“People who say the sleep like a baby usually don’t have one.” – Leo J. Burke
Like all other baby photographers, I love a sleeping baby to shoot. They curl up well into those adorable snuggly poses and look impossibly cute in all manner of bonnets and costumes in bowls and other props.
I have lovingly created guides for parents bringing their new bundle of joy to a session to help them prepare as much as possible for a sleepy session. The parents diligently read these guides and follow them to the letter. Yet on the day of the shoot….
Introducing 4-month new Alex. He was fast asleep when he arrived at the studio but as soon his car seat touched the studio floor. BAM! He was wide awake.
After his feed, which he demolished in record time, I swaddled him nice and cosy. “they usually drop off once fed and swaddled”, I confidently said. Alex just opened his beautiful eyes even further.
The most important thing to note is that as long as the baby is comfortable I will get gorgeous pictures wide awake or fast asleep. It is nothing to get stressed out about.
I even decided to have some fun as he was so alert. Ever since I had got them at the Photography Show I had been dying to use my new sheep props. I love the look he is giving me here!
Chilled out little dude
Alex was super chilled out on my sheepskin cover. He was very content just to lay there and watch what I was up to and to make sure mum and gran were close by in case he needed a little snack.
He was most disgruntled when I had the nerve to move him from his favourite spot. It was at this point that mum caught me sneaking a kiss to the top of his head and I wasn’t even embarrassed. I mean look at him? You would totally do the same in my position!
Gran’s magic cuddles
After a long cuddle with Gran, the unthinkable happened Alex fell briefly asleep. Not a proper deep slumber but enough for me to pop him a prop to give mum another look for her gallery.
Baby Charlie has a cool uncle. Fact! How do I know this? Well because he purchased a gift voucher for Charlie’ parents at Christmas for a Newborn photo shoot at my home studio 🙂
Typically to get those swaddled, squishy baby pictures that a lot of parents want the baby needs to be about two weeks or under. I like to describe it as before they start to unfurl! Charlie was 10 weeks new when he came into the studio. During the pre-shoot consultation, his parents said they didn’t want wrapped or prop styled pictures. In fact, Charlie’s mum said, “we’ll be happy if we get one nice family one and one of Charlie’s smile”.
When two become a family
Not only did I get more than one lovely family shoot, as well as pictures of mum and dad individually with Charlie. I also managed to get some of this cheeky chaps cool expressions. What a little dude!
Capturing this baby boy smiling wasn’t an issue because after he’d had some milk and a nappy change he was all smiles.
A proper Charlie
Being 10 weeks old baby Charlie had a whole range of facial expressions that he was happy to share with us. I just loved this one 🙂
As usual, the two-hour session went by in a flash and after some snuggles, with his photographer, baby Charlie left the studio.
In other news…I’m an Auntie again 🙂
On the 22nd of January, my newest little nephew was born. At 8:55 pm, weighing in at a whopping 9lb 6oz baby Teddy entered the world.
Due to work commitments, it took two weeks before I could get to see him. TWO WHOLE WEEKS people! Finally, I packed as much of my studio as I could fit in my car and made the 320-mile trek down South to get my snuggle on!
He is my brother’s third son and he wanted a picture of all the boys together. Okay, I thought what are my options here? I swaddled Teddy nice and snug, but who to hold him? As my eldest nephew (12) is on the autism spectrum I thought it might be easier if they all lay on the floor and for my middle nephew (2) to have Teddy resting on him. But no, my usually easy going middle nephew was obviously still reeling from no longer being the baby of the family and definitely DID NOT want to hold the new baby!
You definitely have to be aware of all the family dynamics when posing siblings. My eldest nephew surprised us all by being willing to hold the baby but I knew I had one take and that was it.
Lucky for me I got an image my brother and sister in law were happy with. Phew! Straight after that take middle nephew jumped up and was out of there!
Teddy by name
As soon as my brother told me my new nephew’s name I knew I had to use my teddy bear bonnet on him.
I know I’m biased, but have you ever seen a cuter Teddy? I don’t think so.
The eagle-eyed amongst you may notice a new logo on this image. The Digitally Altered logo is a safety initiative created for Photographers (specifically Newborn Photographers) to easily mark and identify images that have been digitally enhanced, altered, combined or stitched together in post-production to create imagery that would otherwise be unsafe to reproduce straight out of camera. If someone clicks on it they will get the following info.
