If you’re feeling lucky jump straight to what I do and don’t do as a lifestyle photographer.
Firstly, lets clear up how lifestyle photography differs from a studio shoot?
The main difference is the where. Sounds silly, I know. But let me explain.
A studio shoot being, well, in a studio. It can be a workspace, a garden office, or the corner of a spare bedroom. The main point is it's a purpose-built area.
An in-home photoshoot is in your home.
But why does that matter? The where has a big influence on the character of photos. This is what you are paying for. You need to make sure you get what you expect.
Different styles of photography
The where dictates the style of newborn and baby photography.
Studios typically have a more posed feel. They are spaces for babies to be positioned, placed and creatively posed. They can capture your baby with several props, outfits, decorations and backdrops.
Here is what a studio might look like:
Photo by Alexander Dummer on Unsplash
Done right, photos from studio shoots are beautiful.
But baby photography doesn’t have to be limited to a studio if that’s not what you want.
So what is a lifestyle in-home photoshoot?
They scrap the idea of having a perfect studio. Your home becomes the "studio".
“But my home is not a magazine show home” I can hear you thinking - it doesn’t have to be.
Spoiler alert: it’s probably better that it isn’t.
It captures real life. A range of emotions.
Every room can be a studio. The family living room, your babies nursery or your favourite reading chair in front of the window. A home gives opportunities which a studio can't offer.
This type of photoshoot drops the props, the outfit changes and the flawlessly positioned decorations - just focusing on moments and connections.
In short: think studio for posed and in-home for natural.
It’s not quite as clear cut as that but it’s a good starting point.
Natural doesn’t always mean natural
Some natural photography styles are more natural than others.
The term lifestyle covers different approaches with so many different definitions - ugh. Some try to be a “fly on the wall”, others plan and create moments.
A huge grey area - not very helpful. But you shouldn’t care about the semantics.
So here is my interpretation of lifestyle photography and my do’s and don’ts.
What I do:
- Take direction from your baby and their age
- Suggest activities and a change of scenery
- Be an opportunist rather than a director
- Stay true to what life is like with a baby of this age
- Put you at ease
- Look for well-lit areas of the home and try to incorporate them
- Ask what you like doing most as a family
- Always start with a cup of tea
What I don’t do:
- Pose and move you into awkward positions
- Get you to smile at the camera
- Create a moment that looks good just for the camera
- Bring props
- Give wardrobe advice - wear what makes you comfortable!
I don’t want to put you off studio shoots, we had a studio shoot done for our son, Sam. They give you beautifully cute and timeless photos.
But there are other options - who’s to say you can’t do both?
Here are 5 reasons to have an in-home photoshoot with your baby or newborn.