. Or, depending on your space, I could try to bring some additional lighting.
I also ask parents about the space within the home. Is there room to move about? Will the house look tidy for the photos? One of the challenges of doing newborn photos at home is to actually try to tidy up the house to avoid background clutter in the pictures. You may not think a little mess matters that much but to get great pictures, we don’t want loads of laundry or nappies lying around
It’s also really important that we discuss your expectations of the photos. Sometimes parents view my newborn photo gallery and see lovely posed photos and ask if I could replicate some of those setups in their house. But most likely this won’t be possible as studio setups are very different with light and space.
For this reason, I have set up a separate home-based session portfolio where you can view can see some real-life examples of newborn photos at home. These are typical images that I will be able to take if you opt for a newborn session in your own home.
Why have a newborn photography session in a photography studio?
The photography studio is probably where 90% of my newborn photoshoots happen, and so the photos you see on my newborn gallery are the kind of images I create within my studio.
Everything in one place
If you choose to have a studio newborn session, one of the advantages is that I’ll have everything to hand that I may need. The studio is very well equipped. I have a huge selection of props as well as studio lighting equipment which allows me to control the overall look and feel of the photos more than I am able to in a home-based session.
Spacious and comfortable studio
I care a lot about your experience at my photography studio and have custom-designed the studio space to be a welcoming and cosy environment. You’ll also find that it’s nice and warm. This is important for newborn photoshoots since babies won’t be wearing clothes all of the time.
The possibility of posed newborn portraits
With everything at my disposal, I can also safely pose newborns in various positions to achieve the most flattering portraits. However, there is the possibility to do more natural newborn portraits within a studio setup as well. In fact, these days most parents are stating a preference for ‘natural’ but still posed newborn portraits over the complicated setups such as the ‘froggy pose’ which can each take up to a lot of time to create.
The help of a studio assistant
Normally, during studio sessions, I work with an assistant. This helps me in the instance that you wish to take a nap on of our comfortable studio couches. I realise that you have probably had a pretty sleepless night in the evening before your baby’s photoshoot. Therefore, you’re very welcome to rest while you are here. Having an assistant means that I don’t require your help, other than if your baby needs to be breastfed or if we are ready to take family photos.
Considerations when choosing a newborn photo session at the photography studio.
Now let’s talk about the challenges of newborn sessions done in the photography studio.
You need to leave the home
The main challenge really is that you actually have to leave home and come into my studio for the newborn session. This trip might well be your first since having your baby and coming home from the hospital. I was a first-time parent once as well, and definitely can say hats off to those of you who do make it out of the house in those early days! I remember my wife and I had a such a crazy first few weeks. We were so shuttered!
Before I finish, I will say just one thing. No matter if you have a home-based or studio-based session, down the line these portraits will mean the world to you. Your little baby is so small only for a short time and grows so fast! Before you know it, they will be heading off to school and you will be wondering where those early years have gone.