Newborn photography has certainly evolved over the past few years. It's become more of a "thing", which is great, because more parents are getting professional photographs of their baby.. and there are more options than ever, too. But parents can also be left feeling left out if they don't exactly love the two main styles of baby photography we're seeing nowadays.
They might not realize that there is a Studio newborn photography option, but without the props and elaborate setups we are all used to seeing. They might not know that they can have clean beautiful images of their baby and fine art prints that will still be there when she grows up. And the other thing they might not realize is that these types of sessions also come with several benefits...
1. Timing is completely flexible
When booking a newborn photoshoot, you will often see strict timelines for when the baby should be photographed. That's because if you want to pose a newborn, they need to be within that first two-week window. For my sessions, that really doesn't matter. Because your baby is allowed to be him or her self, whether she's sleeping or awake, we often do these sessions around the 4-week mark.
And I absolutely love that time frame! Right around one month, your baby will start interacting with the world. She will look at things and she will show her personality so beautifully. She knows her parents and has a special connection with them. Not only that, but it also gives Mom some time to recover after delivery. I know there are some incredible women out there who bounce back right away, but for most of us (myself included), it can be a tough couple of weeks! Waiting a bit allows you to feel more like yourself and for the whole family to actually enjoy the process.
2. The focus is on the baby
Don't get me wrong, styled baby photography can be truly beautiful. But for me, the spotlight in those images isn't necessarily on the child. And as we all have different preferences, I have always been drawn to images that are simple and uncluttered. I don't want anything to distract from the child's beautiful face.. and that includes props, backgrounds, or styled settings. I know in my heart that there are parents out there who feel the same.. that they want the option that isn't so popular: simple and clean newborn photographs that still look like a work of art without the props.
3. It's about the family, too
I know how hard it is to even contemplate being in photographs after having a baby. But that's exactly why you should hire a professional to take family portraits with your newborn! The lighting will be flattering, the posing will hide any bulges, and the retouching will make sure everyone looks rested. It is NOT the same as having a grandparent snap an iPhone photo at the hospital (I know because it's what I have.. and I do NOT look good!).
Most of all, when your child grows up, she will want to know what you looked like when she was a baby! Think about it. The photographs we treasure the most are of our parents when they were younger. It's neat to have our baby pictures.. but it's absolutely priceless to have the ones that show us with our parents!
4. The best of two approaches
There are two main styles of newborn/baby photography. One approach is for the photographer to come to the client's home and photograph the family as they are, naturally. The other, is when the family brings the baby to the photographer's Studio and it's more about posing and styling the newborn. My approach is a mix of both.
I photograph the baby and the family, in a natural way (meaning, no posing and no wrapping), but in a Studio setting. The benefit of the Studio is that all you need to do for the session is grab a few things and leave the messy house behind. Everything is taken care of.. and the portraits we end up with look more like the ones you would take in your home. In fact, I set up a bed for the session just so it looks less like a Studio and more like a room you would have in your house. This setup provides a safe environment for the baby, too. Posing requires special attention to newborn safety (which is why you should never hire a cheap newborn photographer!) and lots of waiting around for your child to fall asleep in the position she's in. Natural baby photography simply requires her to be happy, either held by Mom or Dad, or on her own. And we all know that babies are 100% happier when they're held!
The other part of it is, consistency. At-home portrait photography relies heavily on the interior that is photographed and the light that is available. In my Studio, I have everything set up to deliver a consistent result for every Client. There's no guessing or wondering if we'll get good photos, because you know exactly what to expect in the end!
5. A simple style that goes with everything
I feel like a lot of photographers say their photographs are "timeless". For me, timeless means that the image has nothing in it that would date the photo. And the simpler the photograph, the more timeless it is, really. The images we create at the portrait session are styled with classic wardrobe choices and clean surroundings to become something that would never look out of place on display. These portraits will never become embarrassing or dated. And framed large on the wall, they look like a gallery showpiece. Sometimes, I feel, the best solution is the simplest one.
Every photographer has their own style. And every Mom and Dad has a preference for what they like as well. What I do isn't about trying to convince people that they should like this particular look, it's about offering a choice. An option for those of us who want something different. Classic yet modern. Clean and simple. Beautiful, and created to last.