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Oceanside Lifestyle Newborn Photographer, Marisa McDonald Photography



With my family and wedding clients I have always placed so much emphasis on capturing natural, authentic moments. Meanwhile, in the studio I was meticulously posing little babies in a variety of props. Don’t get me wrong…I still very much appreciate the beauty of what studio photographers create. If that’s what you love too, I can definitely recommend someone! That style just isn’t true to who I am as a photographer. I have found so much joy in transitioning to lifestyle newborn sessions.

Confession time! Within months of starting Marisa McDonald Photography, I spent a lot of time and money mastering the art of posed studio newborn photography. I had some amazing mentors who were able to guide me quickly in this niche so it was a natural fit…in a way. After several years in this niche I had to admit that studio newborn photography just did not fit with my overall vision for my photography business.


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Baby gets to stay home! I know there are some amazing parents out there but when I had newborns of my own, the last thing I wanted to do was pack everyone up for another appointment in the first week after birth.


I get to capture baby as part of the family. Yes, baby is a unique individual but this stage is so much about this new little person who is already so bonded to his/her family. I love to capture that.



I can still capture a few sweet “posed” shots for the birth announcement and hallway frame! During lifestyle newborn sessions I tend to focus on baby wrapped in a swaddle in a shallow wooden bowl. This is perfect for parents who love a more natural and less posed look but still want that one shot of *just baby*.

For families who prefer images of just baby (without the whole family), I can provide a nice variety of simple, naturally posed images from the comfort of your home.



Safety! Lifestyle newborn photography has been perfectly adaptable to Covid concerns. Keeping baby at home may be just the added level of safety you need. Lifestyle newborn photography is also perfectly adaptable to outdoor sessions (when its not too cold). Because there is minimal posing for baby, it is also very easy for me to coach parents through the process of wrapping and placing baby for the shot. Any wraps I bring are laundered between clients. I am fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and never come to a session with even the mildest symptoms and wait several days after the last symptom before resuming sessions. My first-born was premature with a NICU stay so I fully understand the concerns of parents of newborns when it comes to health and safety and take them very seriously!

Questions and answers

What does a typical session look like?


Do you have wraps and accessories and props?


Yes! Although I keep these simple and minimalist for lifestyle sessions I do have everything we need! I typically come with plenty of wraps in a variety of colors, a handful of headbands/hats, and a shallow wooden bowl.



Where and when do outdoor sessions take place?

For outdoor sessions, some families choose to use their own front or back yard for the session to keep things easy. Others prefer a scenic location. I'm happy to make suggestions for some quiet places with nice scenery where you will feel comfortable. I don't generally recommend the beach unless its super warm out. Those coastal breezes can. make baby cold quickly.

As far as timing, we can be flexible with baby's schedule as long as we are working with a shaded location. I never do an outdoor newborn session when its super cold and a mid-day session sometimes helps ensure baby will be warm enough. If we have planned one and suddenly the temperature drops, we'll reschedule. Because we are blessed with such amazing temperatures in San Diego, outdoor newborn sessions are a viable option most of the year.

Oceanside Newborn Photographer

Marisa McDonald Photography

Oceanside Family Photographer