One of those perfect moments in lifestyle photography where I have the sheer joy of capturing a tender moment between a mother and her newborn baby. This black and white image of Laurie and Josslyn captures the tenderness of a new mother comforting her baby girl between shots. I love it because it is so natural and a moment that Laurie could never have captured for herself. She is completely absorbed in her care for her child, I’m not sure she even noticed me walk behind and take the shot.
For her newborn photos, Laurie had sent me lots of images on a Pinterest board. There were baskets and fur blankets, studio backdrops and all sorts of styling. This is not my usual type of family photography, but I am happy to take these images if my clients really want them. My only exception is that I won’t make pictures requiring Photoshop retouching that promotes any posing which would put babies at risk (heads in hands or precarious hammocks). I also ask mums to let me take half the session in my natural style so that they have a wide range of images to choose from.
When I arrived, Laurie showed me all the props and we chatted about the type of images she was looking for. We started with some family and dad pictures so that Bryan could get to work, then had a break before setting up the mini-studio in her living room. I always book off a lot of time for newborn shoots so there is plenty of time to feed, change and settle the baby without the stress of a ticking clock. After a few props pictures, little Josslyn needed some attention and Laurie took her to a chair by the window. I saw this image as I went to turn the flash off for a moment.
The light was perfect and, as Laurie rocked her baby girl from side to side, I put on a longer lens and captured them as they turned back towards me. For me, moments like these are what professional family photography is all about. They capture something of the everyday life of being a new mum with the experience that comes from someone who knows how to photograph beautiful light. When it came to choosing the images for her canvas cluster, Laurie chose this image among several other natural moments between the family. I don’t know if she ever printed some of her props images, but the moments she wanted to remember were these tender, real-feeling connections between mother and baby.
What do you want from your newborn photography?
I always think it is easier to know what you want from your newborn photography when you have gone through the experience once already. For the first baby, so much is new and there is so much to think about that an approach that covers all bases is a good idea, like this session with Josslyn. But I always try to encourage my clients to take some time before the baby is born to think about what they expect from the newborn photography session. What would they like to receive at the end? And what would they like to do with the pictures? Thinking about these things in advance will help you make the most of our time together and give you moments to cherish.
I hope you enjoy this new set of blog posts telling the story of one photo each time. We will leave mother and daughter in a tender embrace. Click to see more from their newborn shoot and maternity shoot.