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The Newborn Photo Session - Myths and Truths

Don't believe everything you hear. There are many myths about newborn sessions out there, and we know what they are, as we are asked about them daily.

In fact, we have already gone through phases in which we ourselves assumed some myths as truth and some truths as myths. And for a long time we thought we had to follow the rules "by the book", and religiously apply what we had been taught about this type of work, which is not quite the case.

Today we are here to unveil them all.

MYTH 1: Babies have to be sleeping to get good photos during the newborn session.

FALSE. Newborns can be sleeping, awake, fussing, eating, sobbing, and they usually do a little of all of this during the photo session.

But in truth, the only thing we need the baby to do is to be calm, comfortable and relaxed. And that means not forcing him to sleep if he's not turning over!

Therefore, in our sessions, we respect the rhythm of each baby and above all take into account their pre-disposition, so that the session is a calm and relaxed moment and not one of tension.

MYTH 2: The newborn photo session has to be done in the first two weeks.

FALSE. We hear this constantly! They often call us in a panic because their baby is already 10 days old, fearing that it is too late to be able to photograph their baby...

Firstly, it is never too late to photograph your child, not even when they are 24 years old.

The only situation that may be more difficult to achieve is placing the baby in certain poses as he grows!

That's why we recommend that for a more posed style of session this should be carried out until 20-30 days of life, and for more relaxed sessions or where we don't have to have the baby undressed, 6 weeks is a very acceptable target.

And in truth, we love photographing babies with their considerable cheeks! :)

MYTH 3: Photo sessions with newborn babies take between 5 and 6 hours

FALSE. It's happened to us, it's true. Because it's very easy for anything involving newborn babies to take twice as long as it should. But today we can guarantee that a newborn session in our studio lasts between 2.5 and 3 hours maximum, regardless of whether the baby sleeps or not.

When we work with newborn babies, it is essential to be able to understand their needs, that they need to be fed frequently, that they need to be pampered and cuddled very calmly and patiently. And then, be prepared to do the work as quickly as possible so that the session is not exhausting for the baby and the parents.

MYTH 4: I need to bring some accessories to the session.

FALSE. Ok, we can imagine that you did extensive research before reaching us, and that you chose us because you identified with our work, style and way of being. So you know that we are minimalists at work and in life. So no props please!

Just the word makes us itch and shiver.

If what you want is a more complete type of photography, you should look for another photographer.

MYTH 5: The newborn photo session involves elaborate poses and clothes.

FALSE. Dear ones, you have just created a life that a few days ago gave way to a human being as fragile as crystal. If we think about the process, it's a miracle, right?

Please tell me, how can a crown, a flower arrangement or a golden basket evangelize all this? It cannot.

I sincerely believe that when we remove clothes and accessories, reducing them to what is essential, and then we are able to interpret the baby's needs and (dis)comforts, we are able to highlight what is essential: their comfort, the little hairs they had on their skin , the frown he made every time he tried to open his eyes, that birthmark, the connection, the skin, the love, everything becomes fluorescent when the excess disappears. Frozen moments, not decoration pieces, is what we have to offer in each of our sessions!

MYTH 6: Poses are uncomfortable for babies.

FALSE. This is a recurring issue in this type of session, as what parents hear and what they are instructed is that their baby must sleep on their back. So thinking about a baby sleeping on their stomach, or with their legs facing forward, may indeed seem like an uncomfortable position at first glance. However, as with everything in life, what it seems is not always what it is, and this is yet another case in which we need to free ourselves from our beliefs and ideals and imagine what life would be like inside the womb. What position would the baby be in? Where were his feet, hands and head? And if we find the answer to this question, we will be able to understand which position the baby calms down most easily outside. It's no wonder they love being curled up in our lap!

As a professional photographer, I can guarantee that, with my experience, I have developed a system to guarantee your baby's comfort throughout the session. The poses I use always keep the baby's comfort as a priority, and take into account both their safety and their state of comfort and relaxation.

MYTH 7: Babies are cold during these sessions, as they are without clothes.

FALSE: One of the main concerns of baby photographers, whether newborn or not, is that the studio is adequately heated to ensure this does not happen. In the colder months, an additional heater is also used to heat the air in the area where the baby is located, in addition to using cloths or blankets to prevent the baby from losing body heat that could make him or her uncomfortable.

In our studio we ensure that all surfaces that the baby comes into contact with are always properly heated (to ensure the correct temperature we always test it on our skin first), be it blankets, fur, hats and even the parents' hands.

