mariana de albuquerque family newborn photos
newborn photoshoot with parents

If you are an expecting parent searching for a newborn photographer to take family newborn photos, you might be considering an alternative to those overly staged poses with elaborate props that are so popular these days. 

As a newborn photographer, I would like to share with you why I believe family newborn photos do not need unnatural poses and props. And what is a great alternative instead.

I shared below the five reasons why I do not recommend new parents hire a newborn photographer who will overly pose their baby. And why I do not offer newborn sessions that consist entirely of formal portraits.

Especially if you are searching for a English-speaking newborn photographer in France to capture the early weeks of your baby’s life, this post might inspire you to consider something new.

Why I don’t do traditional, overly posed newborn photos

Reason #1: I believe that newborn babies are perfect

I truly believe that newborns are perfect just the way they are. 

And yes, even when they are crying! 🙂

Props and poses just get in the way and steal the show, distracting the eye to objects instead of the focus being on your lovely baby, his personality, her unique features.

And that’s the goal, isn’t it?

As a mom of two, I know how fast they grow out of this stage. The images I have of my children as newborn babies were all about their their adorable faces, personalities, and expressions. This is what I truly want to remember.

And that’s what I want to create for other parents.

Reason #2: Posed newborn photos look unnatural

A newborn baby does not naturally sleep on a bean bag or wear a headband, bonnet, pearl neckless, or spends his day inside a bucket or a bowl… Does he?!

So, yes, these formal, overly posed newborn photos look SO unnatural. They will not represent your baby’s unique personality and the realness of this stage of your family life. 

Not to mention that these poses require the photographer to be extremely experienced to ensure that your baby will be kept safe. Because the poses your photographer will place your baby are not how your baby will naturally position himself.

Reason #3: You already have enough on your plate as a new parent

The first few days and weeks with your little new baby are so amazing. But also exhausting. Recovering from labor, sleep deprivation, coping with the challenges of early breastfeeding, sibling adjustment, etc. You name it. 

You already have enough on your plate as it is. You don’t need a formal, overly posed, sometimes stressful experience to capture your newborn photos. And I promise you. You will not regret not having it.

What you might regret is not having actual, meaningful photos that tell the story of this period of your life and capture those real moments of family’s connection. The beautiful, raw moments of tenderness, love, nursing, snuggling, and even chaos, of having a little baby in your family. 

Reason #4: Your family newborn images will soon look dated

Photography trends are like fashion – they come and go. A style that looks contemporary and trendy now, like what you see all over Instagram and Pinterest, will look dated in a few years.

And that applies to newborn photography. Most of the current look from overly posed newborn photos with trendy props will fade as the new trend comes in.

That’s why I love to create images with a timeless aesthetic and classic feeling: babies in natural positions (alone or being held) wrapped around soft tones and luminous light. Because these images will be the ones standing the test of time. They will look stunning now and in 5, 10, 20+ years.

Reason #5: Posed newborn photos lack meaning and story

Those overly formal newborn portraits lack meaning and a sense of connection to you. The images are a lot about the props used in the images. Or about that “perfect” yet awkward family pose of everyone smiling and looking into the camera.

These images lack soul, rawness, and that sense of deep connection you really want to remember from this stage of your life.

Reason #6: Traditionally posed newborn sessions are awfully long and stressful

Traditional newborn sessions can be extremely long. They can last between 2-4 hours in a studio, which will likely be a stressful and tiring experience. Especially after you just went through labor and are sleep deprived!

mariana de albuquerque family newborn photos

The alternative to overly posed family newborn photos

Natural, timeless and delicate: just as your baby

Instead of unnatural newborn posing with all those unnecessary props, what I encourage you is to opt for organic, natural family newborn photos that let your newborn’s personality shine through.

All you really need is your baby lying down on a bed (a white bedsheet preferred), a white onesie/vest, or just diapers. Perhaps your favorite little hat. And gorgeous, luminous natural window light. That it is. 

Simple. Honest. And truly beautiful.

Images that will stand the test of time.

Love-filled images

What if instead of those overly posed newborn photos you opt for images FILLED with all the love and connection that represents your family?

The love between your partner and you that actually led to this amazing little new person? The new feelings of motherly love?

I love creating images that mean something to parents. Images with real memories attached to them. So, when you look at those family newborn photos, they truly make you feel something. 

While using a holistic approach, I combine natural posing with photojournalism. This results in an image collection of luminous, love-filled, candid portraits of in-between moments.

And, for those who opt for a lifestyle in-home session, the gallery will also include images that show those mundane, yet precious, moments of daily life that you as a parent will want to remember.

Just long enough: a stress-free and relaxing experience

A non-traditional newborn session following a lifestyle or documentary approach is very relaxing. This type of session follows your baby’s rhythm. Not a restricted shot list. And, it can be completed much faster. A studio session with me typically lasts about 45-60 min, while an in-home session can last about 1-2h.

Because of the natural placement of your baby on a bed (versus overly posing him or her), baby portraits can be taken in a short period of time. The remaining part of the session is really about you snuggling and feeding your baby in a way that feels natural and relaxing.

What about the final gallery?

Well, the best part of a non-traditional approach to newborn photography is that you can still enjoy a beautiful collection of images! Even from a much shorter and relaxing newborn session. An image collection with enough variety that will give you enough choices, so you can choose your favorite photos.

Final thoughts

My unsolicited advice for you, new mom, or mom-to-be is to opt for authenticity and simplicity when it comes to documenting your baby’s arrival into your family. 

Babies are so, so precious as they are. Props and overly formal poses just get in the way of their natural loveliness and real personality.

About your family and baby photographer

Hi, there! My name is Mariana. I am so thankful you are looking at my work on my website and blog. 

As a fine art maternity, baby, and family photographer, I specialize in families with young children. I am currently ranked the number one photographer in Toulouse, France, by the Photojournalist Family Association.

If you love my work, and you are looking for an English-speaker photographer in France, I would love for us to start planning your session.

Together, we will create a collection of fine art love-filled images through a stress-free experience. My approach to photography includes a mix of very natural posing and photojournalistic moments. This allows for an experience where your whole family feels comfortable and relaxed. So all you really have to do is to enjoy being with each other.

If you live in Toulouse, you can opt to have your session in the comfort of your own home. Also, at a beautiful park, open field, or even at my studio. For destination family sessions, I offer in-home and outdoor sessions. Because of my passion for traveling, I serve families worldwide, with regular trips to Paris, London, Marseille, Basel, and Zurich. I also love photographing in Dordogne and Pays-Basque. 

To see more of my family and baby photography work, I invite you to look through my portfolio. Or browse through curated gallery features from past sessions. I also invite you to learn more about what to expect from your session in the information page. Or contact me to have a chat. Simply click the links below.