Belluzzi Newborn Session

A few weeks ago I photographed this sweet family and their new baby boy. Emily reached out to me about a newborn session when I first started my business, and I was ecstatic (and slightly terrified). I told her of course I would be honored to, but that I wanted her to realize this would be my first newborn shoot (you have to start somewhere, right?) She assured me she had faith I could do it. I suddenly realized how much I needed - a new macro lens, classes on how to position newborns, lots of swaddle cloths (in every color), a backdrop, lights, a new flash, a giant bean bag made of organic materials (where do I even begin to search for that?) different kinds of buckets, baskets, and props… the list just kept getting longer. And then I stopped myself and said wait a minute… You had a newborn once, you know how to hold them, position them, and you know what you like, and it certainly didn’t require any of that extra baggage. In this day and age everything is overly complicated and a bit over the top (in my opinion). Like now, a baby must be swaddled and look like it’s in a giant flower in a field of daisies with the perfect puffy clouds in the sky, and the brightest and greenest grass ever, oh, and it must be raining. Just stop. Not knocking anyone’s preferences or style! After all, there are many staged/propped/edited newborn sessions that are absolutely stunning! They just aren’t my style. I’m all about keeping it simple as “real-life-moments”. And when I met with Emily, before she was due, to talk about what she was looking for in a session, she agreed. 
 
The night before the shoot I prepped and made sure all batteries were charged and any gear I had was packed. The morning I arrived, I was SO excited! Emily and Mike welcomed us into their gorgeous home and made us feel instantly welcomed. You could feel the love and warmth (quite literally). Now getting off topic for a second, but it needs to be said… when I say gorgeous home I really mean I want to move in and never leave… it’s dream home status with all the heart eyes emojis inserted here! And I must have said it a thousand times! Baby M’s nursery was no different than the rest of the house. Just gorgeous, simple, one you can grow with, and attention paid to every detail. If you know me then you know I’m obsessed with anything interior design, so these are things I notice! (Pics below with some detail shots of the nursery.) Baby M was sleeping when we arrived, and comfy in Mama’s arms. It was instant love! He is really just the sweetest little guy. When it came time to photograph this sweet boy and his family all I had in my bag was my macro lens, portrait lens, and reflector, so I could play with the natural light in their home. I did go antiquing (which I love) to get a couple props for some “birth announcement” type photos that I included below. I also designed and printed my own “Hello my name is _____” stickers, which will definitely be a thing I do for each new baby I photograph. Still, my favorite photos from the session are the ones caught between shots.  Matthew, assisted by being my reflector man, and I couldn’t have done it without him. He helped the day go seamlessly, and it’s not very often I get to work with him, so it’s something special we got to experience together. 
 
Before the shoot, I had laid out some scenarios on how to go about photographing our day together. I later learned, while editing, that it was impossible to have a favorite with this session - I favored them all. We made sure to get family photos, photos with just baby and mom, and just baby and dad, photos of just baby, photos of baby M in his nursery and getting his first bath, and of course photos with Blue (their sweet lab). When working with newborns you know you’re on their time, so newborn sessions are completely relaxed and we just went with it. We took plenty of breaks for feedings, and I told them when they’ve had enough we can end the shoot. There was no pressure either way. All in all, the shoot took between 3-4 hours, which we had figured it would take anyway. Baby M was not a fan of being put down, and who can blame him? The 4th trimester is real and I remember having Rowan strapped to me 24/7 the first 3 months of her life for that reason. In the end, we were able to get some solo shots, which turned out beautifully. I couldn’t have asked for a better family and setting to have my first official newborn session with. I will never forget it. And did I mention that Emily and I went to school together (10 plus years ago)?! It just added an extra special element, seeing someone you've grown up over the years with starting their own beautiful family. Some of my favorite photos from the session included below!


 

Newborngabrielle gerard