A few months before I was due, I started researching local photographers for newborn picture packages. Unfortunately, everyone I found was unbelievably expensive. I realize being a photographer is a lot of hard work and it takes a good eye to come up with amazing photos…but I just wasn’t ready to spend $500 for a 2 hour session to only be able to see 20-30 edited photos in an online gallery (and then pay even more for a CD and rights to the images). I splurge on some stuff, but that I just couldn’t justify doing after some last minute baby stuff we bought before Toby was born.
I decided to try and DIY my own newborn photos instead. I started when Toby was about 2 1/2 weeks old. I would finish nursing him, rock him a little, and then put him down in his crib while I started getting all the props ready (Bobby pillow, regular pillows and some white blankets). The light in his room is pretty good, so I did a couple “sessions” in there and also did a couple in our room on our bed. Overall, there were 3 days that I took pictures, each session lasting about 20 minutes or so. I tried to position him as quickly and gently as possible before he started stirring, but that would only last for a minute or two and then he’d wake up. I managed to get a few shots of him snoozing but the majority of the pictures are him awake and then getting ready to cry. Here are some of my favorites:
So are the best quality pictures? Hell NO! The lighting is okay in some of them and horrible in others. I’m still working on my editing skills – editing takes so much time. And the position he is in for a few of them is a little weird. However, am I happy with them? For the most part, yes. The real reason why I needed newborn photos was for the birth announcement, and the pictures all came out really cute on it:
(courtesy of Shutterfly)
Do I regret not getting professional newborn photos? Some days I have no regrets and other days I think in the future will I have wished we got professional ones done? While I do love the ones I took for the announcement, obviously there could have been better pictures taken by someone else. I read other blogs and see these amazing photos and am a little jealous. But then I think of how much those probably cost and it helps me justify why we didn’t do them. What I ultimately think we will do is get some professional photos in an outdoor session when Toby is a little older – so we can have good ones of him smiling and interacting with us. Those are the ones I will want to showcase in frames in our home, anyway.
Taking newborn photos is incredibly difficult, which is why photographers charge a lot for those sessions and I definitely understand that now :) If I were to do these again, I would definitely start taking them a couple days after we brought home the baby. I would also need Hubby or someone else to help me with getting stuff ready, moving blankets and pillows around, positioning the baby, etc. Probably the advantage to taking them myself was that I could do several sessions over a week. So if baby is fussy and totally not cooperating one day, it’s no big deal, just try again the next day. Overall, for me doing these by myself, they’re pretty good keepsakes!