I recently had the pleasure of meeting this little fella Indi, and although I don’t make a habit of blogging about individual photoshoots, I just had to share my experience of meeting this lovely family, as well as explaining how my newborn baby photoshoots work.
One of the many highlights of being a newborn photographer is the wonderful families I get to meet, at the most precious of times, when families have just welcomed their brand new baby. This is such a special time and I want every family to thoroughly enjoy their newborn photoshoot and have a wonderful experience from start to finish.
I first spoke to Emma during her pregnancy and went through what I call a consultation call on the phone, which is just a little chat so we can talk about the colours which the family like and have around their homes, this allows me to make sure the photographs I style are in keeping with what the family like and have around their homes.
My number one aim as a photographer is for people to put their photographs up on the wall. So it is of the utmost importance that the styling of the photographs is in-keeping with the tastes of the parents.
Emma talked about loving natural, earthy colours and therefore this was the basis of my palette, along with natural fabrics where possible.
This taps into another part of my ethos, I love using the most natural of fabrics and props where – ever possible. So I use a lot of natural wools, wooden beds and buckets, and I even have two nests made from Willow branches.
This reinforces the idea that I always want the baby to be the main focus of my portraits. With minimal interruption from fussy props or psychedelic colours. I have just about every colour of wrap and blanket backdrop anyone could ever ask for, but they are all chosen really carefully so that they do not take the focus from the baby.
In your newborn photoshoot, your baby should always be the focus of every photo in his or her photographs, not what is going on around him.
We also talked about what Emma and her husband did for a living. I ask this question to everyone, as sometimes parent’s have really interesting jobs which we can incorporate within the newborn session, again making the photographs even more personal. When I realised that Emma and her husband Peter were emphatic travellers, and that they take their children all over the world I was so excited and immediately knew what I wanted to do for one of their setups.
Emma also talked about her older little boy, Bodhi who would be at the photoshoot, and I fully encourage this. It is so important to get photos of all of the family, including siblings and even pets sometimes, I have even photographed a newborn baby, the family cat and dog before.
So by the time we ended the phone call we both were really happy and excited about their baby photoshoot. This too is really important to me, you guys should be really excited for your baby’s newborn photoshoot. It should be something you are really looking forward to, and I hope by the end of the conversation I have put parent’s at total ease, so that they can fully relax and enjoy the experience on the day.
Fast forward a few months and I finally got to meet the lovely little Indi, his big brother Bodhi, and Mum and Dad – Emma and Peter.
They arrived, filled out my model release which is standard for any reputable photographer, while I made drinks. I mean, without drinks, how could you ever be comfortable, right?! I can only truly relax with a cup of tea (Yorkshire Tea that is) in my hand!
Then we stripped Indi down and popped his first little pant set on and tried to get Indi on the beanbag and sleepy, however, Indi had a few more awake and wriggly ideas of his own, so after a few false starts and some milk, Indi fell asleep and we got our first photos.
These quickly led on to the setup I had been planning using a rustic antique suitcase and a globe that Emma and Peter happened to bring with them and fitted within the scene effortlessly.
This is something else I encourage, for parent’s to bring items to include within the photographs, whether that is a family blanket, or a special teddy bear. I just love being able to make the photographs as personable as possible and adding little things from home really increases the sentiment within the photographs. Which for me is what photography is all about.
We then proceeded through the session, changing little outfits and backdrop blankets, I changed positions and poses of little Indi, and Emma fed him as he required.
While we’re doing the beanbag photos Peter took little Bodhi round to a toddler play area which is right next door called Lollipop Tots and brilliant for older siblings to have a play and keep them entertained while we get the baby’s portraits taken. And what is even better is if we have such a great relationship, Chloe the owner, allows my little clients to come back through as we need them for photos and then go back and play, which works brilliantly, and means that parent’s with older children aren’t trying to keep them settled for 3-4 hours, which is how long a newborn photoshoot lasts.
Bodhi was fantastic, a total supermodel and was brilliant with his baby brother… The portraits I took of these two together will be treasured forever.
Once all the beanbag and sibling photos are done, we finished off with the family photographs. I do a few variations so that the gallery is absolutely full to bursting with brilliant photographs, full of love, from start to finish. This is usually around 20-25 mark, and that I have found is enough. I would much rather get 23 brilliant, perfect photographs for a family than produce 40 mediocre ones. Definitely quality over quantity… always, in all walks of life for me.
Then that’s it, Emma and her beautiful family could pack up and leave while I edited the gallery, and week or so later, families return for their viewing where they see all of their fully edited photographs, put together in a really lovely slideshow, and choose their package.
I then send their photos to print, their wall art to print and once it’s ready to collect let the family know.
So that’s my process from start to finish for my newborn sessions. Make the whole experience as easy as possible, and enjoyable for all, resulting in the most personal experience, and photographs that are utterly perfect, to look at and love forever.