Your first trip out of the house with a new baby is pretty daunting. Getting this tiny bundle strapped safely into a car seat; rounding up nappies and wipes and bottles and dummies and an insanely large assortment of other necessities for such a tiny little person; trying to juggle nappy changes and feeds so that you all have a comfortable car trip but still arrive on time; and leaving the comfort of your own home when all you really want to do is sleep. Combine all this with a fog of tiredness like you’ve never even imagined could exist, and this whole new world of responsibility and care seems pretty overwhelming.
It is pretty common for parents of the newborns I photograph that this first trip is to my studio. I’m sure it must feel like a lot of effort for the sake of having these photos.
I didn’t need to leave the house to photograph this sweet little boy – my second son Rory – but I’m not sure the effort involved was any less! Photographing a newborn in a posed studio session is hot, sweaty and exhausting work at the best of times. Add the sleep deprivation that only a new mum can know from an all-night labour followed by a week of looking after a colicky baby, a restless toddler faced with having to share his mummy for the first time in his short life, and a baby who clearly believes that sleep is for the weak, and I wondered many times if the effort was worth it!
Of all the babies I have photographed, these were the most difficult sessions I have ever done. (Yes, note the word sessions – he was so unsettled and I was so exhausted that I couldn’t stick it out long enough to get all the photographs I wanted in one go, so I went through this whole saga three times over!) Rory had decided within his first few days that the only place he was going to be content was snuggled up for a feed. Getting him to settle anywhere outside of my arms, let alone pose for his photos, was hard work.
There was one thing that kept me going though.
I knew that I would appreciate these photographs for the rest of my life.
I knew that in a few weeks, let alone a few years, the effort would seem so minor and the photographs so important. I knew that I only had one opportunity to capture those teeny little lips, the sweet little milk spots on his nose, those perfect toes, and the way he snuggles up into such a tiny bundle that only days before had been part of me. And is that not the last photo the sweetest frown you have ever seen?!
Newborn photographs might seem like hard work. They might seem expensive. They might feel pretty overwhelming.
But from one mum to another, let me assure you.
It’s worth it.
(Thanks to my husband for putting up with my directions for these photographs of me with Rory! I posed myself in front of the mirror and set up the camera and the location, but he did have to deal with quite a bit of bossing around while I got him to take the photos just exactly how I pictured them!)
On a side note, you couldn’t have a much easier place to go for your first outing with your new baby than to my studio in our Te Awamutu home! We have spare nappies and wipes and just about everything else you could need for your baby, so it doesn’t matter if you forget anything. We even have the world’s most comfy couches just made for stretching out and taking a nap while your baby is photographed.
And if that still seems like too much hard work, I can come to you instead! Jump over here to find out more about my sessions.