“If you have been directed to this page by another photographer or you have seen this logo displayed on another artist work, it means that the image you have seen has been created by combining 2 or more images together digitally to ensure baby’s safety. The Photographer wants you to know that this image was created safely and that no baby was put into a dangerous position during the creation process. They also want to ensure that for those wanting to recreate a similar image or style, to not do so without further investigation into how to do it safely. “
I think this is a great initiative and I will be using it going forward on any image I manipulate to allow newcomers to the industry, parents and creators alike to understand that the image/s they are viewing requires further investigation into its creation process before trying to replicate it on a real baby.
The littlest feet make the biggest footprints in our hearts.
Baby Warren at just over three weeks new came and trampled all over my heart with his ten perfect toes. To say I was smitten was an understatement! He took a while to get off to sleep as well so that meant LOADS MORE SNUGGLES FOR ME!!
Rooting for him
When he did doze off after a bottle of the finest white stuff, it was so worth the wait. I had a new tree root prop that I’d been desperate to try. (Yes I know my prop shopping is a serious addiction, but in my defence, it was on sale).
Bear with me
Whilst slumbering we took advantage and dressed Warren up as the cutest little teddy bear.
Funny shaped balls
Warren’s dad is a professional rugby player and had recently been awarded his 100th cap which mum wanted to incorporate into the shoot. Now I’m not a rugby expert (okay confession time I just watch for the tight shorts), but Mr JB advises me that getting this cap is a HUGE deal.
So I got a rugby ball shaped stress ball that was the perfect baby size and went with a wrap covered in stars to commemorate the achievement and I think it turned out pretty good.
Warren was pretty chilled about the whole thing as you can see 🙂
Nice Try Dad!
I love creating images that look like the baby is being held aloft in dad’s hands. As a baby photographer, safety is my first priority so Warren is actually on a beanbag the whole time and I create the look with some Photoshop magic in post-production.
Warren clearly seems to think that dad’s catching skills are hilarious!!!
Three is the magic number
I think a baby photo session is more than getting some cute images of your new bundle of joy whilst they are still teeny weeny. I like to think I’m capturing the moment that your unconditional love takes on real, tangible meaning. The moment you fully transition from being in love to being a family.
“And though she be but little, she is fierce.” – Shakespeare: A Midsummer Night’s Dream
It’s a Girl!
Don’t get me wrong I love all the squishy newborn babies that I get to snuggle in my studio but after a run of baby boys, it was lovely to meet 11 days new Pippa. At 6 pounds 8 ounces she was a small but perfectly formed bundle of gorgeousness. Time to break out the headbands!
When chatting with mum as she booked the session she mentioned that she wanted some sibling shots with Pippa’s big sister Hollie who was two. Not a problem. Although two-year-olds are the most unpredictable in my experience so I had baby’s neck fully supported underneath the swaddling and mum close by before I even attempted the shot.
In this instance, I needn’t have worried as big sister was amazing with her baby sister. But always better to be safe than sorry!
After posing like a champ Hollie went off with Daddy for a babycino like the big grown up little lady she is.
If the hat fits…
I have lots of wraps, outfits and hats for my clients to choose from but I always love it when they bring in something special to them. In this case, it was a knitted hat that had been Hollie’s when she was born.
Is that not unBEARably cute?! (sorry not sorry) 🙂
If I get a new prop I’ve gotta use it and mum was up for it too. Pippa was soooo cosy and comfy all swaddled up she was very content.
All to soon my time with Pippa was up. One more snuggle and kiss of those gorgeous cheeks. Then I had to give her back to her family and get ready for the next little bundle of joy.
“The very first moment I beheld him, my heart was irrevocably gone.” – Jane Austen
At six days new, baby Zander was the last client in my bijou studio before the big expansion. And what a client he was. *swoon*
Seven pounds seven ounces of heaven
Zander arrived fast asleep and as I undressed him and swaddled him up he made a couple of cute sighs but didn’t break his slumber. I was so busy swooning over his cheeks and button nose I almost forgot I was supposed to be taking the pictures!
In fact, he was so sleepy I was able to get the above pose that I don’t always get to do (please note this is a composite image and mum was supporting Zander the whole time).
Living in a box
Time for a change of scenery and chance for me to try out a new box. I had procured it with babies in mind (yes I am a nightmare to go shopping with!). Zander slept through it all.
Even when I unwrapped him a bit and played dress up some more. Have I mentioned how much I LOVE my job 🙂
After a quick refuel my little guy (at this point I’d decided I was keeping him, I just had to work out how to let his parents know!), quickly settled back to sleep.
