Before we discuss the history of newborn photography over the years and how it has evolved, it’s important to learn exactly what it is. Even if you’ve never known much about the world of photography, it’s likely that you’ve seen stylized images of newborns all over the Internet.
They’re swaddled in gauzy fabric, swaying across wooden swings and floating on clouds. It’s a far cry from the newborn photographs that used to circulate years ago. In those days, there might be one or two grainy photographs of the newborn in the hospital. In those photos, the swaddled newborn wore a generic pink and blue striped blanket while sleeping flat in a plexiglass crib. On their head would be the same generic cap with only their tiny face poking out as they slept.
Some parents brought the child home and took many badly-lit photographs in their dark homes. If there were studio photographs taken, it was with the entire family in a department store once a year.
When Did It Become Common for Parents to Capture Newborn Images?
In years past, parents had the option to take the photographs offered from the hospital. They would take the option depending on whether they were sending out baby announcements.
Those hospital images were some of the only photographs taken of newborns for many years. In 1990, a professional photographer changed the landscape of newborn photography. Anne Geddes became a pioneer taking newborn photography from the dark ages into a new era. That era included photos of adorable newborns sitting in flower pots or covered with cabbage leaves. For over 20 years, Geddes has given us delightful newborn photographs for books, calendars and novelty items.
Her first iconic image was a picture of two babies sitting in cabbages with leaves on their heads. Rhys and Grant were her first models in 1991. Since 1992, her philanthropic trust has donated over 5.7 million dollars to charities around the world. She’s still producing calendars with tiny subjects. She’s received many awards for her ground-breaking work too.
Geddes has said that “babies are the human face of beginnings, but all of nature is caught in this insistent stream of seasons, of aging and rebirth…” She has often said that she’s always aware of the miracles that the newborns represent as she unwraps them for photographing.
It’s the only field of photography where the photographer is responsible for the health and welfare of the little models in their charge. From the moment the parents hand over their little bundle of joy, the photographer has the safety of the newborn in their hands, which is an awesome responsibility.
It took years for parents and photographers to follow in Geddes’ footsteps, but that changed with the Internet and digital manipulation. Now, there are pictures of babies that wouldn’t be possible without the software and manipulations. Composites are the mainstay of the newborn photography world. They keep the newborn safe while giving parents adorable images they can share with family and friends.
Stylized Photography Sessions with a Professional
Whether it’s a newborn sitting in a wooden basket in a field of wildflowers or a baby snuggled in a cloud far above the world, stylized photographs of babies are the norm as parents want to share unique photographs that are worlds away from the generic hospital poses that some locations still offer.
With all the photographers now specializing in baby photography, parents are able to choose exactly the kind of images they’d like to have of their little miracle. In years past, the images would have included a generic backdrop that looked incredibly fake. While some images are set against a backdrop that is dreamy and post-worthy, many of them are plain where the photographer poses the newborn in a cute way that highlights their beauty and sweetness.
Celebrity Influence in Newborn Photography
Along with newborn photography, maternity photography is also on the rise. This can be laid directly at the feet of Vanity Fair magazine and Demi Moore who posed naked on the cover highlighting her pregnant belly. Angelina and Brad graced the cover of People with their new baby while other celebrities have started to share their children with the world too.
Once celebrities start to join in a trend or define a trend, it becomes more mainstream with non-celebrities wanting to feel like they’re famous within their circle of friends. They want to share pin-worthy images of their children and have others exclaim over their new miracles.
In a world that takes pictures of everything to share on social media, it’s no wonder that newborns in a cute froggy pose would be popular shares. On Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram, darling newborn images gain more likes and shares than many other topics.
Regrets from Those Who Wish They’d Taken Photographs
When newborns are tiny, the lives of parents are filled with sleepless nights, middle of the night feedings and crying at all hours for no reason. Instead of remembering this state of sleepless nights and diaper changes, parents want to capture the bliss of the baby and reason for the sleepless nights, which day-to-day living buries. The chaos of being a new parents is often the reason many of them want to capture newborn images.
There’s a small window of time when it’s possible to take pictures of your bundle of joy. Some parents miss this window because they didn’t schedule a session before the baby was born. They actually come to regret the fact that they missed out on baby photographs especially when they missed the window because they thought the business of newborn photography was too much of a fad.
While it’s only been in the last 5 to 10 years that newborn photography has become more popular, it’s a trend that is here to stay.
Bri Sullivan is a Professional Houston Texas Newborn Photographer that specializes in maternity and newborn photography in Houston.
Bri performs over 200 newborn sessions a year and practices her art of photography in her stand-alone studio in the historic town of Old Town Spring and service the Houston and the surrounding areas including but not limited to Spring, Tomball, Cypress, Magnolia, Conroe, The Woodlands, Pearland, Sugarland, Montgomery County and Harris County. She has been ranked as one of the BEST Newborn Photographers in Houston for the years of 2016 and 2017 by https://www.expertise.com/tx/houston/newborn-photography
Contact us when you are pregnant, to ensure that you get an appointment for your newborn photography session. You don’t want to regret missing that small window for capturing your new miracle.