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Classic Lifestyle Newborn Session

What a beautiful classic lifestyle newborn session. That intersection where the warmth and connection of lifestyle photography meets the aesthetic of crisp, classic welcoming, lived in decor is my favorite vibe. Sign me up for all of them! These are my favorite sessions.

Mom and dad wanted to recreate a photo with their pup from when big brother was born. Ya’ll, I’ve NEVER had such a cooperative dog for photos with a baby. Setting up pet and baby pictures always make me a little nervous because… paws and claws, but he was so gentle! He definitely earned that treat that mom was dangling just above my camera lens.

Can we talk about these Beaufort Bonnet Company swaddles? They make me imagine classic nursery book paintings of storks flying their baby deliver to the doorsteps of excited parents and curious older siblings. There’s nothing sweeter than a baby wrapped in a big bow.

classic lifestyle newborn photography
classic newborn photography
classic newborn photography
classic newborn photography
classic newborn photography
classic lifestyle newborn photography
classic newborn photography
classic newborn photography

If you’re interested in booking me for your own newborn session, I’d love to talk with you about my process and how I can help you prepare to make the most of your session. As a mom of 4, I know how quickly the time goes. The memories of those early days will become harder to recall as time passes. Newborn photography helps you remember your perfect little babe just as they arrived to your arms. These classic lifestyle newborn sessions really the heart of my business and are pure fun for me. Contact me here to learn more.

WANT TO READ MORE?

How To Take Your Own Newborn Photos At Home

7 Best Photoshoot Locations In Tallahassee

What Is Lifestyle Newborn Photography?

DIY Hospital Photos of Your Newborn

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    Truth in a Hazy Family Photograph

    This hazy family photograph was created by a rogue sun flare. At first, it frustrated me that I didn’t notice it when taking these pictures. Often, this is not a good look for photos. However, the more I went through these, the more it reminded of the stories in the Bible that talk about God’s invisible protection over His people. It is in the stories of Daniel in the lions den, Elisha and the army of Aram, the three friends in the furnace of fire, and David and King Saul. God places these hedges of protection over His people even in times when they are unaware of their need for it.

    It’s beautiful that I’m reminded of this while just going about my day, doing my work. When His nearness is represented in a little thing like the sun flare in a hazy family photograph.

    Tallahassee Family Photographer, large family in field of grass at Alford Park
    Tallahassee Family Photographer, collage of images of family in field of grass at Alford Park
    Tallahassee Family Photographer, collage of images of family in field of grass at Alford Park

    Want to read more?

    7 Best Photoshoot Locations in Tallahassee

    Stephanie’s Dreamy Maternity Session at Maclay Gardens State Park

    What Is Lifestyle Newborn Photography?

    Want some family photos of your own? Contact me to inquire and learn more.

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      What is Lifestyle Newborn Photography?

      What is lifestyle newborn photography

      What is the difference between lifestyle newborn photography and a posed newborn session?

      My approach to photographing a new baby is called lifestyle newborn photography. This simply means the focus is on your natural connections as a family instead of the use of props and heavy posing. While I use gentle guidance for posing (yes, i’ll tell you what to do with your hands), my main goal is to photograph the love between family members, and the awe they share at their new baby. I don’t physically pose baby or use any props aside from a swaddle blanket. Instead, my style allows you to be fully present in the moment.

      A lifestyle newborn photography session might be right for you if:

      • You prefer natural, candid moments captured during this sweet season
      • You want posing guidance without feeling overly posed or staged
      • Real, authentic moments that help you remember this season
      • You want photos that focus on connections 

      These sessions don’t include:

      • Traditional posed newborn photos that include sleeping babies, props and specific outfits
      • The use of any props. Since I focus on the documentary side, I will not be posing your baby in any baskets, blankets or bowls.
      • Specific outfits, hats or accessories. Instead, baby will stay cozy in a swaddle, onesie or other special outfit that you supply (I do have a few knotted gowns, blankets, and heirloom gowns that I can bring.)
      brothers lifestyle newborn photography

      Where does the session take place?

      Lifestyle newborn sessions take place in your own home. These sessions typically involve baby’s nursery, your master bedroom, or your living room. Lifestyle sessions are meant to capture life in your home as it is in this moment: full of excitement, joy and love. I will look for the spaces with the best light in your home and we’ll “set the stage” to take your photos. Never be worried about the state of your house. I promise, we can create beautiful images anywhere in your home. I’ve photographed families who had their whole home packed up to move just hours after their newborn session.

