Your place or mine?
If you've been following me for a while, you know that I'm mostly known for my studio newborn sessions.. but studio newborn is NOT the only option for you and your family. I'm going to explain the difference and break it down for you to help you decide if a studio session or an in-home lifestyle session is best for you.
First, I'll explain what a "studio session" is and what a "lifestyle session" is.
Where: Studio sessions take place at... my studio (I know, shocking!). My studio is located in Cartersville, GA. It's right in the heart of downtown, centrally located between most of my client base (Kennesaw, Alpharetta, Rome, Calhoun and surrounding areas.)
What: Studio sessions are carefully tailored to your specific style and aesthetic (while staying true to my shooting and editing style). I have tons of props and backdrops and cute little baby clothing items including bonnets, headbands and sleepy caps. When booking an studio session you will get a questionnaire from me asking what your preferences are. Do you prefer babies that are wrapped into little balls, do you love when they are in their most simple form, naked? Do you like colorful backdrops or would you like to keep it more neutral? Do you like seeing babies in buckets and boxes and baskets (oh my!)? Do you want any siblings included? Parents? (I vote YES, YES?? A MILLION TIMES YES FOR THIS! Our babies grow so quickly, to not have photos of us with them during this time is so sad!) Yes, I know you just had a baby. I know you're tired. You don't recognize this body that is somewhere in between looking still pregnant and not quite fitting into any pre-baby clothes.... but your babies don't care, but I digress. Do you have anything special you'd like to bring with you to the session? Now is the time to let me know if you want to bring a guitar, a baseball glove, something Star Wars, a moose head.... whatever it is. Letting me know this ahead of time will help me plan my workflow.
When? I like to see babies in the first three weeks. I find that they are most sleepy and bendy during this time. Is it possible to get beautiful imagery outside of this time frame though? YES! I've phtotographed newborns up to 9 weeks with success. We may just have to adjust our expectations a little bit. Most of my sessions take place at 10am. I also find this time to be successful as (in my experience photographing hundreds of newborns in addition to having my own children) babes tend to get fussier and cluster feed more as the day goes on. Now, this being said, I have been a new mom before and I know that often this is one of the first times you're getting out and about with your baby- so don't stress if you misjudged how long it takes to get everyone ready and out the door or if baby had a blowout or took forever to eat before leaving and you're running a few minutes behind. I'll give you my cell phone number and you can just keep me posted! I only do one newborn a day and am not usually booked back to back on days that I have babies.
What if we don't sleep the. night before? Well, then welcome to parenthood! haha. If you don't get a good night's sleep the night before your newborn session, don't fret. Babies often sleep soundly the day following an especially brutal night. You are welcome to show up in your PJ's and can get ready there after a cup of coffee, or 10. Speaking of coffee, I offer coffee, drinks and snacks in my studio but you're welcome to bring your own (I'll have an iced caramel macchiato! Just kidding) or to bring breakfast. If you're bringing a young sibling, they will be photographed at the end. They are welcome to come for the duration of the session (2 hours or so) and I have Netflix, Hulu, Disney+ and Amazon Prime to keep them entertained, or dad (or a grandparent) can bring them towards the end of the session.
Why: Aside from capturing all of the newborn cuteness, studio sessions are great for those who.. say... haven't finished their nursery yet. (because I mean, let's be real here. They won't be in there for a while!) For those who don't feel like their home is decorated in a "photogenic" way. For those who prefer the posed style session over the candid style. I usually explain that studio sessions are more "baby centric" while lifestyle is more "family centric"
Now, let's talk about in-home sessions.
Where: Lifestyle sessions take place in the comfort of your own home. You don't have to get baby out, I come to you. I only bring my camera and act as a fly on the wall to capture everyone bonding with your new addition.
What: Lifestyle sessions, as stated above, are more family centric. We will get photos of baby alone (often in the nursery), but we will also get all of those new baby cuddles on your bed, in the living room, in your sunroom, whichever room you love the most and feel the best in. If you have a toddler, these can be a great option so that they can run around and do their own thing and we don't have to try to get them to pose with baby, we will just capture their general curiosity (or lack of lol) from a distance. Since toddlers often feel more comfortable in their own setting, there are sometimes less meltdowns.
We will capture snuggles, breast-feeding (if you want) diaper changes, baths, new family bliss.
When: We have a little more time photograph newborns when doing in-home sessions. Because they won't be posed or wrapped up, we can do these anytime in the first few months. I still recommend doing them early while they are so fresh, but if you feel like you've missed the window, you haven't!
Why: If you love your home or your baby's nursery, have a toddler (or a few toddlers/children/pets) or aren't a fan of posed photography, lifestyle photography could be for you!
Whichever you decide on: just get the photos done.
You will never regret the photographs.
Until next time (hopefully not 3 years from now)