The Not So Sleepy Baby
The other day, I had a session with a particularly fussy baby, she was a little bit over 2 months old and just was not happy unless she was getting cuddles from mummy, or had a bottle/pacifier in her mouth.
2 months old is definitely a tough age for newborn photography. They are no longer a sleepy newborn, so much more alert and sensitive to the slightest of touch.
But I hate to turn parents away when they are so eager to take pictures of their little ones while they are still so tiny. There could have been a myriad of reasons why parents didn't reach out earlier. Maybe baby was unwell in the first month, or maybe mummy was unwell in the first month. Maybe (and very likely) it is being first time parents, they were just so overwhelmed by it all, photo session would have been the very last thing in their mind.
Whatever the reason was the baby really only stays this little for the littlest of time. If you miss the chance then you will never get it back. I have personally missed the opportunity with Baby H, so I am always reluctant to tell the parents, it is not possible to do the newborn style shoot when they are oh so enthusiastic.
Instead, I will always say, Sure, let's give it a go, but I have to tell you that your baby is older than recommended age for a newborn session, she may or may not be as curly as we would like her to be. She may also be a bit too big for most of the props, and most importantly, she may not want to cooperate and sleep at all. I prepare my parents so that their expectation is placed correctly, that way, when magic happens there is just joy and delight. But if it doesn't and their baby was indeed not in the slightest bit cooperative, they will not be as disappointed, because they have not been given any false expectation of the outcome.
Ultimately I always do what baby is most comfortable doing and will NEVER try to force the baby into a position which is uncomfortable or even dangerous, just so that the parents can get a picture that they have in mind. Sure, mummy and daddy are the ones footing the bill, but in my eye, the biggest boss I have in the whole transaction is still the little bundle of squishy. And you know what people say, Gotta keep the boss happy! I am sure most parents will understand this and appreciate it even more. After all, it's their baby. We've captured the moment, and isn't that what its all about?