In the last days of winter, I was invited into the Honour Family's home to meet BJ and Nikki's sweet new son Phillip, and to make some photographs of them as a brand new family. Phillip was a delight - I'm such a sucker for a bubba with big round cheeks like his.
If you've ever wondered what a lifestyle newborn or family session looks like, as opposed to a more posed session, this session is it. We hung out in mum and dad's bedroom for the most part, asking everyone to snuggle up closely together on their bed. We worked to Phillip's needs, pausing for a feed, to change his nappy, to stretch his legs to help out with a tummy upset. During this time we chat, mostly about parenthood of course, or I might snap a few frames if it won't be too disruptive, or it's a good time to reload film and replenish the stash in my pockets. Once Phillip was feeling a little more settled after a break, we got back to work. We work to what feels natural, so parents will usually hold their baby as they normally do, I only asking them to move a little if it will improve our lighting, or if the baby is getting lost in layers of mum and dad's clothes, or in the crook of an arm. I may ask the other parent to join us if everyone is comfortable and settled and we can make an extra family portrait or two. I may ask the other parent to take the baby for a while if I feel I need a few more photographs to balance out the final collection. Usually mum and dad will suggest a location pose change, and where it suits, I absolutely accommodate it - like the beautiful family portraits under the trees in BJ and Nikki's backyard at the end of this post.
But for the most part, we just hang out together. It's relatively pressure free really. And no two collections of photographs will look the same. I hope you enjoy a little glimpse into the Honour Family's lifestyle newborn session.
Phillip was cheery, alert and so accommodating during our session, but it was the bright morning sunshine had his attention. Or dad, dad could steal his attention for a moment to get some killer smiles from him. Can you believe Phillip is only six weeks old?
Some may think that six weeks is a little far along for a newborn session, and yes, your baby will have grown and changed substantially in those short weeks, but I am growing more and more fond of sessions at this age. The babies are a little more alert and active - look at cheeky Phillip's tongue poking and gorgeous grins in the photographs below - parents usually feel a little more settled into parenthood, mum has had time to recover somewhat from birth and they're usually more relaxed about having someone come into their home to document them parenting - and if they aren't yet getting more sleep, hopefully they've figured out the best part of the day to join their bub for a nap. You most definitely have not missed the boat when waiting a couple of weeks to book in your session.
I'm grateful for being invited into this kind family's home to preserve this special time of their life with photography. These guys are such natural, easy-going parents, and even as a young baby, Phillip is a great reflection of that. I can't say that I've ever seen a mama look so gentle and blissfully happy in almost every single photograph of her with her boys, she's head over heels for her littlest man, that's for sure. This is such a precious season of life for them all.
A note on styling your family for your session. A lot of families do default to beautiful and delicate whites, pastels and neutral tones when preparing what they'll all wear for their session, which is always classic and lovely - but don't be afraid of bold colour, like Nikki and BJ have done for their session. These deeps shades of blues, denims and charcoals are stunning, and have photographed so well. They will present beautifully in the navy coloured leather Nikki has chosen for their family album.