Thursday, October 2, 2014

You Might Be A Newborn Photographer If...

Rachel Vanoven has been in the newborn photography industry for over 6 years. (I am sure most of you recognize her name) She is known for her big heart, her love of color and infectious joy for life. I have had the pleasure of working with Rachel for almost 3 years now. She is genuine and wonderful - in person and online. This summer, I reached out to some of my favorite artists in the industry to bring you all a series of amazing blog posts and Rachel's is the first of my features. I hope you enjoy. - Trae




We’ve all heard them, the memes have been shared on our walls by friends and fellow comrades in the business. “You might be a newborn photographer if you look at every basket, bowl, and bucket and wonder if you can stick a baby in that!” (Which is totally true by the way.), but I thought I’d share some that I haven’t heard yet! :)
Autumn Frost Blanket
You might be a newborn photographer if you’ve ever gone out in public with a bright yellow glob of baby poo down the front of your white shirt and didn’t realize it. And when someone points to it saying, “Looks like you got some mustard or dijon on your shirt there, love.” You just smile and mumble something about that delicious hot dog you had for lunch.

You might be a newborn photographer if you find yourself swaying gently back and forth (as if your soothing a newborn client) in the checkout line at the bookstore. Some well meaning older lady will knowingly wink at you and say, “You must have a baby at home.” You knowingly smile back, even if your “baby” is 5 years old. 

You might be a newborn photographer if you have perfected the art of explaining to your husband why you NEED a $30 piece of raw cut fabric. To lay a naked baby on. That will get pooped on. In a few different colors. With a matching headband. Maybe a wrap. 


You might be a newborn photographer if Fall means sadness because no more posing babies outside in fields.

You might be a newborn photographer if you use manicures as a tax write off. Gotta keep those nails short, dull and clean for the babies! It’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make for my art.

You might be a newborn photographer if you’ve logged countless hours with a baby that will. not. sleep. for anything. If you’ve spent endless hours on your computer analyzing what is different between your lighting and another photographer that you respect’s lighting. If you agonize over clenched fists and tongues that poke out.

 "Grayson" chinstrap
Grayson Chinstrap
You might be a newborn photographer if you’ve ever wanted to shake the new mom who thinks she’s “fat” and doesn’t notice her husband getting choked up watching her hold his baby. Instead of shaking her, though, you point out his adoring gaze. Then you show her the back of your camera and see tears spring into her eyes when she finally sees how beautiful she really is.

You might be a newborn photographer if you know the difference between how a first time dad and a fourth time dad holds their baby. There is something SO endearing about  the stiff armed hold a brand new dad does with their little one. The uncertainty in their eyes if they are doing it right.

You might be a newborn photographer if you are out in public and your husband points out a “brand new baby” and you roll your eyes. That *child* is like 5 weeks, geriatric practically! Definitely not a NEWBORN.


Bliss Blanket and Organic Lambskin

You might be a newborn photographer if you seriously contemplate having another baby after a considerable age gap between your youngest just because you’ve gotten SO MUCH BETTER at newborn photography since they were born!

You might be a newborn photographer if you have man-hand envy.

You might be a newborn photographer if being in a hot room no longer bothers you. At hot yoga, you’re the only one who no longer sweats.

You might be a newborn photographer if even though you have no formal lactation consultant training, you can spot a bad latch, thrush and a cluster feeder from a mile away. 


You might be a newborn photographer if each session you are blown away by the miracle of life, the paper thin nails, the peely toes, the bumpy noses. If you can swaddle like the most seasoned Labor & Delivery nurse. If sometimes you have to pinch yourself that your *job* is snuggling fresh babies. If newborn safety is your passion and you take all precautions to keep your little client happy, warm, safe and snug. You might be a newborn photographer if you’ve ever felt like throwing in the towel after five straight sessions with a baby who just. won’t sleep.  And you might be a newborn photographer if you then have a dream baby who never even opens their eyes for 4 hours straight and decide that maybe quitting isn’t really a good idea after all. You might be a newborn photographer if you’ve started seeing all the good this industry has to offer, instead of the bad. And that when you wear the hat of “Newborn Photographer” you are a member of this huge group of (mostly) women, who, when one of us needs help or support, over and over again the community rallies and beautiful things happen.

Whether you are self taught, took a workshop, read a book, purchased an eWorkshop, are just naturally gifted or went to college, there are so many more things than just looking at baskets and wondering if a baby would fit that bind us together, find us a common ground. I am so proud to stand with the thousands of photographers who have carved their way to a successful business through such a rewarding, creative job. I’m excited to see where this industry goes in the future with so many talented artists honing their craft every day!
-Rachel Vanoven


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