So many wonder, Is newborn photography worth it? That question is commonly asked among expecting parents. Many others also ask why there is so much pressure and emphasis on photographing your new baby at such an early age? Some could argue that most people have excellent cameras and may even own a DSLR or mirrorless camera body.
But before we dive in, I’d like to bring your attention to a few questions as the potential client. Are you familiar with newborn sessions, whether it’s been for a friend or family member? The reason I ask you this is because there are several misconceptions out there, and unfortunately many find out the hard way when it comes to “DIY newborn sessions” or hiring their family friend who does it for fun. Let’s chat for a few more minutes before we get to the nitty gritty of what is INVOLVED in a newborn photography session. I need to know what is the MOST IMPORTANT thing to you about cherishing those memories of your brand new baby?
I’d love to share a little history of my own personal experience. When I had my first baby, I was OBSESSED with taking pictures of her. But I’ll be honest, and give you the uncomfortable truth of postpartum recovery. I was WRECKED from my delivery with her. There were several unfortunate issues that arose with her delivery and although my baby came out healthy and happy, I could barely move. I wasn’t healing well and my body was not happy. This put me into a spiral of emotions. I was in so much pain, and my baby was a cluster feeder who would only sleep while breast feeding. Combine this with no sleep and you get the picture. If I was able to eat during the day, it was a miracle! Nobody had prepared me for the possibilities of what “could be” my postpartum recovery. Due to the fact that my situation was less then ideal, there is NOT A SINGLE FLATTERING IMAGE of me with my first baby. I personally find this heartbreaking! She was such a gorgeous baby too. The pictures I have of her of course are still cute, but none of them are ones that I would print and hang on the wall.
So rather then newborn pictures I resorted to instead taking her to Walmart at 3 months old. Of course she’s adorable, but she’s not a newborn! She’s already big! She’s holding her head up! She’s not that tiny baby that I took home from the hospital anymore… my goodness she’s a little person already, Not to mention, I wasn’t going to be getting any curly cute mommy poses with her!
That’s something that a lot of parents forget about, or underestimate. Those first few weeks only last a short period of time. Parents have come in the studio and told me how shocked they were that their baby changed so much in a matter of only a FEW DAYS! They go from sleeping all the time to being alert for hours and then they start growing out of those newborn sleeper and before you know it you have a baby thats ready to crawl or walk!
Because of these quick changes, we have such a short window of time to document their tiny features. Another reason for doing these newborn sessions in the first two weeks of life is to take advantage of that deep sleep stage. This is the stage where they are really flexible and used to being curled up similar to the womb. Many of the poses that specialized newborn photographers are able to accomplish showcases that curly phase and are only able to do so during those first few weeks because babies become too strong.
So back to the question of this blog post, Is newborn photography worth it? The answer is YES. And now I’ll break down the answer for you. As a mother of 4, I have huge regrets. I never had the option to hire a professional newborn photographer at the time of my first baby, as there was none in my area. When my second daughter came, it was fairly new to the photography world, and very specialized. I at that point I decided to start my own photography career and document my beautiful children myself. However Newborn photography was still very new (nearly 11 years ago) and not very common place.
When I look back at my first two daughters images and boy do we cherish them, They are very noticeably amateurish and not that great of quality. I attempted at doing baby pictures not knowing how to do them and quickly realizing that it was very difficult. And because I look at my two oldest children’s images I’ve realized how incredibly important it is to have beautiful baby pictures. What is the most frustrating and something that bugs me about most of them is that there is something so visually unappealing, whether it is bad lighting, awkward posing with baby, or maybe I’m in the picture and my husband took the image of me in the most UNFLATTERING angle! Either way, none of them are up on my walls! And let me explain something to you, Children NEED to see their pictures printed. It means EVERYTHING to them.
I don’t know about you as a child, but I sure remember spending hours going through the old photo album of myself. And I only had one album of my entire first year of life. Film did make it less convenient to take a multitude of photographs so I don’t hold it against my family. But now, we have no excuse. In fact its the complete opposite! We take TOO MANY and not enough are beautiful enough to print. We as you could say have more Quantity over Quality. I’m guilty of this too! And I’m a photographer because most of the time when I’m at home I’m too lazy to take out my good camera or my children run away the minute I say I want to take their pictures! But I’ll get into the fact of Photographers children and being uncooperative on another day!
We live in a digital society and we take a thousand pictures on a regular basis. What do we do with those pictures? We post them to social media, and we move on and take another thousand pictures. How many of those thousands of pictures do you print? How many of those pictures from your phone do you print and frame on the wall? How many of those images do you make an album of and display on your coffee table? Most likely you say, well most of them go into my social media and or stay on my phone.
Stop falling into the trap of the digital rabbit hole and INVEST in Newborn Photography. Because YES, Newborn Photography is worth it! It’s worth it because your babies grow way too fast. It’s worth it because its the beginning of your journey as a new parent. It’s the beginning of showing your child how much you really do love and appreciate them. It shows them a visual display as they grow older that you have been wanting to show them off since day one! This will actually improve confidence in your child! There are studies that show children’s self-esteem is boosted and grows when they see themselves on the walls of their family home.
In today’s society, boosting your children’s self worth and confidence is something all parents want to achieve. And as a mother of 4, one my favourite things is to arrange that next family session with a Professional photographer because as a Mother, I don’t get in front of that camera very often. And normally when its someone in the family taking my picture, its not something that I’m going to feel good about, because the angles and situation are usually less then ideal. But if I’m able to get my hair and makeup done, and get dressed up pretty, Boy do I sure feel good in front of that camera. And my children are able to see their mommy enjoying herself in front of the camera too. And after its all said and done, All I have to do is choose what walls to hang our portraits on!
Something that you should know about newborn photographers is that it is a never ending journey of education, and improvement. There really is a hundred different ways to handle a newborn baby in a newborn session. And if you haven’t done a newborn session before, you are completely clueless! Besides prepping and know what to expect and how to safely handle a newborn, there is THOUSANDS of dollars that goes into investing in supplies for your sessions. So if you really do want those beautiful images that are involving gorgeous props and items, you’re looking at spending close to a few thousands dollars just BUYING everything that you really need to use to do a beautiful newborn session.
So why not just focus on your new baby, and enjoy THAT journey and hire a professional to do your newborn photography session. You’ll feel much more satisfied when all you have to do is show up, sit and relax while your photographer handles everything, get those gorgeous Images of your new baby, and document it all!
And please please have a goal to PRINT YOUR IMAGES! Whether you choose to print through me, or someone else… Don’t ever underestimate the importance of your child seeing their portrait in print! Thanks for reading.