Baby Love - How to pick the best newborn session for you & your baby
Documenting the teeny tiny details of your itty bitty newborn baby is a pretty decent job perk. In my experience, there are few other times where such intense emotion is overflowing than in the first moments, days and weeks following delivery. We frequently get asked some repeat questions about newborn sessions, so this post is designed to tackle your queries and provide insight on which type of Newborn Session - yes! there are options! - is right for your precious little bub.
What is a traditional newborn session all about?
With a focus on sweet snuggled babies, details of fingers and toes a traditional newborn session can include parents and siblings or just new babe on their own. We have a wide range of colours and textures in swaddles and blankets which we use to create cozy intimate images. The best time to these sessions are 7-10 days post birth - this assuming there have been no complications, baby has re-reached their birth weight, and your paediatrician has given the green light. These sessions are held mid-morning at our climate controlled studio space.
Fresh 48? Elaborate!
Fresh 48s are my absolute favourite type of newborn portrait sessions. They’re not commonly offered here in Bermuda, because of maternity ward visitor limitations - but holy, here is the ideal opportunity to create some of the most emotionally intimate images you will cherish forever. I feel qualified to lay this claim, because my own labour and Fresh 48 photographs are some of my absolute shots to date. These sessions are exactly as you’d imagine, captured within the first 48 hours post birth. When baby arrives, assign a friend or family member to reach out to us (or if you feel you have a handle, go ahead a shoot us a message yourself) and I’ll plan with you a good time to pop by the Hospital during visiting hours before you are discharged. I shoot the majority of Fresh 48 sessions with a Leica, because I feel it really adds another facet to the emotional response.
Who can be involved? Great question - I like for the initial focus to be on mum, dad and baby - as well any siblings. Following that, grandparents are welcome to join - we just play a bit of a musical visitors game to keep within KEMH visitor regulations! Often I hear new mums feel that this type of session isn’t for them because they don’t think they’ll feel up to being photographed so soon after delivery. Here’s my two cents: you will feel tired, you will feel swollen and sore and all sorts of things you’ve never experienced before (like that your organs have been tossed in a shopping bag and nothing makes sense internally. Fun times!) — BUT the opportunity to have those first moments of bonding captured, I promise you won’t care what you look like. Bonus: If you prefer to keep your images private, then that is entirely your prerogative.
Here are a few from our Fresh 48 - which we captured ourselves!
Do I have to be in the photographs?
For a traditional newborn session, no.
For a Fresh 48, yes!
As mentioned above, I promise you won’t care about whether you’re still puffy or look tired. The moments bonding with your little one will outweigh all those concerns and your images will be so worth it. However, if you’re still super uneasy about being photographed but definitely want to capture your newborn - then we’d recommend opting for a traditional session where the focus can be solely on baby alone :)
Can you re-create images I find on Pinterest?
Pinterest is straight up amazing. I’m fairly certain I planned my entire wedding in five minutes — however, we encourage caution and grains of salt when considering images found on Pinterest for your newborn session. Oftentimes - actually, I’d say most frequently - mums will show us some shots they like and it’s great because they’re exactly in-line with what we create. This said, there are those times when the inspiration shots are totally out in left field from what is on our portfolio. Many of the images abundantly accessible online are composites - the “froggy pose” is the most commonly requested image search pose that we do not do. When explained, our parents get it and are happy to know we understand the behind the scenes requirements. Our advice to all parents is to please please please be cautious when requesting certain poses to your photographer as inexperience or a lack of posing knowledge could be devastating. Our top priority in all newborn sessions is the safety of your baby.
We feel it is incredibly important to mention safety factors when it comes to photographing newborns - particularly with this session where we will be holding, positioning and transitioning your little one. I attended a course designed to teach the safety of baby posing (through Ana Brandt), at our studio we ensure each piece of fabric that comes in contact with your baby has been thoroughly washed after each session. Additionally, Mark and myself make a point to ensure we are up to date on our vaccine boosters.
I hope this helps provide a bit of clarity into the various approaches to newborn portrait sessions. Feel free to leave a comment with any questions, or any additional topics you’d like to see posted!