Blue Bean Photography | 16 day old Blake | Berkswell Newborn Photographer

16 day old Blake | Berkswell Newborn Photographer

February 12, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

 16 days of awake-fullness. Gah just look at Blake, he was just the cutest little guy! Although he thought sleep is way over rated "Why snooze when you can keep me entertained?"

When I first started working with newborns, I was always worried about when would the baby fall asleep? How would I get them to sleep? What if they didn’t sleep at all? Any photographer who has worked with newborns knows that having them asleep is ideal. Alert babies will flail their arms and legs and show you how strong they can be, they are less likely to curl up into a pose. The muscles in their eyes are not very strong or coordinated, which can result in crossed and rolled back eyes, and they cannot maintain focus on any object very long.

After 7 years, I know that time, practice and patience will normally get any newborn to fall asleep during the session. I have become very good at soothing fussier babies and lulling them into a nice little nap. Sometimes it will take 1 or 2 hours before I would see those eyelids close and the parents are getting anxious because their little one is not ‘behaving’ as they had hoped.

To ease my client’s worries, I begin the sessions with the baby asleep or content and awake. Parents relax knowing that the session is proceeding, trusting that I am capturing the perfect pictures. During the ordering sessions I find that parents always LOVE the awake images of their littles ones and those images are my top sellers.

I no longer worry about newborns who are wide awake because I know I can fill my clients gallery with beautiful photos, that's why I give the option to parents and offer them our 'Mini Silver Collection'. I am not wasting hours trying to get a beautiful little person to sleep when I could be using this time to shoot.

Here are a few of my tips and tricks for working with the awake newborn:

1.We wrap, wrap and wrap!

Awake babies will twitch and throw open their arms and legs, which will set off their startle reflex, and wake them right up! I wrap them to keep those arms and legs under control, the baby feels nice and cozy and the majority of the time will fall asleep wrapped in their little cocoon!

2. Move to capture eye contact

Those immature eyes cannot focus long, they may be looking all around, and their eyes may cross and uncross. I'm patient, I move up, down and side to side. Getting a shot of direct eye contact is the jackpot! I tend to overshoot for these shots because it happens very quickly and I need to be ready!

3. Take parent images

You have the opportunity to create a connection and showcase the interaction between the parents and their child.

4. Cheat

They may be awake but they will blink, so I'm ready for it. Most newborns when swaddled and warm with a full belly, will start to feel a little sleepy (as will everyone else in the room from the heat!) and the blinks will start getting longer and more frequent. Parents often wonder how I captured that one moment their little one fell asleep. Another trick is that I gently stroke my fingers across their eyebrows, and most babies will close their eyes automatically for a few seconds longer.

5. Have realistic expectations and let go of perfecting the pose

Awake newborns are not as easily posed but some content babies may allow it. I don't waste precious time trying to make each pose absolutely perfect, only to have a baby wiggle out of place a few seconds later. I pose, snap a safe shot and then try to perfect it if the baby lets me. If they are unwilling or become cranky, I move on. Their hands may be curled and not flat but you will still have lovely images that you will adore.

I love explaining to clients that every newborn session is similar to their baby ~ unique. We never know what the session will be like or what direction it will take because ultimately it will be up to the baby. 

#berkswell #midlandsphotographer #babyshoot#greens #babyboy



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