Emma Godfrey

Newborn baby yawning | Story of the photo | Father and son

A newborn baby and his father share a yawn.

A Newborn Baby Yawns

My nephew was barely ten days old but already he seemed to have grown so much from the first pictures my brother and sister-in-law had sent me. We spent the morning taking pictures of the three of them at their home, getting used to one another and cherishing this moment that would pass so quickly. As mum was taking some time to get ready for pictures, dad was cuddling little Tommy and walking him around the room. The moment the newborn baby yawned dad’s immediate reaction was to mimic the action, and so one of my favourite cute baby photos. Ever since this moment I have been on the look out and it is amazing how many new dads do exactly the same cute yawn.

I love this image for the genuine love and affection between baby and father. The way that we cannot help but smile at a baby and try to make them smile. The father is lost completely in the moment, uncaring of how daft he might look because this is a moment just between father and son. Nothing else in the world exists.

Father imitates his newborn baby yawning, photo in black and white by Emma Godfrey.

The Story

It can be unsettling for newborns to have new people in the house. They have just gotten used to their parents and then grandparents, and then an auntie arrives with a big camera. While my sister-in-law was getting ready we tried to calm little Tommy with cuddles and rocking in my brother’s arms. As the two of them were dancing around the room I noticed that the light was coming in nicely from the living room doors. I directed my brother to turn slightly and began to capture some pictures both crying and calmer. I always try to talk and shoot at the same time when working with kids because the cutest things happen inevitably when you move the camera away. Here we were rewarded with a break in the tears and the cutest newborn baby yawning. Having captured the yawn I was then able to seize the moment just after when my brother mirrored his son’s gesture. The cutest thing that had us in fits when we took a look at the back of the camera.

Just Being You

I love it when my clients can feel relaxed enough to just be themselves around me. I have slowly been moving my baby photos style away from posed portraits to much purer lifestyle images. I love to capture moments like this one where the action is spontaneous and natural, the kind of photograph you only get if you are poised to find it. There is something much more genuine about this kind of interaction that I love to capture in my family photography. Of course it can be much easier with my own family – not always! – but I hope that my relaxed, approachable personality allows new mums and dad to feel at ease and show me a little peak into their lives as new parents.

I hope you enjoy this new set of blog posts telling the story of one photo each time. We will leave little Tommy and his dad yawning away a sleepy rainy afternoon. See more from their newborn photoshoot here.

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