The Infant

This past Autumn some of my portrait work varied in client age from newborn infant to toddler to a senior in high school[1]. All were vastly different portrait sessions, but each was enjoyable and fun.

The edits are all in the clients’ hands now and over the next few blog posts I’ll share some images from each portrait session along with some thoughts on each. While not the chronological order of when the sessions occurred, I will start youngest to oldest.

Infant (newborn) photography has become quite an industry. I have primarily honed my infant photography skills on my own children and my youngest sister’s children with a sprinkling of paid work mixed in. I like infant photography. It has a slow relaxed feel compared to the hectic chase and fire of toddler portrait work. Honestly, in essence you are dealing with an accommodating little person who is at your photographic and imaginative whims – as long as the infant is kept warm, fed, and comfortable, they are completely content being posed and laying around. That said, much of the infant photo industry has become cliché and gaudy in my opinion. The photographer’s imagination and the infant’s passiveness have been stretched too far making the infant have a more prop than the subject.[2]

That’s not the style I aim for in my infant portraits. My goal is to keep the images simple and focused on the infant. In this case I was dealing with nervously new parents and a 2-week old little girl. We set up near a large sliding-glass door with indirect light which worked perfectly and left my umbrella standing forlornly for most of the portrait session. Not typical for an infant so young, she was awake and alert throughout the session. We started photos using a black bean bag, some pink blankets, and a black background, then moved to the couch for some family photos[3], and finished with some crib photos.

The client was very happy with the edited images and I am proud to have given the parents something that will mean more and more to them as each year their little girl grows older and further removed from the small, innocent girl in those photos.

  1. Read that as ranging from immobile to hyperkinetic to cooperative.  ↩

  2. Obviously my opinion. Possibly naively misplaced if a “newborn photography” Google search is any indication, such elaborate infant photos must be requested by clients and make money for photographers.  ↩

  3. I really like the overall prominent, muted browns here.  ↩