      Does a home need to look perfect for lifestyle newborn photography?

      Absolutely not! I have no desire to paint an unrealistic picture of my client’s day-to-day lives. My clients say they hire me because they like the photos they see on my website. They like the connection between families in the images. It’s my job to deliver your own family photos consistent to all the other photography you’ve seen from me. Even if you don’t have a perfect house. Spoiler… no one does.

      I LOVE what I do. We’ll take the exhaustion that is newborn life and photograph it in a way that helps you remember the sweetness. I vividly remember the fatigue that accompanied my babies early months (the first 6 months of my second child’s life are still a complete blur). My husband and I were so tire and you will be too. Because we try to do these session during the first few weeks of baby’s life, you’ll likely be too tired to tidy a house and too tired to decorate any more than what you did before that little one came home.

      Don’t let your home stop you from photographing your new baby within it.

      classic lifestyle newborn photography

      When should you book your newborn session?

      I recommend booking 3-4 months before your due date. This will ensure I have availability for your due date window (two weeks before and after your due date), and give you enough time to prepare. When you book your newborn session with me I provide you with a prep guide to help you get things ready before baby arrives.

      lifestyle newborn session

      Contact me to learn more about my booking process and collections. I’d love to add your little one to my calendar.

      Want tips on taking your own newborn photos at home? Check out this post to help you photograph baby’s first days at home, before I get there to work my magic.

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        How to take your own newborn photos at home

        How to take your own newborn photos at home

        We welcomed our 4th, and last, baby on April 29, 2020. Think back… that was the thick of Covid unknown. Businesses were shut down, our hospital had cancelled all elective surgeries, my prenatal appointments at North Florida Women’s Care were far different from what they were at the start of my pregnancy. Everything was different and there was a bit of time when we weren’t even sure if my husband would be able to be present at the delivery. It was a strange time to be welcoming a baby into this crazy world and I knew that I’d be needing to take my own newborn photos at home.

        I mourned two things that would be different from my previous three deliveries. The first was not being able to have our parents come meet our new baby in the hospital, and the second was not having a photographer come take photos of us once we brought her home. Newborn photos are my THING. They are the heart of my business and I am deeply passionate about photographing new life and the bond of parents with their new baby.

        Newborn photos are my thing!

        I cherish the photos from my other children’s newborn sessions and was so sad that we wouldn’t have any of all of us from our time with our brand new, perfectly squishy, Tilley girl. Thankfully, I’m well equipped to take plenty of my own newborn photos at home and knew that the only way we’d have some of her in her early days was if I took them myself.

        Maybe you’re on the fence about hiring a lifestyle newborn photographer. Or maybe you want to but it’s not in the cards right now. Maybe you have one lined up, but know that you’ll want to document your baby each day/week as they grow. I’m going to share with you some of the most important things to keep in mind to take your own newborn photos at home. We’ll go over a few things:

        What you’ll need

        • phone or camera – unless you’re a hobby photographer, for ease of use, i just suggest you bring your phone. they do a decent job these days.
        • swaddle for baby – don’t go overboard with big, bright patterns. keep it simple. my traditional self loves a baby pink for girls and baby blue for boys. a matching little cap or headband is always a good idea.
        • white onesie for baby – clean and pure
        • special stuffed animals/handmade quilts
        How to take your own newborn photos at home

        Getting the light right

        • Turn off the lights! That may seem counter intuitive when I just told you that light is good for cameras, however, it has to be the right kind of light and the right temperature of light. Generally, sunlight coming into a window is more neutral/blue, while most indoor lights are more yellow. When these compete with each other it does strange things. No matter what you do to try and edit it out, it will never look as good as if you just turn those yellow lights off. The only exception is if it’s a very dark, dreary day.
        • Open the curtains and blinds! The most important thing is to let all that beautiful light spill into the room. Do this during a time of day when the light is not coming directly into your window. This is usually between 10am and 2pm. Diffused light = good, even light, softer shadows. Direct light = harsh shadows, bright whites (too bright).

        Where to take newborn photos at home

        When I arrive at a client’s house, we usually plan to photograph in one or two place: the nursery and the master bed. After that I look for the place with the best light.

