A guide for parents – getting the most from your newborn photography session – Suffolk & Essex Newborn Photographer
Choose the right style baby photographer!
Baby photography is really a matter of taste and so it helps to know the type of images you want! This is from a lifestyle session. Lifestyle photography is taken in the comfort of your home, and generally involves having photos taken by your window, on the sofa – not so much of the posed studio style photography – however some photographers can do both if you have the room for them to work. Google lifestyle photographers in your area and feel free to ask questions and look at your chosen photographers porftolio. More importantly book a photographer because you love their style and work rather than someone is more expensive and you want them to replicate their work – most established newborn and baby photographers have their own unique style, usually they have invested hours and years to get to where they are. Asking them to replicate someone else work really wouldn’t make their artistic hearts sing as it would if a client raves about their own work!
- Lifestyle photography captures real life events, situations in an artistic manner
- Studio posed newborn photography offers more posed formal images, it is possible to capture emotion and the feelings of love your newborn brings you by having the parents snuggle their baby closely, a lot of the images you see of a baby snoozing on a fabric are called posed images, and the baby is posed on a huge beanbag usually. This type of photography is very popular nowadays however some poses can be dangerous to achieve – a good photographer will be able to demonstrate they take composite images – things like frog pose, taco, head on arms potentially can be dangerous if not done properly so look at your photographers work
- Documentary photography is very misunderstood and is growing in this Country – documentary is not posing or issuing instructions to clients. It literally is sitting quietly observing the subject and their family and capturing raw, real life every day happenings. This is often confused with lifestyle photography but they are different.
- Location photography – where the photographer could be outdoors obviously the English weather is very climatic and taking a newborn out to photograph doesn’t happen much as babies need to be kept warm, with the emerging digital element of composite photography shots can be taken in a studio and a good photographer can emulate the lighting and make the baby look like they actually are outside and posed in a prop
Composite Newborn Photography
This is an example of composite newborn photography, I live on the Suffolk/Essex border and we literally have really warm weather for a very short period of time, added to that babies shouldn’t be in direct sunlight and cannot regulate their body temperature and need to be toasty warm, so for us English photographers learning the art of photoshop to make an image look like it has completely been taken outside is an artform! Baby would never ever be unattended in a prop either it would be so easy to fall off or startle. I created this digital backdrop myself for this particular baby. The robin came and landed in my garden whilst I was photographing the set up and so it was meant to be that this gorgeous little baby had a robin looking over her. This is posed safe newborn photography – do check your photographer can demonstrate they do safe composites – more importantly – if you are uncomfortable with your baby being in or on something and he/she isn’t being held. It is okay to say you aren’t happy, I’m always happy to explain safety as I go along to parents. I would hate for a parent to feel I haven’t taken their babies safety seriously.
The day of your newborn shoot
Most photographers that photography babies all the time produce a guide that they send out when you book, it means your session should be planned and relaxed in advance unless you left it until the last minute! But even so the photographer should be prepared, the room should be warm where your shoot takes place so baby doesn’t become cold if you are going for those undressed curled up newborn poses.
Wrap baby in a loose sleepsuit – socks, trousers, skirts, tights and even nappies leave marks on a newborn babies tender soft skin, just before the session you should be prepared to feed baby so they are sleepy and milk drunk. (If you are breastfeeding make sure you don’t eat lots of leafy vegetables, drink too much coffee or curry the day before – windy unsettled babies are harder to settle).
Be prepared to feed more – lets face it even though in the hands of a trained newborn photographer your baby is safe, at home they are either laying sleeping (well unless you have a non sleeper), or cuddled up in Mum or Dad’s arms an awful lot whilst you gaze at this perfect little baby you have created! Knowing in advance baby will be more unsettled undressed, and posed and knowing they will feed more prepares you for a relaxed newborn session. Hopefully you have had contact in advance with your newborn photographer and should feel comfortable with them. Having a good rapport with your photographer and them back with you makes for a very settled and relaxed photoshoot.
Do ask questions, I think sometimes us newborn photographers are so used to doing what we do, we really don’t mind questions at all! If a newborn photographer feels that baby really is unsettled, they may offer to reshoot on another day!
If you use a dummy/pacifier/colic medicine or infacol – bring it along, I have at least twice in my career been presented with a dummy at the end of a 5 hour session and yes newborn shoots typically take 2-4 hours which allows time for feeding, nappy changes, cuddles and the odd cup of tea!