The Big Difference Between In Home vs In Studio Newborn Photography


June 26, 2022

A popular question I’m asked as a Northern VA newborn photographer is whether my clients should do an in-home or an in-studio session. Since I offer both, I have a unique perspective. It’s really a matter of preference, so let’s chat about it. What are the differences between in home vs in studio newborn photography sessions?

The Lighting 

The first and probably most important difference between in home vs in studio newborn photography is the aspect of lighting.

During an in-home session, the lighting is heavily dependent on the layout and placement of the windows in your home. Most often, I photograph in home sessions in the master bedroom, living area, and nursery. However, if you don’t have proper window placements that lead to high-quality lighting, that can affect your images. I do not bring any added lighting with me for in-home sessions as I exclusively work with natural lighting.

in home vs in studio newborn photography featuring a mom, baby, and newborn laying on a bed

Something unique about having me as your Northern VA newborn photographer is that my studio is designed to have only natural lighting and ample amounts of it. It’s not something we will have to worry about the day of the shoot (unless, of course, the weather decides to be finicky!). I make sure my set is laid out appropriately to get the best photos. This is one advantage of doing your newborn photography session in a studio.

in home vs in studio newborn photography featuring tiny toes

in home vs in studio newborn photography featuring tiny hands

in home vs in studio newborn photography featuring a baby in a studio

Pre-Established Sets

One of the biggest differences between in home vs in studio newborn photography is the setup!

Of course, in home sessions allow you to have a bit of home in all of your newborn photos.  You get to see your master bed, your favorite couch, and even your little one’s crib in the photos. This can make the end result feel more personal. However, it also means you have to prepare your set yourself before I arrive. You’ll have to give it a dusting and a wipe down to make sure it’s all ready for the photos. This is just one more thing on your to-do list, and sometimes, that’s the last thing you want as a new mama!

in home vs in studio newborn photography featuring a mom in her home kissing her newborn

baby smiling with her eyes closed

With in-studio sessions, there is a set layout (you’re welcome). It does make your life a little bit easier since you won’t have to prep any spaces, but it may feel a little bit less personal. However, I find that taking this burden off my client’s shoulders is always appreciated.

My goal as your Northern VA newborn photographer is to have these couple of hours be as stress-free as possible, and what better way to achieve that than by having a space all set for when you arrive? You’re always welcome to bring some sentimental items from your home as well to add those personal touches.

in home vs in studio newborn photography featuring a baby posing in a heart shaped dish

Let’s Talk About Control

When it comes to in home vs in studio newborn photography, control is another significant difference.

With an in-home session, the lighting is oftentimes not guaranteed, and the set is not something I am familiar with (but don’t worry, I can figure it out quickly!). I do believe that you and your newborn baby will be most relaxed in your own four walls, and it will be easier to keep older siblings entertained. If you have been following my work, you know that I’m all about including your fur babies as well.

In-studio sessions with me as your Northern VA newborn photographer are much easier to control. The set is prepped perfectly, I know the layout and the lighting is typically easier to work with. You don’t have to worry about your home being spick and span before my arrival. This can make the shoot less stressful for you as your only job then is to bond with your little one for their grand debut! 

Final Thoughts: In Home Vs In Studio Newborn Photography

I hope you enjoyed my post on the differences between in home vs in studio newborn photography. I have been a Northern VA newborn photographer for many years. I can handle whatever gets thrown at me, whether that be in your home or in my studio. Though in-home sessions will always have my heart, there are some clear benefits to having your session in the studio with me! There is no right or wrong decision, and I am here to guide you to find the best fit for you!

I look forward to talking more with you about scheduling your Northern VA newborn photography session, whether in home or in studio! If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment or reach out to me directly!

Want even more resources? Check out some of my other posts below:

  1. Gwen says:

    We have been blessed to experience both with Steph: in home for our first son and in her studio for our new daughter. We truly love both sets of pictures and had a great experience both times. This post describes it all perfectly.
    Steph, you’re the best!

  2. Stacey says:

    I definitely appreciate this post, catering to families that either love. In-home or studio. Best of both worlds and completely unique ☺️ beautiful work as always. Clients are lucky to have you back in VA!

  3. Amber Myers says:

    Aw, this is the cutest session. I wish I had done this when my kids were tiny.

  4. Monica Simpson says:

    These are so beautiful. I love the coloring in them. I love the baby feet one! Baby feet are the cutest!!!

  5. Sharon says:

    I really do love the at-home sessions so that everyone can be comfortable and mom & baby have everything they need right there.

  6. Tisha says:

    I love the comparison! I have done both as a photographer as well and natural lighting is everything for the in home sessions.

  7. Julie says:

    Such a great comparison to help you decide which way to go! I did the in home with my twins but either option makes for lovely photos.

  8. Nina says:

    You do both in home and studio work so perfectly. If I had a newborn and needed photos you would definitely be my first call. Huge fan of your work!

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