Hudson Valley Newborn | Lifestyle vs Fine art

Over the years I have gotten Hudson Valley Newborn inquiries asking for me to explain the difference of lifestyle and fine art. To non-photographers, photos may look all the same to them even when the photography art form is not. They know what they like but are a little confused of what to call it and then ultimately ask for it!

So, I thought I would put a little comparison together to differentiate the different types as it pertains to Hudson Valley newborn photography.

There are really only two main styles of newborn portraiture: Lifestyle and Fine Art

Lifestyle, when it is described in the photographic world, is when you are photographing a ‘day-in-the-life’ type of look. The photographer is a sort of ‘fly on the wall’ capturing true-to-life type of images. Images that would be captured with an almost hidden camera. Hands on posing of babies is extremely limited! The reliance of the newborn interacting with mom and dad or the capturing of baby sleeping in his/her own crib or sleeper is the main focus of a lifestyle photographer. Design details of the baby’s room or special keepsakes are included in the capturing. Taking baby as-is in their natural environment is the criteria, trying to get baby to sleep is not important or needed for lifestyle photos! All of these define a lifestyle approach! A majority of lifestyle newborn photography are done solely in natural light allowing the drama of light and shadows to help sculpt and tell the story of those precious newborn moments. Once lights are introduced you merge more into a studio photographer more than a lifestyle. Some new photographers will call themselves lifestyle photographers because they are not trained enough to go the fine art route, and that is perfectly fine! I started out as a ‘lifestyle’ photographer and eventually graduated to fine art as my training and practices got stronger!

Here is a beautiful example of a lifestyle session done by Arizona photographer, Melissa Jill.

Fine art is a much different and polar opposite of lifestyle photography! The focus is on creating a fine art piece or pieces to display in the home! There is a certain style, look and aesthetic being portrayed. Fine art newborn photography in the hudson valley is a highly specialized art. A detailed knowledge of how to handle and pose baby is needed. The practice of baby safety should be used in any photographic form but fine art demands baby safety because of the intricate posing requirements needed to make that piece of art! Getting baby into a deep, somber sleep is very important in fine art newborn photography because many of the poses need baby to be in a deep sleep. There are times when an awake, calm baby is captured but posing is very limited! Fine art is a mix of natural and studio lights. Photoshop skills are needed at an expert level in order to infuse the personal artistic expression of the photographer/studio. Fine art is one of a kind art because of it’s styled and posed nature!

Kelly Brown of Little Pieces Photography is an amazing Fine Art amd award winning newborn photographer and is also one of my newborn mentors, click here to view some of her work!

How would I describe my work? I would say my approach is about 70% Fine Art and 30% Lifestyle. Now that I am in a great studio space, since last year, it is easier for me to take on a more Fine Art approach. I love creating and capturing memories so this is an excellent balance for me to have! Enjoy some of my Newborn samples below!

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