What is Newborn Photography?
Newborn photography is a specialised genre focussed on capturing the very early days of your baby's life. Your newborn photography session will take place typically within the first two to three weeks of baby's birth (for full term babies) and the session aims to document all of those adorable newborn features and expressions that will disappear so quickly as baby grows. In addition to the timing of your session, some key aspects of newborn photography are:
An experienced newborn photographer will skillfully and safely pose your baby in various ways which may include tightly curled positions, more natural poses nestled in or lying on blankets, or simply held in your arms. You can read more about the different styles of newborn photography here. In all instances, the safety of your baby is paramount, and experienced newborn photographers will have been trained to handle infants safely during sessions.
Photographers may use a variety of props, such as baskets, buckets, blankets, hats, wraps, headbands and other accessories. Soft props such as blankets, wraps etc should be washed regularly and hard props such as buckets checked regularly that they are safe and free from anything that could cause harm for example, rough edges or splinters. Buckets and baskets should be weighted to insure they do not tip, and an assistant or parent asked to act as a 'spotter' to ensure safety as necessary.
Newborn photographers will use natural light, studio light or a mixure of the two. Generally speaking, newborn photographers will use the softest, most diffused lighting possible to create a gentle and flattering effect.
An experienced newborn photographer will know the importance of patience when working with new babies. They will understand how to handle babies gently and how to soothe and comfort them in order to achieve the desired poses, whilst ensuring at all times the safety and well-being of the infant. A newborn photographer will also be able to recongise certain cues and signs that indicate, for example, that baby is uncomfortable in a pose and needs to be adjusted, is too warm, too cold or in need of food or a nappy change.
Some newborn photographers, myself included, will include family members, particularly parents and siblings in a newborn portrait session. I love photographing the bond between a newborn and their family because it adds such a wonderful personal touch to the finished images. I also offer newborn with dog photography, so all members of the family can be involved!
I have specialised in newborn photography for 16 years now, but growing up with a dad and a grandad who also loved photography I have always been fascinated by the art form. Being the slight 'nerd' that I am, I have recently written a blog on the history of the newborn photography genre which can be found here if you are interested in reading further.