Understanding Photography Terms

check out the studio

view our services

I'm a mom, just like you. I've blinked and my 3 boys have jumped from babies to kids and I wholeheartedly agree believe that creating & capturing special memories together matters more than anything.

hi, i'm paige!

Do you find yourself getting confused but all the photography terms thrown around? Lifestyle, Fresh 48, Documentary, Session Fee… what does it all mean?

I’ve been hiring a few new people to help me with marketing my digital course, write my sales page and rework the copy on my website. And I’ve discovered something  vital- I have to explain the photography terms I use quite often.

I throw around words that another photographer would understand but is complete gibberish to anyone outside the industry. So I decided it’s time to put out a glossary of photography terms used by family, maternity and newborn photographers that our clients may be a bit confused by. Is there a term you’re not understanding that isn’t listed below? Send me an email and I’ll add it to the list! Hello@gleanandco.com

Photography Genres and Session Types: 

Boise Newborn Photographer


The duration of time while you’re taking pictures. A session can mean a massive variety of looks and styles and photographers use this term to refer to the time you’ll take to create your images together. 


Generally when photographers use the term “lifestyle” they mean photos taken in a natural environment. Such as in your own home or a studio set up to look like a home. Lifestyle images are relatively unposed with the emphasis on capturing interaction and emotions between the subjects. 

Photographers guide their clients where to sit, what to do with their hands and give prompts or play games to illicit emotional responses. There is little to no “say cheese,” looking directly at the camera, or stark studio backgrounds. 

Looking to book a lifestyle family session? Head over here!


Documentary is similar to lifestyle but often it’s completely unguided. Think “fly on the wall” type photography where you may not even realize a photographer is there taking pictures. They’re documenting the scene without inserting themselves.


Generally a newborn is only a newborn in photography terms if they’re under about 3 weeks old. Photographers often use the term “older newborn” for babies between 3weeks-3months old. For more information Check out this post detailing the differences between newborn ages here.

You can book your newborn session in our brand new lifestyle studio by visiting here:

Boise Newborn Photographer

“Fresh 48”Fresh48 Newborn Photos- Overhead Shot

A fresh 48 session is done in the hospital after the baby has been born but before you have gone home. With Covid-19 restrictions many families are opting instead to do a lifestyle in-home session to document baby arriving home for the first time.

The idea behind these sessions is to capture the tiny details of a baby within hours of their birth. Want to learn how to take your own hospital photos? Download our free guide here.

“Family Adventure”

A family adventure session is longer than your traditional outdoor family photoshoot because you’re doing more than taking pictures- you’re going on an adventure together! Usually this falls under the heading of documentary or lifestyle because the photographer is coming along to capture your family participating in an activity rather than taking your photo in the local park.

Adventure sessions range but some examples would be things like going for a hike, visiting the pumpkin patch, a day at the state fair, swimming at the lake, a backyard campfire or even a big family dinner.


A motherhood session can mean maternity, but it can also be a photoshoot involving a mom with her children, no baby bump required. The idea behind a motherhood session is to capture the connection between mother and child and get mom in front of the camera for a change.


A styled session means that the photographer is helping you put together the pieces to create a particular look and feel for your session together. Photographers might style the setup for a newborn shoot using particular colors, themes or textures to pair with your nursery or they may help you find coordinating outfits and accessories for the entire family. 

While styled sessions can still be lifestyle in nature, they are almost always guided or posed to get a desired look or feel from the participants. Want to see an example of a styled session with Glean & Co? Check out this family’s gallery!


A studio is a photographer’s working space but also the look at feel of the resulting images. It may be “lifestyle” in nature where the backdrops are set to mimic a clean living space, or it may be a more traditional photography studio using sets, props and backgrounds to create different scenes.

Studios can use natural light through windows, studio strobes (aka flash) or a combination of the two. 

Mae sure to ask where the studio is located. Some photographers have home studios, others work out of commercial spaces and some (like the new Glean studio!) is on a residential property but separated from the main living space.

“Client closet”

A client closet is a collection of outfits, props and accessories available to borrrow during your session with your photographer. The extensiveness of a photographer’s client closet varies.

Most photographers allow you to try items on in advance and “shop the closet” to see if there’s something that will work for your family members. 

Glean & Co’s client closet contains kids items from newborn- size 8 as well as women’s S-XL and a handful of men’s shirts M-XL. Our closet is constantly growing and changing as we add new items and sizes.

“Baby-Led Posing”Boise Newborn Photographer

Baby-Led Posing means listening and following baby’s cues on if they want to be in a certain position. For some photographers this means letting their little arms and legs go wherever they’d like them to go, keeping images as natural as possible. For others it means putting the baby into certain positions but not forcing anything the baby doesn’t appear to enjoy.

If baby appears to be hungry, we stop to eat. If baby seems upset and needs a minute with mom, we stop the session for as long as needed to allow baby to settle. Check out this post to learn more about baby led posing


Photography Pricing Terms:

“Session Fee”

This one is tricky because it can differ between photographers on what’s included and what’s not. In general, the session fee covers the photographers time and equipment. It does not include digital files, prints or products which are purchased separately. Session fees are also referred to as a “creative fee”, “session retainer” or “session deposit”. Be sure to check with your individual photographer to understand what is and what is not included within the session fee.

“All Inclusive”

All Inclusive means all finished digital files as well as the session itself are included. Some photographers will specify a certain number or a minimum number you can expect to receive.


A set of prints, products, digital files or combination of items, bundled together. Collections are usually priced lower than purchasing all items individually. 

Collection purchases may or may not be required by your photographer. Be sure to ask questions about minimum purchase orders when inquiring. 

“A La Carte”

A la carte means anything you can add outside of a photographer’s standard collections offered. Some photographers require a minimum purchase to gain access to the a la carte menu. 


So you're having a baby in Boise...

Download our FREE GUIDE to the best baby vendors in the Treasure Valley & claim your $200 Gift Card toward a luxury maternity or newborn photoshoot experience.


Follow us on

Boise newborn photographer


Our Contact Information


(208) 643=3106

In the meanwhile,
Connect with Us Here:

Thank you for your message! Our business hours are Monday - Thursday, 9 AM - 3 PM (MST). We look forward to responding within 48 business hours.

Thank you for your message!

670 E Pennsylvania St
Boise ID 83706

Studio address

Studio Hours:
Weekends by Appointment

Our Business Hours

Glean & Co Photography is located in beautiful Boise Idaho

Our Location

© 2023 Glean and Co, LLC

Terms of Site

Privacy Policy