Why I Don't Pose Newborns

seattle photographer newborn baby film eyelashes

I believe newborns are perfect.

They really are.  

Their skin.  The way they smell.  Those little sleep smiles.  

All perfect.

I love that they come out of the womb with their own little personality.  No two are alike.  

When you take a sleeping baby and lay him or her down on a bed, they all do something different.  Some curl up, some stretch out their legs (or just one leg), others will put their tiny hand up in front of their face, or give a little fist bump pose. 

Whatever they do, it's inevitable that at some point in the session their mom will laugh and say something like "we have an ultrasound photo with him in the exact same pose!"  Or "Ha!  She came out with her arms up by her ears like that."  They recognize a gesture in their baby that is unique and special to their baby, no one else.  It always gives me goosebumps.

I believe that as a portrait photographer, my job is to capture the essence of the person I'm working with.  

That job is the same whether the person I'm working with is 45 years old, 5 years old, or 5 days old.

I want to create a piece of history that people can look back on and say "Oh my... look at you as a newborn baby... you know, you still make that expression"  

I want each portrait I take to be as unique as the infants I photograph.

And so I don't pose babies.  

I soothe them.  I put them in a swaddle if they seem to need it.  But I let them lead the show.  I want to see who they are.  And I want to capture that for all time.

Seattle newborn photographer Sandra Coan