Lifestyle newborn photos give us a peek into baby’s everyday life, thereby telling baby’s story of their early days without words.
For that reason, the potential for variety is endless and only limited by baby’s routine and environment.
With help from our fabulous CLG grads, we’ve come up with 101 different lifestyle newborn photo ideas you can try…
Shoot from multiple perspectives and vary your framing to get loads of varied images of the same pose without having to move anyone. Try these:
Seek out natural window and door light and use it to create directional shadowing. So position subjects with side light (45 to 90 degrees in relation to the source) and get beautiful, gentle shadows which add depth and interest.
Related: Directional Light Portraits
Shooting through partially open doorways is a great way to convey intimacy in lifestyle newborn photos. Compositionally, include enough of the door so that it doesn’t look accidental, but not so much that it becomes distracting.
Include fur babies if safe enough to do so, but be ready for a little chaos! Consequently, you’ll need a fast shutter speed to freeze their motion.
Lifestyle newborn photography is fantastic for reluctant little ones because it’s such a relaxed approach. With that in mind, capture their natural interactions instead, and look out for opportunities to photograph them playing alongside baby.
Related: Posing Guide for Toddlers & Newborns
If you’re faced with low light and can’t control the location, embrace ISO. Don’t be afraid to push it beyond what you think is acceptable. Firstly… exposing properly or overexposing at high ISO will reduce the effect of grain; and secondly, grain isn’t all that bad. It’s only the enemy when it gets so bad it reduces clarity and sharpness.
Most older siblings love to be included in baby’s routine, and for that reason bathing and dressing is one of the best ways to capture siblings in photos with their new baby brother or sister.
Related: Lifestyle Newborn Photography Guide
Clear the clutter. Lifestyle newborn photography is very close to environmental portraits, meaning you don’t need a clean white backdrop to make it work. You want elements of their life in the background for context.
But there’s a line… what you don’t need cluttering up the shot is a pile of dirty laundry, that morning’s dirty dishes and 3 weeks worth of newspapers competing for attention in photos.
So before you start shooting, take a look around, and move anything that isn’t adding to the story.
Don’t forget the small details… in lifestyle newborn session, these shots are a key part of the story. I’m talking baby’s fingers and toes, special items, the nursery, cute displays.
Get in close and choose a wide aperture to really isolate small objects. To capture a room, use a wide angle lens such as 24mm to include as much in the frame as possible. Make sure the camera is straight (as in, not tilted up or down) to minimise the distortion of the wide angle as much as possible.
If you have a macro lens or macro extension tubes, this a great time to get them out!
Related: Macro Newborn
Many thanks to our fabulous grads for enabling us to feature the beautiful lifestyle newborn images shown throughout this article – Alana Prosper, Claire Eastman, Heidi Talic, Kailey Nagymarosi, Kate Rankin, Kellee Kromarek Hann, Lauren Kennedy and Tonya Backes.
Grab our Newborn & Toddler
Posing & Prompts Cheatsheet
Download our handy cheatsheet for a summary of tips you can print out and use when photographing newborns and toddlers together