Posed vs. Lifestyle Newborn Sessions: Choosing what is right for you | Whitby newborn photography

When choosing a newborn photographer to capture your baby in those first few days, above almost all else, it’s important to choose a photographer who’s work you love. These are the photos you will cherish for a lifetime and will be passed on through generations, and they represent not only the baby in them, but a very special time in the parents’ lives. Not only do you want to choose the right photographer to capture these moments, you also want to choose the right type of session to give the look that you are hoping for in your finished photos. Elle Marie Photography offers both in studio posed sessions, and in home lifestyle sessions, so how do you choose? What is the difference? It sure sounds good to have your photographer come to you doesn’t it? But what does that mean for your photos? I get asked these questions all the time, so I wanted to write a blog post laying out the differences and help you choose the type of session that works for you. Both kinds of sessions are beautiful, meaningful, and special, but I want to explain a little more about each type of session, and while I can’t speak for all photographers, this blog will outline the differences with me as your photographer!

What to expect in a posed, in-studio newborn session

My studio is located in Whitby, Ontario. It is where I photograph newborns with their family, it houses my props and it’s also where I do all of my reveal and ordering appointments, although those spill into the rest of my home! A newborn studio session with me typically lasts about 2-3 hours, depending on baby’s needs on that particular day. We take the time that is needed, and break often for feeding, snuggles and soothing as often and as frequently as needed. I take a low stress approach, and we follow baby’s cues. We typically work through 3-5 setups, again depending on what baby allows. It’s important to remember that not all baby’s will do all poses, and baby’s safety and comfort is most important to me. Some babies will achieve more “natural posing” while other babies will curl up any which way I want them to. Studio sessions allow me to have total control over the environment, lighting, and give us the full use of all of my props.

I am not a newborn photographer who uses a lot of props in my completed images, as I feel timeless, emotional images that feature baby in their natural state, produce the best kind of art! I do however, have a good selection of wraps, backdrops, posing blankets, bowls, crates, outfits, headbands and more, to add that little something to enhance your baby’s photos! In the end, we will have achieved typically 20-30 photos of your baby, usually including family and any siblings, in those cute, posed positions.

What I love about studio sessions

  • The finished product is a true piece of art, featuring your baby.
  • Mom and dad typically get to sit back and relax for most of the session while I do all the work.
  • The lighting is guaranteed. No worries about the small window in the nursery.
  • We have access to all of my cute little outfits, gorgeous rugs, and clean and simple backdrops and wraps.

Here are some recent studio samples:

Newborn sleeping on stomach Baby in little hat taking a nap newborn baby wrapped on birch and wood newborn baby laying on side in black and white black and white newborn newborn wrapped in white newborn with family

What to expect in an in home, lifestyle newborn session

I am happy to travel to your home, but it is important to understand the differences in the finished product. At home lifestyle sessions are typically a little shorter than a studio session, but again, depend on baby needs at the time. The average length of an at home newborn session would be about 1-2 hours. I do not bring any props or equipment beyond my camera gear to your home. We use your home as the backdrop and do very, very natural posing. Lifestyle sessions tend to include mom and dad a lot more, and are a mix of directed, loose posing, and documentary style photos in the moment. There is a lot less, “look at the camera and smile” moments, and a lot more “pretend I’m not here” moments! If baby is sleepy and allows for it, I may do 1 or 2 styled poses, but that doesn’t always happen. I bring minimal lighting equipment with me, but mostly know how to use your home the best way I can to use the natural light. How this looks, can vary greatly from one home to the next. We usually move around your house to include rooms that are important to you, but also places in your home that have the best lighting. The master bedroom and nursery are often popular choices, but I have been known to lay a baby on the dining table 🙂

A lot of times mom’s worry about the mess, I assure you, don’t worry too much about it! We can move things as needed. You have a new baby, don’t stress about the mess! In the end, we typically end up with about 30-35 images from your session for you to choose from. Lifestyle sessions make for a great finished album!

What I love about lifestyle sessions

  • We tend to capture more of those real moments showing the true connection between parent and baby.
  • We are in a place that is very, very special to you.
  • It’s true, you don’t even have to pack up and leave your house!
  • Siblings and/or pets are most comfortable in their own home.
  • We dont worry as much about getting baby to sleep, so things tend to move along more quickly.

Here are some recent lifestyle sessions:

new parents with baby in nursery

newborn in daddy's arms

newborn baby at home newborn in mom and dad's arms new parents hold baby while sitting on couch new parents play with baby on change table

So, How do you choose?

My advice to you is to think about the end photos. Do you want the natural, in the moment newborn photos around your home, or do you want the cute, curled up newborn poses with the beautiful wraps and cute little head bands? It’s easy to think, ‘oh it would be so much easier to just have Lyndsey come to the house’, and that may be true, but these are your once in a lifetime photos of your new baby. Make the choice you are going to love for a lifetime! I want these photos hanging on your walls, printed in an album, and passed down through generations, make the choice that speaks to you!

I’m always happy to talk this through with you. You can send me pictures of your home and we can talk through what might work best for you and your family!


Baby Olivia | Whitby Baby Photographer

Robert is an old friend of mine, we worked together for a few years nearly a decade ago (OMG), we became fast friends, spending lots of lunch hours together, snowboarding, climbing the CN tower, we sailed on a boat, truly one of the best friends I’ve made through work. While we don;t see each other as much anymore, some friends you just will always consider a friend. So, I was thrilled when Robert emailed me just over a month ago to let me know him and his wife, Barbara, who is one of the sweetest women I’ve ever met, would be visiting Ontario, from their new home in BC, with their new baby girl, Olivia, and wanted to stop by for some photos!

