General Tips for Lifestyle Photography
When picking out clothes, do not wait until the last minute. Try the outfit on and see how you feel in it, make sure you can stand, walk and sit in it comfortably. Try to stay away from patterns and logos please. It’s a good idea to have everyone roughly coordinate (or, at least, not clash horribly with their siblings). Go through your family’s wardrobes and see if any color scheme emerges, but do not go for the fully matched result. Choose complimentary colors, blue and yellow, pink and green to name a few. Don’t forget the small details - accessorize! It’s key that everyone tries on all the clothes prior to session day; you don’t want to be upset in the end because you did not realize there was a huge stain or rip in your children’s clothes you did not know was there.
Since the session will be in your home, take into account your decor and style. If you have red walls, it won't be a great idea to wear red colors or you'll blend in. If you have neautral tones through out the house, then it's better to stay neutral with a pop of soft color. Have extra outfits planned out for babies, in case of spit up. For a more visual idea, check out my Pinterest page which has a large variety of examples of lifestyle sessions for inspiration.
Remember to have fun, don’t sweat the small stuff! Lifestyle is a very relaxed type of session where everything flows very smoothly and everything is worth capturing. Simply be in the moment and enjoy your family.
Best to schedule no earlier than 24 weeks and no later than 35 weeks to make sure you don’t go into labor prior to capturing your beautiful growing belly.
Do you plan to be clothed the entire time? Do you love the intimate look of skin on skin? Will someone else be in the photos with you? What do you plan to do with the images, print them, make a book, print a canvas or do you want to hang a mixture of maternity photos and newborn photos in a wall collection in your home? Knowing these details and what your plans are helps me capture those perfect memories.
Clearing items from your immediate view in your home you don't want displayed in images is also a good idea. Non essentials like magazines on a coffee table, Kleenex boxes from your bedroom nightstand and so on.
Many women choose to go au natural or at least topless/sports bra with a pair of cute undies/jeans/skirt. If that is out of your comfort level, try to choose a fitted top—something that accentuates the bust line and belly. If your clothes are too big, your belly will not be highlighted, and that’s the main idea of these pictures. If you despise your pregnancy jeans, the ones with the panel, bring a pair of regular jeans and unzip them. If you’ll have someone (your partner, children) in the photos, be sure to select clothing and accessories for them that do not distract from the main subject: you and your beautiful belly.
Your hands will definitely be in these images, and to ensure your utter most happiness with them, I highly suggest getting a manicure/pedicure prior to your session. Try to stay away from bright colors or patterns designs. Neutral, soft colors are ideal as to not take away from your belly. If you’re wearing your engagement ring or wedding band, try to give it a mild cleaning to ensure it’s at its prettiest with close-ups. If men are in the images, try to make sure their hands and nails are clean and cut.
It's best to feed your baby right before I arrive if you're looking for some sleeping moments captured. This will help your little one sleep better as they will be fed, changed and toasty warm. Avoid little socks and restricting items that leave imprints on the skin. Keep in mind that babies in their first few weeks of life feed constantly, especially if they are breast fed. A happy baby leads to a happy session.
Between the baby shower and all the cute clothes you just couldn't pass up at the store, your newborn probably has a very large wardrobe. With lifestyle sessions keeping it simple is best. White or a neutral onesie, wrapped, or even in a receiving blanket. Choose the option that you are most comfortable with.
For family photos make sure everyone is dressed in clothing with complimentary tones. Your outfits don't need to be matchy-matchy by any means, but they should coordinate well enough that no one looks out of place in the picture. Many moms prefer to dress in darker colors post-delivery and this is perfectly okay. Choosing a black, brown, dark blue or a gray color are all great options. Then simply have dad coordinate to compliment with mom.
Lifestyle sessions do not include any props. Everything is natural and the home is used as one big prop. Master bedroom for family moments, nursery for baby laying in their crib. As parent of a newborn, you're probably still struggling to get into a solid routine with your baby. Try to keep expectations for your child's first photo shoot manageable. It is more than likely that your little one can be fussy or even cry during the session. All of these moments are captured during a lifestyle session, the soothing process, feedings and moments in between. This is life and it's meant to be remembered. Your little one runs the show and will very clearly let us know what they like and don't like. Safety and comfort are my number one concerns always.
Hybrid Lifestyle Sessions:
Something new that I'm offering is hybrid lifestyle sessions - it is the best of both worlds because I am able to capture more traditional, posed newborn images as well as the more relaxed, lifestyle moments in the comfort of your home. Lifestyle sessions capture the pure essence of the first days with your new baby. We all feel more comfortable in our own home and environment, leaving all the focus of the love and awe for your newborn. I bring along a select few props that are needed to create a studio look in your home. The end result is a large variety of images in your gallery to choose from.
Alina Renert Photography is a Chicago lifestyle photographer, and is a member of The Bump Society by Beauty & Lifestyle Mommy, a hand picked community of elite businesses nationwide. She is also a VIP Member of the National Association of Professional Women.
Are you looking for a Chicago lifestyle photographer? I would love to work with you! I offer a fun and unique experience in the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago in Wheeling, IL. I also service surrounding areas, including, Buffalo Grove, Deerfield, Northbrook, Vernon Hills, Mount Prospect, Mundelein, Lincolnshire, Libertyville, Glenview, Des Plaines, and other surrounding Chicago suburbs. To book your session, use this form.