I was so excited to see this family again! I photographed his big sister’s newborn photography session a few years ago. She was sleepy and content for her session. But, no two babies are alike and Hudson certainly proved that! His parents were very familiar with my newborn session prep instructions since they had followed them with big sister for her session. They followed them to the letter the morning of his scheduled session. He stayed awake for about an hour and a half and dozed off a little for the car ride here.His parents had chosen the classic newborn session for Hudson. His mama loved the idea of soft sage greens, navy blues, and a few things with cream. When they arrived, they loved the two blanket fabric colors and the props for his session. Hudson had a quick snack before we started and everything seemed ok. But, as soon as his diaper came off, he woke up and really never went back to sleep!
I admit. This is really the only thing I ever stress out about with newborn sessions. I know that we will get beautiful portraits no matter what. But, I worry if a family will understand and go with the flow of their baby or if they’ll be upset with “me” that I can’t magically get baby to sleep. Unfortunately, there are times that parents have done exactly what they need to do before the session and I am doing all that I can to get baby to go back to sleep. But, baby just has an agenda of their own and will not go back to sleep. If baby wants to stay awake, I allow them to unsoothe on my posing bean bag. With a space heater near by to keep them comfortably warm, I allow them to move their arms, kick their little legs, and get out any energy they may still have. I will capture portraits of them awake and get them into general poses. Once we’ve done that, if they are still awake, I will wrap them and see if that snug feeling combined with staying up awhile helps them drift into sleep. Most of the time this works. With Hudson, it didn’t. Most of the images with his eyes closed were taken as he blinked!
I talked with his mama through the whole session so she knew what I was doing and thinking about. I also wanted to make sure I discussed different prop options that would suit him for comfort, being awake, and from a safety standpoint. She was incredibly understanding and gracious the entire time. Although she had hoped for more sleepy poses, she just wanted beautiful, professional portraits of him and was perfectly fine with whatever I could do. After two and a half hours of trying everything, we both decided it was a good idea to move on to family portraits. We discussed and decided on a natural light, lifestyle feel. When I built my studio, I intentionally made one wall have 6x6ft windows spanning across 24 feet. It creates a flood of gorgeous, softly diffused natural light. This kept everything natural, relaxed, and enjoyable. It also allowed for Hudson to be dressed in a beautiful knit footed romper and be awake as much as he’d like to be. The lifestyle feel also complimented how awake he was instead of feeling like we were working against it with more posed family and sibling portraits.
These are just a few of my very favorites from Hudson’s newborn session! As you can see from the family portraits, his big sister is absolutely over the moon in love with him.
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