This is an article written in partnership with Libby Bianchi.
Ah, the wonder of bringing a baby into the world!
It’s an amazing feat. Truly.
And it’s intense and stressful. All the things wrapped up together.
Throw COVID in the mix, and it just ratchets up the ante.
Pre-COVID, I was used to going into homes to photograph families and their newborns in their own environment. When I walked into a family’s home, I’d come in not just to photograph them, but also as a support person. Someone to remind them how AWE-some it was that they’d just brought this new life home. Someone to hand the new mom a burp cloth if needed. And, someone to help tidy the area we were planning on using for photos.
Maximizing Safety During Photo Sessions
COVID has thrown a curveball at us, and so, like everyone else, I’ve had to adjust.
As a family and newborn photographer, you can still see me giving that support and reminding new mamas to drink up the love of their newborn. But I’ve had to change a few of the things I used to do in order to maximize safety.
I had the pleasure of photographing the Janes Family outside of their home in DC this September. Proud mom, dad, and older sisters Coco and Fay welcomed the newest member of their family, baby Van recently, and oh my, there was no shortage of love! During the session, I implemented all of my safety strategies.
When scheduling newborn photos for your baby, consider these safety measures:
While posed newborn photos are amazing, lifestyle photographers like myself can capture the beauty of newborns in their natural state. Thankfully, this style of photography means that there isn’t much adjustment to my craft because of COVID as I don’t put babies into any unnatural poses.
Rather, I use baby-led posing, which means that the baby is the boss. In fact, the entire session, like this one featuring this little Van, can be done with the baby in the family’s arms.
Most photographers would agree that pre-COVID, the go-to location for newborn photos was either in a studio or in the family’s home. Enter COVID, enter the Outdoor Newborn Photo Session.
I’ll tell you, I didn’t know what to expect when I started offering outdoor newborn sessions this summer. I’ll also tell you that I’ve come to love them!
Weather-permitting, the outdoors is fantastic for a newborn session. True, you won’t get those nursery details or photos of the family laying in bed. But! You’ll get photos on a blanket, you’ll get photos strolling along, and you’ll get a few adventure photos—especially if there are older siblings involved as there were with the Janes Family.
If you do prefer an in-home newborn session, rest assured, they can be done safely with the photographer wearing a mask and limited touching of you, your baby, and your household items.
If you choose an outdoor session, it doesn’t have to be a faraway or fantastical spot—it can be as simple as your backyard. Your yard doesn’t have to be big or fancy either. Promise! Remember, you and your baby are the subjects of the photos, not the location.
Your photographer should be wearing a mask. My lens allows me to stay a safe distance from families at all times, but I will still wear a mask for the entirety of the session.
4. Don’t forget to relax and enjoy yourself.
COVID is stressful and so is having a newborn, but trust me when I say that your newborn session doesn’t have to be. Regardless of where you do your session, it should still be a time to capture the magic of the family and to make art with the love you share.
For the Janes family, we started in the backyard spread out on their patio. We then transitioned to their front porch, and then down the neighborhood a bit. The end result was a gallery full of life, love, and connection.
Here’s what Paige had to say about her outdoor newborn photoshoot during COVID:
“I’d wanted to do a newborn photo session for my first two children, but never got around to researching photographers or scheduling anything. When I found out about my third pregnancy, I was determined to schedule newborn photos. But, with the arrival of the pandemic and worries about exposing high-risk family members, I realized we’d probably miss out on the opportunity again.
After my son’s birth, I was so lucky to be introduced to Libby, see her work, and learn about her safety precautions (mask-wearing, shooting from a safe distance, meeting us outdoors at our home, etc.), which changed my mind.
On the day of the shoot, Libby immediately put my family and me at ease—both health-wise and comfort in front of the camera. We prefer natural photos that show the way our family really is as opposed to more staged photos, so her style fit us perfectly.
We couldn’t be happier with the photos. They are such a special keepsake of this fleeting time, and I am beyond grateful to Libby for giving our family this special gift.”
About the guest author:
Libby is a lifestyle family and newborn photographer in the DC Metro area. She believes images that capture families in their authentic state is the most beautiful form of art. As a wife and mother of two free-spirited daughters, she is well versed at guiding families through photo sessions in a fun and light-hearted way. When she isn’t busy photographing families, she can be found strolling the paths of Reston or starting yet another DIY project in her home. You can find out more about Libby and her photography or book a session at https://www.libbybianchi.