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Newborn photoshoot - posed vs candid. What’s the difference?

Congratulations! I’m assuming since you’ve found your way to this blog you’re expecting the arrival of a beautiful baby in the near future. Or perhaps your baby has already been born and you’re looking for a photographer to capture his or her unique newborn features. It should be straight forward, right? Book a photographer and let him or her get on with the job. But wait! The question on everyone’s lips is: posed or candid? If this question has left you feeling confused, read on. In this blog I walk you through the main differences between these two styles of photography so you can book your session with confidence.

studio newborn photography in Auckland

Posed newborn photoshoot

As the name suggests, this style of photography sees your baby snapped in a series of intentional poses. An experienced newborn photographer will have an array of poses up his or her sleeve. From the timeless tummy photo to a serene side pose, these shots are most effective when baby is brand new and sleepy. Some of these poses resemble baby in the womb; curled up and protected from the outside world. 

Props play an important part in posed newborn photography too. It’s amazing how much difference a specially-designed newborn wrap, a cute cuddly toy or a pop of colour can make to your photos. Here at Lifestyle Photo I stock a wide library of props and outfits, all organised and colour coordinated ready for you to browse.

Although a posed newborn photoshoot can happen anywhere, I generally encourage my clients to come to my cosy studio. This way we can ensure that your baby is warm and snug, and we have access to everything we need.

Safety, of course, is the number one priority when taking newborn photos and I strongly discourage parents from trying out posed shots at home. Although some newborn poses look easy, experienced photographers know just how to place babies so that they’re well supported and comfortable at all times.  

candid lifestyle newborn photography in Auckland

Candid newborn photoshoot

In comparison to posed photos, candid newborn photography captures your baby in the moment without props or staged lighting. For obvious reasons, this is sometimes called lifestyle photography.

Candid photos are much more casual in style than posed shots, and generally include other family members. This is real life; we’re not aiming for perfection. Some photos may even be unfocussed to show your baby’s movements and the dynamic nature of the session.

These photos showcase connections and emotions, creating a story in pictures of the early days of baby’s life. Your newborn photographer may capture a tiny yawn or a subtle, loving glance between mum and baby. I’ll often snap a number of abstract photos during my candid photoshoots – baby’s tiny toes or a close-up cuddle – all these parts build up a whole and are perfect when showcased together.

Got it! But where to shoot? Home is where the heart is. I’m happy to host these shoots at my studio, although the relaxed nature of candid photography lends itself to your own home. Here I aim to be an onlooker, capturing baby’s day as it unfolds in real time.

So what style is it to be?

Can’t decide? No worries, neither can I! Both styles are beautiful in their own way. Depending on your requirements, I’m happy to incorporate a selection of both posed and candid lifestyle shots into your session. We’ll generally do the posed shots while baby is sleepy and settled, shooting the candid snaps when baby is more alert.

I hope that’s answered your questions about the differences between posed and candid newborn photography. Please feel free to get in touch with any other questions you may have.

Your baby is a newborn for such a short time so book in your session to avoid missing the moment. Photoshoots are available with Lifestyle Photo 7 days a week.


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