17 February, 2015

A Newborn Session: Meet Ellie + What I Learned (and you should know about newborn photography)

 I wanted to challenge myself and to see how I've grown as a photographer since I did Luke's photos back in 2013 so I gifted my brother and sister-in-law a session as their shower gift.  I have been looking forward to this shoot for months, yet I still felt underprepared.  Newborn photography is hard.  Really hard. 

Paige was very calm and relaxed throughout the entire session, which I know kept Ellie in a sweet sleepy state.  She also had purchased a few outfits just for this session and had them ready to go along with the blankets and a few ideas of what she wanted out of the photoshoot.
 While the end goal of the shoot was portraits, I quickly realized during that day that I certainly favor lifestyle shoots to portraits so I took several of those too.  I made sure to include a few pictures with Paige's wedding ring because it belonged to her late mother. It was my way of including the "three generations"
 This photo of Ellie wrapped in the rose blanket happened by accident.  Paige was snuggling with Ellie to keep her warm between poses and it was one of those right-place-right-time shots.  I consider it my money shot of the entire day.
I love lifestyle photography over posed portrait sessions because I like to capture the natural interactions between families.  My naturally introverted-observer mind really shines.

Technically Speaking:


  • I used my Canon 70D plus a rented Canon 1.2L II from Aperturent.
  • I mostly used the natural afternoon light that came in through the bedroom window. I used a Speedlite in a few shots.

What I Learned:


  • Ellie was within the 10 day scrunchy baby window, but even at 7 days was starting to unfold a bit.


  • Remember extra flash batteries.  The recycle time slows way down as the batteries drain.


  • Think outside the box and be ready for just the right moment.


  • Baby-in-a-basket photographers work really hard to get just the right styling. I confirmed it's not really my thing.


  • Be calm and leave the room to give baby (and mom) some time to relax between poses.


  • I may include a space heater next time to keep naked baby warm!



  • What You Should Know (if you're planning a newborn session):

    • Communicate your vision with the photographer in advance - some shots require a lot of props and set up.
    • Have your baby's outfits ready to go (and spare outfits)
    • Be patient ready to nurse/bottle feed, change diapers, manage spit up, etc
    • Sessions last 2-3 hours because babies take a while to work with, but it's WORTH IT!
    • There is a reason why newborn portrait sessions cost a lot of money: 2-3 hours of photography, plus the cleaning and preparation of the props, and culling & editing time.  (We took 430 pictures for about 20 good ones)
    • As a mother and photographer I encourage mother's to get in a few shots.  I was always too self-conscious with my postpartum body to be in photos and now I regret it.  The photographer can work around the jiggly bits.


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