A Guide for Expecting Moms
My past brides inspired me to write a series of posts on newborn photography. While I have photographed newborns throughout my years in business, I would not consider newborn photography to be my specialty. My schedule largely revolves around weddings and engagements, which makes it difficult to plan time for newborn arrivals. The schedule of photographing newborns is totally different from that of photographing weddings. Wedding work is predictable down to the date, while newborn photography scheduling has to be somewhat flexible.
My friends Danielle Parker Photography and Hannah Stinson Photography are crazy talented when it comes to capturing all that squishy newborn cuteness. They are my go-to recommendations when it comes to helping my past brides find a newborn photographer. In chatting with past clients who are now expecting their first babies, I came to the realization that many didn’t know what types of options were available for newborn photography. With Hannah’s and Danielle’s help, I put together this series of posts breaking down all the options for moms-to-be!
Today’s post will look at options that Danielle Parker Photography offers for newborns, including birth, Fresh 48, and in-home portrait options. If you missed the first post in this series that gives an overview of newborn photography options, you can check that out here. All images in this post are courtesy of Danielle Parker Photography.
Danielle and I have known each other since high school. We lost touch during our college years, but photography made our paths cross again. I still remember the first time I saw one of Danielle’s photographs. I commented on it and was surprised when her reply said she knew me! We are both members of a photography community, but I only knew her by her married last name there. We have both been in business for about the same number of years. It has been fun to reconnect with her over the past several years over our mutual love of photography!
Danielle says she’s had a love of and appreciation for photography for as long as she can remember. Her journey to newborn photography began with the birth of her twins nine years ago. After battling with infertility for several years, Danielle feared she would never become a mother. When she finally did become pregnant, she was overcome with the desire to document everything about her babies. She says that’s when she knew she’d found her calling and her focus for photography. “My struggles with infertility gave me a greater appreciation for new life and just how fleeting those early moments really are,” she says. “I feel blessed to capture the uniquely beautiful details of this brief and special time for others.”
Birth & Fresh 48 Sessions
Unless you’re having an in-home birth, both birth and Fresh 48 sessions take place in the hospital. Danielle’s birth sessions capture the details of your surroundings and the emotions you feel during the final hours of your little one’s long awaited arrival, as well as the excitement and joy immediately following your baby’s birth. Just like you hire a wedding photographer to document the joy of your wedding day, hiring a birth photographer is part of documenting the next chapter of your love story. It’s important to feel comfortable with the person who will be part of this very special day of your life. Danielle recommends a pre-delivery meeting with both mom and dad so that she can get to know them a bit beforehand.
From her own experience as a mom, Danielle says it’s difficult to remember all the details of giving birth. She loves capturing it all, from the easily overlooked details, to the big moments. For a birth session, your photographer is essentially “on call” based on your due date. This is why birth photographers typically take on only a handful of birth clients within a given time frame.
Fresh 48 sessions take place while you and your baby are still in the hospital. Danielle says that she knows from experience that those first few days go by in a blur. “Despite the long hours of staring at your baby in your arms, cradled by your partner, or sleeping in the plastic bassinet, it’s all too easy to lose the clarity of those memories,” she says. Fresh 48 sessions are design to capture how fresh and new your little one is, as well as the family’s love and joy in a natural, documentary way.
If you’re interested in birth or a Fresh 48 session, don’t delay in booking a photographer. You’ll want to get on their calendar early enough so that they can be on-call during the final weeks of your pregnancy.
In-Home Sessions: Lifestyle vs Posed
Danielle offers both lifestyle and posed options for in-home sessions. If you’re unsure of the difference between these two options, be sure to check out part one of this series. Danielle says her sessions typically include a mix of posed portraits of the baby, as well as lifestyle family images. If you’d prefer to have your baby photographed in the comfort of your own home, then an in-home session is going to be the ideal option for you. Ideally, posed newborn sessions take place within the first two weeks of a baby’s life. This is when they’re still in a sleepy stage and before they discover their surroundings too much.
How in the world do you pose a baby? This is probably the most frequent question I hear when talking about newborn photography and it’s important to know that posing newborns is definitely a talent and a skill. Photographers who specialize in newborn photography are well aware of what poses are safe for your baby. Additionally, posing can be done in a way that is organic and natural. There are various styles when it comes to newborn posing, so be sure to check out the portfolio of any photographer you’re considering for your newborn portraits to make sure their style matches your vision for your portraits. As with wedding photography, each newborn photographer will have their own unique style.
Danielle says she prefers to use simple, natural poses for her baby portraits. Neutral backdrops and wraps give the images a timeless feel. Who doesn’t love a portrait like this?!
Preparing for an In-Home Session
Danielle says preparation for an in-home session is easier than you may think. She emphasizes that she knows from experience that things aren’t always perfectly “put together” around the house after bringing baby home. It’s easy to put pressure on yourself to have the house presentable, but it’s truly not something to stress about. Danielle says if something needs to be moved during the session, she’ll gently move it out of the way and then put it back when she’s done. She also says that she doesn’t need a great deal of space, or even a huge amount of natural light. “Some of my favorite images have been taken in a small room with only one window, when the sky was overcast,” she says.
The real beauty of in-home sessions is capturing the “realness” of what belongs to the family, the environment that is unique to them.
If you want to document your baby’s first year beyond the newborn session, then you may want to ask your newborn photographer if they offer milestone sessions. These sessions are designed to capture baby’s first year. Most milestone packages begin with either the maternity session, or the newborn session. Danielle offers a “Grow With Me” milestone session plan for her clients. Just like working with your wedding photographer for your engagement, bridal and wedding day portraits, it’s nice to build a relationship with a photographer you’ll want to work with throughout your baby’s first year.
Have questions about in-home newborn sessions? Leave us a comment and we’ll do our best to answer them! Special thanks to my friend Danielle for helping me put this post together!
Next week, I’m wrapping up this series on newborn photography with a closer look at studio session options from Hannah Stinson Photography!