THIS IS A GUEST POST COURTESY OF CRYSTAL REDDICK OF IMAGO DEI NEWBORN PHOTOGRAPHY
One of the best things we get to do as photographers is to capture images that mean something. For someone who photographs newborns, there is always an important story to be told whenever a Rainbow Baby graces the studio. There is something that the parents want to honor and commemorate, while at the same time celebrating their sweet newborn. In one image, we have the opportunity to tell an important story—the chance to create something beautiful for the family to remember siblings.
The saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” becomes very weighty in this situation, and only begins to describe the family’s journey up until this point. Many times parents of rainbow babies have experienced the long-suffering of infertility, the emotional highs and lows of fertility treatment, the extreme sadness of miscarriage (sometimes multiple), or the gut-wrenching loss of stillbirth or infant death. And then the family comes to you for their Rainbow Baby newborn photo session — it is a meaningful time to be a photographer.
To be prepared for photographing Rainbow Babies, I have invested in some quality Rainbow Baby props that fit my photography style. I like to carry both jewel-toned and pastel-colored rainbow props. Oh So Fleeting has been a great source for rainbow-colored farm fluff, loose rainbow wool curls, and also little felted rainbows—these make it easy to get the point of the picture across. I have a variety of colors of small felted hearts from Baby Birdie Boutique available to incorporate, as well as a small felted rainbow heart from Lorna Doone Props.
I am always on the look-out for rainbow-styled headbands and bonnets. I love my rainbow bonnet from Fleur Foto Knits; it is ivory with rainbow fringe trim. I also have rainbow-colored or coordinating headbands from several vendors—Lela’s Props, Pretty Pink Ruffles, Poppy and Cy, and Your Spot LLC. In general, my Rainbow Baby props are some of my most-used props, and they are one of the reasons families with Rainbow Babies choose me to photograph their newborns.
The sweet baby in this picture is a very loved Rainbow Baby. Her parents have had eight miscarriages leading up to her birth. I wanted to do something unique and special to commemorate all of their babies, so with the family’s permission, I ordered eight sets of small angel wings to incorporate in a special picture for the family. I placed a small felted heart with each set of angel wings, and had the Rainbow Baby hold a rainbow felted heart. It ended up being really a special picture for the family, honoring all of their babies while celebrating their Rainbow Baby. This little girl is also the surviving of a set of triplets. Her dad had gotten her mom a special necklace with three jewels; two pearls to commemorate the two identical brothers and a rainbow colored jewel to represent her being a Rainbow Baby. After setting up this photograph, and placing the mom’s special necklace in baby’s hand, the newborn placed her hand across her heart, as if thinking of her brothers—such a special moment.
In my photography business, I want to always take special time and space to honor Rainbow Babies and their siblings. To be given the task of creating something beautiful for a family to hang on their walls in this situation is a significant endeavor. It is a privilege to enter into a family’s heartache and celebration for a moment in time.
Crystal Reddick is photographer at Imago Dei Newborn Photography, specializing in stylized maternity and studio newborn photography in the Mid-Missouri area. Check out more of her rainbow baby photography by visiting her Facebook page or website.