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Hello my friends! 

You may have noticed it’s been a while since I’ve blogged AND if you’re reading this, I’m sure you noticed that I’ve recently undergone a new site (thanks mariposa design!) and full REBRAND! I am totally loving it and feel so aligned with the new branding. It feels good to have colors & fonts that express who I am on the inside… a deep thinker & feeler & a lover. 

I’ve been writing blogs for almost a decade and, rather than transferring them all over, I’ve made a decision to start from scratch. It may sound silly, but I truly just don’t even feel like the same person  anymore. I want everything on here to come from who I am today. 

With the rebrand has also come nicheing down. 

This gives me the ability to pour into each & every client I have by only taking jobs that I feel drawn to and good at. 

Here is a list of my job scope: 

  • Couples
  • Intimate, smaller weddings 
  • Creative portraits
  • Maternity
  • Laid back families 
  • Documentary/lifestyle newborn

And we’re here today to talk about the latter. 

newborn, documentary style, natural, organic, unposed, lifestyle, candid

Documentary Style (Lifestyle) Newborn Sessions 

First and foremost, let’s define them.

What are they?

It may be easiest for me to tell you what they are not.

They are not:

🚫heavily posed

🚫in a studio

🚫shot with artificial light 

🚫baby professionally wrapped

🚫baby in a basket

🚫a bunch of frilly props 

🚫technically flawless 

Do you get the picture?

This is more my speed 👇🏻

newborn, documentary style, natural, organic, unposed, lifestyle, candid

Documentary Style Newborn Sessions ARE:

✅ natural & organic 

✅ shot in the clients home

✅ slow paced

✅ baby led 

✅ prompted rather than posed 

✅ involve the whole family 

✅ capturing real moments, even the messy ones

As you can see, traditional newborn portraits are SO different than what I do. So first thing is first, make sure this is what you WANT as I am definitely not the best photographer for someone wanting traditional portraits. 

 If you want untraditional newborn photos that feel organic & not forced, I am your girl. 

newborn, documentary style, natural, organic, unposed, lifestyle, candid

I absolutely love these sessions for so many reasons… but my favorite reason is that these sessions are created with real memories. 

Want to remember the way your baby’s tiny hand grasped your one finger? Look back at these photos. 

Want to remember that cute little intrigued face that your baby made every time you put her in her crib? Look back at these photos.

Want to remember the magic that you felt those first weeks that your babe was home? Look back at these photos.

These are REAL memories, not 4 hours of uncomfortable posing and soothing a confused baby enough to get crazy shots! (Ps – no hate to posed newborn sessions, theyre absolutely incredible if done right… this has just been my experience) 🤣

So let’s get to the meat of this blog. 

How to Prep for a Lifestyle Newborn Session

1.) Open all the windows

I can speak for most documentary style newborn photographers when I say… we like our natural light. Not to say we won’t close any, or mess with lighting further as we see fit, but generally, having all the windows open will cut some prep time out upon arrival – and we’re all for that since newborn sessions tend to be longer. 

2.) Tidy up! 

Now, I know you have a newborn & in NO away do I expect your house to be spotless and it’s definitely not necessary. However, clearing off any clutter from rooms you’d like to use will also cut down prep time upon arrival & will give us the ability to jump right in. A tidy room photographs so much better, as you might imagine. 

3.) Keep the house a little warmer than you think you need to. 

Babies LOVE to be warm & cozy. ESPECIALLY if clothing is light, keeping the baby warm is crucial to keeping her happy. Usually if she’s warm & fed, she’s more likely to fall asleep, which brings us to the next point… 

4.) Feed baby right before the session

Feeding breaks are definitely expected during newborn sessions, which is one of the reasons wh they usually take longer than other types of sessions. While working with newborns, we have to work in chunks. When baby is asleep & content, we shoot pretty quickly. When baby is hungry or fussy, our first priority is taking a break, feeding, changing or whatever she needs. 

5.) Dress baby in your top priority outfit

Having multiple outfits is totally fine! However, sometimes changing baby/rousing her out of her sleepy state is not worth the potential outfit change. I’ve found that babies can feel that something is going on when I’m photographing them, and many parents make remarks about how  much more alert they are during our photoshoot than they are typically. 

With that being said, if a baby is doing well & seems content, I do not recommend waking them to change them, because 8/10 times they will not settle after they’ve been changed. 

So, make sure the outfit you choose for them is your favorite! 

newborn, documentary style, natural, organic, unposed, lifestyle, candid
newborn, documentary style, natural, organic, unposed, lifestyle, candid

Following these tips will {usually} make the entire shoot go super smoothly! However, newborns are unpredictable and it’s impeccable that we plan for that. When planning your session, block out 3 hours of your day and be prepared to be as patient as possible. I promise you, the wait is so worth it! 

Thanks for reading!