Personal branding, food & event photography for creatives & independents.
Last Updated on
Are you thinking about having a newborn photo shoot but are a bit apprehensive about what’s involved? Perhaps you’re worried about coping with all the needs of a brand new baby and at the same time inviting a stranger into what is usually a rather chaotic home? Hopefully I can put your mind at rest and give you an insight into what’s involved.
I’m a mum of two so I’ve been there – so tired I can’t remember which way is up, getting to grips with the complete mystery of a new baby – breast feeding, nappy changing, winding and settling. And fretting about the state of the house as it’s besieged by visitors!
It was no different when I arrived at Lucy’s house mid-morning on the day of the shoot. Isabella Rose was fast asleep upstairs so I had a cup of tea and a chat with Lucy about what she was looking for in terms of shots – would dad be around and did “moma” (gran) want to be in a few pictures too. I explained what equipment I’d got with me – I’d already sent Lucy an information sheet with handy tips on and she’d identified a great spot in front of the living room window and turned the heating up high to make sure it was lovely and warm for Isabella – we were soon sweating away! I then brought in my back drop and props and got everything set up. The crate I used is available as a toy box with wheels and a lid and can have baby’s name and date of birth stencilled on the front. I offer it as part of a newborn photography package – it’s a wonderful gift for new parents.
I use natural daylight so we don’t have hot studio lights and trailing wires around – the image shows the basic set up. We picked out some blankets I’d brought along and some of Lucy’s and also some gorgeous little shoes that had been sent as a gift all the way from New Zealand from Lucy’s brother. I like to photograph special details like this and also include them in shots with the baby.
Once everything was ready Lucy went to fetch Isabella and we started to get a few shots. I never expect to get the perfect newborn shots at the start of the shoot – everybody is getting used to each other and the camera. Isabella was awake and quite calm and we managed to get a few images of her surveying what was happening – I’d love to know what babies are thinking as we point strange black things in their faces whilst making funny noises and daft faces!
She lay quite happily for a short while on the crate bed we’d prepared, but when she started to grizzle Lucy cuddled her and Isabella pulled some amazing frowning faces during this time, which had us all laughing.
Newborn shoots are very different to others that I do as baby’s needs come first at all times, so there’s lots of downtime, when there’s nothing for me to do but make cups of tea and wait until we’re ready to go again. I love babies (and tea!) so this is no chore for me. There are lots of moments like this one whilst we try everything to settle a grouchy baby!Just after Isabella had had a feed Dad nipped in from work to get in on the action and we worked quickly to get some pictures of mum, dad and baby.
Time for another feed and then Lucy’s mum was keen to get a picture with Isabella so we did that next.
Isabella was zonked and the signs were there that she was going into a deep sleep – this was finally the time when I knew that the magic would happen! We had been gradually stripping her down over the last few hours – the room was a balmy 25 degrees by now! – and we settled her in her nappy onto the crate bed and I got on with capturing those blissful sleeping newborn shots. Lucy chose to have Isabella partly covered with a pink muslin, whereas some parents go for the bare baby’s bottom look – it’s a matter of personal preference and I will always respect that!
As ever, everything had come together in the last half an hour of the shoot – the rose petals were a last minute addition and really made the shots look stunning. Mission accomplished!