Is Your Home Right for Newborn Lifestyle Photos?

The photos in this post were taken in a small house in Minneapolis. The majority of the session took place in the mail level bedroom and the living room. The bedroom was fairly dark. The photos look different than brightly lit photos, but they're still incredible! Thank you Annalise & Fernando for inviting me into your space and trusting me to capture your first baby!

newborn baby sleeping in antique cradle in a home in Minneapolis
This photo was taken in the corner of a dark room in a small house in Minneapolis. The new baby was placed in an antique crib and all artificial lights were turned off. The only light was coming from a window on the other side of the room. I love the shadows and the mood!

I love lifestyle and documentary photography, especially when it comes to newborn photos. It’s natural. It’s real. And while there may be some directing, there’s no stiff posing. Lifestyle newborn photography is so relaxed and honestly, the types of photos can be taken no matter how old your baby is. If you're a connected, cozy, and laid-back family, then in-home newborn photography might be right for you.

First of all, What is Lifestyle Photography?

Lifestyle photography is real life with an artistic flair. These shots involve some prompting (e.g. "How about dipping your feet in the water!"), but no stiff positioning. Lifestyle photography also aims to tell a story, but is not the same as documentary photography. Documentary style photography involves no posing or prompting. The photographer's job is to capture moments as a scene unfolds naturally.

Is Your Home the Ideal Place for Newborn Photos?

Lighting: Gotta talk about light first! Do you have a lot of natural light in your home? Photos can be taken in any home, but they will look very different depending on how much light is in the home, if you're using natural or artificial light, and the overall color scheme of the home.

  • Some advice: Focus on the nursery, main living area, and master bedroom. Check these rooms in the late morning or around mid-day and see how much light is present. (If you aren't sure on what's considered "enough" light, you can take a picture of the area with all artificial lights off and send it to me.)

Photographic Style: Is posing important to you? Do you want your baby placed neatly in a bucket or are you more the type of family to snuggle up on the couch together? Are certain looks or poses important to you (e.g. your baby curled up on a bed or her sleeping peacefully in a bucket) or are you more excited about documenting your real life (in your real house)?

Style & Decor: Do you have a lot of stuff in your house? Are your walls dark brown and your couch black? While you can take photos anywhere, less clutter, neutral colors, and bright spaces will photograph better. (I've included examples below from a home that was very dark inside.) You might see a photo you light on Instagram of a family on a bed, but that same prompting and positioning might look very different in your home if you don't have the same white walls and bright bedspread.

Comfort: You will likely be most comfortable in your own space, but you may also want to consider if you want to have a photographer in your home. If you're not having people in your home due to Covid, you may opt for an outdoor family session. (Of course, I'm always happy to wear a mask in your home.) But many families are actually considering in-home sessions because of all the unknowns with busy public spaces and germs. If you're one of those families, then having a photographer come to you is perfect!

Time of year & weather: Depending on when your baby is due, we could spend a large portion of your session outside at your home if we decide that your space isn't ideal. I'd say 95% of the time your space won't be an issue. The only time I'd recommend moving the session outside is if you have dark walls in every room and few windows in the home.

Looking for a newborn photographer in Maple Grove?

I'm located in Maple Grove and provide newborn photography all over the Twin Cities metro. I photograph babies right at home! My sessions are very relaxed, and I'm all about the lifestyle and documentary approach. My style has been described as bright, natural, creamy, candid, detail-oriented, and on the warmer side. I also really love a little magenta hue! If you're loving the photos you see here, then there's a good chance we'd be a good fit.

To get in touch with me head to the Connect page or email me at You can also text or call me at 612.599.8349.

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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​.