Whether it’s on my phone, my point and shoot or my DSLR I’m photographing constantly – my kids playing, my dinner, sunsets off my balcony. Yet, even with the constant snapping, what’s the one thing I feel like I still don’t have enough photos of? My kids’ newborn periods.
My son was born in November and it already feels like that whole period just passed by in a flash. I did a small session with him on the day he was born, but I still wish I could go back and take a thousand more. And my eldest daughter? I didn’t even have my DSLR then so the few photos I do have are not exactly high quality, frame-worthy portraits.
I’ve always personally valued photographs – I used to keep shoeboxes packed with them in high school – but it wasn’t until recently I realised their true worth. I was visiting with a mum who’s settled in Sydney now, but came here as an asylum seeker and was held in an Australian-run offshore detention centre – in fact, her son was born there. When I was showing her Nikolas’ newborn photos she lamented not having any photos of her son, now a rambunctious two year old, as a baby.
You can’t get those days back.
And look, I get it. I was suffering from terrible anxiety and sleep deprivation when Luella was born. I felt like a zombie with leaky boobs. The last thing I would have thought about was getting photos done.
But now, with a few years of perspective under my belt, I can look back and say I wish I had. And here’s why…
You get to actually be in the photos. Almost all the photos of me and newborn Nikolas are crappy iPhone selfies. Here’s one of the few I got my partner to take of us.
I’ve got no make-up, bags under my eyes and a big, floppy postpartum belly hanging out. But you know what? I look happy. And that photo makes me instantly remember that evening. We brought Niko home to see his sister and he was so alert, taking everything in. We changed his jammies together and Luella was so awestruck by this tiny person. We all were!
Yes, it’s a slightly posed photo, but it still captures our real experience of our baby’s first night at home and the details – the teeny size 0000 pjs, the bunting Luella and I made him, the nursing singlet I lived in.
Those are the things I’m interested in when it comes to Newborn photography.
Now, let’s talk about newborn photography for a minute, because there are different kinds out there. Now, I’m not trying to put down other photographers. Goodness knows how many of them blow me away when it comes to working with light. But there’s a certain style of newborn photography that I’m just not drawn to: babies in baskets.
We’ve all seen them. Look, this person did one with their kitten. Besides the overdone factor, I just don’t like the idea of using babies as props. For real, I’ve seen babies referred to on industry blogs as “props” and directions on how to “style” them. Babies are little people, with burgeoning personalities. For me, photography isn’t just about making an aesthetically pleasing picture, it’s about capturing the connection between people. I’d rather photograph a baby gazing into his mother’s eyes, or falling asleep on her dad’s chest.
When your photography focuses on capturing moments in time, even the not so pretty ones, that takes pressure off the new parents. There’s no expectation to look perfect, no stressing about the baby being fussy or unsettled or what if the baby needs to feed and then she spews on her perfectly styled dress?
Instead I want to freeze time. I promise, one day you’ll forget about those mornings you were up before the sun changing an exploding nappie. And all you remember is… awwwwwww…. baby toes!!!!
I’m currently offering a great deal on a full maternity package called “We Are Expecting”. You get 4 separate shoots which can include anything from your pregnancy announcement to your baby’s first few months. Alternatively, we can book a one-off session: I can shoot in the hospital, the day you bring him home, meeting siblings or grandparents, or wait a month or two until the baby is a bit more alert and everyone is settling in, and do a relaxed in-home session.
I promise, you will not regret preserving these moments.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to book. Vouchers are available as well – a perfect and special gift for parents-to-be!