Lifestyle vs. Posed Newborn Sessions–What’s the Difference?


April 28, 2023


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Hi I'm Nicole


With so many photography styles out there, I wanted to talk about the difference between a lifestyle and posed newborn session. I specialize in lifestyle sessions, but I also understand that not everyone chooses them, primarily because they’re not sure what they are. Keep reading to learn the differences between the two and suggestions for picking the best session type for your newborn.

What is the difference between a lifestyle and a posed newborn session?

These two sessions may sound the same, but they are very much different. Below are distinct differences to note about posed versus lifestyle sessions as well as a few pointers to help you choose the best one for you and your baby.

Posed Newborn Sessions

Posed newborn sessions are the most traditional type of photography. These are almost always done in a studio with pre-selected backdrops, props, and poses. The newborns are usually asleep for these pictures as well. This makes it easier to manipulate their poses and get some of those Pinterest-worthy shots.

You can expect posed newborn sessions to take place within the baby’s first 5-14 days of their life and the photographer will have the most control over the shoot itself. 

Lifestyle Newborn Sessions

Lifestyle newborn sessions take place in the comfort of your home and the photographer aims to catch natural actions of your baby (and possibly those around him/her). This type of photoshoot gives you a variety of pictures that can include your baby sleeping, awake, or smiling at a sibling. 

Lifestyle sessions can be done at just about any time, but most photographers agree that you can get some pretty candid shots once they are past the sleep-all-day stage. And instead of using planned props and backdrops, lifestyle newborn sessions incorporate your natural home environment.

Which newborn session should I choose?

There are several things you’ll want to take into consideration when choosing the best newborn session for you and your baby. One of the biggest to consider is what you plan to do with the photos. Some parents lean toward posed sessions because they want pictures that can be used for cute baby announcements or infant pictures to start a gallery wall to show their child’s growth over the months (or years).

You may also want to take into consideration your home decor and which style of picture(s) would work best with it. Perhaps you want baby pictures of your child in their crib, being held by an older sibling, or captured with your entire family. These are all things to consider to help you choose which session is best. In the end, you could always choose both!

How to Prepare for Any Newborn Session

First and foremost, you’ll want to look for a photographer who specializes in newborn photography. Typically, photographers who do newborn shoots can do both posed and lifestyle, although they may prefer one over the other. You’ll also want to choose which session you’d like to book and ensure the photographer is available and professional.

Be sure to write down any questions you may have and don’t feel like you’re asking too much. It is our job to capture some of the most precious moments in your baby’s early moments in life and your satisfaction in the finished product is key.

Be prepared to let your photographer do their work, but also be ready to give a helping hand if needed. Some sessions last several hours and may include needing to feed the baby, diaper changes, clothing changes, and breaks for the baby. 

Final Thoughts

I personally love lifestyle newborn sessions and recommend them because they tend to be more relaxed, candid, and the baby doesn’t need to be days old and sleeping. The moments that are captured during lifestyle newborn sessions will make memories that last a lifetime. If you are interested in learning more about booking a consultation with me, click here.

I’d love to discuss what these sessions involve and how I just may be the photographer you need to capture some of life’s most precious moments.

If you’ve had a lifestyle newborn session before, feel free to share your experiences in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you!  

  1. Stephanie says:

    This is a great article for new parents to read before speaking with their photographer. Excellent description of the difference in lifestyle versus posed photos.

  2. Luna S says:

    I love the idea of both photo styles, I wish I would have had them when my kids were babies.

  3. Oohhh…I didn’t know that posed newborn sessions are the most traditional type of photography. Personally, I prefer the lifestyle kind.

  4. Mila R says:

    I don’t think you can go wrong with neither lifestyle or posed newborn sessions. It’s more about the photographer’s style and client’s preferences.

  5. Beth says:

    I love that home lifestyle newborn sessions are about the connection and love that family members already have for their new addition. This is something special.

  6. Beeb says:

    To capture special moments with each family member and the baby as well as the family all together is something special. I would love to try.

  7. Stephanie says:

    I wish lifestyle newborn sessions were more of a thing when my boys were babies. I love how natural they feel and how they incorporate our home and family. I do love their posed newborn photos and have them hanging in frames around the house, but the lifestyle are so much more natural.

  8. Your article on lifestyle versus posed newborn photography sessions was a great read! I appreciated the way you explained the differences between the two styles and how each one can capture different moments and emotions. The beautiful photos you included were also a wonderful touch. Fantastic work!

  9. Gervin Khan says:

    Totally love this article, it clears the misconception about these two photography sessions! The answer to this only depends on what the clients want. As simple as that! But definitely thanks to this, it gives us quite information on how to decide what is best!

  10. Mila says:

    This is actually something I’ve never thought about! These are great details to know in advance of a photography shoot. Great article!

  11. Nyxie says:

    I’m not an expert in these sorts of matters, but I would imagine working with young children can be so difficult for this sort of thing. I have nothing but respect for photographers doing newborn shoots or pet shoots. These photos are gorgeous and you can just feel the happiness from this new little family.

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