This post has been a long time coming, it’s something I’ve felt I needed to do for a while now. Making the switch from posed newborn photography to lifestyle newborn photography. And I’m pretty excited about it!
I’ve known for years that the posed “newborn as art” photography isn’t my style. But with any profession you get asked to do it, and pressured into doing it. I’m going to share a secret with you…… I’m not good at them… That’s right they just aren’t my thing. BUT it is for some. I know plenty of photographers that are excellent at this type of session! Me, I’m more about real moment and real life. Years ago I did a lifestyle maternity session and fell in love and wanted to make the switch… Did I? well, kinda. I said I was making the swap but never actually did. Friends and other clients had children and they asked for the posed newborn and out of guilt I didn’t stick to my guns… and I should have!!! I have one more newborn session where I will give her the option for posed because she booked so long ago but I’m secretly hoping she agrees with my vision and will go for the lifestyle session!
With a posed newborn sessions babies are, well…. posed. It’s generally required that they are warm, sleeping and laid on a beanbag, or posing device of some kind including their boppy, blankets, towels or anything else to get their bodies into position. There isn’t anything wrong with this of course! I even have posing sets for babies to raise their little bums in the air!
Unfortunately, a good majority of my newborns don’t actually sleep! We do this little dance sometimes for hours and still end up wide awake, like little Owen here, who was awake for the majority of his session!
I allot up to 4 hours for a newborn session. From set up to break down that’s about how long it takes and honestly the baby sleeps for only a few mins of this session time. It disrupts their routine. Maybe this is just my experience. It could be my vibe that I give off that keeps the babies awake! I don’t know but it’s rare for my newborns to sleep. I see photographers all the time talk about these wonderful newborn sessions with a sleeping baby, they didn’t mind the weird flowers on their head, never got too hot or too cold… Makes me jealous, also reinforces the idea that posed newborns just aren’t my thing as a photographer.
Lets take little Emma for example, 3.5hrs into her session I was finally able to get a couple shots of her!
We were on our last blanket, because babies, when naked, tend to use the bathroom. Can’t help it, it’s how they are wired…. Emma had to be in clothes which again is fine but not traditional of the posed sessions… but after all that, she finally slept. Emma’s parents had done everything right… they did exactly what I asked them to, cleared me a space, had the house a warm 90 degrees, the whole 9 yards, but still Emma didn’t want to sleep…
Fast forward to my latest newborn session of Elliot…. We did a lifestyle session, it took about an hour Elliot had to be fed once during the session… he was simply swaddled in a blanket and I think the photos are still just as wonderful!
Elliot was awake for 90% of the session and it wasn’t a problem… I captured many of his cute little faces and got to play with him, his parents held him, fed him and did everything that you do with a newborn in real life… So it’s now official, I’m a lifestyle newborn photographer… no more posed newborns for me! Well… maybe one more….