        Any professional photographer will tell you that light is king in making or breaking photos. Not only does good light flatter a person, but it also helps cameras (even basic phone cameras) work their best. If you want to take great newborn photos at home, pay close attention to the light in the room.

        Next clear any clutter. Move extra things off nightstand tables beside the master bed. Move the extra diaper boxes out of view in the nursery.

        Phone Settings

        Before you grab and start snapping 20 pictures of the same set up, do a few things. Practice photographing something by framing the picture as you want it to appear, then tap on the spot that you want to focus, this is usually the baby’s closest eye to the camera. Once you tap on that spot, a box with a little sun will appear (this is what appears on my iPhoneandroid devices may be different). While holding your finger on the screen over that box, you can adjust the brightness of the image by dragging your finger either up or down.

        This makes a huge difference in the appearance and brightness of your images. When you take the photo, hold very still. Stillness is especially important for sharp, clear images. If you find that your photo is blurry, even after focusing on your baby’s closest eye to the camera, you likely need more light. Move that baby a little closer to the window, or wait until there is more light coming into the room (just not that harsh, direct light). The best light will be between 10am and 2pm.

        what to do

        • wipe off that phone’s camera lens. this alone will make a big difference. Those things get dirty fast.
        • If you have portrait mode on your phone, this is the time to play around with that.
        • Download Lightroom Mobile app. You’ll use this later to edit your photos

        10 newborn photos to take at home

        Baby laying in their crib, pulled back with the wall/wall decor above them

        a picture of baby through the slats of the crib

        How to take your own newborn photos at home

        Overhead photo of baby laying in their crib

        Unswaddle those toes but keep them wrapped loosely in the swaddle and take some pictures of their toes, then their fingers. Focus on the closest toe/finger to the camera

        How to take your own newborn photos at home

        Their hair

        Ear. Baby ears are fascinating to me the way they are squished up against their head from all that time curled up inside of you

        move baby to the master bed or rocking chair and take a photo of them laying on it. This shows their small size well.

        Add in the family pet!

        How to take your own newborn photos at home

        Add in siblings! Even young siblings can be in a photo with their new baby. If the sibling is a toddler, simply place your newborn on the floor in a soft place (with good light) and ask big sibling to lay next to them and maybe give the baby a kiss. Always place the big sibling further away from the window light so they don’t block the light on baby.

        In yours, and dad’s arms. Take turns taking these of each other. Snuggle that newborn close and have dad hold the camera just slightly above your eye level to angle down at you (think “flattering selfie” angle). Then have dad wear that white shirt and jeans, hold baby standing parallel to a window and take a few of him facing toward you holding baby, then some closer ones focusing on just baby in daddy’s arms.

        How to take your own newborn photos at home

        Once you have these, you can just play around and take more, but those are the most basic, must have newborn photos at home.

        Also, give yourself some grace. You’re not a professional photographer so these won’t looks like they would if I were to show up and do a full lifestyle newborn session with you. Remember when I’m there to take your photos I’m bringing 11+ years of experience plus thousands worth of equipment.

        How to edit picture of baby

        You should have already downloaded the Lightoom Mobile app to your phone. There are even presets (like instagram filters) that you can apply to images to enhance them. There is a plethora of knowledge available on how to do that by simply searching google, so I’ll not be going into that. Some presets I like are from Mastin LabsVSCO, and I’m even working on my own set to have available soon. Be sure to sign up for my newsletter to know when that becomes available.

        How to take your own newborn photos at home

        Want to read more?

        7 Best Photoshoot Locations in Tallahassee

        Stephanie’s Dreamy Maternity Session at Maclay Gardens State Park

        What Is Lifestyle Newborn Photography?

        0 comments
        Add a comment...

        Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *

          DIY hospital photos of your newborn

          DIY Hospital photos of your newborn

          When we had our baby girl last year on April 29, 2020, I mourned two things that would be different from my previous three deliveries. The first was not being able to have our parents come meet our new baby in the hospital, and the second was not having a photographer come take photos of us with her during our stay. Post delivery and those early days of recovery are a really special high. Some of the best memories of my life are there, in the little cocoon of our hospital room, with just my husband, and our new baby.

