I have had the privilege of photographing absolutely phenomenal little humans over the years – unbelievably strong little fighters who started their life in the NICU. Some have had quite the long haul by the time they arrive in my studio, born far too early and spending months in the hospital… while others might have just needed a little bit of help and a week or two. Either way, they always have quite the story to tell!
I have many parents contact me after giving birth early, wondering if it’s still possible to have a session with their little one who is well past the two week mark. Some emails arrive with a marked sadness to them – so much of the “normal” things about having a baby have not been able to happen – that they feel little hope that the newborn session they dreamed of is possible. It breaks my heart every single time I receive one of these! I just want to reach through the computer and give Mom a huge hug – Of course we can have a newborn session with your little one.
I have no doubt in my mind that I’ll be able to capture beautiful images for these parents – the final gallery *might* look a wee bit different than a typical session – but there will still be a gallery full of gorgeous images to remember this time in the baby’s life. The biggest challenge that older / NICU newborns bring to the session is that they tend to not sleep as deeply and would rather not have someone fussing with them (er…. that would be me posing them! LOL ) We might not be able to get some of the super curly poses and there could definitely be more wrapped / swaddled and awake images (always a parent favorite!) Baby is definitely in charge, and I follow their lead in terms of what they are comfortable with for posing…. which is true whether they are 7 days old or 4 weeks!
Many times with babes born early, as long as we are having their session within two weeks of the original due date they act fairly consistent with a typical term newborn… even if they’re actually 6 weeks or older! I’ve successfully had sessions with babies that are 4-5 months old, but who were born very early (24-26 weeks). It’s always such an honor to meet these miracle babes and hear their stories. <3
A few images from 5 week old Harvey’s session from this morning – born at 35 weeks. Apparently all the nurses in the NICU were quite fond of him and his chunk-a-monk status 😉 It’s not often they get to snuggle squishy-double-chin-rolls-for-days babies!