It’s been awhile since I’ve blogged a sweet babe, so today let’s meet an adorable little guy named Quincy. At almost 10 pounds, a head full of hair and lips that can melt any heart – needless to say he was a joy to cuddle. This guy was a solid 18 days old, a bit older than most newborn session time frames, however he slept like, well, a baby – only waking up to eat. Which is quite unlikely at his age, so I was pretty pleased with his session that we finished up right under 2 hours.
It is recommended to do newborns within the first 2 weeks of birth – the younger the better. We want to fit right into that ‘eat, then sleep’ stage of their new little lives, which doesn’t last as long as most would hope. After about 3 weeks they will start becoming more aware of their surroundings, not as thrilled as getting curled up and more apt to want to stretch out those sweet arms and legs like a starfish – and can we blame them? They’ve been in pretty tight quarters their entire existence until now.
Having a baby is a big deal. A BIG DEAL. An amazingly magic, hectic, stressful, amazing, your-heart-could-explode-with-love, time in your life. And I know it’s hard to fit in an afternoon to document this special, sleepless moment in time. Totally get it. I have a hard time getting out of bed before 9am, so I can only imagine the work that goes into just getting to my studio. But what I will tell you, what I’ll promise you – is that it’s worth it.
So, how are these scheduled? We’ve got a small window that we’re trying to get together in.
It’s not as hard as it seems. Most of the time expecting mothers email me with their due date. We talk again after baby has been born, either during their hospital stay or as soon as they get home. I whip out my calendar and get you right on my schedule. I have an in-home studio set up in my basement just for little clients like this. More props than you can imagine. Everything I need for your session is right there, is a warm controlled environment. There’s even a bit of room for parents to stretch out for an afternoon pick-me-up nap while I’m cuddling with your baby.
How long do newborn sessions last?
Well, that really depends. I tell all my parents to block off 2-4 hours of their afternoon. I’ve shot babies for up to 6 hours and I’ve gotten done in as quickly as a hour. This depends on how well baby is sleeping, basically. Sometimes parents follow every single one of my recommendations in my Newborn Guide and we still have a baby wide awake. Which is okay. It happens. Bottom line, I do not start to photograph your baby until it is comfortable, calm and soundly asleep. Sometimes we get some really adorable awake shots as a bonus.
Within 3 weeks of birth your baby has already changed so much. It’s grown beyond belief, little facial features are developing and changing. So during these very new days here amongst us all, I like to capture those fleeting moments of ‘fresh new babe.’ A photo I can give you that will remind you of how little they really were – something to remind you of the days you first met one of the most important people in your life.
Why are newborn photos mostly naked?
For me personally, you can see their features better than being swaddled in ill-fitting newborn clothes. Their fingers and toes, little creases in their legs – that sweet little belly. You can visually see how small and precious they are vs. all those sweet things being covered up by a baggy onesie. Plus, babies are kinda the most organic thing ever, so that’s how I like to present them. Fresh, natural and bare.
How do you get babies cuddled up like that?
Lots and lots of practice. LOTS. In the beginning, when I was first learning, it was easy to get frustrated. It’s easy to think the process is as simple as putting a sleeping baby in a basket – which is far from the case. Beyond practice it takes lots of patience, a calm head and warm hands. If your photographer is uneasy or getting frustrated, then guess what – so will baby. These little guys can smell fear a mile away. Know how a baby will more likely cry and become restless in the arms of a nervous adult? Same concept. The calmer I am, calmer baby is. Soothing is important and how to correctly do it. Keeping the baby warm and comfortable – always keeping an eye out for good circulation and maximum comfort is a must. I’m holding one of the most precious things you’ve ever created – and I take that seriously.
As with any artist, we all started somewhere and we are all continuously growing and learning within our art. I learn something EVERY time I pick up my camera. Every time I photograph a baby I learn something new.
Newborn photography is one of my favorite things to shoot, beyond the obvious adorable subjects. It’s not easy. Every image has lots of intention behind it. Very rarely will you get an amazing newborn image by chance.
For more information on Newborn photography, how to contact me and get the ball rolling, see my website – www.elainajanes.com. I’d love the opportunity to get you images that I know you’ll treasure forever. And I kinda really want to hold and snuggle your baby too. ;)