Newborn Photography and a New Perspective
Sometimes I leave Family Photography sessions feeling incomplete. It’s as though something is missing. Something really important. It’s that nagging feeling in the back of my mind that I can’t shake.
There is something distinctly different about Newborn Photography and Family Photography and I want to change that.
When you are with a newborn, you can’t help but to be present. You see the rise and fall of their chest with every breath they take. You are acutely aware of every sound, the temperature in the room and anything that could cause discomfort. You are one hundred percent present. When I do Newborn Photography, everything slows way down. I am there for them. I am capturing the moments they would want to see 10, 15, 30 years from now. You can’t force anything, there is no time frame. You just work within the baby’s limits.
You would never say to a newborn, “Say, cheese!” You are just glad they are there, in awe of them and their presence. Time goes by very differently and easily.
the quieter you become, the more you can hear
Family Photography at times can be rushed, frantic and stressful. I see it all the time: a family is just arriving at the session several minutes late from traffic they hit and rushing to change their kids outfits in the parking lot. Mom is apologizing to Dad for “making him participate”. Dad looks annoyed. After Mom dresses her kiddos, she is scraping chunks of the kids afternoon lunch off the shoulder of her shirt, often feeling embarrassed and frazzled. She glances in the window of her van to catch a glimpse of her reflection in an ‘I give up’ manner.
Then they all stop for a second and look at me with a blank stare, like “What is next?” I want to give everyone a glass of scotch.
Psst …(This is why I beg families to arrive early by the way).
It is really hard to genuinely recover from this and achieve authentic photography.
As a photographer, I am now supposed to capture connection, love, joy and the playful spirit of a family that looks like they’re deer in headlights.
“…photography becomes a check mark on a to-do list instead of an enjoyable experience where memories are meant to be captured.”
I work hard on trying to bring everyone down a notch, but there are times I just can’t. This is almost never the case in Newborn Photography. Don’t get me wrong: this is not true for every Family Session. I see it more and more this time of year. There is a panicked feeling about the weather, getting your ‘Christmas Card Photo’ just right. Photography becomes a check mark on a to-do list instead of an enjoyable experience where memories are meant to be captured.
I so badly want the totally present and calm nature of Newborn Photography in Family Photography. I want my families to feel like the time does not matter. I want them to breath and relax during their session. I want to offer a break to families to just play and be free from the stress of every day life.
This revelation actually excites me because now I can design a solution. I don’t back away from a challenge, and now it is my mission to improve the Family Photography experience for my clients. I look forward to brainstorming and working together with families to ensure memories are created and captured. Twenty-sixteen is going to be a great year. I can feel it already.