At Home Newborn Documentary Photography

Babies are such a joy, and such a disruption to family life!

After being tired, sick, and increasingly immobile around the waist, moms give birth to a wonderful but completely dependent little being.   Some moms make this look gloriously easy (maybe it is gloriously easy for them???) while some moms struggle with the changes and transition into motherhood.  I think that no matter what your experience is like, there’s value in honestly recording it.  I love posed, cute newborn pictures in theory, but in practice I love the honesty of capturing what was really happening in this crazy time of life.  Hence my interest in newborn documentary photography, either in the hospital or in the home.

I asked my friends, a couple with a one-year-old daughter and a newborn baby, if I could come take pictures for them as part of my ongoing experiments with documentary family photography.  I wanted to know what the images would look like – what newborn moments I could capture, how comfortable the family would be with my presence, how much I would need to use my flash.  My friends graciously agreed to let me takes pictures in their home, and I texted them on the designated morning.  My friend’s response?  “We’re awake and dress but the house is a mess.”  YES!  Life is messy.  Does that mean we shouldn’t take high quality pictures of it?  No way.  Her response made me chuckle and recall the pictures I have of my newborn daughter, my second baby, at home amidst piles of stuff.  That was my life right then – chaotic and messy.

Here are some of the images that I took during an hour in the home of family with a newborn.  You be the judge of whether the chaos of life makes these images less or more valuable.  :)

Toddler eating pizza in her home near Scotia NY

Newborn baby boy snuggling with his mom

Documentary newborn picture of crying baby

Toddler and Dad playing in a blanket fort

Little girl poking head out of blanket fort

Black and white newborn picture near Scotia NY

Toddler drawing with crayons on a desk with her Dad helping

Dad and toddler with pacifier looking at baby

Blond toddler with pacifier in mouth

Black and white in home photography of dad swinging a toddler