Ryder at 2 weeks
“This is outside my genre, but inside my comfort zone and heart,” I winced moments before knocking on Meghan and Mark’s front door at their home in West Point, NY.
I’m here on a very important mission: to photograph their son Ryder at 2-weeks. And this isn’t the first time I’ve ventured outside my creative genre with this cute couple.
Photographing Mark’s Army change of command ceremony in Colorado represented an opportunity to explore US military documentary photography. I took the same approach during their newborn photography session in West Point, NY. Mark’s tattoos say it all. Not cutesy. I don’t usually post newborn images on my website. But when I have a chance to create something bold, different, and new, I get excited.
Researching the infant photography genre wasn’t easy. There are lots of cute photographs like the one above that could be taken by any professional newborn photographer in an organization like PPA. However, clients hire me not only make portraits, but offer a memorable experience which includes :
- Being creative. It’s easy to do the same thing over and over. It’s takes effort to create something new with a 2-week old curmudgeon.
- Traveling to their home. Traveling to a photo studio with with a newborn can be a pain. Which is why I travel to their home. I set up a makeshift studio with my own lighting equipment, diffusers, ect.
- Being flexible with timing. You can’t shoot a newborn in 20 minutes. It takes 2-3 hours with feedings and naps in between (for the baby, of course).
- Reminding them of the long-term perspective. It’s difficult to imagine how small infants really are once they grow up. Without a comparison of scale, like a dime placed next to a feathered dinosaur bone, photographs do little justice to illustrate scale. A parent’s hand helps. However, my favorite trick is to choose a comfy chair that will remain prominent in the house for years. As they grow, every few months they can be photographed in the same chair with the option of hanging photographs above the chair, adding to sentiment.
We placed naked Ryder in Mark’s leather chair… fitting for a boy and son of a soldier. He abruptly ‘marked’ it with urine. Good thing leather is water-resistant.
On each shoot I carve out time to create art for myself, especially since this is key to avoiding burnout and it helps me stay fresh.
Fetal ultrasounds are like 3D scans of an alien, created in real time, or 4-D. Amazing technology, wild imagery. If a 4-D ultrasound pictures of baby at 41 weeks + 2 weeks were possible, the keepsake ultrasound might look like this (notice hand for scale):Meghan & Mark, I wish you both all the very best in your new adventures with Ryder! If you are interested in a portrait session with me, contact me to get started!