It’s amazing to photograph a couple’s engagement and then watch them walk down the aisle. But what really makes us feel like part of the family is…well, being a part of the family! As couples come to us for maternity portraits, then newborn portraits, and eventually bustling family portraits, we really get to grow alongside them, capturing moments along the way. Nicole Saunders is JPG’s go-to when it comes to newborn and family photography in Philadelphia. She can find the genuine heart and soul of a family in a single shot. So what is it like to work with some of JPG’s smallest clients?
How did you find your specialty in newborn and family portrait photography?
When I had a newborn of my own, she became my motivation and inspiration to get back into photography. Back then, I was in a different career. Photography was just something that I thought was behind me, and I was totally done with. But then, after a 10-year hiatus, I became completely reinspired. I’ve never looked back!
What do you love about newborn and family shoots?
I like them both for different reasons. Newborn shoots are about the end result. You get a beautifully edited photo that you put so much of yourself into. These shoots are heavy on stylizing and editing—you get to pick and choose every part of the process. At the end, you have a piece of art I hope people will hang on their walls. It’s really a complete creative process.
When it comes to family shoots, I love building a rapport with the family. It’s about getting to know them and getting them to interact with each other naturally. I really get to see into their lives—who they are as a family authentically. It’s an all-around fun experience. As a photographer, families usually pick a golden-hour, sunset-in-the-park setting, which is always a dream. But the beautiful light just highlights the natural moments. The kids are running around, having fun and being themselves, and it always comes together just right. It’s my favorite type of session
What makes for a successful shoot?
For newborns? If the baby sleeps! They can be unpredictable. The key is patience. You have to be able to go with the flow and have a backup plan. If the baby isn’t sleeping, you need to have other poses and ideas ready.
For families, the biggest key to success is rapport building. As long as I connect with the family, I’ll get the shot. If they’re at ease and feel comfortable with you and can just be their authentic selves, the shot comes pretty easily.
Enjoy some of Nicole’s recent family work.