Thursday, April 23, 2015

Newborn Photography vs Children Portraits.

       Newborn Photography is a specialty in the photography world.  An average newborn session can 3 hours long or more.  A lot of patience is needed and some training is needed as well, whether it is formal or non formal.  SAFETY is a key component when handling these tiny human lives.  When I did my first newborn session, I had no idea what I was getting myself into.  I thought  since they were just born, they would be sleeping, easy to pose, and it would be point and click and done.  I WAS WRONG.   Newborn photography is a science.  There is a formula a photographer should follow to ensure the safety of the baby and to ensure beautiful images to be captured. I am going to explain how I do newborn sessions.
      I usually try and book a few months ahead of time. The mother-to-be and myself discuss her due date and what she expects out of the session.  We then choose a date and I am flexible with the day because with due dates and deliveries, nothing goes as planned. I leave it up to the client whether they want to come to me or I go to them when it is time for the session.  As a mother myself, and have given birth to 3 children, I know the first week of having a newborn is exhausting and sometimes overwhelming. I want the parents to feel at ease with me working with them and their new baby.  Most of the time, the clients choose that I go to them for their newborn session, and I am fine with that.
      Once I get there, I say hello, meet the baby, and talk with the parents and I show them what props I brought and the plan for the day.  I give them the option to be with me or step back if they need to.  Some new parents, since they are home, let me do my work and they stay in the background and they only come over to the baby if I ask them to.  Others, never leave my side.  Both situations, are fine with me.
     When posing a baby, they are the easiest to work with when they are just changed, fed and swaddled.  If they have not fed in a while, I ask the mom to strip the baby down to a diaper or the first outfit I plan on having them wear, and then cover the baby in a blanket and then feed them.  This way, once they are done eating, they can be placed in the area I plan on photographing them and then hopefully capture some amazing photos.
     Newborns also are easy to work with when it is warm.  82 degrees is a great temperature for babies.  They love warm and snuggled potions.  The key is to have a warm and a full tummy  and sleep usually follows, and that is how you capture those beautiful sleeping poses.       In the industry of newborn photography, there are some common poses, the most popular is the "froggy".  This pose is when the head is resting on the arms and it appears the baby is sitting up.  I honestly, do not like that pose, It is unnatural to me, but I have to admit it is beautiful.  The photo I have shown here that shows how the froggy pose is done is NOT my image, like I said, I do not do that pose.  I just wanted to show you how it is done.  It is what we call a composite.  It is two or three images combined to make one image.  It is done this way, because the baby cannot hold themselves up and doing as one shot is very dangerous and not attainable.
     When I have completed the individual portion of a newborn session, that is when I include sibling and family poses.  I LOVE posing families around their newest addition.  I tend to go the artistic route because newborns cannot focus on anything and if they are awake, it just does not look that great when they are staring off or their eyes are crossed because they are trying to focus.  I tend to have the baby  be asleep, or posed where the parents are looking at their baby and the baby is facing
the parents. I love to photograph newborns.  They can be very challenging.  I have had my fair share of newborns who did not sleep, and they cried the entire time.  I do my best and capture the images I feel are "frame worthy", but it sometimes takes several hours.  I look at each newborn session as a learning experience.  Each baby and family is different and I learn something new each time.  The best way to learn, is to do, and with each newborn session, I do, I feel like I learned a great deal.  There are some photographers that only photograph newborns, and they are amazing!  My main focus in on family photography and children portraits, and children portraits and newborn sessions are NOT the same, and should not be treated as such.  This was my attempt to welcome you into the world of newborn photography.  In my opinion,  it is the most challenging sessions I have ever photographed, because you have to know how to pose them safely and keep them happy.  That is not as easy as it sounds.

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