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Sunday, July 22, 2012

New and Natural (Utah Newborn Photoraphy)

I'm going to be completely honest for a minute. I've been really struggling with newborn portraits. Not just mine - but everything that is currently popular about photographing babies - the baskets and containers, the hats, the props, the furniture, the tree branches... (Sweet Mother of Abraham Lincoln, the tree branches!) Don't misunderstand me - I have used all of these things in newborn portraits (except the tree limb - I've never tried that one) and I think I've nailed down what makes these kind of images popular: newborn babies pretty much all look the same. So as a photographer, it's a real challenge to do something different with each baby, and make it look unique. At least when Baby is a bit older, that expression and those little blossoming personalities are enough to carry the weight of the portrait, but when that little snuggly lump of a person is so helpless and can't even hold its own head up, what is a photographer to do? Enter the hats and baskets and branches.

Well, I am on a quest to find a better way to photograph these precious tiny people, and one of the things that I find great pleasure in capturing is the relationship between them and their families. Think about it for a second: when do we ever see a newborn baby alone? Maybe in his/her crib, maybe in the car-seat (but who wants to photograph that?) but usually every newborn I've seen is being held by someone pretty much all the time. What could be a more natural way to view a baby than in her mother's arms? Or with her tender big sister? I'm not saying newborns should never have their own portrait, (and yes, we DID photograph her in the basket as well, and it was adorable) but that maybe there needs to be a little more thought put into why we are doing what we are doing as artists. After this session today, I feel like there is hope for my own future newborn photography.

1 comment:

Emily Hatch said...

A.M.E.N!!!!!! I couldn't have said this better, and I agree that these images are so much more appealing and natural than the prop babies. Beautifully done.