I specialize in newborn photography, but I also capture families and children and maternity. So when I say that I’m a specialist what exactly do I mean? Well, exactly that – it’s my specialty!?
I’ve been behind a camera professionally since 2012, although my journey started long before then (as it does for many). I grew up in a home that always had a camera at the ready and my parents’ house is still filled with images of us growing up (and now the grandkids too!). There’s boxes upon boxes of photographs piled in the attic and closets, probably dating back to at least 1971, if not before (when my parents were married – random piece of trivia: my husband and I were married 40 years and one week after my own parents). Then, in college I took my own photography class where I learned about composition and camera function and film development (that’s right – I’m that old!).
That’s a great basis for starting any photo session – it’s essential to understand the camera functions, lighting, and composition; then add some posing basics as well. But, to really specialize in something I believe you must have additional training, knowledge and skills. Everyone comes by this in different ways. For me this has meant that I have added education and practice in newborn specific specialities. Posing newborns individually and with others is quite the task! I’ve completed classes with world-renowned photographers, had model calls to practice new posing and critiqued my own and others’ work. These classes have taught me some different posing flows to most efficiently progress through the session, as well as how to safely pose newborns with siblings and parents in ways that also looks pleasing.
I also have a nack with handling babies to begin with (I suspect most newborn photographers do!) and love being around them dearly! I suspect in part from nannying infant triplets years ago, I’m not afraid of a crying baby (and all babies cry!). I have learned to discern when a cry means the little one needs their mama or if I can work through it with wrapping them in a swaddle, snuggling them close or simply using a pacifier. I’ve been known to be called a baby whisperer by many after seeing me in action at work and in “real” life.
Possibly the most critical part of being a newborn specialist is knowing safe baby practices. As I’ve said, I’ve taken many classes and one-on-one workshops with some of the best newborn photographers in the world and I watched them, as well as heard their instruction, on how to safely handle babies while posing them in the adorable images you love. We’ve talked through what to look for as signs of discomfort and distress – even in posing that is “correct.” I know what images can safely be made without compositing them (combining two or more together into one image in post production) and which would be better done with multiple shots to get the look we’re shooting for. Another part of safety is even postponing the session if anyone in my family or yours is ill – your little one’s safety is more important as they’re so fragile at such a young age! For those who are concerned, I do have vaccinations like tDap.
As you can see, there is much that goes into capturing the perfect images of your newborn. However, none of this means I don’t also love to photograph other sessions too! Maternity sessions, family sessions, and milestone and other children’s sessions are all a great joy for me to capture! So, as you’re looking for your next family photographer don’t forget about this newborn specialist!