Every day I have the amazing experience of doing what I love and photographing beautiful pregnant mamas and their new babies. Newborn photography sure has come a long way in 8 years since I started this journey. This fall marks my 9th year in business.
This year has been a tremendous year of growth and development. I am always striving to find ways to set myself apart from others as there are so many choices out there when it comes to choosing a newborn and maternity photographer.
It is probably safe to say that I spend 3 full days or more working on each newborn session. Time to prep and clean/sanitize the studio prior to each session. Spending between 3 and 5 hours with each client for their babies first pictures, a second day for sibling and family photos lasting one to three hours and then a third day for editing and processing images.
Once clients arrive at the studio, they never want to leave the studio. The walls are filled with canvases and samples of newborn imagery is everywhere. Your newborn session is your day to capture the images you’ve been dreaming of for your new baby.
Sometimes babies are having a day that they don’t feel well with gas or tummy trouble. They may be cluster feeding on the day of your session. I’m often asked if I can just squeeze in sibling and family photos on the day of a newborn session.
I know the newborn photography industry is headed in a direction where almost all of us are looking for ways to cut down on our session time.
Whenever I have looked for ways to try to be more efficient with time for a newborn session, something always seemed to come up. I’ve learned to just go with the flow of whatever transpires during a newborn shoot.
My sessions are long and always have been. I have transitional posing that speeds up posing working from one pose to the next. Sometimes my plans for a session aren’t baby’s plans for the day and we work around baby’s needs always.
Over the years, the sessions just seem to be getting longer. It’s true that there’s a lot of amazing talent out there. We’ve all worked hard to get where we are. My clients have been expressing wanting more basket poses, prop poses and poses in daddy’s arms.
When I first started my newborn photography business 8 years ago, there were no prop poses or family poses. Sessions took 2 to 3 hours and they were simple and easy.
The years went by. Newborn photography evolved and placing baby in beautiful baskets and stylized setups developed. Families began wanting to be included in the newborn session. I won my first award for a black and white image of a baby boy resting on his father’s arms and I hung a 24×36 gallery wrapped canvas of this award winning image on my studio wall. Ever since, all families that visit the studio have wanted that pose of their babies in the same pose.
Families started to grow and families came back to the studio with their second and third babies. I love capturing sibling images. These images take time to capture especially with a very energetic toddler.
Time limits just don’t work for newborn sessions. They don’t. Mamas have their hearts set on an image in their mind of how their session will look. It’s up to me as a photographer to make that vision come to life.
I have wonderful clients. This past year I had a wonderful client drive all the way from Oakville to see me. I had another wonderful family drive from Niagra Falls. That’s so far away – thank you!!
One mama started to cry during her newborn session. She had drove so far to see me. Her beautiful toddler, a very busy boy just didn’t want his picture taken with his new baby brother. I said to mama, “that’s okay”, “you can come back another day”. That family did come back another day and guess what, her son took beautiful pictures with his new baby brother! Moments to be cherished forever!
Trying to squish a full newborn session, pose in daddy’s arms, sibling images and family images into one day really is like “squishing”. The end result is that your images may look “squished”. Newborn photography shouldn’t be rushed. It takes time and patience and dedication to create beautiful imagery.
I dedicate a second day for family and sibling images lasting anywhere for 1 to 3 hours. This gives us the time we need to create beautiful pictures and the variety you are wanting from your session.
Newborn sessions don’t last longer than 5 hours because more than 5 hours is just too long for mom and baby. I don’t want to find ways to reduce my session time by removing poses from my sessions or swaddling baby up tight for an entire newborn session. Don’t get me wrong, I love and adore swaddled up baby imagery. I try for one swaddled pose each newborn session. Most of the remaining time during a newborn session is working on detailed posing.
Macro imagery is important too. Capturing up close images of baby’s face, their tiny hands, their feet and the baby fuzz on the side of their cheek. I love looking at newborn images where you can almost feel the baby in the pictures. Every little detail captured and preserved forever, never to be forgotten.
Thank you to this mama for coming to visit me for maternity and newborn pictures. She wore some of the new maternity gowns available at the studio. There are over 30 gowns to choose from now.
For her newborn pictures, we used mostly whites and cremes for baby’s photos with a little bit of turquoise blue. I love that you can see the baby’s fuzz on the side of her little cheeks. You can see this and more in the slideshow I put together below. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
We are now booking newborn sessions for October through January