I had the absolute pleasure of photographing one of the most relaxed lifestyle newborn photography sessions I’ve done to date a couple of weeks ago. It might have helped that it was my twin sister. And we spread the photos out over a couple of days. But I think what I love the most is that she wanted to be in the photos.
A lot of moms don’t feel at their best right after having a baby. Because of that, they don’t want to be photographed. But one of my very favorite things is when a mom wants to be in the photos with her newborn. Because that’s more real life than anything. I’ve done the posed baby on an indyllic background. I’ve done the heater and the bending and the soothing for two hours to get a small handful of photos. Honestly, the last session I did like that, the baby just wouldn’t settle in. We tried our hardest, just when she fell asleep she would start crying again. So we abandoned “those” newborn photos. The next day, I received a text message that their brand new little girl was in the hospital with an infection. She wouldn’t settle in because the positions we were putting her in exacerbated her instead of soothing her.
I felt sick inside. Because all she could do to communicate her discomfort was to cry. I decided right then and there that those types of newborn sessions were no longer for me.
And these are. The family playing together. Dad tossing his two year old a baseball as he’s learning how to hit for the first time. Bringing the brand new tricycle onto the blanket for a photo because the same two year old was much more enamored with it than with his brother. Not shooing the dog out of the frame because she, too, is part of the family. Then sneaking in some quiet portraits in the nursery during nap time.
I instagrammed a sneak peek yesterday for my sister. Even though these photographs were taken just four weeks ago, she sent me a text. She already looks so different. The initial just-had-a-baby fluff has faded.
A lot of women don’t like the fluff. The bloat. The weight. The puffiness. They prefer to not be in the photographs because they don’t want what they perceive as the worst version of themselves recorded.
As a woman who has been unable to get pregnant, I have one simple request to the new mommies: get photographed with your newborn. Because as quickly as your body will change after you give birth, your child will grow just as quickly. And there’s a certain sweetness to a mother holding her tiny little bundle of love in those first days. A sweetness that will never be captured again.