If you’d asked me when I first began with professional photography, if I could see myself photographing newborns I’m sure I would have said, “No thanks, I’d rather poke myself in the eye with a fork!” Silly me, I’d absolutely no idea how much I would grow to enjoy these photo sessions.
I think part of my fascination with newborns is the idea that prior to the session they were completely immersed in liquid inside the mother’s body like the teeniest Matryoshka doll and now a couple of weeks later, they’re on the outside, breathing air and drinking baby milk. Wispy hair, tiny fingers and toes, skin soft and smooth as silk. A perfect miracle.
Then there’s the connection between mother and child, an almost tangible cocoon surrounding them, especially at this young age and the touching size contrast as seen when a delicate baby hand holds onto one of daddy’s huge fingers. Finally and most importantly for me, it’s such an honour and moving experience to be invited into a home and trusted to record these beautiful intimate moments with a family at this most special time in their lives.
THE BEST TIME TO TAKE NEWBORN PHOTOGRAPHS
A Lifestyle Newborn Session is the perfect way to capture all the wonder, newness and miracle of a tiny human fresh from the womb. These precious angels are only tiny for a few weeks so a good time to photograph these sessions would be within the first two to five weeks of life however as a Lifestyle photographer I can still get away with photographing these sessions up to about 8 weeks old if needs be.
WHAT’S YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY STYLE FOR NEWBORNS?
I avoid putting the newborn in unnatural poses, placing them in odd locations and using props like buckets, apple crates, hammocks, dressing them in fantasy type outfits, adding accessories such as a bunny ears headband or a unicorn tail. Not that there’s anything wrong with that type of photography, it’s just not my style. If those are the type of photos you’re looking for, I’m not the photographer for you.
I prefer instead Lifestyle Photography which has a different approach. Lifestyle Newborn Photography is simply photographing with the intention to capture real life in an aesthetic way, using no props or artificial light and photographing babies just as they are right now in safe, natural poses. My vision during the session is to create deep, emotive images so that years from now, when a mama looks at those photographs she’ll remember what it felt like to breathe her baby in, the smell and touch of her little one against her skin.
Plandid is a word that perfectly explains what I understand Lifestyle Photography to be. It’s a planned but candid style of photography. I plan my sessions by putting my people in the best light and background possible, giving them activities to do and then photographing them doing them. It’s more an act of directing or guiding rather than static posing. During my sessions, a newborn spends the majority of the time in their parents arms and although I encourage authentic interactions to unfold, if a distracting element in my frame, I’ll remove it before I begin photographing.
While my aim is to capture your family as they truly are, as a Lifestyle Photographer I gravitate towards capturing the bright, beautiful and sometimes chaotic moments of real life with a teeny sprinkling of sparkle and glitter and I love Lifestyle Photography because it offers the best of two genres by combining the authentic nature of photojournalism with the beauty of portraiture.
HOW MUCH EDITING DO YOU DO?
Where necessary I’ll edit images to improve colour, composition and style but I don’t retouch or alter a client’s appearance except for removing minor non-permanent blemishes such as a pimple or blemish that appeared overnight. Edits are made for colour, composition, and style. Beauty is not defined by how many wrinkles you have or how skinny you are, every person I have in front of my lens has their own unique form of beauty and it’s my job as a photographer to capture the authentic beautiful you, just as you are.
WHAT LOCATION DO YOU USE FOR A NEWBORN SESSION?
Typically Lifestyle Newborn Sessions take place indoors in your home. Before the session, I’ll scout your home for the places that have good light to produce the best images possible. For instance if you have an amazing master bedroom but it’s doesn’t have enough natural light coming through the doors or windows I’ll move on and look for room with better light because poor lighting results in poor images. For most sessions though, I use the sitting room, master bedroom and/or the nursery to photograph in.
Whether you’re a first time Mama or this is your second or third baby, having a newborn can be overwhelming and exhausting, especially during those first few weeks, so please don’t go to a lot of trouble to clean your home for the photo session, once we’ve decided on the best lit areas we can quickly clear any clutter before I begin the session.