          Ideally, you’re able to have a professional photographer come and take some fresh-48 photos, but these days, that’s not much of an option. Covid era or not, you will likely want to take at least some DIY hospital photos of your newborn baby after delivery. Once we’re past the greatest threat of Covid, maybe those sessions will be an option again, but until then, I have some tips and tricks you can use to DIY hospital photos of your newborn. We’ll go over a few things:

          DIY hospital photos of your newborn

          What to pack for DIY hospital photos of your newborn

          Preparing your hospital bag is key for MANY reasons. You’ve got to be prepared when it is “go time.” After having 4 babies of my own, I have a few tips from trial and error that I’m happy to pass along and wish I’d known sooner.

          Gear

          • Multi outlet extension cord – this is one of those things that is so genius but it wasn’t until baby #4 that I realized I should back one. In most hospitals (my babies were all born at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital) an average 4-6 foot long phone charger won’t be long enough to reach from the outlet to your lovely Shangri-La. Bringing a multi-outlet extension cord will solve the problem of “where did my phone fall this time.” And you’ll want your phone charged for taking pictures of that precious little squishy baby.
          • Name sign / letter board / cute printout with space to write in baby’s birth stats – The style of these seems to change every few years, but their purpose is the same: a cute way to share, document, and quickly announce the most important info about your new little bundle.
          • Phone or Camera – Unless you’re a hobby photographer, for ease of use, I just suggest you bring your phone. They do a decent job these days.

          Clothing

          • A cute robe – Invest in one of these. My favorite was from Posh Peanut. I still love it. A friend gifted me a swaddle set for my baby (swaddle and headband) and I purchased the matching mama robe for myself. It was the perfect thing to wear in the hospital over my nursing bra and lovely hospital underwear. It kept me covered and feeling a little bit put together and left easy access for nursing and other “checks” that will be done while in the hospital.
          • Simple makeup bag – just the basics, mama. I packed mascara, brown pencil, BB cream, and lip gloss. There is some kind of magical glow that you will naturally have in the hours that follow your delivery. Embrace it.
          • Swaddle for baby – Don’t go overboard with big, bright patterns. Keep it simple. Most hospital rooms are pretty dark so I’d suggest staying away from a dark swaddle. My traditional self loves a baby pink for girls and baby blue for boys. A matching little cap or headband is always a good idea.
          • White onesie for baby – clean and pure
          • Clothes for dad to wear in pictures – keep this simple. Jeans and a white tee are easy and everyone has them.
          DIY hospital photos of your newborn

          How to get the room ready

          It’s all about the LIGHT. Any professional photographer will tell you that light is king in making or breaking photos. Not only does good light flatter a person, but it also helps cameras (even basic phone cameras) work their best. If you want to take great DIY hospital photos of your newborn, pay close attention to the light in the room.

          Getting the light right

          • Turn OFF the lights! That may seem counter intuitive when I just told you that light is good for cameras, however, it has to be the right kind of light and the right temperature of light. Generally, sunlight coming into a window is more neutral/blue, while indoor lights are more yellow. When these compete with each other it does strange things. No matter what you do to try and edit it out, it will never look as good as if you just turn those yellow lights off. The only exception is if it’s a very dark, dreary day.
          • Open the blinds! Most important thing is to let all that beautiful light spill into the room. Do this during a time of day when the light is NOT coming directly into your window. This is usually between 10am and 2pm. Diffused light = good, even light, softer shadows. Direct light = harsh shadows, bright whites (too bright).

          Setting the background

          • Move baby’s bassinet close and parallel to the window. Let that window light fall across baby’s face. You want to have baby close enough that there are limited shadows created by baby’s nose. You’ll notice that the further you move from the window any shadows on baby’s face will first become bigger, and then become more faint. Finding the sweet spot is key. You want that soft window light washing over baby’s face but not creating harsh shadows. Turn baby’s face toward the window.
          • straighten the white sheets on the bed. You’ll be putting baby on here for a few pictures.
          • clear any clutter – move cords, hospital bag away from view
          DIY hospital photos of your newborn

          Getting your phone ready to take great hospital photos

          Before you grab and start snapping 20 pictures of the same set up, do a few things. Practice photographing something by framing the picture as you want it to appear, then tap on the spot that you want to focus, this is usually the baby’s closest eye to the camera. Once you tap on that spot a box with a little sun will appear (this is what appears on my iPhone, android devices may be different). While holding your finger on the screen over that box, you can adjust the brightness of the image by dragging your finger either up or down.

