Your world just turned upside down (in a pulling all-nighters, feeding and diapering, kind-of-way) and you are adjusting to your new role as parents, or re-adjusting to being “on-call” 24/7. If you are momma, you are probably still in recovery mode. You aren’t exactly feeling like yourself, let alone America’s Next Top Model. If you are dad, you may think you’d prefer water-boarding to having your photo made. So, you might be thinking about skipping the family shots all-together. After-all, you just want to document that squishy bundle of newness who has your heart bursting with pride. You have about zero-desire to step in front of a camera yourself. Am I right?
I hear you. But as I write this, I can only think with regret about the low-quality snapshots I have with my own babies, and hope you’ll reconsider. While we can make beautiful wall art of your little one alone, family and sibling shots are included in my session fee for a reason. Though you may not feel like it now, I’m convinced I can quote my favorite quirky detective and say, “You’ll thank me later.” So, keep reading, and we’ll try to set your minds at ease about the process.
- Mommas, you’ve carried and birthed a tiny human being. You are a rock star! So, if you are feeling body-confident post-baby, I’m super-proud of you. However, having given birth, I know you could be feeling a little self-conscious, and I want to assuage any fears. We are not going for a full-body shot. I’m concentrating on your look of love and that sweet object of your affection. When others view your images, they will feel your connection with your baby, and that is the most beautiful thing in the world. More importantly, down the road, you won’t be scrutinizing how you looked that day. You will remember the feel of them against your cheek, and the fresh scent of baby lotion. You’ll recall the tiny features that have changed so fast. You’ll ache a little, while celebrating how they’ve grown. You’ll be ever-so-glad for a reminder of that moment. (If you are feeling especially self-conscious about something the day of the session, DO please mention it. I can address many things through proper posing and camera angle.)
- Daddy’s. While a few of you may be 100% on board with this process, this was most likely not your idea. You may even be a charter member of the Anti-Photo-Session Club. So, I promise I try to make it as quick and painless as possible. Your presence in these photos is a gift of love to your family. I see your protective gaze, and I know your heart is outside of your chest when you watch your baby. So, just concentrate on that little bundle. You have such a special role, and they are going to love looking back one day to see how small they were in your protective arms.
- For some of you, your family unit has changed from couple status to being parents. For others, you are now juggling the demands of a newborn with the needs of another child or children. Your life story is changing, and it is a wonderful time to document this transformation. It doesn’t have to be technical perfection to be perfect. I’ll let you in on a secret. I am absolutely prepared for Murphy’s law, which includes what hungry toddlers and uncooperative preschoolers might throw our way. I will pull out all my tricks (I taught for 10 years) to make your family image a treasure. However, even if your toddler is red-in-the-face screaming, while the rest of you are smiling, know that this photographer grew up with that exact portrait on the wall (and ahem.. yes, I was the red-faced toddler). It made for family laughs and a memorable story that was retold more than a few times. Sometimes imperfection can be just right.
- If you absolutely just can’t opt-in for being in front of the camera on your newborn session day, you can still be part of the process. We can create artistic images that include your hands with your baby, so your presence is represented and your connection is documented.
I always recommend family images for your Newborn session, and I have some extra tips in my Newborn Session FAQs to help make your family and/or sibling shots go smoothly. Think about the images above…wasn’t it the parent-child bond that you found beautiful? Seeing love jump through the screen makes my heart soar. If you have any questions about a Leila Photography Newborn Session, I’d love to hear from you.
Did you have family shots done at your Newborn Session? What would your advice or reassurance be to parents about being included in the session?