Several years ago when I started my business, my very first official client was a newborn session. I was instantly hooked. There is nothing like the time with your baby especially in those early groggy days. I mean, yes, there is the utter exhaustion and sleep deprivation but the flood of emotions during that time is palpable and I LOVE to photograph it. It's been a while since I wrote a blog post about how I approach my newborn work and I thought it was time.
I've always considered myself a lifestyle photographer when it comes to newborns, even in the beginning. That can mean different things to different folks so let me explain. To me, it means our session is done in the comfort of your own home and we focus on your natural interactions together. That doesn't mean I don't pose you or direct you into beautiful light, I definitely do. But the magic in the image all comes from the real emotion that's happening between you and your family.
As a mother of 4 myself, there's no denying that my work is heavily influenced by my own family and the photographs of my children and myself that bring me the most joy. These are usually the ones where I can see things the way they really were. How we loved each other, the way a lip curled when my daughter cried, how my son beamed when he got to hold his sister(or not, haha), the way a father smells the head of his new daughter, a mother's embrace. These are the images that stir me and these are the images I want you to remember and see of your own family.
When it comes to portraits of your newborn, I love simplicity. In my opinion, newborns are just perfect on there own so I definitely think less is more when it comes to any kind of props for your session. Besides a few neutral wraps and swaddles, I rely totally on things in your own home to incorporate into your session. To me, this makes your session even more personalized.
For your baby's portraits, I focus on baby led posing in a more natural set up like the bed, their crib, a rug, the couch, etc rather than a more formal set up with a backdrop. I used to incorporate some of this into my sessions but over the past few years I have come to realize it's not my strong suit, nor are these the images that feel true to my style. In addition to baby led posing for individual photographs of your baby, one of my favorite ways to take portraits of newborns is in Mama or Daddy's arms. Babies are always more content close to one of their parents and I personally feel like it adds another element of emotion which makes the photograph more meaningful to you over time.
Another aspect of my newborn sessions that is very important to me that I feel like goes without saying is that the entire family(siblings) is incorporated. Bringing home a newborn is a huge change for siblings and photographs of siblings are so important. I always do my best to get portraits of siblings together but I also love getting photographs of little glimpses of what life was like with a brand new baby in the house and the impact it had on your entire family. This is different for every family and I love that about sibling shots!
Last but not least, I like to get a good mix of family shots. I always get the good old, traditional everyone's-looking-shots but those are never my goal at our session. My favorites by far are the ones where everyone forgets I'm there and your true story unfolds.
I hope this was helpful in understanding the way I approach my newborn sessions. When it comes to newborn sessions there is definitely no right or wrong when it comes to photographic style but I do feel it's important to choose a photographer that best suits your family. So, if we're a match, and you're expecting, shoot me an email and we can chat about a session. :)