Newborn Photography: An Authentic Approach
Confession: Newborn photography fills my photographer heart with joy. This should come as no surprise, given that I was a labor and delivery nurse for over 12 years. As a birth photographer, I feel privileged to witness the birth of families and be a part of the magical atmosphere that follows as parents fall in love with the amazing little person they have waited for for so long. I also understand the exhaustion that sets in after the adrenaline rush wears off. I have supported countless families through that second night after birth when it seems as though all baby wants to do is fuss and eat, and they would give anything for 30 minutes of sleep. I have been there myself three times! As a mother, nurse, and photographer, I know how important it is to document the tiny little moments of connection and newborn details during those first weeks when newborns change every day and life is a blur of feedings, diapers, and sleepless nights. By taking baby photos at home, I help clients preserve these fleeting details in their own familiar and comfortable space.
I appreciate the patience and practice it takes to wrap and pose babies for the perfect posed portrait, and used to do it myself. However, somewhere in the back of my mind, buried beneath the challenge to get the baby to sleep, the wrap just right, and the skin edited to porcelain perfection, was a little voice saying “This isn’t real! Babies don’t belong in baskets, or with their heads propped in their hands. They belong in their parents arms.” In fact, my favorite moments of posed newborn photography sessions were the photos of the snuggles and in-between times as parents cared for and loved on their baby as they tried to lull them to sleep. I also realized that my most cherished photographs of my own children are the few I have of me holding them, gazing at them, and feeding them.
In the hallway outside the lactation consultant’s office where I used to work, there was a poster that said, “Mother’s body is a baby’s natural habitat.” The heavy truth of this simple statement always stayed with me. Babies are born needing to be held, and need almost constant touch. Holding, touching, nuzzling, feeding, changing. These moments tell the story of life with a newborn.
Now my approach to newborn photography is to provide gentle guidance to parents and siblings to encourage natural interactions. I quietly observe and capture little details that reveal each family’s unique story. I allow the baby to lead the session, focusing on keeping her calm in her parents’ loving hands while I document the details of her soft hair whorl, fuzzy little shoulders, wrinkly feet, and the way she grasps her siblings finger in her strong little fist. Inevitably, most newborns do fall asleep during the session and we are able to lay them down so I can capture their own natural sleepy newborn poses and (sometimes!) the elusive sleep smile.
Years from now, when you snuggle up with your child to tell him about the story of his birth and first weeks with your family, these are the photographs that will transport you back to a time when he slept on your chest in that perfect round baby shape. You will recall the sensation of his downy soft hair against your cheek, and his silky smooth, newborn scented skin.
To preserve these moments, I offer in-home sessions to capture newborn photos at home during those first blurry days of newborn life. And as always, I can help you to choose when is the best time for you, as well as what to wear, and I allow plenty of time to capture all the details without feeling rushed.
If you or someone you know is considering a newborn photography session, I encourage you to call well in advance of baby’s due date to schedule a phone call. This is the perfect time to meet and answer any questions before baby arrives. The actual session is scheduled after baby is born. It is best to capture newborns in the first 2 weeks of life, as they change so very quickly! However, my authentic approach to newborn photography allows for more wakefulness, so it is never too late to capture this time!
Contact me today to schedule your newborn photography session.