6 weeks is a great age to photograph. It is almost impossible to get those sweet, squishy, sleepy newborn portraits because after about 2 weeks of life a baby totally wakes up. You will see. Once your baby is 10-14 days old she will be awake so much more than she ever was before. She will start looking around, knowing when she is with mama or daddy and she will begin to understand that there is more to the world than just her. No more foldy, bendy, posable babies. At this age, they love to stretch out, open their eyes, and look around.
But it is the nature of being a new parent that you don’t quite think of calling a photographer in those first few days. You get so wrapped up in the newness and sweetness of your little baby. So, I get a lot of calls for newborns between the ages of 2 weeks and 6 weeks. And I love doing them. Mostly because I really love lifestyle shots. By that I mean photos of that are not quite posed. Mom and dad loving on the baby in bed, mom nursing, daddy holding his baby up over his head and looking into her eyes. I love that kind of stuff. Don’t get me wrong, I love the sleepy newborn photos with all the fun knit hats and cocoons, but I think I love more the photographs of mom gingerly playing with one of her baby’s little toes, or snuggling with her in the rocking chair.
Oh, and the eyes. Most early newborn portraits have to be with the baby’s eyes closed because they are still so cross eyed when they they are so new. It is just the truth, they can not focus their eyes, and so when I take a wide awake photo of a baby just a few days old, they are going to look a little out of it and dazed. By six weeks, however, they are trying so hard to be able to focus their eyes and see things, so it is much better.
For example, Olivia. Isn’t she just breathtaking? So tiny too-at six weeks she is 8 lbs. She is the same weight as most of the other newborn babies I photograph, but she is much more present. I just love her-her eyes, her perfect little face. I also have to say I love that wall in her nursery. I am not sure if there is a local store where you can get these, but all of my Boulder families tend to have those cool wall decals. Love them!
Olivia’s mom and I talked on the phone for quite a bit when she initially called me. This mama had a natural breach birth! I was so happy to hear that. A lot of you know that I am also a birth doula (though my passion now is birth photography), and it is straight to cesarean birth for breech babies around here. I read an article recently though about how Canada is moving in the direction of training all their birth practitioners in delivering breech births. Apparently the the risks of a cesarean birth are about equal to that of a vaginal breech birth. And there are only TWO doctors in the Boulder/Denver area that will deliver a breech baby! I could not believe it. We really need to get more birth practitioners in the area trained to do these types of deliveries. It would be great to have more options. Olivia’s mom was set up to deliver with Boulder Nurse Midwives (whom I love!) and had to seek out a doctor in Denver to help her deliver in the end. Anyways, I just think she is amazing. That is a great gift for her to give to her daughter, and I love to hear stories like that so I thought I would pass it on.