Monday, September 21, 2009

I have a confession to make...

I find newborn shoots extremely difficult. I mean when you have a really really teeny one, any baby under 4 weeks old. I'm sure you've all seen newborn shots that are so serene and peaceful, with baby curled up in a basket, or hanging from a tree branch in a woven sling, or snug in a bowl or suitcase of some sort. Thankfully for baby, they are usually asleep in these shots.

I can't seem to get these shots, for a couple of reasons:

1) My oldest, dear sweet daughter was a TERRIBLE sleeper as an infant. None of this drifting off peacefully to sleep. NO WAY. She required rocking, bouncing, cuddling, swinging to the max. The only way my husband and I got any sleep at night during her first 4 months of life was to swaddle her to within an inch of her life, expose her legs so that we could strap her into the swing, and then turn the swing on to maximum power and hope the batteries didn't die. We managed to go through 3 swings before she turned 3 months old! I was exhausted and frustrated and was not a glowing mother, to say the least. So the thought of trying to cram a SLEEPING BABY into a prop to get that fantastic newborn shot? It goes against everything in my grain. Just. Can't. Do. It.

2) I like shooting older newborns, around 7-9 weeks old. Our pediatrician says that's when they finally "look like themselves" and I tend to agree. Before I get any comments that say "all babies are beautiful" please understand me - I do think all babies are beautiful. I have lovely newborn shots of my daughters that are so precious to me. BUT - I love photographing newborns when there's that hint of what's to come, that gleam in their eye, like they are finally getting the hang of living on this "planet Earth" thing. I LOVE photographing those first days of real awareness for a baby.

Confused as to what I'm talking about? Compare the following:



my baby at 5 days old (she was a much better sleeper than her big sister...)



and here she is at around 8 weeks (with a bit of grain in the photos...) In my humble opinion, I much prefer the second set of photos - I love that you can see the awareness in her eyes and there is the beginning of a personality starting to show. Obviously I love ALL of them, but the little girl I know today is more evident in the later set of photos.

That being said, I never pass up a chance for a newborn shoot, because regardless of whether you photograph a baby at 2 days, 2 weeks, or 2 months the time goes by so want to remember it any way you can.
I love photographing all the sweet newborn details - the peachfuzz on the shoulders and back, the swirls in their newborn hair, the chubby legs and bootie. So wonderful!

I leave you with some photos of Shane at 2 weeks (click here to see Shane at 1 day old):

2009-09-06 at 17-12-33

2009-09-06 at 16-38-49

2009-09-06 at 17-07-27 (1)

2009-09-06 at 17-08-36 (1)

2009-09-06 at 17-07-51 (1)

Shane - call me when you're two months old...


Melissa September 21, 2009 at 7:01 PM  

My first newborn is due in a week so I'll surely let you know what I think about this after our shoot! I like the idea of brand new baby shoots for now, we'll see how the application of it goes.