There is one thing that Demerest and Conway's Mom said that really stuck with me. "I am so glad we did this photo session when we did." And what she meant was, I'm glad we waited until they were a little older...
Newborn photography, like anything else, has specific styles and methods that are popular among photographers. Right now, there are two main styles that most photographers fall into - Studio (posed) and Lifestyle (at home, not posed).
My take on newborn photography is a little bit different.. because I kind of mix the two.
With a photography Studio, sometimes people assume that it’s a big production. My Studio, however, is simply a relaxed little place to have photoshoots and client meetings. I don’t have a receptionist or a staff. There are no associate photographers. It’s not a retail store front (in fact, it’s tucked away on a second floor). And when you call my business phone line, I’m the only person who picks up...
I am not a trendy person. It took me many years to discover that I like things to be simple and clean, without much fuss or fanfare. And that definitely translates to my photographs.There are many trends out there. Fashion, of course. That's new every season. And every year the style and color is different. Fashion doesn't seem to care about body types or things looking flattering on people. Whatever is in style is what everyone is supposed to wear.
It's easy to figure WHY you would want photos of your newborn baby. These first few weeks of a baby's life are so completely and utterly new. You want to make sure to remember them, through the haze of doctor's appointments and all-night feedings. And often the iPhone photos don't really come close to capturing how you see your baby during that time. Not only that, but Mom and Dad somehow never make it into those photos (or, if they do, they look exhausted, which by the way, they are).
The truth is, Moms don't really feel very glamorous after giving birth. I know I didn't. But there's nothing more important than existing in these images. There are no two people more important in your baby's life than the parents.
And there is no better photograph than adoring parents holding their newborn baby in their arms.
And most importantly, I like to make sure that parents look good. I give them all the information they need to get ready. I style what they wear to not only reflect who they are, but to create images that won't look outdated in ten or twenty years. Each final photographs is fully retouched in Photoshop (because nobody needs to remember the under-eye circles). I provide gentle posing guidance. And most of all, I create a safe space so parents feel comfortable in front of the camera.
And I understand that not everyone will see the value in hiring a professional photographer for a newborn photo session. And that's okay. But if you're thinking of doing so... do your research, go with someone whose work you love, and most of all, make sure you're in those photographs too.
There seems to be this idea of how newborn photo sessions should go. Your baby should sleep soundly through the whole photoshoot, allow herself to be changed and manhandled, and will overall be in the most amicable and pleasant mood the entire time. Never mind that she's in a totally new environment and has just been born a few weeks prior.
So you can probably see how some of those expectations might be a little too ambitious.
Addison was honestly pretty unhappy for most of the three hours we spent together. She wanted to nurse, and fall asleep on her mommy.. and why not? She's a newborn. That, by the way, is totally normal.
My newborn photo sessions are really laid back because I don't pose newborns.. but, while the baby can either sleep or be awake for the photos, I do need her to be happy. And I'm content to wait. So Addison got as much milk as she liked, got rocked and held by her parents, and eventually settled down to a peaceful slumber. It just took a few hours to accomplish (which, by the way, why I only schedule one newborn session a day). In the end, we got some beautiful photos.
But here's the thing.. newborn photo sessions are simply not like other photoshoots.
Most of the time will be spent waiting. That's just how they go. It doesn't mean your baby is doing anything wrong, it doesn't mean I'm wasting valuable time because I'm not actively photographing your family.. it simply means that waiting is part of the process. So take a deep breath. Relax. And know that even with the crankiest newborn, all you have to do is give her what she wants until she's satisfied and happy. It works like magic, I promise.