What Is Involved?| Newborn Baby Photographer Leicester

The Newborn Baby Shoot | What Is Involved? – Newborn Baby Photographer Leicester







I have been photographing newborn babies for many years and have three children of my own. I first started photographing newborns in 2005 and then it was pretty much photographing them on their backs, propped up a little bit with some natural light and that was about it. I would photograph the hands and feet and babe in arms of parents but to be honest the galleries I delivered to clients were not that varied and although a wonderful document, didn’t really make for amazing wall displays.

So  much more now goes into how I photograph a newborn, first time parents and parents-to-be considering booking a shoot may not understand how much goes into getting those beautiful newborn images. The sessions are a  little more expensive than a  standard portrait and I am hoping this blog will go a little way to explain why.



Flaking Skin, Boss-Eyes And Milk Rashes






Babies to be fair, although beautifully cute (and of course your own baby is the most gorgeous in the world!) are not the easiest to make beautiful in a portrait! They cannot focus their eyes so when they are open they can look a little ‘boss eyed’, they often have bright red, blotchy skin, some have skin that is peeling all over the place, some have little red rashes and milk spots all over their faces, some babies are even bright orange or yellow if a little Jaundiced. Most newborn babies when they are awake  want to feed and if they are not feeding and awake they are crying for a feed. Those first few weeks are very much feed, sleep, cry, feed, sleep cry.. on a constant cycle!






I have been trained in how babies can be held and positioned safely for their photographs. I know how to support them to curl them back into those foetal positions they are were so comfortable in as embryos. I know which way to curl their legs and tuck their feet under to not hurt or to restrict blood flow. To do all these things though, baby needs to be asleep. Those that have attended my sessions will know that a great part of my job is to settle baby. Rocking and shushing baby after a long feed settles baby into a deep sleep. I have had years of practice with this and can settle babies relatively quickly for their session, even so, my newborn sessions usually last up to four hours. They need to be relaxed! Mum has just had a baby so she needs to rest, and although the portraits are important, this is not as important as babies need for feeding and mummy cuddles. The shoot is broken throughout the session with feeding breaks and cuddle breaks. I believe that no newborn can be successfully photographed in an hour and I just wouldn’t attempt it!



Once asleep I can pose and photograph baby using a range of backgrounds and blankets safely to get a wonderful gallery of newborn baby photographs that will be with that family for decades.




Composite Shots





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Some of the most beautiful shots are simply of baby sleeping, curled or swaddled in a blanket. But sometimes it is good to be a little different and I like to offer parents a range of poses and images to choose from so they can decide what will best compliment their home or style. The internet is swamped with cute newborn images of babies holding  their heads in their hands, swinging in hammocks or balanced on the top of suitcases, I have even seen a newborn in a sweet jar (why??!). The majority of these images are composite shots, that is two photographs or more put together in photoshop to make the final image. If they are not composites they should be! Babies can not really support their head in their hands, their wrists are too weak, babies also should not be balanced on anything! No matter how firm or stable the object is, babies have a reflex called the moro reflex or ‘startle’ reflex. Even if fast asleep they can wake suddenly and throw their arms and head back. If baby is balanced on anything  and not supported they will fall. Knowing how to support and protect the newborn baby from harm during the session is my number one priority and should be any photographers priority over any image.



Job Done?


Umm… well  not quite. That would be great if I could then just export my images to a USB and they look perfect but that just isn’t the case. Once the images have been off-loaded from my camera I spend a great deal of time getting rid of those blotches on the skin, smoothing out those milk spots and making sure babies skin is not bright red or yellow. This happens with every image in the gallery so parents are presented with a complete and finished collection. This is the time I also spend making the composites if I have photographed any which of course takes time, but it is well worth the effort!



The Investment


So mum and dad have managed to make it to the session, just a few days after giving birth and they have put their trust in me for four hours while I handle, soothe and photograph baby for their portraits. I then invest time to make those images taken the very best I can and it is time for the viewing. My viewing sessions I think are not what you would expect. I have heard many a story of champagne viewings, large monitors with slideshows and aggressive sales pitches, I have even heard of locked doors and threats to delete images! You don’t experience that with me. The viewing session is for you to look at your images and for us to cull and collate them into a gallery of favourites. I firstly show parents around the studio, the products you can buy are all on my walls, artwork  that range from Bamboo Panels, Acrylics, Laminates and more. Parents are encouraged to take the products off the wall, to see the quality and style and make decisions on what suits their home.  I have found some wonderful software for my Ipad that gives my clients complete control of their viewing gallery.  You first view your images as a slideshow then you completely take over to go through your gallery and pick your favourites. Many of my mums and dads to this together while I have some more baby cuddles!




Budgets And Prices



Everybody has a limit to how much they can afford and want to spend on a newborn session. It is a difficult time for parents, often on maternity pay, I want parents to leave my studio with a collection of products that will give them pleasure to look at for years to come. A bad experience in a viewing session, a purchase made in haste or a purchase that was well over their budget that leaves a sick feeling, is always going to impede that viewing pleasure. I visited a client for a portrait session once and they had a beautiful family collage on their wall, I made comment on how nice it was and the first thing they said was how they were still paying for it and how horrible the viewing was. If you purchase a product and have to make finance payments on it for the next four years you are going to be looking at that portrait thinking of debt! My products are not dirt cheap, and no, unfortunately you will not be able to buy a large wall display for peanuts. With the time and effort, training and equipment costs that all go into producing that image, it can’t be produced for buttons but at the end of all my viewings clients leave with a collection that they love, can afford and are happy with.  That to me means they may return, their experience has been good and they have left with artwork that they will view with warm hearts and this is just as important as creating a beautiful image.




Newborn Bookings


Babies never arrive on schedule! They rarely do, my worst months are when two babies arrive late and one early! Then we have mayhem. I only book 3 newborn sessions in one month. Booking a shoot should always be make as soon as possible in pregnancy and I use babies due date to provisionally book a shoot. This stay’s as it is right up until I get a text from one of the parents saying ‘Babies late’ or ‘Babies arrived’, the date then gets moved or confirmed. The newborn session must take place in the first 10 days, amazing as it is, babies are just not newborn after this, and it becomes harder and harder for me to both settle and put baby in those newborn poses for the photography. I can do ‘Babe-In-Arms’ sessions at the studio for those that just don’t make the newborn session for whatever reason, it is still worth it, the collection of images are just a little different.



Is It Worth It?


So much effort to get to the studio, such a lot of time and effort going into the collection of images, is it worth it? Well of course i’m going to say it is but it really is! How many children do we have, one, two, three? How long are they newborn? Just 10 days, that is just 10 day’s out of your child’s life to capture that moment and thats it! Yes money is tight, you have a smart phone or perhaps a fancy camera but of all the portraits you ever invest in this moment is so fleeting, it is worth every penny. x






If you are interested in booking a newborn session you can book online HERE. x




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