God has a funny way of doing things. You know that time where you said ‘Oh I never get the flu!’ and then you did? Or when you opened your mouth and said ‘My car has been so good to me, it never gives me issues’ and then it does? (Both of those being my own personal scenarios…) Well this is a prime example of how God taught me to never say never.
In 2012, I also had my very first newborn. Her name is Emma, look at her, so wittle and cute. All snuggly and sneaky…. that’s right, I said sneaky…. (don’t judge, just keep reading….)
So why was Emma so sneaky… that’s what you’re thinking right? Because how in my right mind could I call such an innocent child, sneaky? Well, I’ll tell you why. Emma simply spoiled me. As my first newborn, she was instantly asleep when I got there. I positioned her and moved her and she was still sleeping. She woke up once we were changing her into a new outfit and she didn’t even cry. She just looked at the camera so perfectly. She was the PERFECT newborn and being MY first newborn, I thought to myself, ‘Hey, I could do newborns all the time! This is great!’
Months went by and people in the community seen that I was offering newborn sessions upon request. Second newborn I photographed, was not so sleepy and was 12-14 days old…
being stupid not researching enough (I would slap my old self in the face now if I had known any better) I learned that babies should be in a certain age to be sleepy and pose-able if you want those nice sleepy baby images. So I got through that session and vowed to educate my clients on the importance of age for newborn images. Now, this isn’t to say that I would turn a client down for a session, BUT I’m not a specialty newborn photographer. I don’t spend day after day photographing babies enough to pose them in complex ways or have THOUSANDS of props and I don’t know how to completely deal with older age babies. I offer newborn sessions to my clients because I know a lot of them love me (and I love them, so much!) and they prefer to deal with me for their photography.
After a few newborn sessions, I wasn’t pleased with myself. I wasn’t happy with the newborn images and parents were usually unable to schedule newborn sessions in the preferred age I needed to work with them. So for the safety of my sanity and passion, I told my Aunt one night about my concerns as a photographer photographing newborns. I was actually REALLY upset with myself. I just didn’t feel like I was serving my clients as best possible. My Aunt, like her usual self, told me that she thought I was doing well but if I didn’t want to do it, I didn’t have to. So I made the public announcement to my clients that I would no longer do newborn photography and I didn’t feel it was my calling….
Then the end of 2013 came along and God’s lesson was starting to unfold before my eyes. I can’t lie, when you have a client who you REALLY love and you know they REALLY want you to take images of their brand new baby boy because you photographed their maternity images too, you really can’t say no. So I was having a total panic attack after I told this new mother that YES, I would photograph her newborn son when he arrived. Then he arrived. And this happened.
That’s Mason. The session went well. He did so well, I did so well. I was prepared, we didn’t have any issues, we got along really well and I think his parents are fantastic people which made it even better. Then I got home and started to edit his images and I thought ‘Why is this image so better than some of my old newborn images? What made the difference?’ and I realized my experience grew! So I started
my victory dance gracefully smiling at my computer when I realized that almost over a year I had learned so much and grown so much that I could overcome issues that I couldn’t pinpoint before. I instantly knew that I could not rob my clients of newborn sessions.
Being realistic, I knew that I would have to set out the standard of what I will and will not do. I think as a photographer, you have to learn that you have to set a style for your clients. You have to have a consistency in your style of photography so they know what to expect. So, I told myself that I wouldn’t stuff babies into too many baskets or buckets and I wouldn’t unnaturally post them or manipulate their images in photoshop. Why? Because I don’t feel comfortable in making a brand new soul who has just entered this world be manipulated and forced into complex positions (I feel like I’m saying to them, ‘Hi, this is what life here on Earth will be like for you, you are going to be stuffed and forced into things until you cry and then we will tell you it’s ok and feed you so you feel better about it… welcome!’) and if they can’t be forced into these positions then why would I lie in photoshop? That’s not truly what that child did as a newborn and I don’t want to have them at 20 years old thinking they held their head up in the air at 5 days old and going around bragging about it.
Will my opinion change on how I photograph my newborns, probably. (That’s what happens to us as we age in a subject, we gain wisdom.) But as of right now, I like the natural posing that I do and some of my clients seem to like it too. In the past 3 months I have had more newborns than I have ever had. I’m extremely thankful. I even photographed TWINS! (I’ll save that experience for another entry, totally awesome though!) But as I’ve looked back, I realized that I should NEVER say that I WON’T do anything or CAN’T do anything. That’s not fair to me or my clients. All I can do is the best I can and gain knowledge and experience from it. Below are some of the newborns I’ve photographed recently:
Thanks for reading. Feel free to share this with others via facebook, twitter or whatever social media site you favor. If you’re interested in my photography sessions, please feel free to check out my site HERE to contact me. If you learned anything from this, just remember this:
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
Becka at ENV