Letting Go of Shot Lists as a Lifestyle Newborn Photographer

I headed out to see this family in Sudbury, MA with my usual newborn session shot list in mind. The list is short and sweet-baby alone, sibling photos, the whole family together, and each parent individually with baby. However, I decided to take a slightly different approach than usual for this session. Rather than visualizing some specific poses, I decided I was just going to check off the boxes on my list in whatever way presented itself. I had been trying to accomplish particular poses at previous newborn sessions, and was ending up frustrated when I couldn’t execute my vision. I let that all go on my way to see this crew.

And you know what? It was freaking glorious. This is one of the more documentary-style newborn sessions I’ve photographed, and I looove it. These photos tell the chaotic story of life with a newborn and a toddler. BUT they also depict all of the joy that comes with that.

I still let my newborn session shot list loosely guide me, but I fully embrace the fact that it may be brought to life in an entirely unexpected way. That is what lifestyle photography is supposed to be though, right?

Get in touch here to learn more about a newborn session with Melissa!


Oh hey! I’m Melissa, a Boston family & newborn photographer, but I like to refer to myself as a toddler-whispering, child-taming, photographic ninja.