I had an “aha” moment in December–I realized that i don’t like photographing newborns.
I have photographed three newborns since then.
What occurred to me was this–I tried the posed-newborn-on-a-blanket with the adorable hats and headbands in cute poses that newborns are unable to do without the help of Photoshop (like prop their chin up in their hands). And don’t get me wrong; I think it’s adorable and I admire the photographers who do it well. I just decided I wasn’t going to spend any more of my time or resources learning how to do it well–because those images don’t move me. And my December “aha” moment was this: I should only photograph the things that move me. Photos that make me stop in my tracks and stare at the image and FEEL something–and not just say, “Aww, how cute.”
I love relationships. When I photograph a newborn, I want to give the parents photos that when they look back on them when their children are grown up, they will be instantly taken back to that moment, those emotions, those sounds and smells of the first days with their new babes. They will look at the photo of their tiny baby’s toes cupped in their mama’s hands and remember how small they were. I want them to feel the overwhelming love that they felt when they looked at that tiny precious baby that they helped create.
So after this revelation, I continued photographing newborns. And I LOVE it. In the photography world, this kind of photography is called “lifestyle”–photographing the everyday, the moments that occur naturally. I photograph mom feeding her baby, I photograph diaper changes and siblings jumping on the bed and mom wearing her baby in a sling to get him to fall asleep. Those are the photos I cherish of my own babies, who are growing up all too fast. I want those memories never to fade, and in the chaos of raising children, when I can’t seem to even remember the daily little things (like, did I eat breakfast this morning?), I need my photographs in order to remember.
Owen’s newborn photos were the first since deciding this was the direction my photography was heading. My sweet friend Megan gave birth to her fourth child, Owen, in December. As I looked through these photos after I got home, I couldn’t stop smiling with each one. Finally, yes, THIS is it.