Welcoming a new baby is a life milestone moment – and you deserve gorgeous, professional photos to celebrate!
If you’re pregnant and thinking your husband could probably take your newborn photos and you’ll probably like them, that hesitation should tell you something.
I understand the common objections couples have to scheduling newborn photos: it’s a big investment of time and money, who knows if you’ll like them, what if you don’t like your photographer, what if baby cries and the session is a nightmare, etc.
With the exception of worrying about baby crying, you could make all of those same arguments against hiring a wedding photographer, and yet this is usually one of the first vendors couples commit to before getting married. It’s because we recognize that having photos of these big moments in life is important! You don’t want to settle for just anyone to photograph your wedding – and you shouldn’t be ok with mediocre photos of your newborn, either.
It might be tempting to hand your phone to your husband and have him snap a few photos of you and your newborn, but I promise you’ll regret it if these are the only photos you have of your brand new baby (unless of course your hubby happens to be a pro photographer). Here are my top five reasons why your husband shouldn’t take your (official!) newborn photos!
1. Beautiful newborn photography is a very specific skill set
When I was just getting started as a newborn photographer, all of my newborn sessions were at least two hours. This gave me plenty of time to capture an entire session well, without feeling rushed.
These days I can walk into just about any home, with any family, and photograph a gorgeous newborn session in exactly an hour – assuming baby cooperates, of course! Even with fussy babies, it rarely takes much longer to capture beautiful memories. Generally, I deliver photo galleries of 130+ beautifully lit, perfectly composed, softly edited images where you and your family look like all of belong in a magazine.
Mama, that takes years of experience and lots of failures alongthe way to do well. To master composition, lighting and posing for newborn sessions is no small thing, and it’s a skill set your hubby probably hasn’t spent much time on. That’s exactly why you hire someone like me to document parenthood for both of you.
Did you know that pushing all your weight onto your back foot and tilting your back hip away from the camera makes you look super skinny while you snuggle your newborn – even if you’re still carrying extra fluid and baby weight after birth?
Have you ever noticed that simply crossing your ankles when you’re seated and cuddling with baby is much more flattering than having both feet flat on the floor?
These are tiny adjustments I give when providing gentle posing guidance during a newborn session that make a world of difference in your photos. Add to that my secret of avoiding entirely the dreaded double chin in photos (that happens to every single pregnant and new mama!). The photos are beautiful because I’ve spent literally thousands of hours figuring out what works best for postpartum posing.
In fact, the skill set required to photograph gorgeous in-home newborn photos well – while ensuring my clients enjoy themselves! – is so targeted that a generalist (or other genre) photographer may struggle to do it well. Just because someone knows how to use a camera doesn’t mean they can photograph newborn photos well. I don’t take on weddings, high school seniors, engagements or any other kind of session except for motherhood clients because that’s not my speciality or passion!
2. Good lighting and flattering angles are essential for photos you’ll adore
You may not even realize how unflattering most overhead lighting in your home can be! Lots of clients have warm yellow lighting in their houses, which causes a yellow cast in photos. It can absolutely affect your skin tone, and especially delicate newborn skin!
That’s why I always turn off overhead light for my newborn sessions. I’d rather work exclusively with natural light coming in through the windows because it’s tremendously more flattering and pretty in photos! Lamps can be ok, but I usually have to remove a little yellow or even orange from photos if clients want to leave lamps on.
While natural light is my absolute favorite light source, I still photograph at-home newborn sessions on cloudy/rainy days because I bring lighting that mimics natural light and I bounce it off the ceiling for a realistic look. In fact, scroll through any in-home newborn session on my website, and I can promise you I used my own lighting + natural light to get that look!
In addition to good light, flattering posing is essential for good photos. Every single mama I’ve ever worked with wants images that look natural and not forced. Adding in that your body may feel still feel foreign after you deliver and you just want to look good in photos – expert posing that makes you feel confident is a must-have!
3. You don’t want to rush through your newborn photos
I’ve already said this, but I’ll highlight again because it’s important: having a baby is a huge milestone!
That’s why I never rush my clients during a newborn session. If I’ve learned one thing as a mom, it’s that babies don’t always do what we want them to do, when we want them to do it. That includes eating before the session so they’re sleepy for photos – or even sleeping, period. I photograph one newborn per day so that I don’t panic when babies don’t immediately cooperate for photos.
Listen, you know your hubby loves you and your baby more than anything.
That doesn’t mean he wants to spend hours photographing you two – especially while you’re both sleep-deprived and probably a little short on patience.
I can almost promise you that neither you nor your husband will feel like investing the time you should in these photos if one of you is taking them. It’s too easy to put off or give up, especially when you’re running on mostly caffiene and very little rest. Don’t short change yourself by not making these memories a priority!
4. Selfies can’t hold a candle to a flawless portrait of you, your husband and your baby
We’ve all snapped the occasional selfie of ourselves with baby when the lighting is right and the dry shampoo is doing its job well (hey, I get it, I have three kids).
But, mama, you’re not going to hang that selfie on the wall in your living room, or above baby’s crib, for years to come. Even if you get a really cute photo of you, your husband in baby in one shot, it’s a photo that will at best make the fridge, and that’s if you remember to get it printed.
But memories like this one of Trisha, Tucker and Tanner? This is on display in her home.
Just think how different this would look if it were just a selfie from her phone. The angle would be completely different, and she couldn’t capture this much of herself, Tucker and Tanner in one photo. Would she have picked up their master bedroom and cleared off the bedside tables? Probably not!
5. You deserve to celebrate your family with this experience and stunning photos!
I don’t want your newborn session to feel like just another morning – it’s an occasion to celebrate! Have your hair and makeup done, wear a beautiful gown (even one from my studio closet!) and spend the morning snuggling and bonding with your hubby and baby, while I document your motherhood story.
You just made it through not only nine months of pregnancy, but also having a baby! Lots of my clients can add months of trying to conceive, or even IVF to this list. When you finally bring that precious baby home, why wouldn’t you want to mark that moment with a stress-free, beautiful experience and amazing photos of your family?!
Meet first-time mama Trisha
I worked with Trisha and Tucker for maternity and in-home newborn sessions in 2021. They couldn’t wait to meet their little man, Tanner, who was born just in time for his first Christmas. Trisha wanted a relaxed, easy newborn sessions with plenty of sweet, romantic moments with hubby Tucker while they celebrated Tanner’s arrival.
We shot this peaceful at-home newborn session in their cozy one-bedroom apartment, with a sweet nook off to the side for Tanner. Their neutral master bedroom had two big, lovely windows with amazing natural light, making this the ideal spot for priceless memories.
This precious family of three has absolutely stunning memories of life with Tanner when he was just a new babe. Trisha can forever look back and see how radiant she looked as a new mom, and remember how much more deeply she fell in love with Tucker as he became a dad. You can’t put a price on these kinds of memories!
Of course you should capture little moments with your phone of life with a baby; you’ll have a full camera roll of memories in no time once baby arrives. But you’ll never regret trusting a pro photographer with the the amazing newborn snuggle photos you’ll hang on your walls and share with family for years to come!