Ottawa Newborn Photographer| Lifestyle Newborn vs Studio Newborn

I often get asked the difference between a lifestyle session and a studio session as I currently offer both so I wanted to give an in depth explanation of the two with examples. I know it can be confusing when you aren’t in the photography world and sometimes the best way to illustrate the difference is through photo examples.

Lifestyle Newborn Sessions:

I’m going to start with Lifestyle Sessions. I think the common misconception is that they are all candid photos without any guidance, which can cause some anxiety when people aren’t in front of the camera often. I’m here to tell you that you are not expected to know how to pose or what looks best. That’s my job! I will guide you into poses that look authentic and often will give actions that may seem strange but often result in genuine, natural looking images that are usually the favourites of my clients. When it comes to Newborn Lifestyle images I do only natural baby led posing. I will take photos of the baby from different angles using different lighting techniques that are visually pleasing. I also will guide parents and siblings to interact with the baby in different ways that really illustrates what makes your family unique. My goal is to find the true beauty that is found in the raw moments. Think, for example, of a photo that perfectly shows the way you look at your new precious baby that you love beyond measure; I will capture that. Think of the excitement of a sibling getting to know the baby, all their fingers and toes; I will capture that. The way a father gazes at his wife who just gave him the most incredible gift; I will capture that. No lifestyle session is the same as every family is different and that’s what I love most about it. Lifestyle images tend to ‘give you all the feels’ when you look at them. You remember the emotion from that day, the love you felt, and it will transport you back to that very special time in your life because as we all know, it goes by ever so quickly. These photos are timeless and will never go out of style as the purpose of them is to capture the love and connection between a family.

In terms of props, I will come to your house with minimal props and stick to neutral colours, mostly white, in order to really make the subject stand out. I will offer a style guide to help you decide what to wear which will alleviate some of the stress of preparing for a session. The beauty of these sessions is I will come to you! No need to pack up a baby and try to be ready on time as I know how stressful this can be when you have a new baby. I often hear people are stressed that their house isn’t clean, or is cluttered, or that there isn’t a lot of light. I’m here to tell you I have photographed in a wide range of houses and I will always make it work. All I need is one or two rooms that are well lit with a window. Your house doesn’t need to be immaculately cleaned. I will move things as I go if necessary! I often photograph most my sessions in the master bedroom, nursery and living room if they all have great light. Below are a couple of examples of Lifestyle Newborn and Family Sessions I have photographed.

Ottawa Newborn swaddled in white blanket by the window Ottawa Newborn Lifestyle Session Ottawa Newborn Lifestyle Session Ottawa Newborn Lifestyle Session Ottawa Newborn Lifestyle Session Ottawa Newborn Lifestyle Session

Studio Newborn Sessions

Next up is Studio Sessions. These photos are very posed and more elaborate than the Lifestyle Session. I often spend an hour before you arrive setting up different props and use a specific colour scheme that will match your home. These sessions tend to last 2-3 hours as it takes longer to get the baby perfectly posed in a prop and the beanbag. Think baby in a bucket, on a bed, in different outfits, hats etc. These are the more traditional photos that have been popular for quite some time. I remember in my Grandma’s house, she had Anne Geddes photos on her wall of a baby in a bowl and they were absolutely precious. They really are pieces of art.

The benefits of a studio session are that you don’t have to worry about tidying your home as everything would be done in studio, and that lighting is perfect because I use a strobe, so you don’t have to worry about your home being too dark. You also have access to a large variety of baby outfits, hats, headbands etc. Below are some examples of my Studio Sessions.

Ottawa Newborn Studio Session Ottawa Newborn Studio Session Ottawa Newborn Studio Session Ottawa Newborn Studio Session Ottawa Newborn Studio Session

At the end of the day, the choice is yours. A client’s personal style is unique, so I want you to choose what you love the most. I want for you to look at your pictures both now and down the line in 20 years, and remember how important and beautiful this time in your life is/was. I promise to capture your moments perfectly, whichever session you decide on.

*Gillian is a Ottawa Newborn Photographer and Ottawa Family Photographer serving Ottawa and just outside of Ottawa. I live in Kanata with my husband and two young daughters who are the light of my life. I am a stay at home mom/mom photographer who  specializes in Ottawa Baby Photography and all things Family. I offer both Studio Newborn Photography and well as Lifestyle Newborn Photography in Ottawa. My goal is to capture the unique and beautiful connection of your family so you will have these memories to pass down to your children and grandchildren*

  1. Both styles of your work is lovely!

  2. I love the lifestyle newborn sessions. As pretty as the studio ones are, the lifestyle ones are so personal and intimate. Love them!

  3. Pauline says:

    Great explanation and beautiful photos

  4. Ina says:

    So educational, Gillian! Thank you for sharing so many great insights! 🙂

  5. Jessica says:

    I follow you on instagram and I just LOVE your work!! Thanks for filling your feed with the most amazing newborn photos! Your so talented!

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