Many of you, especially my clients, are well aware of my stance on photographing newborns as well as older babies. To repeat what I quote on my website and here on my photo journal, “If you’re interested in things like … hanging newborns in nets … I’m probably not the photographer for you.” There is more to that statement, but that’s the part that applies directly to my philosophy on photographing newborns and other babies. I also am not hung up (sorry for the pun) on insisting that the newborn be photographed in the first 10 days or 2 weeks of his/her little life. Anytime that you are ready is fine with me. Besides I don’t need to mold your newborn into contortions so it doesn’t matter if they are sleeping or wide awake.
Yes, there is a huge trend these days with photographers, and rampant among amateur photographers, taking photos of infants hanging from nets, hanging from trees, and with their delicate hands holding their heads up in a most unnatural and unsafe manner (you know the ones where the babes are propped up on their elbows, head-on-hands). This follows the skillfully recreated Anne Geddes images, which by the way are conducted in a very safe manner (albeit very unnatural) with multiple hands and arms at the ready. Those safety devices and hands/arms are photoshopped out later on, by the way, in the case of Anne Geddes.
My style, as many of you are aware, is entirely different. Sure, I like to create some artistic images but my version of art does not include posing babies in totally unnatural ways. I prefer to focus on the true essence of the people I photograph and that includes infants. With babies I love to capture how they sleep, how they wake up, how they scrunch themselves up, or wrap a finger around mom or dad’s fingers. I love to capture the love or joy in the face of the parents or how they hold their treasured newborn. It’s important to me to capture the real babe, naturally, so that years and decades from now the parents and the child can look back and see (or remember) those special real moments. Not some contrived pose that was the whim of the photographer.
So I won’t pose your baby in some artificial, unreal, or unsafe pose. No poses for me because in the future, those poses will be just that: poses. They won’t reveal the genuine moments, the true essence of your precious newborn. I don’t treat babies like some still life as if they were oranges or pears. They are babies, darling infants you brought into this world, so I aim to capture the beauty and magic of their (and your) real life.
Sure, I’m willing to photograph a baby in a vintage carriage, a laundry basket, or alongside a football (if Dad’s a die-hard football fan), for instance. But I still won’t pose your darling babe; we’ll simply use those props as meaningful tools. That’s why I suggest to the parents to consider something that is meaningful to them and their life so that the prop has true significance. That item could be a special quilt or blanket handmade by a family member, or something of significance to you and/or your spouse, a toy one of you had as a child, or any other item of sentimental value.
My focus, when photographing newborns and other babies (as well as children or adults) is a lifestyle approach. I want you to look back on those photographs and remember that specific moment in a meaningful and heartwarming way; not to look back on it as a photographer who has used your child as still life incorporating some current trend.
If you are soon to give birth or have recently given birth, please contact me and we’ll discuss the types of portraits you envision. I look forward to capturing your new infant’s life in a meaningful and heartwarming way. Together we’ll create a lovely family heirloom you can proudly treasure for years and decades to come.
Ask me about birth photography — capturing the emotions and elation of giving birth.
“Photographs never forget!”