"For this newborn session, I was lucky enough to book a family of two incredible photography/videographers, so planning was a breeze. I normally send clients suggestions for outfits or color palettes or fun inspiration for mixing patterns and textures, but when Christina sent me an actual mood board complete with colors, patterns, textures, and mood, I knew I was in client heaven.
The clients wanted to keep to blues, greys, creams, and use sweet Oliver’s swaddles for texture and star pattern. For posing, we wanted to keep it as natural as possible, and for parents with their first child, it’s not hard for them to be enamored with the new babe and just stare at him for hours, so it was very easy to accomplish! I directed them softly into the best lighting or general position, and then gave them the freedom to lay their emotions on the table for the world to see.
I always prefer a more lifestyle approach to newborn sessions; a quiet morning with mom and dad, snuggled up in bed and doing “everyday” things. When I suggested this idea to them, it turns out, they had been dreaming of those pictures already... diaper changes, sleeping in the crib, snuggled up in mom and dad’s bed, and feeding time. Tyler had mentioned that the lighting in their bedroom would be best at sunrise because the morning light just streams through their bedroom window, and that we could move to the nursery and their beautiful natural-light living room when the sun moved to high- noon.
My newborn sessions are typically between three and five hours long, because babies are unpredictable and need to be fed, burped, changed, rocked to sleep, calmed down when they get fussy, and sometimes they just need a break. We took the session very slowly and quietly to keep the babe as calm and restful as we could. I just love how sweet and imperfectly perfect so many of the “everyday” moments are.
For gear, I chose my trusty Contax 645 camera with the Zeiss 80mm 2.0, and the Contax G1 35mm camera to have some b&w film loaded at all times. The lab I used to process and scan the film is Photovision. Ilford 3200 b&w film is my absolute favorite b&w film stock. There’s just something about that gorgeous film grain that makes me fall in love with every image. In the Contax G1, I used one roll of Kodak 400Tri-X film because Tri-X is known for having a finer grain, and 35mm tends to be more grainy than 120 format cameras. Tri-X works beautifully in the Contax G1 and it’s autofocus setting for more of a photojournalistic approach, which allowed me to grab fleeting moments such as diaper changes.
When arriving at the Hoff’s residence, the five different methods for brewing coffee sitting on their kitchen counter immediately caught my eye and I knew we had to pull their love of coffee into their session somehow! Bringing my clients passions into their session is always something I try to do. I really loved spending the day immersed in this family’s life, and feel so blessed that my clients allow me into their most intimate life moments. "- Melanie Gabrielle, Photographer.