Design Aglow’s Baby Week 2016 continues with a fantastic feature from newborn photographer Courtney de Jauregui. Enjoy!
Hello! I’m Courtney de Jauregui, the wife part of the husband and wife photography team: The de Jauregui’s. While we are a duo for most of our wedding photography gigs and some of our commercial work, I’m the one who photographs all the maternity, newborn, and family sessions. Although, on occasion my husband Erin will come along if it’s a past wedding client so he can catch up and say hello. At that point, he may assist me with any lighting to make the shoot go faster. However, the newborn shoots are all me. :)
I got into photography through my husband. That being said, I have always been an artist. I graduated with a degree in Fine Arts with an emphasis in painting from San Francisco State University. I loved exploring figure painting and studying the human gesture, so transitioning into photography, especially wedding photography, was easy. Taking pictures encompasses both gesture and capturing emotion.
My journey into newborn photography began after I had our daughter in 2012. I photographed her nonstop (of course), and really felt connected to the craft. During this time, many of our past wedding clients started having babies of their own. They kept asking if I could help to capture this wonderful time in their lives, so I jumped at the chance. It made absolute sense to me, seeing how much I loved babies.
Newborn photography can have many different styles. For me, a soft feel and natural light is essential. I always try to use that type of light as much as I can while I’m working, as all of the sessions are at my client’s homes. I do use my Profoto Light Kit if absolutely necessary, in order to add in some light if their rooms tend to be a bit dark. In addition, I approach each shot in a way that has a softer or selective focus in order to give it more emotion and a timeless feel.
I tend to utilize my medium format Hasselblad H2 film camera for almost all of my newborn shoots, as the analogue technique really me achieve an ethereal look. When I do my post production process, I match any digital photos (taken with my Canon 5D Mark II) the best I can with the film version. Or, as an alternative, I might present my digital images in black and white. It all depends on how much color film I shot.
My goal is to have my newborn photos cherished by parents as some of the most memorable moments in their lives. Because of this, I approach my sessions in a very organic way. I just make small adjustments by simply changing some of the poses (taking images with each parent, the baby alone, and then all of them together, for example). It’s also always essential that I remind the family to be affectionate! The fantastic thing is that I have never found new parents to be nervous or awkward in front of the camera during a newborn shoot, and I believe it’s because they now have the best distraction in the world. They are just so in love with their new baby that nothing but joy comes through in the photos.
When I am photographing the baby alone, I do pose a bit more. In addition, I may use small props. This is so I can make sure to capture the baby’s sweetness while also utilizing the best lighting and a natural state. However, I always let the baby’s personality shine through by making sure to capture the smallest of details. Stretching, yawning, the tiny toes, you name it!
My experience as a newborn photographer has left me with a few tidbits of advice. Here are my top 5 recommendations:
Thank you so much, Courtney.
Stay tuned every day this week for more fantastic advice, stories, and fun from some of the top newborn photographers in the industry today. We can’t wait to share more with you!
Courtney De Jauregui has been immersed in creativity since a young age by surrounding herself in all mediums of art. After achieving a BA in Fine Arts from San Francisco State University with an emphasis in painting, she gained an eye for the simple details of the human gesture. This love of painting the human figure translated into her photography by focusing on the intimacy and emotions of real life. With a 4 year old daughter and another baby on the way, Courtney lives and works with her husband in the Napa Valley. They both travel the world documenting weddings together, while individually keeping fresh with their own separate projects. Together they document their personal life and travels on their Yashica 124G Twin Lens Camera.
To view more of Courtney's work, visit her here.