They came into my Whitby studio one morning, and we did a series of family photos, as well as baby Olivia alone on the bed that I often set up in the studio. Olivia was just shy of 3 months old, and her expressions were just adorable! The results are beautiful, but with hair like Olivia’s, I knew these photos would be delightful!

Big thank you to Robert and Barbara for bringing Olivia in and taking time out of their family vacation to have photos done!

3 month old baby and family

Elle Marie Photography specializes in newborn, family and lifestyle photography. If you are interested in booking a session please contact me! My studio is located in Whitby, ON and I photograph families all of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), including Whitby, Oshawa, Bowmanville, Ajax, Pickering, Markham, Toronto, and Mississauga. I book a limited number of newborns each month so please get in touch and we can discuss your session!


Sweet little newborn baby Lukas was only 8 days old when he came in earlier this month to have his photos taken in my Whitby studio. He slept for nearly his entire session, and curled up to reveal the cutest little back rolls! Mom and Dad, and big brother Jackson also joined him for some portraits. It’s very clear how much Jackson loves his new little brother and loves giving kisses! Siblings are so sweet to capture at this age.

There were so many great shots from this session it was very hard for me, and for mom to narrow it down, but here are a few of my personal favourites from the session!


family with newborn boy mom with newborn baby boy Dad and newborn baby boy toddler kissing newborn brother newborn baby wrapped in grey newborn baby feet newborn baby hands newborn baby boy holding his foot newborn baby boy all squished up on grey newborn baby back rolls newborn baby close up newborn baby laying on side in black and white newborn baby on white smiling newborn baby wrapped on birch and wood

Elle Marie Photography specializes in newborn, family and lifestyle photography. If you are interested in booking a session please contact me! My studio is located in Whitby, ON and I photograph families all of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), including Whitby, Oshawa, Bowmanville, Ajax, Pickering, Markham, Toronto, and Mississauga. I book a limited number of newborns each month so please get in touch and we can discuss your session!

Baby Jordyn | Whitby Newborn Photography

Newborn Jordyn was just 11 days old when she came to my Whitby studio for her photoshoot. She brought her mom, dad, and big brother James along with her. James was clearly a proud big brother and was eager to have his photo take with his little sister! I had a lot of fun photographing this session, despite working with a knee injury from just the week prior! Both mom and dad were very laid back and it was a pleasure getting to know them during the photo session!

Jordyn was a little unsure if she enjoyed being wrapped or being set free more, but at the end of the day we got lots of gorgeous shots of this adorable little girl!

newborn with mom

newborn with family

mom and dad and newborn baby

newborn girl in daddy's arms

newborn baby girl with sibling boy

newborn black and white

newborn girl in pink wrap

newborn close up

newborn feet

newborn wrapped

newborn baby wearing bonnet with teddy bear


Elle Marie Photography specializes in newborn, family and lifestyle photography. If you are interested in booking a session please contact me! My studio is located in Whitby, ON and I photograph families all of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), including Whitby, Oshawa, Bowmanville, Ajax, Pickering, Markham, Toronto, and Mississauga. I book a limited number of newborns each month so please get in touch and we can discuss your session!

Baby Chloe | Whitby Newborn Photography

One of the things that I love about my job, other than the obvious snuggling and cuddling of newborns, is the people I get to meet! It’s especially fun when I get to meet friends of friends and friends of friends of friends. This session was both the result of the former, and resulted in the latter! Have I confused you yet? Anyways, it makes for a fun session, and I often feel like we too have become friends by the time we are finished our session together. And this one was no exception. Meet baby Chloe.

family with newborn newborn in flower wreath newborn with eyes open newborn newborn baby with teddybear

Baby Jax | Whitby Newborn Photography

Little Jax came in to the studio with his mom and nana a couple of weeks ago. He was so chill and I loved spending time with this little newborn and his family. Chubby cheeks, baby rolls and cute little toes, what’s not to love!?

newborn in black and white newborn newborn with mom newborn newborn newborn newborn newborn newborn newborn newborn newborn


Baby Emily | Whitby Newborn Photography

I welcomed this gorgeous babe into the studio a few weeks ago, ok several weeks ago. I am a bit behind on my blog posts!  Emily was the sweetest, and it was a pleasure meeting her big sister Olivia, and her mom and dad.  Emily slept through her entire session and loved to curl and bend into the cutest poses.


newborn baby

newborn baby

mom with newborn baby  newborn baby newborn baby


Baby Chloe | Whitby Newborn Photography

Baby Chloe was the sweetest little thing. She came to my Whitby studio at a month old, a little older than I would typically photograph a newborn, but she was a dream and slept nearly the entire time! It was also great to meet her mom and dad, I felt like I had known them a long time, not just a few hours! Mom even brought in her wedding dress so we could use it to photograph little Chloe with, and I think the result is very special! Here are a few favourites from the session.

newborn with family

newborn with dad

newborn with mom

newborn in dad's hands


wedding rings on newborn toes

newborn close up

newborn with family


newborn with head on hands

newborn on mom's wedding dress


Baby Greyson | Whitby Newborn Photography

Baby Greyson came to visit me in my Whitby photography studio last month. His sweet little face and adorable little chin had me smitten! This session was also special because baby Greyson’s mom and dad are friends of ours. We’ve been to each other’s weddings, and are now sharing the joys of parenthood! I couldn’t be more happy for them!





IMG_9825-copy  newborn photo


Baby Elodie | Whitby Newborn Session

Last month I welcomed baby Elodie into my studio at just 7 days old! Elodie was a dream to photograph, she slept, she posed, she even smiled 🙂

Mom is an avid skier, and dad a mountain biker. Needless to say, this little one will be no stranger to snow, or dirt!

newborn on ski boots IMG_7317-copy

newborn hands newborn

newborn with purple wrap smiling newborn in purple wrap

Let's chat about your session!

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