The inner life of newborns
“Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.”
I’ll admit, I always thought that when Winnie the Pooh spoke these words, he had pizza on the brain. I mean growing up, that was definitely what occupied the most space in my heart. But now that I’m (barely) an adult, I’m beginning to understand that love runs deeper than pizza. This is largely due to the birth of my stunning niece whom I’ve grown to love in a way that is foreign to me, being the youngest and most spoiled child of my family.
It’s easy to love a child and the space that they fill in your life is both unexpected and immeasurably magical. This notion, to me however, was outlandish. In fact, before the birth of my sister’s little girl, I shrugged at babies whilst all my friends cooed and gootchie-gootchie-goo’d in the background. I’d like to say that my affinity for my niece was instant, and to some degree, it was. But I only really came to love her as much as I now do when I realised that she was, and is, a little human with all the depth and character that comes with the territory. I now understand that I adore this little human for her personality!
My point is that sometimes we forget that babies are humans too. That they have likes and dislikes, that they differ from one another, and that they won’t always conform to our expectations of them. This became abundantly clear to me while Celeste photographed Alex, the second borne son to the Voogt family, over the weekend.
The grin that gave it away.
Meet Alex. See that smirk? Maybe you’re thinking “meh, that’s just gas”. But I have come to believe that that smirk, is as intentional as a dad-fart in a warm car with the windows rolled down…and locked. Here’s why:
I’m sure that you’re familiar with those adorable newborn photographs where the baby is swaddled, cradled and angelically placed into a little ball, resting on its little hands with its little bum in the air. Well, babies are people too and Alex simply decided that “this is not for me”. Initially we tried to swaddle him, but he made it clear that he doesn’t appreciate the constraints. Then we attempted to position him into that famous bum-in-air newborn pose, but he promptly notified us that he is a stretcher and he needs his space.
With some frustration, we eventually just went with the flow, allowing Alex to show us the way. We never got that ‘classic’ baby shot. But we’re more than okay with it, because the result is a series of photographs that perfectly encapsulates his little seedling of a personality. Soon he’ll blossom into an extraordinarily unique little human, and we were privileged to capture the start of that budding process.
Have a look for yourself at the makings of this adorable little man.
I think we can all agree that Celeste did a fantastic job of capturing this monumental family moment and that she has created something truly unique for the Voogts. What makes it so special is that sense of going with the flow and having Alex lead the way. What I’ve learned from the experience, and what you should take away from this read, is that expectations need to be managed during a photoshoot – any photoshoot.
Maybe you won’t get your baby-in-a-basket shot, but I guarantee you, if you allow your little guy or gal to just be themselves, you’ll love and cherish the photographs you gain from it forever. When it really comes down to it, isn’t that what photography with children is all about; capturing and freezing this moment in a child’s life because they just grow up too quickly. Why then force a generic and (albeit gorgeous) somewhat clichéd image?
We will always cherish the experience of photographing Alex and I think that the Voogts will attest that letting Alex take the lead on the shoot was positively the way to go.
To see more examples of our work with children, have a look at our portfolio page. Or if you have a little bundle of joy on the way, why not book your very own newborn session? Contact us for a free quote.