Deciding between In-home or Studio Newborn Photos


The photos in this post were taken in South Minneapolis. An obstacle I overcame during the shoot: Rolling with baby's needs and mood. Photographing a newborn requires a lot of patience, which I've had a giant lesson in through mothering my own two kids. When Baby fussed or need to be held, we took a break from whatever we were doing, though I can't say I ever really stopped shooting. Those completely unscripted photos are actually some of my favorites. I love how laid-back the session was. And I love that we got a nice mix of awake and asleep photos. Thank you Keating family for sharing you new love with me!

Mother holding newborn baby with baby facing towards mom and looking at her with a confused look.
This photo was taken in the home using the natural light of a nearby window. The dad was taking a break and cuddling his newborn baby. Nothing was posed here and no props were used.

There are loads of photographers out there these days, each with their own specialities, set-up, style, and philosophy on photography. It can feel super overwhelming to choose a photographer to photograph your newborn, so I thought I'd throw a few thoughts out there to help you with the process. When you're asking yourself, do I want to have my newborn photos taken in my home or a studio, below are a few things you'll want to consider.


A disclaimer: I'll admit, I'm totally biased and vote for in-home photos. As a mom of two and having gone through this myself, I believe that after giving birth (and beyond) convenience is key. I'm also a natural light, organic moment photographer and am not a fan of heavily posed or directed photos. That said, here are my thoughts:


Staying home is safer for your baby (especially in the era of Covid).

Not exposing your new baby to germs unnecessarily in the first few weeks is important, especially in light of Covid. Studios can be a great option in some cases, but if you're considering a studio you may want to ask about their cleanliness policy. Are they photographing families? Older kids? Are they washing blankets and wiping baby items down in between use? Do other people work in the studio besides your photographer?



In-home newborn photography requires less effort on your part.

I don't know about you, but when my babies were born it took me a minute to learn how to sit again, and packing a bag and leaving the house seemed about as hard as learning how to pee again.


Oh my gosh, and if you have other kids!?!? This is probably my biggest objection with studio newborn photos: It sounds really hard to go from one to two or two three or beyond and immediately commit to shoving everyone in the car and packing snacks and dressing everyone and making sure the toddler has gone potty before you leave...can I stop now? My heart rate is increasing just thinking about it.


But if you hire someone to come to your home, your kids can run wild and 100% be themselves. If someone has an accident, you have all the outfits you need right there. There's no buckling or waiting or silently swearing in your head at the traffic.


You'll feel more comfortable in your own home.

There are no surprises when photographing your baby in your own home. That certain way you prop your feet up. How your husband leans against the counter. Your toddler stacking blocks on the floor. Your dog asleep next to the sliding glass door. It'll all feel very natural and unforced.


And if you need to nurse, you can capture that sweet connection or retreat to baby's room and have some privacy.




In-home photos will do a better job at capturing who your family is and the current stage of life.

You'll see the coffee mug on the end table, a book you forgot to put away, little socks on the carpet, the portrait of your grandparents on the wall, and more in your photos. In-home photos are more conducive to true lifestyle photography. Lifestyle photography is the art of capturing the everyday, and no better place to do that than in your own space because your space tells a story.




Though not always the case, studio photography tends to go hand-in-hand with a certain style of newborn photography (posed with props).

If you're searching for a particular vibe and vision for your newborn photos, a studio might be the way to go as studio newborn photographers tend to lean towards a more posed positions and planned backdrops. Though this isn't always the case, when I think of studio baby photos, I think of tightly wrapped blankets and babies in buckets. If one of these looks is what you're going for, then a studio might be a good fit for you.


This is definitely a generalization. There are some photographers who come to your home and bring the props or a bean bag and some studio photographers who focus on lifestyle photos, but it's important to keep in mind what type of photos you're looking for as you as you consider a location for your newborn photos, since location and photographic style often go hand-in-hand.


If they do a lot of posing, studio photographers will likely want to work with you and your baby within the first ten days, whereas in-home photographers tend to be much more flexible.

Super fresh newborns are sleepy and are therefore easier to pose. If your goal is to have a photo of your baby tightly wrapped with her hands under her chin and a headband on, then you'll likely work with a photographer who is a bit more picky on when she'll want to schedule your session. In-home photographers tend to be more flexible because they are generally lifestyle or documentary photographers, meaning they aren't heavy on the posing. The goal of a lifestyle photographer is to accurately capture the current season. They are less focused on getting baby into a certain position and are therefore less concerned about the age of your newborn.



Are you looking for natural, unforced photos that capture your baby just as she is?

Then I just might be your girl. If you think you'd jive with how I do things, hit me up.


Contact Minneapolis Newborn Photographer

I provide newborn photography all over the Twin Cities metro. I photograph babies in the home with a relaxed lifestyle and documentary approach. My style is bright, natural, creamy, warm, candid, and detail-oriented. Click here to view some of my work.


Head to the Connect page or email me at karajoyphoto@gmail.com. You can also text or call me at 612.599.8349.

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HEY, I'M KARA JOY

Looking for a Newborn Photographer in Maple Grove?

Based in Maple Grove, MN and servicing the Twin Cities metro, Kara Joy Photography is a lifestyle & documentary photographer who specializes in newborn & family photography. Kara Joy Photography is known for capturing raw emotion & authentic expressions through a laid-back approach. Her unforced images have a glaze that is natural yet polished. The cherry on top? A quick turnaround time.

If you're on the hunt for a newborn or family photographer, I'd love to chat with you and answer any questions you may have! Click the link below to send me a message or you can shoot me an email at karajoyphoto@gmail.com​.