Do you already know which of the two newborn photography styles is best for you?

Hey guys! This is Kimberlee with Cole’s Classroom, and today I wanted to talk to you about posed vs lifestyle newborn sessions. Now, to me, it doesn’t really matter if we put these into the same genre, or 2 separate categories, but what IS important is that we do distinguish that there is a difference between posed and lifestyle newborn images. This distinction will really affect the way you approach your newborn sessions, and it also affects the way you communicate with your clients. So here’s a quick summary of both of these:


When I think of “portraits” for newborns, it’s really more about capturing images of baby alone. These images take a lot of work to get baby into the right position, and posing is really important for these shots.

newborn photography poses

I also consider portraits to be a more of a ‘traditional’ style of posed images of babies. These are classic images that many parents love to have captured of their baby.

And then, typically, when you are shooting newborn portraits, you will be using a more extensive setup, with a backdrop stand, posing beanbag, and blankets.

Newborn Photography Styles


Lifestyle images, on the other hand, usually have a much more very relaxed, documentary-style vibe. These images are less about getting the baby in a perfect pose, and more about capturing the baby in a more informal way.

Newborn Photography Styles

I also think lifestyle images are unique in that they can really show a special connection between this family – in a way that posed portraits can’t.

And then lifestyle sessions are also all about showing our subjects in their own environment – snuggling on the bed, in the baby’s nursery, and just around different areas of their home. With my lifestyle newborn sessions, I think of it as telling a story of mom & dad and their new baby, in the first few days of this child’s life – in their home environment.

Lifestyle Newborn Photography


So the big question here is: which style do YOU want to shoot? Do you want to specialize in newborn posed portraits, capturing those sweet and beautiful images of babe in more of a traditional portrait setting? Or do you love the idea of showing up to a client’s home to document their lives in their home and tell their story through lifestyle photography?

Just know that when you decide which one is best for you, it will really affect the way you approach your sessions. For example, depending on which one you choose, your equipment and props that you need to bring will be totally different.

Mainly – in what you have to bring with you and how you set-up. If you choose lifestyle newborn photography, you’ll be able to keep things simple and not bring much gear with you. On the other hand, if you shoot portraits, you’ll probably need to bring a lot more. The setup is a lot more extensive – I’ll actually be covering this in detail in another video, so stay tuned for that.

Choosing your style is also very important because it affects the way we communicate with our clients. If your clients are expecting you to provide them with traditional posed portraits of their new baby, but you only give them relaxed lifestyle images, they are going to be disappointed.

So you really need to be clear about what your style is – how you shoot – and what you’re going to give your clients through their session. Letting our clients know what to expect is extremely important with newborn photography, and it begins with US deciding, what do we want to shoot?

So take some time to really think about it, and decide if you are going to shoot newborn portraits, lifestyle newborn images, or a combination of both. And remember, there’s no right answer here – it’s all about what you like, and what works for you and your business.

Looking for more Newborn Photography Tutorials? Check these out!

10 Must Know Newborn Photography Tips!
How to Prepare for a Newborn Photography Session

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