Over the past 19 months, I’ve reflected on the future of my photography business, with a positive outlook. Getting back to what I love to do has certainly never been a question of if, but rather, when. I am going to have a successful newborn photography business, but I’ve had to wait VERY patiently. There are too many circumstances out of my control as a result of the pandemic, but I will get there.
In January of 2020 I was excited that my newborn photography business was really starting to take off. I was beginning to fill my schedule with more sessions than before, and I really thought it was going to be my best year yet. Then it wasn’t. When the pandemic hit I had to cancel sessions and it took a long time for me to feel comfortable resuming doing what I love. I had a handful of newborn sessions in August of 2020 and did a few during the fall, but once winter hit and Covid numbers were climbing, I stopped accepting new sessions again for awhile. After I was fully vaccinated for Covid in the spring, I felt a little better about working again and I really missed doing what I love.
Newborn photography is so meaningful to me because well, first of all, I love babies. To be able to capture these memories for all of the amazing families that I work with is a joy. This past year wasn’t quite as filled with newborn sessions as I would have liked, because it takes time to re-build a small business that basically lost momentum for over a year. It felt like I was starting over again.
On a positive note, it was during this downtime that I took several virtual newborn photography posing classes and even attended an in person newborn Baby Clinic with Ana Brandt (an international newborn photography educator) in June of 2021. I also upgraded my lighting and expanded the size of my home studio. What I had hoped to improve in my work has inspired me and motivated me to re-open my business feeling a sense of renewal. I grew in my technical and posing skills and I’m ready to make 2022 the 2020 that didn’t happen for me.
Thankfully, my outdoor photography sessions continued to grow during all of this time. So I am blessed with still having more family sessions than ever. I recently read somewhere that 2022 is going to have more weddings on record than it has had since 1984. And I would wager to say, that means more newborns will be arriving after that. If I am lucky enough to photograph some of these families with their newborns, I wouldn’t mind at all. 🙂
So speaking of newborns, one of the families that I had the pleasure of photographing in September is right here. Their sweet little guy, named Kai, was just precious. I mean, don’t you just want to hug him!? He’s definitely a keeper. To begin our session, we started with sibling photos and working with a 7 year old is a dream. Older siblings have no problem holding their baby brother and sitting safely next to them. He made my job super easy for those pictures! I was also so appreciative for both mom’s and dad’s assistance for achieving some of these newborn only photos.
If you think that all babies stay in curled up positions while sleeping, you would be wrong. We use many techniques to help settle babies. One of the most useful tactics is placing a gentle hand on the hands and feet right before lifting it to snap a photo. All parents know that babies have a startle reflex, so it wouldn’t be long before both arms and legs would kick out when a baby is sleeping on his back. My team of magicians (the baby’s parents) and I are making you believe that their cute little boy is just napping away like this. Not so!
I sew most of my posing beans that I place under the blankets to achieve these photos. And next on my list is to sew a weighted blanket. I already use a soft blanket over babies while I wait patiently for them to settle. It keeps them warm in addition to the nearby heater, and helps me lull them to sleep while my hand or parent’s hand rests on their legs. A weighted blanket would do some of the work for me and then I would have free hands to position the baby’s arms and hands.
When it comes time to edit, I reflect on what worked well during the session and make mental notes for the next session. In the end, having these portraits to give to my clients is why I love what I do. I get to work with darling little babies, lovely families, and use my photography and artistic gifts to create images that they will cherish forever. It feels like I’m right where I’m supposed to be.