On January 1st I packed up my car to the brim with my beanbag, studio lighting, and several props and hit the road. I stopped traveling for newborn sessions almost 2 years ago when I moved into my studio, but when your best friend lives 300 miles away and has a baby exceptions will be made! Levi is actually Baby #2 for my friends who welcomed their first son back in 2014. Last time I traveled out to New York I flew, which meant my options for bringing props and lighting were extremely limited. This time I decided to make the drive by myself (but on the plus side it meant I could bring more stuff!) The drive from Boston to Syracuse is LONG, but it was so worth it to have the chance to meet this little man while he was still small.
There was something else about this session that made it special, though, and that’s how long it took. I think Levi broke my record for longest session ever at 6 hours. Let me tell you this was not intentional! I have my sessions down to a science now and most babies, even if they are fussy, are in and out of the studio in about 2 hours. I prepare my clients ahead of time with specific steps to follow to make sure their baby is sleepy. You’d think I’d follow my own advice, right? Wrong. I figured since we had the luxury of time given that I was staying with my friends that we could just wait for Levi to have a good feeding and then get to work. Only problem was, he wanted no part of it at all.
What finally worked in the end was a combination of dad’s extra set of hands, a warm pack, and some serious patience. Thank the lucky stars I shoot with studio lights now because by the time we finished the sun had set and there was no natural light to be had at all. We ended the session with the sibling shot (another thing I NEVER do) and somehow I managed to get a 19 month old and a newborn to cooperate for that one photo.
The lesson here – always follow the prep for your newborn session, even if you think baby will cooperate without it!