“I’d love to have newborn photos taken but I know I’ll look like a bloated mess.”
So many times when I tell women that I’m a Newborn Photographer I hear words to this effect. Or concerns that their kids won’t behave, or their partner will never buy in to the idea. So today I’m addressing the top 5 concerns I hear most often. Starting with this old chestnut…
I’M GOING TO LOOK FAT & TIRED
There is nothing I can do about how tired you are going to feel in those early days. Except offer you my support, encouragement and patience because lady, I’ve been there. I KNOW that exhaustion. I also can’t magically help you shed 10kgs. Believe me if I had that power I’d be swimming, Scrooge MacDuck style, in my giant money pit right now.
What I can do is assure you that it’s my job as a photographer to find the best light, angles and situations to flatter your post-baby body. And I take that job seriously.
Notice that I didn’t say best “poses” there? That’s because sessions with me keep posing to a minimum. Instead, I focus on guiding you into the best, most natural ways to connect with your family. And at the risk of sounding like a cheesy Hallmark card, I know that nothing makes a mum look more radiant and beautiful than staring at her newborn.
That surge of nesting hormones and new-baby love will bring a uniquely beautiful smile to your face that is worth capturing no matter how tired you might feel. I guarantee that when your child looks at their newborn photos in 10, 15, or even 30 years they’re not going to see weight or weariness they’re going to see unconditional love.
From a practical perspective I also provide an extensive preparation guide in advance of all Newborn & Family Sessions, which includes wardrobe tips and ideas to help you feel your best.
CAN I INCLUDE MY OLDER KIDS?
Absolutely! While your latest addition is going to the star of the show your session will be a family affair. The exact way that I photograph your older kids with your newborn is dependant on their age, personality, mood and ability. For example you are unlikely to get a photo of your two year old sitting still and smiling with your newborn in their arms. Two year olds are just too squiggly and impatient. But you might get one of the two of them lying side by side or the toddler sneaking up to give kisses to the baby. Whatever the case I will ensure you get a full range of images including older siblings on their own and together with the baby in some way as well as the whole family group.
WHAT IF MY KIDS WON’T BEHAVE OR THE BABY IS UNSETTLED?
Kids have grouchy days. Fact. Newborns sleep unpredictably. Also fact. But here’s the thing, I have NO expectations of your family. I provide a preparation guide that helps you get everyone ready but I will never force a child to do something they don’t feel happy doing.
One of the beautiful things about lifestyle newborn photography is the fact that I don’t need your baby to be sound asleep. I love capturing wide-eyed wonder and that means you get a record of exactly what those baby blues (or browns or greens) looked like too.
If the baby is feeling really unsettled and only wants to be held then that’s what we’ll do! You will hold them and I will capture their beautiful newness there in their happy place. Even if your baby never leaves your arms we will still capture all their details. Eyelashes, milk spots, pouty lips, tiny fingers and peeling toes can all be beautifully photographed in the comfort of your lap. And so can the very best cuddles!
When it comes to older siblings I can not tell you how many times a parent has said something like
“he’s been out of sorts since the new baby arrived. You have your work cut out for you!”.
At the end of the day older siblings have got a rough gig. They were the centre of attention until “new baby” came along and stole the spotlight. It’s only natural that they start to seek attention in new ways.
This is one of the reasons that I typically start with the youngest “non-newborn” and let them set the pace. Usually I will start by introducing myself, asking them to show me their toys or their room and giving them time to play and get to know me before the camera comes out. If your child is feeling shy and clingy then they can stay with you while I gain their trust. If they’re feeling energetic and rambunctious I find ways to channel that into games that keep them on track throughout the session. In short, I embrace the chaos, and you’d be surprised how many of my clients tell me that their toddler keeps asking when I’ll be coming back to play!
MY HOME ISN’T PHOTO-READY
This can be a persuading factor for people choosing between studio newborn sessions and in-home lifestyle sessions. You’ve just had a baby, the last thing I want you to worry about is cleaning the house! But let me quickly outline the benefits of shooting in your home:
It’s where you’re most relaxed and free to be yourself
You don’t have to rush and stress everyone out getting to a studio on time
You have all your stuff around you with no need to pack extra clothing changes, bottles, breast pads, snacks etc
Your baby/toddler/husband…can nap during some of the session
It’s meaningful because it’s where your memories are being made
So you see I’m a big believer in in-home sessions. But what if yours is a chaotic mess in the wake of your new arrival? The answer is simple - I’ll work around it.
Every home I walk into has bottles in the sink and clothes strewn on chairs and half finished cups of tea on the table and a room that will one day be a nursery but is currently “the junk room”. Seriously every one. This is normal. This is life with a newborn.
My job is to find the best light in your house and then work with you to adjust the space accordingly. Sometimes that’s as simple as tucking away the distracting digital clock and lamp from the bedside table. Sometimes it’s moving a mattress or couch cushions on to the floor to create an uncluttered space for newborn portraits.
If your home is a beautiful haven filled with lovely, meaningful decor then we will include that as part of the story aesthetic. But if you feel like you’re living in a chaotic jumble we’ll find ways to minimise the distraction. Once again, my pre-session preparation guide is packed full of tips for preparing your home.
HOW DO I JUSTIFY THE COST TO MY PARTNER/PARENTS/FRIENDS?
I debated whether to include this or not. After-all people get funny around the topic of money and the last thing I want is for you to feel '“sold to”. But the reality is that photography, good photography at least, is an investment. It’s not cheap and at a time when you’re forking out money for all manner of baby related things it’s easy to see why you might consider professional photographs an extravagance.
But I challenge you to consider this
what else would you spend that money on that you will cherish FOREVER and be able to pass on to your children in 20 years time?
After all these photos are not just for you, they’re for them too. Think about the moments and magic that will be missing from your child’s story if you don’t capture their earliest days.
I firmly believe no matter how big or small it might feel your family’s story deserves to be told. Beautifully. Authentically. You owe it to yourself to be present in that story. Not stuck behind the camera scrambling to capture all those firsts.
So if a newborn session feels important to you then save for it like you would any other baby item. Include it in your baby budget, or ask friends or family members to consider a session as a baby gift.