Within the realm of portrait photography are sub-genres that we turn to as keepers of our memories and milestones. Among these is newborn and milestone photography, which immortalizes the joy of birth and childhood. In the photos she recently shared with us, Pennsylvania-based photographer Amanda Steinbacher shows us how powerful this type of photography can be in documenting the precious memories newborns and children bring to a family.
Amanda describes herself as a newborn and milestone photographer (and owner of her own business), following clients with her camera from around 32 weeks into the pregnancy through various milestones of their child’s life. “In doing so, I’m able to document many important events all around their growing families. I enjoy doing this for others as I see the importance of capturing those little memories that one might forget as the days go on,” she tells of the importance of her craft. “My hope is that those children and their children’s children will be able to look at my work and reminisce about days past – in a tasteful, fine art way.”
As often is the case with a session, the challenge for our photographer here begins with a creative concept for each client. However, with newborn photography being her absolute favorite project, she finds that it challenges her artistic abilities in creating setups unique to each family. She plans ahead and discusses various client requirements, incorporating ideas and planned setups before the shoot.
As for the shoot itself, she mostly works outdoors to make the best of natural light, but she also does some sessions in her studio. “I shoot with a Nikon D850 as my primary and a D7200 as a secondary body. You can usually find my cameras with a Nikkor 35mm 1.4 and a Nikkor 70-200 2.8 VRII respectfully. I bring along with me a few speed lights for supplemental lighting, though I hardly use them for these milestone sessions. When photographing at my studio, in addition, I use an Alien B400 with a 64” Paul C. Buff PLM umbrella with a diffuser overtop. It gives me wonderful, soft lighting and the ability to photograph during any time of the day.”
On her work, Steinbacher strives to supply more than just a digital file that gets shared on social media. Her goal is to create beautiful art for everyone to cherish.
“While this type of genre is documenting milestones, I feel as though I’m taking what is presented before me and creating something spectacular. SO much goes through my mind when creating these pieces. Aside from the planning, during those sessions I’m analyzing lighting and doing as much of the composition and development within the camera.”