We breezed through his family photos and individual pictures with mum and dad. As Zander stayed sleepy even after I took his swaddle off I decided to shoot for a few more creative images like the one at the top of the page.
Obviously Zander isn’t hanging he is lying safely on a bean bag happy in the land of nod but it makes for a cracking picture.
Then all too soon it was time to dress Zander back in the clothes he came in. I reluctantly hand him back to his parents who unfortunately for me had grown quite attached to him and wanted to keep him.
“You don’t raise heroes, you raise sons. And if you treat them like sons, they’ll turn out to be heroes, even if it’s just in your own eyes.” – Wally Schirra
Baby Hugo was two weeks new when his parents brought him into my studio and it was love at first sight. Well for me anyway 🙂
Hugo slept his entire way through the session. Only stirring for the briefest period for a quick milk stop and nappy change. His parents had done an absolutely sterling job with my pre-shoot guide and as a result, I was able to provide them with a gallery of over double the number of pictures I quote for this type of session.
We started fairly traditionally with him swaddled. Just look at those kissable cheeks!
I had been wanting to use a vintage suitcase I had for ages. I had procured it on one of my many antique shop forages. With baby Hugo still fast asleep it was just a quick change of swaddling and he rocked the set like a total champ.
I couldn’t get enough of his pouty lips, so gorgeous.
Usually when I take the swaddle off the baby is when they wake up. So I approached the next set up with some small amount of trepidation. Not handsome Hugo though! He carried on sleeping like a total dreamboat
As a result, we were able to get lots of gorgeous pictures with mum and dad as well.
The only downside of all this lovely sleepiness. No real cuddles for me. *sigh*
The littlest feet make the biggest footprints in our hearts.
When Harry Met Jenny
Prince Harry has been in the news a lot lately…and in my opinion, he is the most handsome royal. I mean William had a brief moment but then he started losing his hair…Anyhow, I digress. Last Saturday I met my very own Prince Harry. That is Harry James, Prince of Larbert. Two months new and utter perfection. I was smitten. And Harry? Well, he took it all in his stride!
When Two Become Three
Harry’s Mum and Dad were keen to get some pictures as a new family and I love taking this style of photograph to capture the unconditional love they have for their new bundle of joy.
These May Embarrass You When You’re Older
Harry was a little trooper through various outfit and scene changes, only stopping for a quick milk pitstop. He already has a great range of facial expressions that I just couldn’t resist.
Eventually, though, our photo shoot was over and to my dismay, Harry’s parents wanted to take him home with them. So I had to make do with one last snuggle and gaze into those dreamy, big blue eyes of his before he left to rule his kingdom.
I try to make my home studio an oasis of calm and serenity when I have a newborn client in. Alas, when Miss Sophie paid me a visit it was anything but!
You see on this particular morning Mr JB was in the lounge watching the TV, still recuperating from his extreme dog walking injury. The back garden is being remodelled to enable me to shoot family portraits outside and the gardeners were blasting their eighties power ballads out of portable speakers. That blended with the strains of Bloomberg from the TV. Bert and Ernie my two Frenchies were most put out to be shut in the kitchen, especially when they knew Mr JB was in the next room so they were barking especially loudly at every movement the gardeners made. If that all wasn’t enough, Miss Isla, Miss Sophie’s 22-month big sister decided to cry. A lot.
You know what though? The moment mum Kate handed Miss Sophie to me none of that mattered. It literally just all faded away and all that was left was this gorgeous eight days new perfect little girl and me.
She was a little doll and the first newborn girl I’d had in for what felt like ages. So I indulged myself with a tutu!! Luckily mum was on board 🙂
I also had the chance to use my new cloud prop. It was made by the best wood turner in the business, my dad.
I had hoped to get some pictures of just Miss Isla as she had the most amazing huge blue eyes. When she did smile it lit up her whole face. But she was being quite shy and staying close to Daddy. Bearing in mind her little world had just been turned upside down with the introduction of a little sister she was doing remarkably well. You could see how much she already doted on her new sister (hopefully that will still be the same when she is 16 and Sophie is borrowing her clothes!!).
Ultimately though the session was about Miss Sophie and was a gift from Kate’s sister for the new arrival. (That’s correct – little-known fact – I offer gift vouchers so you can give the gift of memories to someone 🙂 ). My absolute favourite picture from the session is the one below *swoon*
Welcome to the world, Sophie.