This is the evolution of a newborn photographer. Part 1 because I hope there will be many more new parts come. The photos of the babies here are most of my newborns since the start of my career. You’ll instantly see just how much it has changed with each and every new baby. This job isn’t easy folks – it is very much a labor of love for me. I work full time at a major university so all of my newborn sessions are done on the weekends. I have sacrificed many many events, trips, lunches, brunches, parties, boat days, etc for this job… and I’m not complaining! So let me give you a glimpse into what goes into being a newborn photographer…
-My car is my storage facility. Very rarely will you see my car empty – it basically always has my bean bags, blankets, backdrops, etc (please don’t try to break into my car now – I don’t leave anything of real value like my camera in there lol)
– I can rarely plan a weekend getaway anymore. Just because there is a “due date” does not mean that is when I will photograph them! Sometimes babies arrive earlier and later than expected – so I have to keep a few weekends open “just in case”..and nights before a newborn session? I rarely go out because I’m afraid I’ll be too tired the next morning for the session!
– I drive to every clients home [for now] – I wake up no later than 7 am on the day of the session (Saturdays and Sundays) to prep everything… that doesn’t include prepping the week before based on clients preferences, gender, whether there are parent shots or not etc.
– On the day of the session, I, along with an assistant usually (but not always) unload the car, set everything up in the house… while the air is off or turned up very high (as per my request)…
– it takes about 30 minutes while the baby is getting fed for me to set the bean bag, the props I’ll be using, the lighting, backdrops, white noise maker, shusher thingy, reflectors, towels, headbands, bonnets, etc.
– Then it’s hoping the clients followed my instructions of keeping the baby awake for at least two hours before I get there – and waiting for the baby to fall asleep – sometimes I let them kick it out, other times I diffuse lavender essential oil (always douse myself with it beforehand though lol), there’s always a lot of rocking, and shushing, and caressing of the hair and forehead… and when I’m really *really* lucky – the baby is just a big sleeper and we can start right away.
– Then all of my workshop training, online training, countless YouTube and blog post research, constant newborn photography group support comes into play – posing the baby isn’t done haphazardly… it takes so much patience, understanding what they like/don’t like, and love – true true love for what you do – to do this “right”.
Fast forward to 3-4 hours later – yep – 4 hours later – and it’s time to reluctantly give the baby back (lol) and start packing up. But I’m not done! Then we have to edit, painstakingly remove little flakes from their little faces, sometimes fix the redness newborns tend to have, and if you have a jaundice baby well then… good luck with that one! 😉
It’s a beautiful job. A job I am so incredibly lucky and proud to be able to do. I truly love each and every little newborn I get to cuddle… While I’m posing and soothing during each session, I’m looking at this new little life and wonder who they will become. Will they be a doctor? A lawyer? A philanthropist? Will they be kind? Will they be good? Will they be compassionate human beings? …What will their favorite color be? Who will they become? I might never find out, but I hope I do. I love to watch them grow and become little people with their own personalities. But most of all – I hope and pray that they feel the love I have for them during my time with there. I hope they feel safe. I hope they feel warm. I hope they feel happy.
I hope they never have to worry. I know that will not always be the case because this world isn’t perfect- but I want the parents that come to me with their baby to know that I pray – to whatever God or non-God you want me to pray to – that your baby lives the most beautiful life a human can…
I hope one day this can be my Monday through Friday job… but for now, I’m OK spending my weekends with these cuties. Enjoy JMP’s evolution – I promise it will only get better from here <3
..and thank you to each and every family (newborn or not) who has trusted me with their little ones, with their visions, & with capturing moments they’ll never get back..