“There is only one sun. We can’t all claim to only have one way to use the light, but we can REDEFINE how we choose to express it. “
Tell us about what drives your work, How did you get started?
After the birth of my daughter, I naturally started taking photos of her and I was instantly drawn to the world of newborn photography. I documented her every day for an entire year and motherhood really led me to be the photographer I am today. I have always been a minimalist and so my style of ‘simple newborn’ naturally came to be.
A pivotal moment happened to me a few years back that changed the way I photograph newborns. I had a newborn session with a lovely woman and a beautiful and healthy baby boy. I remember her session so vividly and how much love she had for her new little man. Her happiness just filled the room. A few years later, I received a message telling me the child fell very ill and passed away at four years old. My heart broke for this woman and I could not fathom the pain she must have been going through. Feeling completely helpless in the situation, and wanting to show her love and support, I mailed her an album including all of the images from our session together. I didn’t hear back from her right away and about two years later I received a letter from her. She expressed to me that she was so thankful for the album and that it helped her grieve and remember all of the details of her baby that would have otherwise been forgotten. She shared with me that seeing the flakes of skin and peach fuzz on his face brought her back to that very day and if she stares hard enough at the images she can almost remember his smell. This letter from her truly changed the way I walk into every session now. Newborns themselves are my inspiration. They are a world of possibility and are extraordinarily beautiful. I cherish the time I spend with each baby and family, and I make it my purpose to capture every single detail that makes them so incredibly special. I have learned over the years that being passionate about the subject you are capturing is just as important as being passionate about the craft.
What were the challenges for you in the beginning, how has the way you photograph newborns changed?
Looking back, one of the biggest challenges for me was being worried about what people would think of my work. I was hesitant to share my art with the world and had this crazy fear of not being understood. When I began almost a decade ago, un-posed newborn photography wasn’t necessarily popular. Only a few artists offered this type of newborn photography and I didn’t feel like I fit into a specific ‘category’.
As time went on and my passion for simple newborn photography became my life, I started sharing my work and my confidence grew. When I allowed myself to be called an artist and truly saw newborns as art, my work really transformed.
What is it about simple, beautiful, timeless images that draw you in?
I have always been drawn to minimalistic design and art and I knew early on I wanted to portray this in my work. I love raw textures, earthy tones, natural light, and connection in images. As I learned how to manipulate light and saw how it fell across my subject, my images really began to transform.
What are the tips you would share with anyone trying to move towards simpler newborn work?
Be true to who you are and what you love. Find inspiration from all avenues of your life, not just in the photography world. I find inspiration through personal experiences, my children, light, nature, minimalist interiors and design and this allows me to photograph newborns in a simplistic way and free from distraction.
I love the quote ‘minimalism is about intentionality, not deprivation. ~unknown’. I apply this to my everyday life as well. Walking through my studio, you would think the walls would be covered in framed artwork but it’s not. It’s very much a blank canvas…. And I dig it.
Currently, I shoot with a Canon 5D Mark IV and my backup is a Canon 5D Mark II. My go-to lenses for my newborn work are 50L, 100L, 35L
ABOUT THE ARTIST :
Hello lovely, my name is Laurie Baker and I am a natural light photographer specializing in fine art pregnancy, newborn, baby, and family photography. My work is described as natural and authentic and I am passionate about offering timeless images of your babies and families. I am currently located in Chicago, Illinois with a commercial studio space in Homer Glen. xx ~L