Documenting what matters most
One of my favorite days on the job is when I get to photograph a family with their newborn at home. These newborn photography sessions in Seattle usually occur during the 2nd week after delivery, when everyone is still adjusting to the newest family member. There is a simplicity about being on newborn time; you can’t help but be in the moment when life exists in 2 hour segments of eating, sleeping, and diaper changes. It’s an honor to spend time with my newborn families, capturing the snuggles, baby rolls, feedings, and small details. It’s also a time of quick growth – babies can look very different from one week to the next!
While every shoot is unique and different, I thought I’d highlight my general flow to give you a peek inside a newborn shoot.
When I arrive, I do a quick scout of the home looking at light. The best areas for natural light are often the master bedroom, living room, and nursery. I’ll open shades and curtains (and turn off lamps and overhead bulbs) to make the space as light and bright as possible.
When other young children are at home, it’s important to make the most of their excitement about the shoot and their fascination with my camera. I recognize that toddler attention spans are short, so I take photos with siblings first whenever possible. My first photos are usually of the entire family, and then a few of just the baby and siblings. The baby is often swaddled in these photos to make it easier for siblings to hold them.
Baby Individual Shots
Next, I check in on the baby. If they are feeling quiet and content, this is the time to take their individual photos. The first shot is usually a swaddled headshot. We then unwrap the little one and allow them to relax on a bed in a variety of positions. I also capture sweet details like tiny hands and feet!
Parent and Baby
Next, I focus on each parent individually. Often parents have their own way of holding and snuggling their newborn. I also suggest fun ways to lay or sit that communicate the love and connection they feel.
Parents with Baby
My last set of scheduled shots is both parents with their baby. I gather the family in front of a window and click away. I also have a few gentle snuggle poses I like to suggest that are beautiful on camera. It’s amazing to sit and watch parents love on their babies. The wonder and gratitude that parents feel when they pause and just take in their newborn makes these moments feel sacred.
Pets and Baby
If there are pets in the home, they usually find fun ways of being a part of the shoot…
Grandparents and Baby
Finally, if there are any grandparents visiting, I make sure to get some portraits of them holding their grandchild. I love documenting multiple generations in one photo.
There really is nothing as beautiful as a new baby, and it’s always an honor to photograph a family at this time of life.
Amy Keljo is a family photographer in Seattle, Washington. She loves to spend time capturing families during the beautiful and chaotic first few weeks after bringing home a newborn. If you or someone you know is expecting, feel free to contact her to set up maternity photography in Seattle or newborn photo shoot!