Ever since I attended Jo Frances’ Newborn Workshop back in 2012, I have been photographing newborns like a mad thing, each of them crumpled and squishy with that new-baby smell.
BUT I’ve been struggling to make the images my own. I’ve tried the backdrop thing, the pretty hat thing, the contortionist poses thing and the rocking and shushing to sleep thing has been working like a dream. But as much as I have loved the images I’m creating, they’ve always felt like a replication of someone else’s ideas, someone else’s style.
That was until I met little Zerah.
I could not have asked for a better baby to photograph. His skin is perfectly flawless. At three weeks (plus one week overdue) he is surprisingly still very bendy and pliable. He was out cold asleep just as I arrived (no patting nor shushing required, PERFECT), I got the beautiful bendy baby shots (but I refined them, made them simple and natural, well lit, cute) then he woke up and gave us some gurgles and eye contact. And then he quietly nodded off again for the family portraits. A dream!
So with the perfect model, the posing skills from Jo and my recent experience, lovely parents (and a Dad who looked just like the cat who got the milk), big big windows, and my old faithful 50mm lens; I decided it was time to let things get a little looser. I stopped thinking. I started looking, I started feeling. I took photos are clean and simple, soft and warm, delicate and natural. Photos that look exactly like the type of photos I want to take.
This might just be my favourite shoot to date.
What do you think? Melting much? Do you like what happens when I shoot with my heart and not my head?