What a cutie!!! Baby Isaac was three weeks old at his session and typically at 3 weeks I tell my clients just to be prepared for awake shots, wrapped shots and more family photos vs posed just in case. Usually it never resorts to “just” those types of images and more than half sleep like a regular newborn without any hiccups. But, each baby is unique and different…and Isaac was WIDE awake and finishing a feeding when he got to the studio this morning at 9am. I always try to “figure babies out”. What makes them happy, soothed, why they are doing what they’re doing if they’re unhappy, etc? I give very specific instructions for the morning of the session that include keeping the baby awake for at least an hour (up to two) before the session (giving a sponge bath helps to keep them alert). This gives them their awake period and we hope for them to be ready for a nice long nap after that.
For about an hour and a half this morning (you read that right!) Baby Isaac and I rocked and cuddled, he slowly drank his bottle of breast milk that mom had brought…we had warm room, blasting white noise…nothing out of the ordinary for any of my newborn sessions. He stared contently at me the whole time, never cried… just WIDE. AWAKE. I always have a plan in mind when things like this happen. What’s going to be my next move to lull this baby to sleep? At about 10am, I started panicking….well not panicking but just wondering if he was going to EVER fall asleep. I always ask mom and dad about what’s “normal” for baby at home and Isaac’s mom and dad said he is usually very sleepy in the mornings. Could I have just been lucky and caught the beginning of his 3 week growth spurt? hehe.
He looks so BIG to me in this photo….he was 9lbs 4oz at birth but definitely a chunkster for 3 weeks. ;) So as I’m going through in my head what my next move is going to be, I have mom pick out a few wraps and hats that she likes from my large collection (I have a huge shopping problem) and the plan was to put a diaper on, wrap him up, give a paci and rock him to sleep that way…if that didn’t work, we’d see if directly nursing was going to do the trick for him. Pumping and bottle feeding was fairly new for baby Isaac and it seemed like maybe he was just having some difficulty with it. At this point, I asked mom for a paci which Isaac doesn’t typically use yet but when mom pulled hers out, I realized it was a thermometer pacifier (which I had actually never seen before)…good thing I keep some really great ones for newborns on hand in case my clients forget theirs or the one they have isn’t working or is designed in a way that will leave temporary marks on the skin (making editing a longer and more difficult process). I always tell them to try mine out and many clients end up buying more of the kind I have at the store bc they are soft and babies can hold on to them a little better than other types. After getting used to it, the paci was a great tool for our session…again, not something I usually have to resort to. The good thing is that I typically have to only use it for a few minutes for comfort and take it right out. Isaac needing the comfort of sucking (he was completely full and was not interested in the rest of his bottle).
While wrapped, baby Isaac was in and out of a light sleep…not enough that I could move him, but I was able to slowly unwrap him and finally I saw those eye lids flutter and I knew it would be soon where he would get into that nice deep newborn sleep that enables me to pose them without waking. I was so proud of baby Isaac for finally succumbing to the sleep that he needs (and I needed to do my job!) ;). I had to go back and look at the time stamps on my camera to see how quickly I worked going from pose to pose in order to complete the gallery. By 10:30am I hadn’t taken a SINGLE image. Well maybe one or two test shots when I tried to see if he’d fall asleep ON the beanbag. ;) I finally started getting some wrapped shots where he fell asleep for a few moments. From the first pose of my signature style to the last it was literally 10 minutes of baby posing ninja style. I was fast!! But you can see here how sleepy and peaceful Isaac was once I figured out what he needed. We did get some beautiful opened eye shots and some wrapped shots as well but I’m so glad I was able to go through some signature poses really quick so that my clients have the typical amount of variety for their gallery.
The session ended right on time at 11:30 and was finished off with their family portraits. Their two boys are older (8 and 12) so we added them to this particular session. I have toddlers and smaller children come on a separate day since they usually have a shorter attention span and need more coaxing to pose with baby and there is just not enough time – plus it takes the pressure off and lets the newborn session focus on baby only and during the sibling mini session we can focus on those cherished sibling portraits and get it done right and not rushed. ;)
Are you searching for a Raleigh Durham Newborn Photographer? Melissa Berg is the area’s most experienced newborn baby photographer and welcomes clients into her Raleigh home studio located near RDU airport. Contact her today for a session!!