Still cold outside, but it’s a comfy 85 degrees in the studio! What a cutie! Twelve days old.
As you know, I love newborn photography. There’s nothing quite like a new mom or dad entrusting me to capture images of their child’s first days.
While getting great pictures is a priority, it’s not my first priority. Keeping the baby safe and comfortable is my #1 concern. There are a lot of ways I do this, but here are a couple of examples.
One of the most important precautions is that for newborn shoots, I always have an assistant. Bonnie Stewart of Bonnie Stewart Photography and I assist each other on newborn shoots. Working with the same person all the time is helpful because we know the routine and how to help each other. It’s impossible to be behind the camera AND within arm’s reach of the baby. So having an assistant is an absolute necessity. One of us is always just out of the frame in case the baby makes a sudden movement. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve edited Bonnie out of a newborn picture!
Here she is! And there’s her foot!
We keep the room at a comfortable temperature for the baby even though we are roasting! We dress in layers and make sure the baby stays toasty warm for the whole session. We’re continually monitoring his or her little fingers and toes to see if we need to adjust anything. In addition to the normal furnace, we have a powerful space heater and then a smaller heater that we can put right by the baby. The smaller heater is quite mild so we don’t run the risk of burning baby.
We keep the studio very sanitary, as well. Blankets, pads, and the like get washed each time they are used. And we sanitize our hands throughout the session.
The babies are kept pretty cozy with plenty of towels and support underneath them. If they’re in a basket, you can be sure it’s super soft in there and they are well-supported.
Some shots have a lot more going on than meets the eye. Composite images are another trick we have for getting some cute poses that babies aren’t really capable of doing. We think this picture is pretty cute, but I feel like it’s important for people to know how we got the image so people don’t try it on their own.
We don’t do this pose with every baby. Babies are all different and we work with their preferences and what they are comfortable doing. They let us know right away what they like! This baby liked this position. But even so, we’d never try to have a newborn baby stay in this position all by himself. It’s actually a composite of two shots. We get one of the top half and one of the bottom half and merge them together in Photoshop. Result? Total cuteness!
See how happy babies are when we keep them safe? :)
How can you not like your job when it involves snuggling little ones like this? Oh my word-little Bradley Chase is so adorable. A Valentines baby, he was just twelve days new the day of his newborn session.
Bradley’s parents are great. Chrissie was one of my kids’ youth leaders for a time and even accompanied them all the way to Philly. It was so reassuring knowing Chrissie was there as she’s a constant calm and gentle presence that I knew might be needed on a crazy youth group trip. Chrissie works in a classroom with autistic students and is working on her masters in Applied Behavior Analysis. Busy lady!
Bradley’s dad makes guitars. That’s right. Makes them! He’s in school perfecting this craft and they requested some shots with Bradley and the guitar. First time ever doing that, but it’s always fun to try something new. Learned that guitar shots are best with the diaper on! I had no idea, but each guitar takes over 100 hours to craft. The one pictured below is the first one he ever made. Kyle also loves to play the guitar and write his own music.
If he’s not destined to be a musician like his dad, then maybe he will be in the modeling business because he is our first baby EVER to not need a single break to eat. Or fuss. Or eat some more.
He slept like a dream. And when he was awake, he was as happy as could be. Sometimes those awake shots are tricky because they’re stretching and moving around so much that it’s hard to get a pleasing picture. Bradley, though, just stayed right where we put him and looked at us with those big blue eyes.
This session was especially nice because I photographed Bradley’s parents’ wedding back in 2012 and it’s so fun to see them now with a little one.
And I couldn’t resist reaching into the archives for some from their wedding!
Meet the Terranovas, a great Grand Rapids family that I photographed this fall. They are a football-loving’, Catholic Central family, and all around great people. I love it when siblings get along so well!
Celine and I met several times after the shoot so I could help her go through her gallery and select the right sizes for different spots in her house. She even had a canvas of my kids hanging on her wall for a few days to see if it was the right size to order. She ended up with a beautiful 20×30 canvas. I loved it so much that it inspired me to order an updated canvas of my family, too.
I did her older son’s senior pictures last year and now he’s a freshman over at MSU. Hoping I get to do Teddy’s soon!
Here’s another family I had the pleasure of photographing before Christmas. Four grown kids, all with beautiful blue eyes, after some not-so-subtle hints from their mom, took it upon themselves to schedule a session and get portraits done as a gift for Mom.
We made it out on one of the last days without tons of snow, but was it ever cold! I was freezing in my down jacket and in between shots they’d try to warm up a little by throwing on their coats. Might be one of my shortest sessions ever, but they are all soooo photogenic that we got some great shots in spite of the conditions.
You can see the next generation of blue-eyed Gary’s with this session of Brendan and his wife and daughter and here’s Michelle with her husband and their little bundle of joy back when he was brand new.