HOW LONG DOES A SESSION TAKE?
Generally a Lifestyle Newborn Session can take between and 2 and 3 hours especially if we need to take breaks for changing baby and feeding.
TIPS FOR PREPARING FOR THE SESSION?
VISITORS – Plan your session at a time when you know you won’t have any visitors apart from the grandparents or any special family member of course. Keeping distractions to a minimum will help the shoot to go smoothly and avoid the added stress of too many people around.
SIBLINGS – It’s a good idea to let the siblings know before the time that a friend/Auntie/Tannie will be coming over to take some photographs.
I generally try to get the siblings and family photographs done first, once we have those in the bag it gives Mama more time to relax and concentrate on the baby. I never force siblings to hold, kiss or touch the baby if they don’t want to, if they do – fabulous! but it’s no big deal if they don’t. Siblings are under enough pressure as it is having to deal with all the changes that a new baby brother or sister brings to their lives.
WHAT TO WEAR – Your clothing should be comfortable and reflect who you are. For colour I’ve found that neutral tones work best, before the session I’ll send you a Style Guide with some ideas about colours, wardrobe and make-up.
PREPARING THE BABY – Your newborn should wear a simple (no pictures, logos or wording) white, neutral or pastel coloured onesie/baby-grow, we want the focus to be on your perfect newborn not on the clothing. Ensure the onesie you choose fits Baby properly and depending on the size of your newborn you’ll need either a prem or newborn size onesie /baby-grow.
There’s a good chance we may do some nude or partially nude photos too, have a heater handy in case we need to warm the room up first.
It’ll also save time if beforehand you choose one or two favourite neutral coloured wrap blankets to swaddle Baby in for a couple of photographs. Even though I said I don’t use props if you have something special you’d like included in some of the images, a soft toy gifted by a favourite aunt or an antique baby pin that used to belong to your grandma then by all means please let me know.
I suggest you feed your newborn as much as they want until about 15 minutes before I arrive. Be careful though, this doesn’t mean overfeeding the baby until they are in a “milk coma”, overfeeding can cause your baby to spit up and have wind more than usual which will result in an unhappy baby and exhausted parents later.
Also avoid making the rooms excessively warm just to get them to sleep, whether they’re asleep or awake makes no difference to the images, your baby is perfect and beautiful just as they are.
ALLOWING THE BABY TO LEAD THE SESSION – Of course I always arrive at the session with a flexible shotlist that goes something like ; Family and sibling shots first, then Mom and Baby, Dad and Baby, both parents & Baby and then Baby alone. Ultimately though, I run the session according to your newborn’s needs, if Baby wants to be held – you hold them, fed – you feed them, if they need to sleep, be awake, changed or winded – the same.
“There are no people more peaceful than infants.”― Tamerlan Kuzgov
“She took the baby in her arms, holding it with such care and delicacy. The minute she laid eyes on the tiny, beautiful creature, she fell in love. Her heart swelled up. In that moment she knew what a mother’s unconditional love meant.”― Patrick Macfarland, Fairy Tale of A Mexican Family
I think we should change Mother’s Day instead to Mothering Day. It seems so unfair to me that some of the most mothering and nurturing people I’ve ever met feel unappreciated and excluded from Mother’s Day just because they don’t have their own children.
So to all the beautiful people out there who nurture, love and mother children, your own or someone elses, I say “Happy Mothering Day!
About the photographer
Moira is a Lifestyle Photographer based in Sedgefield, South Africa.
For booking information and availability, click the button below to find out more.
4 thoughts on “At Home Lifestyle Newborn Session | Sedgefield | b + r + n”
Beautifully done M. xo
Thanks Mands, the baby was an angel and the family were a dream to work with, always makes the session go more smoothly as you know.
Moira, you’re such a professional and amazing photographer! This was our third session and each one was unique and special, and always fun, because you know what you’re doing and the results are always amazing! Thank you once again for capturing these beautiful moments and giving us these forever monuments!! You’re a jewel!
Mariaan thank you so much your beautiful comments really mean so much to me as I’ve said before you have a beautiful family and they are a dream to photograph. xxx