The Rise of Newborn Photographyby Leyla Brooke
When my daughters were born in 2010 and 2012 respectively newborn photography wasn’t really a thing. Well if it was I certainly didn’t know about it and I certainly cannot remember any of my friends mentioning it. I can remember the Bounty lady coming and taking photos of my eldest when she was born and like any brand new parent we paid an extortionate amount for photos of our new bundle of joy. The photos we have from this are in an envelope in her memory box. They are certainly not of any decent quality and I still look at them and think her arm looks broken in the photos. My second daughter we never had this, in fact, the Bounty lady never came and I felt a bit guilty she didn’t get the same photos as her sister had. In some ways, though I am rather glad. Although I want my children to have the same experiences as each other, I also never liked the photos that were taken of my eldest so am rather glad I did not feel guilt-tripped into buying them the second time around.
Fast forward a few years to the birth of my third child and newborn photography seems to be everywhere. It was around the time of his birth that I also began to take my photography more seriously too. I mean I had dabbled in the past, done various courses and always had a passion for it, but something was different. I think with hindsight I was feeling more confident. I began to notice more photographers around me and that opened my eyes to the world of newborn photography.
At a few weeks old a local photographer borrowed my son for some newborn photos. They were posed in one sense, but not overly so and they are simply beautiful. Another local photographer wanted to borrow him for a similar reason and to be honest I really dislike these photos to this day. They were incredibly posed, he was placed in plant pots, crates and trucks and for some reason, the style of photos just didn’t sit with me. I much prefer natural photos.
There’s no right or wrong here, it is, by all means, personal choice. For some, lots of props and placing babies in weird and wonderful positions appeals, and for other people like me, I much prefer the natural shots and the ones that capture the everyday.
I think a big part of this change is down to Pinterest and social media channels. We now have access to a whole world of images that we never had before. This can also be dangerous because many of those beautiful looking images of newborns are actually composite images and are not taken in one single shot, yet people often try to recreate them which can put the newborn in danger.
Personally speaking, I love capturing the details of newborns, hands, feet, hair. Those little things that we often forget how small they actually were. For me, newborns don’t need props and accessories, because how can you make something so perfect any better?