          This makes a huge difference in the appearance and brightness of your images. When you take the photo, hold very still. You’ll be working with limited light so stillness is especially important for sharp, clear images.

          • Wipe off that phone’s camera lens. This alone will make a big difference. Those things get dirty fast.
          • If you have portrait mode on your phone, this is the time to play around with that.
          • Download Lightroom Mobile app. You’ll use this later to edit your photos
          • If you find that your photo is blurry, even after focusing on your baby’s closest eye to the camera, you likely need more light. Move that baby a little closer to the window, or wait until there is more light coming into the room (just not that harsh, direct light). The best light will be between 10am and 2pm.
          DIY hospital photos of your newborn

          9 DIY hospital photos to take of baby

          Although nothing will replace having a professional photographer there to take these photos, I’m going to list the basic photos that you can do easily enough of baby and some that you can take of your spouse with baby (and they can take of you). One note though, give yourself grace. These DIY hospital photos of your newborn will NOT look like they would if I were to come take them with my 11+ years of experience and thousands in gear. So drop that expectation, sister. However, you can take some pretty great ones yourself. These are the shots I’d suggest you take:

          • overhead picture of baby in the hospital cradle – simple as it sounds
          • photo of baby in cradle with birth stats, either the card written by the hospital, or your cute letter board / name sign.
          • photo of baby’s profile trough the side of the hospital cradle with the window behind them. This is where you’ll be using that brightness slider a lot.
          • Move baby to the white sheet on the bed and take an overhead shot of baby.
          • Same thing but add in that letter board of birth stats.
          • Unswaddle those perfect little baby toes and take a few of them. These are always my favorites.

          Change it up and take some of family members with baby

          • Have dad wear that white shirt and jeans, hold baby standing parallel to the window and take a few of him facing toward you holding baby, then some closer ones focusing on just baby in daddy’s arms.
          • Swap and have dad take some of YOU in the same way. Be sure you’re wearing your cute robe, snuggle that newborn close and have dad hold the camera just slightly above your eye level to angle down at you (think “flattering selfie” angle)
          • Since many hospitals still aren’t allowing more than one guest with mom, don’t hesitate to ask one of your nurses to take a photo of the three of you. This is a big deal and I would hope they’d help you out in this way. I can’t guarantee it, but it’s worth an ask.

          Once you have these, you can just play around and take more, but those are the most basic, must have photos in the hospital.

          DIY hospital photos of your newborn
          DIY hospital photos of your newborn
          DIY hospital photos of your newborn

          How to edit pictures of baby

          Now, to make your DIY hospital photos of your newborn not look so DIY

          This is where editing comes in to play. You should have already downloaded the Lightoom Mobile app to your phone. There are even presets (like instagram filters) that you can apply to images to enhance them. There is a plethora of knowledge available on how to do that by simply searching google, so I’ll not be going into that. Some presets I like are from Mastin Labs, VSCO, and I’m even working on my own set to have available soon. Be sure to sign up for my newsletter to know when that becomes available.

          DIY hospital photos of your newborn

          Melissa Arlena is a lifestyle newborn photographer based in South Florida who also wrote a post with great tips for taking your own hospital photos of baby. You can read her tips here.

          Want to read more tips and tricks?

          How To Take Your Own Newborn Photos At Home

          7 Best Photoshoot Locations In Tallahassee

          What Is Lifestyle Newborn Photography?

          Want to read more?

          7 Best Photoshoot Locations in Tallahassee

          Stephanie’s Dreamy Maternity Session at Maclay Gardens State Park

          What Is Lifestyle Newborn Photography?

          0 comments
          Add a comment...

          Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *

             

            Sarah Gray Photography is a natural, lifestyle photographer specializing in maternity, newborn, baby, motherhood, and family photography.

            imagestimeless + joyful

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            Sarah Gray creates timeless and joyful images that are designed for living room walls and photo albums. Serving Tallahassee, Thomasville, Crawfordville, St. Marks, Gainesville and throughout the panhandle of north Florida and south Georgia.

            email us | sarah@sarahgray.net

            telephone (850) 321-0208

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            located in tallahassee, florida