Today I thought I’d put together a blog post for all of those pregnant mamas out there who are on the hunt for a newborn photographer. As I’m sure you’ve noticed, newborn photography is a BIG.THING. and looks quite different than the hospital mug shots we got as babies. 🙂 I started my business over 8 years ago and at that time newborn photography was making great strides in capturing how precious and beautiful all the details of the short-lived newborn stage really were. I knew I loved babies and knew I loved photography- but quite honestly it took years for me to find my style and discover what my newborn photos would look like. If you’ve spent anytime researching newborn photos (thank-you Pinterest!), you’ll notice every photographer has their own style. The longer I’m in this biz, the more I realize how vital it is to make sure your photographer is a good match for YOU so they are able to meet your hopes and expectations. I would invite you to pour over the website of any photographer you are considering hiring, check each gallery and make sure the photos are the type you are hoping for.
SO here is a little about me and my newborn photography!
- Babies are kinda my thing. I have five of them myself, so handing newborns feels like second nature to me. During sessions I sometimes feel like I might be in a mini therapy session, especially with first time mamas, as I get to answer all of those “is this normal?” questions. Having a baby is a highly emotional experience and one I can strongly relate to. My youngest is just 6 months old, so it’s all very fresh in my brain. I also have a toddler, a preschooler, a tween and (eeks) a teenager. So when your two year old climbs on my back while I’m shooting, it truly doesn’t phase me. 😉
- I like to capture newborns in their natural state. So, I tend to be drawn to natural baby-led posing. I don’t offer the “froggy pose” (where babies are propped up on their hands), or other poses that babies don’t ever do naturally. This does not mean I don’t totally appreciate other photographers who offer that- they do amazing work and it’s beautiful- it’s just not me.
- Because I like a more natural photo, I don’t have a ton of props. I’m more than happy to try and incorporate a special blanket, hat, heirloom piece, etc. into your session if you bring something along, those handmade blankets by grandma are seriously priceless. But other than that, I love to see baby just wrapped in a simple blanket, on a simple backdrop, or in their home in their parent’s arms. I do have several buckets, baskets, and blankets for in-studio sessions and then a crazy amount of delicate, organic hair tie-backs for girls, as well as a couple bonnets, hats and ties for boys.
- I shoot with natural light (at least most of the time). I love the soft look of natural light and our studio has a gigantic window that gives me some great light to work in. When I shoot in a client’s home, I’m also on the hunt for the room with the best light. When I teach my photography classes, one thing I mention about 168 times is LIGHT MATTERS. It’s the #1 important part of getting a great photo, so I kinda obsess over it. 🙂
- I offer both in-studio newborn sessions or lifestyle in-home newborn sessions. In the past, before the studio was open, I basically did a combination of both, and I’ll be honest- it was tough! When I would go to someone’s home for a newborn session, I brought a TON of stuff with me and then tried to find a good place to set up a backdrop and get creative about how to make it work. Sometimes it was easy-peasy to find great light and keep the house toasty warm for the baby- and sometimes it was *painfully impossible*. So I’m thrilled to have both options for families and they can choose which style they prefer.
- I prefer to photograph babies in the first 10 days, when they are nice and sleepy. My scheduling assistant, Jenny, normally pencils in a newborn on my calendar for about a week after their due date, and then we adjust accordingly if the baby arrives early or late. I reserve weekdays only for newborns since my weekends book quickly.
Here is a peek at a typical in-home lifestyle session. You’ll see there are no backdrops or props used, the rooms they were photographed in show in the photos. This lends itself to a very natural feel and I love that it captures the family in this special season of life. If a baby has a nursery all decorated, I make sure to get beautiful photos in their bedroom to show off their sweet space. An in-home session is a great option for families who have a home with large windows or want a real authentic look to their gallery. If you have other children and you find it easiest for me to come to you- this is a great option for you as well. I’ll arrive at your house with just my camera, a reflector, and a small bag of accessories and wraps for the baby. I ask clients to crank up their heat a bit since a warm environment helps babies stay sleepy and comfortable.
As much as I LOVE in-home lifestyle sessions, I have to say I equally adore in-studio newborn sessions (don’t ask me to choose what I like better, I simply can’t!). I still stick with my simple, classic style which I believes creates a more timeless image, but here you’ll see a backdrop and some props used. Since the studio just opened in January, I’ve only had a handful of newborn sessions there, but I’m excited to build my studio portfolio. I provide some pretty hair tiebacks, lace pants, tiny rompers and bonnets for girls, and I have several diaper covers, bow ties, and pants for boys.
I keep the studio toasty warm and have a small space heater near the baby so they stay comfortable and sleepy while I shoot. The studio gives you space to change and nurse the baby when needed, as well as lots of snacks and drinks for you to have for yourself. One nice benefit of a studio is that I can control the environment to help maximize the chances of your baby sleeping, which is extremely helpful when trying to get them to lay in those sweet poses. Here is a quick video tour of the studio and the natural light space I use to photograph newborns.
And here is a peek at a recent newborn in the studio. You can see my style is very simple, classic, and highlights the baby’s features.
Ahhhh- those sweet close up shots of their lips, fingers, and toes. 🙂
- Here is one shot that shows the barn wood backdrop and floor. The reverse side of this is a white-wash, which also looks gorgeous in photos.
So there you have it! If you are ready to book a newborn session click here to fill out a request form and my assistant will be in touch soon! And for my current clients- I’m offering a special referral incentive for you! Take $25 off your next session for every family that books a newborn session with me in 2016. No limit of discounts, so send those babies my way!! 🙂