I’m a Lake Tahoe based wedding and portrait photographer, and fan of unposed, giddy-in-love, melt-my-lenses-editorial-style moments … oh, and t-shirts and jeans.
Nesting at home during those early days with a newborn is a precious and fleeting period of time. The freshly made nursery, awaiting baby’s arrival. The sweet decor that, let’s be honest, is really for us mom’s to have as a sanctuary of baby love. The Hoffman’s brought baby #2 home and this is a glimpse into our time together. Lately, the newborn sessions I’ve shot have had an extremely bubbly and joyful sibling stealing the show. Big brother was no exception here!
But do these shots just happen? Toddlers can be about as predictable as this spring weather right now. Parents can often worry how their other kiddos are going to behave during a newborn shoot, which is why I love coming into your home for these. It’s your territory, the kids home turf, so they’re easy to capture in their element. Kids can join in or peace out as they please and without that forced pressure of being in a portrait. When they’re curious about what we’re doing, they join and we get those “all together” images. 30 seconds later, they’re over it and they leave but their curiosity always brings them back. This little guy nailed it, giving mom and dad some time with the new baby and then joining in on the party and running the show.
I’m a big fan of letting kids be kids – rarely posing and lightly directing (only when needed). Playing with them, asking if they have a belly button (something toddlers are very proud to show that they know!), or sometimes just pain ignoring them if they’re shy… a few rounds of breaking the ice, toddler-style, is a great way to go from new person to “oh, this person is cool” in their world. One peek into their room and you can easily see what you can talk to them about and engage them. This little guy was all about construction so I dropped all my favorite backhoe loader and excavator knowledge and he saw the halo over my head quickly. (Helps I have a 3 year old boy!) It’s not everyday that kids have a stranger with a camera enter their domain, so being able to read their mood, their apprehensions, their energy and letting them have time to warm up is my key to getting these types of comfortable family portraits.
Photographing them just after a meal and a good amount of sleep helps too. I tend to schedule these sessions after breakfast or after their mid day nap.
I haven’t even mentioned how to prep newborns for these sessions…because I really don’t. In my experience, within the first two weeks, you’ll get the sleepiest, more easy going baby. 3+ weeks or more, your guess is as good as mine, as to how baby will be that day. Allowing plenty of time to shoot, feeding, diaper changes… I can usually shoot these within an hour and a half to get what I need but patience is key so that everyone is comfortable. Kids can be unpredictable- my approach is just to roll with it.
Enough reading… here’s they’re adorable family session!