The posed style of newborn photography came to the Uk roughly in the last 8-10 years having really become popular in America. Of course everyone started wanting to improve their newborn photography in the Uk, and so beautifully crafted images have now become the norm for most shoots. There is an art to posing babies, not only are they delicate, but they are the most precious little people. This beautiful little bundle is going to steal their families hearts forever. Being safe should be a priority. I used to do sessions and do 3-5 prop shots if required (dependant on what the family wanted and their tastes – a prop shot could be a flower ring, baby in a wooden bucket e.t.c.) but often found it unsettled the baby to then move onto props after posing them on a beanbag.
Increasingly there is a wealth of beautiful digital backdrops and on top of that I make my own backdrops too, which means the baby can then be posed on the beanbag planning in advance the type of image the family have chosen. Which also means that baby is safe, babies should never be hanging from anything on a prop. I’m really enjoying creating some stunning galleries at the moment for my newborn families.
What I’ve found is even better is that I’m not pulling babies around, of course I still photograph the odd session with a baby actually in a prop with a hand safely in place. But it does make for a much more relaxed session. The magic is done afterwards carefully creating an image in photoshop that looks real. Like a tiny baby laying on a flower. Anne Geddes of course many many years ago was photographing babies in this way, her sets were amazing as was her inspiring ideas. However this made this style of photography out of reach for a lot of parents and photographers – you either need a massive studio but also a massive budget. The time that goes into the editing clearly increases and that is what you pay for when you choose digital images. I really wish it had been in this Country when I had my babies!
This is actually something I crafted myself in photoshop – Dad is a tennis coach, and they wanted a tiny racket incorporated into the shoot in some way. And so my brain went into overdrive and I created this Wimbledon – tennis inspired newborn photo.
This is one of my most favourite composites – my Harry Potter inspired newborn shoot, Mum was a bit Harry Potter mad, and so fuelled by the knowledge of her love for all things magical, I created a beautiful set of normal newborn images, but also a set of Harry Potter inspired baby photos.
One of the images took 12 hours to edit, it is unique. The beautiful felted hat and owl were made by the insanely talented Chelsie who can make anything from felt, even though she lives in America it’s certainly worth the wait! The link to her shop is here https://www.etsy.com/shop/PuddyPad
Liz Wood is a safe newborn photographer in Essex & Suffolk