Five Reasons I had Professional Newborn Photos Taken
One of the many wonders of a photograph is its ability to freeze time. I would argue that there is never a more applicable situation to want to freeze time than in those first few days after your child’s birth. Not only do they change so fast, but your memory of those first few days can be so fleeting.
When I found out I was pregnant, as a photographer, I knew I was going to photograph the heck out of our baby. I mean how could I not? Tiny fingers, tiny toes…tiny everything, not to mention those smoochy cheeks. What I wasn’t sure about, is if I would have someone else take newborn photos for us. I decided, in the end, to have my friend Laura, a former wedding photographer, take these photos for us and I am so glad I did. In case you are on the fence, like I was, here are some reasons why I think newborn photos should be a must.
1. Newborns change so fast
Of course this is an obvious one, but I think it is easy to forget, or overlook. The photos I took of Asher in the hospital look nothing like his newborn pictures taken before he was a week old and his newborn pictures look different from the photos I took of him at almost 2 weeks old. All that to say, as soon as your child is born he or she starts growing and changing. Already I am so grateful we had newborn photos taken just 5 days after Asher was born, because no doubt my memory of him at that stage would fail me
But why get professional photos taken? Isn’t my iPhone with portrait mode enough? This brings me to my next point.
2. The iPhone is no match professional quality photos
This point deserves an entire blog post of its own, but for now, I’ll just say that as much as smartphone cameras have evolved over the years, they are still no match for a digital DSLR with a high quality lens. You can use portrait mode on your iPhone all you want, but it still won’t achieve the same image as a DSLR when taken by a professional photographer who understands lighting, shutter speed, ISO aperture, focus and how they all work together to achieve a specific result. So for the quality image that you want hanging in your living room, you for sure want to get the professional photographer.
So why did I, a photographer, choose to have professional photos taken? Couldn’t I just take the photos myself? Well, I could have, but what I learned from my experience is that 1.) I was way too tired and sore right after birth to whip out the camera and 2.) I wanted to get in some of the photos myself Let me explain:
3. Having a baby is exhausting enough. Why not have somebody else take the pictures for you.
When I went in to labor, I had two cameras with 4 different lenses at the hospital with me that I never even took out of the bag. It really was foolish of me to think that I would have the energy and ability to take photos during labor and recovery, but this being my first baby, I had no idea what to expect. Labor and delivery for me was like running an ultra marathon and then getting hit by a bus at the end. It is the hardest thing I have ever done, and my body certainly felt it afterwards. I had a hard time getting out of the hospital bed, and walking around the room, so taking pictures with anything other than my iPhone wasn’t realistic.
Even after going home, I was still exhausted, and certainly sleep deprived. It turns out, newborns wake every 2-3 hours to eat…who knew? Needless to say, I was so thankful to have my friend come to our house and take pictures for us. All I had to worry about was keeping my baby fed and sleepy, oh and what to wear to cover my baby bump, which I’ll cover in the next point.
4. Getting mom and dad in the photos
Days after Asher was born, I certainly wasn’t ready to hop in front of a camera. I looked about 20 weeks pregnant the day we had our newborn pictures taken, but…I did it anyway because I wanted to capture our whole family together, and show the sweet bond between all three of us. In these photos, I threw on a flowy black shirt and some makeup to cover the under eye circles. Positioning of the baby and black clothes do wonders to hide the postpartum bump, so in my opinion, don’t worry and take the photos!
P.s. I was also sweating profusely in these pictures (thanks hormones!) and you can’t even tell!
5. Newborns are easy to photograph
It is no secret that young kids can be difficult to photograph. Of course they would rather run around and play than sit still for a picture, and who could blame them! Newborns, on the other hand are easier to photograph because they are still very sleepy. I think the best time to get photos taken is anytime prior to 2 weeks old. Asher, at this stage, was sleeping between 14-18 hours per day and was only wake for 15 min-1 hour at a time, usually just enough time to eat and fall back to sleep. A sleepy baby is easy to pose and change outfits. And even when he did wake up it was fun to capture some photos of his eyes open.
Another reason I recommend getting newborn photos prior to 2 weeks old is to avoid the peak timeframe for baby acne which occurs in about 20% of newborns and usually shows about around 2 weeks of age. Since there is no way of knowing if your newborn will have it, I recommend scheduling a newborn session for prior to two weeks of age.
So without further adieu, below are Asher’s newborn photos!
Of course the dogs had to get in some!