In any case, it is important to note that it is not mandatory to photograph a newborn baby without clothes. If parents feel more comfortable with this, we can use onesies, fleece suits or cocoons.

MYTH 8: Studio flash is harmful to the baby

FALSE: As photographers of newborns, babies and children, we occasionally receive questions from parents concerned about the safety of using flash in their children's eyes. As parents, we fully understand the concerns that parents have, and we often even wonder why they don't ask us this question more often. But studio flash, as long as it is protected with the correct diffuser and is designed to produce a soft, diffused light, is perfectly safe for any type of baby, child and newborn.

The flash we use during baby photography sessions is very different from what most people think of when they say "flash" - direct light focused on one point and projected directly and at a short distance from a baby's face. , such as the flash of cameras and cell phones. Professional baby photographers should not use this type of flash, as it is not only unsafe for the eyes, it is not pleasant for the person being photographed and does not provide beautiful light. For a more aesthetically pleasing effect, we try to use light in a soft way, and for this we not only use light indirectly (projecting the light onto an umbrella which in turn reflects the light onto our "models"), as we diffuse it with two diffusers so that the light that reaches the babies is as soft and pleasant as possible. This way we obtain a light that looks like the light from a window, and not the light from a flash that is projected directly onto the babies. The larger the umbrella, the greater the diffusion and therefore the softer the light, and for this reason we use one with a diameter of 180cm. Furthermore, we chose a flash unit that allows us to greatly regulate light, and thus photograph at low powers without losing quality.

MYTH 9: Newborn photo sessions are stressful

TRUE AND FALSE. Yes, it may take longer, but it is no more stressful than a session with a three-month, 12-month or two-year-old baby. Photographing babies and children at any age is challenging, period. The main fact that we have to keep in mind is that we are the ones who have to adapt to them and not the other way around.

Assuming this and if we internalize that the priority is to adapt to the personality and disposition of the baby we have in front of us, then nothing will make this experience stressful.

What can make any photo shoot a stressful moment is trying to do something that the baby or child is not in the mood or comfortable doing.

It's that first-time parent question: "The session is going so well, couldn't you take JUST that photo we saw on your website?"

It's the fact that the photographer often can't say no.

It's the photographer's lack of experience, and their inability to read the signals the baby gives.

It's that anxious or tired mother who wants the session to end as quickly as possible and at the same time who wants to help, puts an energy that is difficult to manage into the studio environment.

He's that "hurried" father because he has more important things to do, and he can't transmit calm and security to the mother, and then to the baby.

If the session is stressful, then it is because the photographer did something wrong.

And this includes telling parents (clients) no. That no help is needed (the mother needs to be resting, not working), that it is not possible to take a certain type of photography as it may affect the state of relaxation and the fluidity of the session, or that grandparents or cousins ​​cannot participate as This could destabilize the environment that the studio needs to have in a photo shoot of this type.

MYTH 10: The success of the session and the baby's well-being depend on the photographer's ability to manage expectations.

TRUE. Yes, it is essential for the photographer to know how to manage both their own expectations and those of their parents (clients). We often receive clients in our studio who come with pre-conceived images, or clients who arrive for their second child's session with expectations that are similar to those of their first, and you know what we tell them right away? That it is most likely that we will not be able to do what we have in mind, and that if there is one thing we are sure of, it is that if we try to force something that the baby is not willing to do or some situation in which he is not comfortable, he will most likely not be very satisfied. We explain that the sessions are all different, especially between siblings! Have you ever seen a brother who looked like another?

In the same way that it is not possible to know what we are going to do in a photo session with a 6-month-old baby, it is also not possible with a 15-day-old baby. Just because at home he sleeps 23 hours a day and is a super relaxed baby, we cannot, for example, assume that he will be equally calm and comfortable when we take off his clothes. That you will be able to sleep with someone moving you (albeit very calmly and carefully). That he won't have bags or hiccups, or that cramps may influence the position in which he is most comfortable.

In a newborn photo session we need to respect the baby's rhythm, timing, comfort and safety. What follows comes in addition.

Our main concern in a photo session of this kind is that it not be extremely long (3 hours is the standard - which is not much if we consider how many times they eat and we have to clean their bottoms), that it be a calm and relaxing experience for the children. parents, and that they take with them the best possible memories of their baby and this stage of their lives. And that often implies having the ability to say no.

One of the great capabilities of photography, and what makes it something magical, is its ability to surprise us. To turn something that at that moment we often considered insignificant, into something grand and special. It is his ability to embrace the energy and mood that we experience at that moment in the studio, and to freeze it even in a small fragment of time. And of course, your ability to live forever.

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