Why I shoot Lifestyle Newborn Photography | Round Rock and Austin Newborn Photographer

When I first started, I knew I wanted to shoot Lifestyle Newborn Photography sessions. Don’t get me wrong, posed newborn photography is beautiful when done right, but it just wasn’t for me and it wasn’t my style. I wanted to capture newborns in their onw homes with their parents and siblings.

Lifestyle newborn photography takes a slight different approach. For me, it is all about capturing the love and connections within the family. Photographing your newborn in their nursery, surrounded be their things. Capturing the small details of the crib and changing table.

Having a baby is a huge milestone for parents. Whether is your first baby or your third, having those sweet moments between family members and your new baby in a photo is important. Those natural moments of Mom cuddling her new baby and Dad having that sweet smile for his newborn are two of the many reasons I love lifestyle newborn sessions.

I love to photograph, not only in the nursery, but in the parent’s bedroom as well. Siblings become a bit more relaxed on Mom and Dad’s bed. Everyone can get comfortable, snuggle, and be close. I see sweet kisses, cuddles, and true joy and happiness from the small moments.

Lifestyle newborn sessions are one of my favorite to photograph because of all of the family’s interactions.

That’s why I shoot lifestyle newborn, and that’s why I love it.

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Emily is a photographer specializing in family portraiture, lifestyle newborn photography, and commercial projects in the Round Rock, Austin, Pflugerville, Georgetown, and Central Texas area. emilyingallsphotography@gmail.com

Lifestyle vs Portrait vs Documentary Photography... what's the difference?

There are a lot of different types of photography out there. People hear different photography industry phrases and buzz words thrown around all the time. I get asked a lot what lifestyle photography vs portrait photography is. And what the heck is documentary photography?

So today I’m here to break it down for you.

Portrait photography
Portrait photography is exactly what it sounds life. People are posed and put into positions for a portrait. Most of the time, the photographer will tell you where to stand, who to stand next to, where to look, hand positioning, leg positioning, etc. You, as the person being photographed, will probably feel awkward because you don’t normally sit/stand that way. It’s totally normal, and you will end up looking great! Most portrait photography is formally posed whether it’s in studio or outside.

Think of it this way… if everyone is looking and smiling at the camera, it’s portrait photography.

Lifestyle Photography
Lifestyle photography is that middle ground between portrait photography and documentary photography (which I’ll get to next). Lifestyle photography isn’t formally posed, but more guided posing. Your photographer should be telling you where to stand and what to do. The photographer will give you prompts such as ‘everyone laugh’ or ‘walk towards me but look at mom’ or ‘throw your child into the air’ or ‘whisper a secret into someone’s ear.’ The entire family might not be looking directly at the camera but at each other instead. There’s more action and movement in lifestyle photography. Good lifestyle photographers will bring out emotion within your family and capture small, special moments rather than posed, smiling at the camera photos.

Lifestyle photography… informally posed with prompts from photographer, not everyone always looking at the camera.

Documentary Photography
Documentary photography is exactly how it sounds. A photographer is hired to document you and your family over a period of time. There is no direction given by the photographer. They are more there as a ‘fly on the wall’ scenario to capture your everyday life or a special event as it is lived. There is zero formal posing going on. Documentary photography typically last hours or a whole day (such as a Day in the Life).

Documentary photography… no posing, documenting life over a long period of time.


So now the big question… which type of photography is right for you?

Whatever you want!

Honestly, it depends solely on your personal tastes and preferences.

Some people only want posed, formal photos which means portrait photography is right up there alley! Others want to see emotion come through their photos, so lifestyle or documentary would be a better approach for them. I’ve noticed the Baby Boomers prefer portrait photography while the Generation X and Millennials often prefer Lifestyle and Documentary, but that’s not hard and true.

You, as the client, has to decide what type of photographs you like and want to capture. Then find a photographer who captures it in a style you like!

I photograph a combination of Portrait photography and Lifestyle Photography. I’ve found that combination works best for me personally as a photographer and artist. And I’ll usually do it within one sessions. I’ll formally pose a family, then start giving them prompts to get a little more interactive with the family and kids.

Check out this family session I photographed with Portraits and Lifestyle photography.

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To all my clients... Thank you!

As my busy season is slowly winding down, I can’t be more grateful to my amazing clients who return to me year after year!

