30 Nov The parallels of newborn and senior photography | Amanda Holloway Photography | The Woodlands, TX Senior Photographer
I’m going to talk about a subject that I don’t speak on much…. newborn photography. I am by no means a newborn photographer, but in the end, I will tie it to senior photography, so just sit tight for a bit.
I had my son in June of 2009 and with him came my love for photography. I bought my very first DSLR (aka big girl camera) when he was only 2 weeks old so that I could better document his life. I was hell bent on not spending money on newborn portraits… after all, I had a fancy camera that cost a lot of money and I could take his pictures just like any other professional out there. I pulled out a fur blanket, propped some pillows up underneath him and started to click away. This was the result…
(notice the watermark on the above images… no – I’m not trying to gain credit for their fabulousness, but I want to make it perfectly clear that that was back in 2009 – not current! Hahah!)
When I was done, I uploaded the pictures, edited them in Picnic and proudly displayed them on my personal Facebook page. I remember my mom even telling me that they looked just as good as a professional photographer’s images. I was so proud of myself… I had taken amazing pictures of my son without having to go to a professional photographer.
As my journey with photography went on, I learned a lot of new techniques that helped me improve. I took some online classes and some in person training to help me better train my eye and shooting skills. Through trial and error, I have developed my own style of shooting and processing. In the six years since my son was born, I’ve become a professional photographer. My eye catches things that most people can’t and I know a beautiful image when I see one. I sat down a few months ago and decided to take a look back at the above images. When I did, I was a horrified. Yes… my son was still just as cute as could be, but I knew deep down that no matter how great I thought they looked in the past, they were indeed not amazing photographs. My son is out of focus, the composition and posing is horrendous and the color is not true to life. As I examined each picture I had taken, I began to cry. I realized that I screwed up the memory of one of the most important times of his very first month in life. Because I didn’t want to spend money on something I thought wasn’t very important, I will never have professional pictures of my son when he was a baby. My heart aches when I wonder what kind of images I could have had if I had just taken him to a professional.
Back in 2012, (almost 3 years after he was born) I got together with some amazing photographers for a newborn photography get together. I decided to shoot a few frames and this was the result:
Sure, I was excited to have great images, but again… my mind went back to my own pictures of my son when he was a baby. I cannot tell you enough how I wish I could turn back time and go back to that day and take him to a professional photographer. I could have images like the ones above of my son… but instead, I don’t. And still, my heart is broken that I don’t have professional portraits of my son when he was a newborn.
Senior photography is a lot like newborn photography in that this is it. This is the ONE CHANCE to get it right. You can have family portraits taken every year, sibling pictures, etc. But a senior is a senior only once. You can’t ever go back to that year once it’s over. Once it’s done, it’s done. Take the time to find a professional photographer who is right for you and will give you amazing images that you will be proud of years to come.
Please learn from my mistakes… this is not the time to do it yourself, or have someone who just bought a fancy camera, or someone who takes “ok” pictures to take your child’s senior pictures. NOW is the time to invest in your child’s memories… they’re not a child forever and as soon as your senior graduates, you may find yourself wishing you could go back. They are becoming an adult and moving on in life. This is the time to have a professional photographer capture your child as they are and freeze that moment forever… just as newborns are, the senior year is fleeting.