You have a baby on the way, or perhaps your newborn is already here, and you know you want to get some professional pictures taken but you aren’t quite sure if a studio session is for you. I felt the same way and I wish that a documentary newborn session was an option when my eldest was born.
These sessions may not be for everyone but as a photographer and parent they are definitely my kind of newborn session. If you find yourself smiling or nodding as you scroll through then I think they are definitely your kind of session as well. In which case, let’s chat!
So…what exactly is documentary newborn photography?
In short, it is having a photographer make beautiful images of whatever happens during your session. There is no posing or direction, no need to bribe kids (or partners) to cooperate, no need to organise a complementary wardrobe for the whole family. These images tell a story about you and your family.
We meet beforehand to get to know each other a little and talk about the session to make sure I arrive at a time that will get the most of what you are after. By this I mean, if you go for a walk with your newborn and toddler to the park in the afternoon and this is something you want photographed, then I won’t book you a morning session. If you like to baby wear and want pictures of you wrapping your baby to you before you head off to the park, I won’t meet you there.
You should contact me to discuss a newborn documentary session if…
You like things to be easy.
You don’t want to stress yourself or your family out as you get everyone ready to go to a studio or clear a space in your home for a portable studio. Have we booked the right time for my baby to sleep for the photographer? Will my bigger kids behave both in their photos and while they are waiting?
Having me come to your home means that you and your family can continue on as usual and I just slot in to your day. Any older siblings can continue being themselves as I don’t demand they sit or stand in certain places. Your baby is perfect awake or asleep. You don’t need to change a thing and your beloved pets get to be involved. Partners actually enjoy these sessions as well!
I work with your family, you don’t need to adjust to fit me.
You are sentimental.
Memories are important to you. Not just memories of what your kids looked like as a baby but what their home looked like, where they slept, your ordinary daily life with a newborn, the best chair in the house to feed on and how they interacted with any siblings. I am trained to see your surroundings as part of the story as well. If you are pacing the kitchen to settle them, I see that happening and photograph it. If life with your newborn includes going for a walk around the block because the pram bumping on the path helps your baby get to sleep then I am coming with you.
Studio portraits, while beautiful, won’t hold this information for you.
You have a sense of humour.
Kids are hilarious. Things can take unexpected turns. You are happy to go with the flow and aren’t too concerned with everything staying on track. You and I both recognise that life with kids is unpredictable but that is part of the joy of it.
I will continue to photograph if an arc of wee rises above the change table, when an older sibing gets in to the Sudocream (haven’t they all?) or if an older sibling suddenly HAS TO get in the baby bath too.
On days when there was more hair pulling than laughing, these kind of images are what keep us doing this whole parenting again tomorrow.
You believe life is the best muse.
There are so many opportunities for absolutely beautiful images that tell the story of your family and this particular time in your lives. I can deliver those without having to pose you, without sending you a ‘what to wear’ guide, without needing a Shusher or requiring any extra effort on your part. Your life is my best muse and your gallery can’t be recreated because there is no one else like you.
When it comes to family pictures you don’t make a Pinterest board, you make memories.