Newborn Photography as a genre didn’t really take off until the Anne Geddes era in the 90s. While these images were new and garnered a lot of ‘oh look at that’, it didn’t translate to people getting their own sessions done.
Family sessions have been around for hundreds of years, since the first cameras, and wedding photography has been similarly just a ‘done thing’ - but newborn photography has only really taken off in the last 10 years or so.
It is curious that it has taken this long. Having a baby is the biggest life altering event that happens to most people. Marriages fail, families do break up, but you are always and forever a mum or dad after you’ve had a baby. Why would you not want to document
The first two weeks of becoming a parent are a blur of love, sleeplessness, fear, elation, confusion and pretty much every other adjective you can find. And it’s partly due to THIS that it is difficult to document the time yourself.
Reason #1 - You will forget a lot of it.
Yep you will. My son is 8 now and I now look back on the very minimal amount of photos I have from his newborn period with a strange kind of wonder and fervour. I don’t have many, but it’s like being able to look back on the birth of yourself as a mother and a different person and a different life. When I see the photos, the feelings come back so vividly and yet at the same time I can barely believe it is me!
Babies grow so quickly that the first month is a blur you won’t really remember to take photos of how tiny their feet were, how the slope of their nose was, the milk blister on their lip. And I’m telling you now, when they are at school and start to become gangly little primary school people, you will LAP THOSE PHOTOS UP.
Reason 2 - Dads don’t always ‘get’ the value of photos.
I debated about putting this in, but for the most part it is true - unless prompted, many fathers generally won’t remember or think to take photos of you and your baby together.
So most of your photos with your life altering, magical new person will be selfies while you’re trying to wrangle a boob or a bottle and not fall asleep.
You will have even less chance of photos of the three of you together - because when the visits slow down from relatives meeting baby for the first time it IS just the three of you - so who is going to take the photo?
Reason 3 - You’ll look better.
I know, not the deepest of reasons - but when I had my son it was 30 weeks of morning sickness, a 40 hour labour and 1 litre of blood lost. How do you think I looked!
Photographers know how to photograph you to make you look good - photoshop can smooth skin and good lighting and posing eliminates double chins and bags under eyes.
And here’s the main thing - you’ve probably seen a billion babies in your newsfeed, thought ‘oh how cute’ and moved on. But when it’s your baby, it’s a WHOLE other ball game. You get to see yourself looking at your new baby and falling in love, you get to see the connection with the other parent, you get to see your baby’s connection with them. It is so, so different, when it is your family. And yep, so much better than a snapchat filter with bunny ears.
Reason 4 - Siblings, sibings, siblings
Every parent knows this annoying secret - kids generally behave better for other people than you.
So yep, the chances of us getting a beautiful newborn + sibling shot in the studio as opposed to you trying to wrangle your 2 year old to lay down on the bed - MUCH higher.