Newborn Photo Shoot

Well, in November I created a facebook page for my photography "business." I didn't share it with anyone; I didn't even add any information to the page. I just created it. And then let it sit there for a few weeks. Earlier this week I decided to work on the page some and share it with my friends. I got over 60 "likes" in the first day! That doesn't seem like a lot, I know, but it was huge to me. It showed me how many of my friends support me. I even got some likes from people I don't know! My hope is that facebook will help grow my little business and get me some real clients. I did have one person contact me about a family session, so we'll see what happens there.

Over Thanksgiving weekend, I did a photo shoot for my great nephew. The conditions weren't ideal, and I struggled to get just a few shots that I could be proud of. But I did get some!

This little guy was hungry and tired when he got to my house, but a bottle and a snuggle didn't do much for him. He was not going to sleep, no matter what we did. All my visions of gorgeous and peaceful newborn poses went out the window. And then he wouldn't be STILL! That youngin flailed his arms around constantly, haha.

For me, it was a stressful first newborn session. Luckily, my niece didn't seem to mind, and since she's not a paying client anyway, I didn't have that added stress.
See the awkward left arm? Sigh. Oh well, its still a cute shot, I think!
This was actually one of my favorites. I think it would have looked even more precious if he had been asleep, but I like his expression.

So, I did learn a few things for future newborn sessions. Well, some things I already knew, but this experience was a good reminder.

1 - Make sure the newborn is actually a newborn. Babies older than about 2 weeks are harder to get to stay asleep while you're posing them. And after 2 weeks I think they're harder to get to sleep in general, especially in new environments. Before 2 weeks, babies will sleep practically anywhere, and since they sleep a LOT, its easier to catch them sleeping so you can pose them. My nephew was just over 2 weeks when I took these photos, and I think he was just past that magical newborn phase.

2 - Make sure the day leading up to the photo shoot is stress-free for the newborn. Meaning, don't have him out all day and then try to take his picture. Chances are, he'll be wired and wanting to just be home and relaxed, not having bright lights all around him and a camera in his face. This probably works for older kids, too. In fact, earlier in the day sessions are probably best!

3 - Remember to really swaddle a fussy baby. We didn't try that with my nephew, but I wish we had. I wonder if it would have calmed him down and at least kept him from moving.

4 - Don't rush yourself. Take your time in setting everything just right and really thinking about the camera settings, the background, your angle, etc. This is something I struggle with all the time. When I'm taking pictures for someone else, I feel like I need to rush so that I don't take all day to get a good shot. I inevitably forget to do something or don't have something exactly right.

5 - This is one thing that I did right, because I learned from C's newborn portrait experience! Make sure the room where you'll be shooting a newborn is WARM! When we had C's newborn pictures done, my photographer had a new studio and it was absolutely freezing in there. Poor C just wasn't happy, and I know it was because she was cold. So I learned that you really need to crank up the heat, especially since most likely the newborn will be naked for at least some of the shots. So for my nephew's session, I cranked the gas logs up so that it was nice and toasty in my living room. I was sweating, but he was totally warm. ( :

Hopefully I'll get more opportunities to do newborn sessions in the future!

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