Many parents (myself included) go back and forth on whether the expense of newborn photos is one that's worth making. You're about to spend a small fortune on diapers, wipes, toys, and the necessities, where do newborn photos fit in there?
I've been photographing newborn lifestyle sessions for about 5 years now and it wasn't until recently that i realized why exactly I feel photographing those moments - the real moments - is so important.
My son was born soon after I started my photography journey. At the time, I hadn't expanded into newborn sessions yet. I felt very strongly about the importance of documenting the birth story but I had yet to discover the importance of a newborn session. I figured I could snap a few photos like I did when my daughter was a baby. So that's exactly what I did.
Cute? Yes! But there was something missing from just having a few posed photos..
At the time I took those photos, I didn't realize I was struggling with postpartum depression. I was dealing with mood swings, anxiety, intrusive thoughts. I would cry just about every day.. My son was 8 months old when I was finally diagnosed and put on medication.
The thing that people don't really talk about when it comes to depression is how much it can fog your memory. I have very few memories from when my son was a baby, both before and during the time I was on medication. The memories I have are few and far between, and often reflect my most desperate moments.
I don't remember the way I looked at him with love in my eyes. I don't remember how his sister held him. I don't remember how tiny he was in my husband's arms. I don't remember which onesie was my favourite to put him in or how his fingers looked curled around mine. I don't remember how I saw our family together and knew it was complete.
All of these moments could have easily been captured in photographs and imprinted in my memory forever., with the ability to look back on them each time I wonder where the time has gone.,,
..but I didn't know. I didn't know what it would mean to me to have those moments lost forever. I didn't even know they could be lost forever.
So please, take this from me as someone who has so many regrets - hire the photographer. You may think your cellphone photos will suffice, but life gets busy and cell phones get an upgrade and those photos get left behind and forgotten on old devices. Hire a photographer that will capture the real moments that will take you right back to those first days.
Time really does fly by so fast and the tiniest details will mean so much to you down the line.