I’ve been working with newborns and expecting moms more than with anything else lately. And in meantime, I’ve learned that all moms are cool but newborns are adorable! Newborn babies are also very challenging to work with. I will share a few photos of two totally different babies with you today. The first one is a five-days-old girl who wanted nothing but to sleep. Sleep in the position she found comfortable. Otherwise she would start crying. Luckily, she chose the cutest poses ever!
We left her to sleep the way she wanted. Her mom and I made tiny changes just by moving her arms and hands a bit.
She ate probably 10 times during the two hours session. Every time we would wake her up by repositioning her hands or head, she would want to eat. And poop. And she didn’t care is her diaper on or not but we expected that.
Unlike this beautiful baby girl, the little baby boy below was pretty stubborn. He was a month old and not only he did not want to pose/ sleep at all, he also hated camera. He was awake the whole time and he didn’t want to cooperate at all. From the photo below, can you tell he was arguing? His mom would put him one way and in a split of second he would turn the other way. It was too funny but also very frustrating.
At the end, right before he will started screaming, he gave me this look like he’s telling me he won!
The funny thing is that his sister was crying because no one was taking photos of her! She is 3 and she loves camera so I took a few pictures of her.
While there is no general rule on what works with babies, there are a few things you should consider for newborn sessions. First, every baby is very unique and what works with baby A, it probably won’t work with baby B. I always try to arrive early to parent’s house and I ask mom to make sure the room is warm enough. I set lights, backdrops, props and cameras before the baby gets to the room. I’ve also read somewhere that the first week of baby’s life is the best time for a newborn session since babies are still very flexible and you can manipulate poses. Well, that wasn’t the case with my 5-days-old model; all she wanted was to be left alone.
Finally, I don’t really time newborn sessions. While you can plan two hours, it can easily be more than that. It’s important that neither of you (mom or you) feels rushed. My advice is to talk to the mom and assure her that your mission is to get that perfect photo no matter how long it will take. Of course, you will not stay four or five hours on the location but your client doesn’t have to know that; just do your best to make them feel comfortable. The best thing to do in order to ease the situation when baby is not cooperating is to ask mom to make you coffee and offer her a 10 minutes break.
It is important to build a trusting relationship with your clients, especially if you are going to live and work in the area for a while. People appreciate that and you will certainly have returning clients. Plus, parents adore their babies, they will adore your photos as well!
Finally, one of my favorite baby models: Annabell who was born while her daddy was away flighing missions over Iraq.
What are your 2 cents on newborn photography? :)