I've received a lot of enquiries this week from yummy new mummies and grandparents asking for details on a newborn shoot for a baby that is already several weeks old. I thought I would write a little blog to explain why at this age a 'newborn' photoshoot is unlikely to be feasible but what other options you have with me.
First of all, I want to acknowledge that I totally understand that under a few months or so old, to you, your baby is a newborn baby. I've been there and whilst the weeks roll into one, your baby remains so small and you hold on to every precious week because you don't want to give in to calling them months which makes them seem a lot older. And also, they are still tiny in every way compared to a toddler for example. The experience is still new and therefore they are still your 'newborn".
Unfortunately in the eyes of a specialist newborn photographer, 3 weeks is most often too late to achieve the sleepy, curly newborn poses that you mostly associate with newborn images. Here's why. Quite simply, when a baby is first born it can take them a while to realise that they're out of the womb. They have spent so long tucked up tightly inside a sack in the womb, all cosy and in very warm conditions that when they first arrive into the world, they still try to mimic this. This is why posing a newborn baby can take place, because they are still very sleepy and curly because they still favour those positions. After around 2-3 weeks a baby starts to become a lot more awake and aware of their environment. They are being stimulated by a variety of senses and sleep becomes a little less interesting. They also start to stretch out the limbs and they realise they can finally be free to move around and kick away and therefore their bodies start to resist being as curled up. And of course, very importantly, more feeding occurs as baby starts to grow which can lead to a little more fussiness and as their digestive system also starts to adjust, wind, colic and reflux may become more apparent.
Because of my experience and knowledge around newborn and baby photography and also because I teach other photographers how to safely do the same, my diary gets very busy. This means that whilst I will always try to squeeze in last minute bookings, it isn't always possible, so when you contact me after baby has arrived, it's likely that my diary will mean I cannot offer you a newborn session in the ideal timeframe that I've explained. This is why it is so important to book a newborn shoot before your baby arrives. I simply book your due date in my diary and this is adjusted when baby arrives.
Now that doesn't mean that I will not photograph babies past 3 weeks of age. Far from it! I love babies of any age, it just means that every age comes with it's own style and set ups. Now, some photographers may argue that you can still pose a baby past 3 weeks. I don't disagree with this completely! I have in fact managed to achieve some poses for babies past this stage BUT it is very rare, unlikely that ALL the typical poses can be achieved and in my opinion not with as much details as a baby at 2 weeks of age. I prefer to set a realistic expectation with my clients and if I can pose them on arrival then I have exceed this.
So instead of curly, sleepy images, my 'baby sessions' become a lot more relaxed and natural. The session typically lasts for around 2 hours but this is not capped and I will spend as much time as needed to ensure a varied gallery and a happy baby. As with any other session, my clients get to choose from a large range of blankets, props, hair accessories, hats and outfits and the shoot is styled to your taste. I will then place your baby in natural positions, allowing them to kick around whilst I snap away, changing colours, hat, props until I have a lovely gallery of images. These are great sessions for capturing lovely wide awake eyes and if baby naturally drops off to sleep, this will be encouraged and again I will snap away to give you a mix of sleepy shots too - and posed if baby allows.
Just like my newborn sessions, parents and siblings can also get to join in so you can have family shots to look back on whilst your baby is still small too.
To find out more about my newborn or baby photoshoots, please contact me.