From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

When I set off on this journey of creating my own photography business, I didn’t have an understanding of how hard it can be to run your own business. I knew there would be difficulties. However, nothing really prepared me for the constant ups and downs of it. There’s the fantasy version of running a business where it just takes off without any hiccups or perils along the way.

Then there’s the reality of starting up your business from scratch and keeping it going even when you want to hang up your hat and say ‘I’m done.’

Don’t get me wrong, there are still a lot of tough days. I’ll make no illusion of it being all rainbows and sunshine all the time. Because it isn’t. It is hard work, grit, and the drive to keep doing better that keeps me going. And my wonderfully, supportive husband who stands behind me.

For all of my clients who have stayed with me through the years,
All of my new clients who have trusted me with their family photos,
And all my future clients who are dying to hire me ;),
Thank you!

Without all of you entrusting me to do my job, I wouldn’t have a business.

I hope everyone enjoyed their holiday season!

Merry Christmas!
Happy Hanukah!
Happy Kwanza!
Happy Holidays!
And Happy New Year!

Emily

Family Photo Session | Pease Park, Austin, TX

Family photo sessions are some of my favorite sessions to photograph.  The interaction between parents and children, the smiles and laughs, the inside jokes amongst the family, all of this makes a family and comes out through their family photos.

This particular family photo session was extra special to me!  I photographed this family while they were in the NICU.  I volunteer with an organization called The Tiny Footprints Project.  I photograph preemies in the NICU and their families to give them happy and special memories during what can be a stressful time.  This strong, little girl came into the world a bit early and has grown into a full blown toddler.  Her parents are the sweetest people!  And they brought their dog with them, which I got to love up on.  Enjoy this sweet family photo session I shot at Pease Park in Austin.

The power of the printed photograph

When I was growing up, there was no such thing as digital photos.  Everyone had a film camera with 24 or 36 exposure shots on it.  I took the photos on with my camera, dropped off the roll to get developed, then waited 2 weeks to get the roll back to see how my photos turned out.  There was no instant display or multiple shots to get the perfect image.  You had one, maybe two chances, to get your picture, then crossed your fingers and prayed all was well.

And the excitement of going through all the prints when the roll was finally ready to be picked up was amazing!  Sifting through the photos, laughing at all the cuteness or ridiculous faces you captured on film was priceless.

Nowadays, we take pictures with our phones, see them instantly, then retake if we decide the photo was off or someone wasn't smiling or we just don't like the way we look.  And I'll admit, I am 100% guilty of doing this as well.

But today we tend to forget the most important part of the whole reason for taking photos, and that is the printing of them.

What's the point of capturing your family's memories if you're not going to display them for everyone to see?  The answer is, sadly, not much.

Printing photos is one of the most important things you can do for yourself, your kids, and the next generation.  Seeing a photo on a wall, book shelf, or even a fireplace mantel gives a whole new meaning to keep your memories alive.

At my parent's house, my mom has a couple of dozen photo albums full of 4x6 or the old school instant Polaroid prints where you can write on the bottom of the photo (you know you remember those old instant Polaroid photos that you had to shake to dry off the ink and hope you accidentally touch and mess it up).  Anyway, I love those old photo albums.  I love looking at my childhood on print, take the photos out, and have a trip down memory lane.

I want that for my own children and (fingers crossed) their children one day.  To show them the prints of photos of their childhood, awkward years, and fun everyday memories to share and reminisce.  My own children love going through the photos I've had printed and figuring out how old they were and what were they doing. I just have to get those photos into an album, and I'll be set!

I love the fact as a photographer I can offer my clients the digital prints of their families and newborns so they can print as many photos as they want.  I want they to print their family photos and share them.  Not just keep them on a hard drive for years to come.  It's awesome to see my clients send me photos of their home wall galleries and see their photos on display.

It saddens my heart to think the next generation is losing out of the power of the printed photograph.  Nothing makes a house a home like seeing your families history on the walls with photos.

Whether it's a snapshot you took on your phone or your family photos you had taken by a professional photographer, print them out!  Display them!  Put them in albums for everyone to look back upon and remember the fun times!

And if anyone ever needs a recommendation on where to have your photos printed, email me at emilyingallsphotography@gmail.com  I'll be happy to recommend a some consumer labs to you!

My family Christmas photo from last year! 

My family Christmas photo from last year! 

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Emily Ingalls is a professional photographer in Round Rock, Texas.  Emily specializes in family and children portraiture, family lifestyle photography, and newborn lifestyle photography.  She loves traveling, coffee, and martial arts.