A friend has asked me recently why I don`t offer “newborn shots”. She made clear what sort of photographs she meant-all those cute babies , angelically posed in curled positions, adorned with tiny wool hats or flowery headbands, plopped in wicker baskets on pastel coloured blankets. I thought then, that I should address this matter here because truth is, I DO offer newborn shots. Only I think of them as general family shots that fall under my “LIFESTYLE” cathegory. You see, I don`t believe in props and cutesy paraphernalia. When my first daughter was born, 6.5 years ago, I was still just fiddling with a camera, treating people as nuisance in my photography rather than objects. There was nothing worse than a human in my frame, be it on a Greek island holidays or on a walk in the countryside. Slowly, however, over the years Nina taught me that a human in my frame is actually what makes it valuable. When her sister arrived back in 2013, I was embracing photographing people close to my heart. And both my girls have plenty of photographs from when they were little….but not even for a moment did I think: “Right, I`ll just buy some props and take photos of her in them while she is still so tiny and cute”. Motherhood exhaustion had nothing to do with it. I just never felt it was something I wanted to do. I thought then, and I think now, this sort of photography tells nothing about the child. To me a newborn baby in a basket, with a headband, in beautiful pastels around, is just a baby, anybody`s baby. It`s a “blank” baby that , if she or he could have any say in it, would definitely not agree to be photographed like that. Just look at toddlers-not many of them agree without a fight to put on a fancy hat and costume, and stand still in front of a background while being photographed.
Instead, I `d rather have them being themselves-the helpless, yet so utterly charming little human beings that have just come to this world and become part of our lives with all the screaming and grimacing. I want to show them just like they are every day, in their natural surrounding, in normal situations, and in the arms of their parents and siblings. In years to come, I am sure a set of lifestyle images depicting those first days and weeks in a family will be more treasured than an artificially staged “blank baby”.
So, go ahead. Have yourself a magic of welcoming a new baby in your family without the stage.