“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.
In December I ran a competition across my Instagram and Facebook pages to win a free photo shoot in my newly expanded studio. All people had to do was like or follow me and say what kind of shoot they wanted.
It’s fair to say I got a lot of entries across both platforms and the shoots people wanted ranged from newborn to family, headshots to pets. I took out all the family members that entered (sorry mum 😉 ) and assigned each entry a number based on when they submitted. Then using a random number generator I found on the internet I picked the entry that corresponded with that number.
It was Jennifer and she wanted some nice photos of her son who was two and his new 4-month-old sister. As well as some pictures of them all as a family. She was delighted when I told her she’d won the prize worth £120 🙂
She ain’t heavy she’s my sister
Not only was this two-year-old turning into a very handsome chap indeed. He was also very well behaved – he only needed one bribe for doughnuts. (to be fair I would do anything for doughnuts as well, just saying). Despite making sure mum and dad were close by, just out of camera, he was very careful with his baby sister.
As for the baby sister…Look at that hair, those eyes, that dimple!! As you can tell I was totally smitten. She was such a good-natured little girl as well. No tears or tantrums here!
I’ll look out for you
This big brother loves his little sister. I think as she gets older she is going to have him wrapped around her cute little fingers.
Sometimes you gotta race cars
With up to an hour in the studio, you get to mess around with different backdrops and props. It’s important to get shots of each child individually as well and find ways to let their personality shine through. My little red racing car was just the thing for this young man ( I think dad was secretly a little jealous).
Time for my close up
Meanwhile, this little cutie was perfectly content to sit in the chair and pout and pose for us.
All too soon the session was over and it was time for me to pack the toys away and start acting like an adult again (booo).
The family went off for doughnuts (not at all jealous!) and I couldn’t wait to get started on editing and delivering back their digital gallery.
The sprinkles on the doughnut
Sorry, but that’s all I can think about now…..
The best bit was getting such a lovely review back from my winners.
Fab photos done with our little ones! Jenny was great and made us all feel comfortable so she got the best pics possible of the kids! Will definitely be back for more photos in the future!
Christmas comes early to the JB Moments Photography Studio. The middle of November to be precise. This is to ensure that any families wanting to make Christmas Cards from their session can do so in plenty of time to get them printed.
The antique sleigh from last year made a comeback but this year in the editing I worked out how to add moving snow. I know, right!
This year I took advantage of the bigger studio and added a ‘cuddle on the couch’ set up. Complete with Christmas throws and ‘The Night before Christmas’ book.
Is your little featured?
I had so much fun I’ve created a video of some of the sessions. Take a look and see if your little one is featured.
I love taking pictures of kids. My husband says it’s because I’m on their level…I’m going to take that as a compliment because I thoroughly enjoy acting silly, having a jolly good time and getting paid for it!
Always wanted to try my hand at School Photo Shoots. So when Kincardine Toddler Group got in touch for their annual photo shoot I was very keen to make that my first foray into this type of photography.
You see in my studio I get at least half an hour at a mini session or an hour or so at a full session to establish a rapport with the child. That is plenty of time to get their trust and for them to relax so we get some good pictures. My schedule at the toddler group was 34 sets of toddlers and their siblings in 10-minute slots. Could I get them to relax in front of the camera in such a short amount of time? Would I still give the kids at the end of the day the same level of energy as those at the beginning? When would I get a toilet break?…
Thank goodness for a big boot
The Mini Clubman (aka the works van) was full to bursting. Backdrop paper, studio lights, reflectors, stands and camera gear were all in there. But that wasn’t what raised strange looks from the caretaker when I pitched up at the community centre the toddler group is run from. It was when I pulled out my extendable feather duster, foam sports hand, rubber chicken and giggle bag!!! All very important arsenal for encouraging smiles and laughter from toddlers.
Some of the parents have very kindly given me permission to share some of the pictures of their little ones.
Even when my backdrop was more interesting than the camera it made for a cute picture.
Judging by the number of orders, social media shares and smiles on the kid’s faces I’d say it went well. I learnt loads and before I do another one I need to update the postage and delivery admin side of things. All handy stuff that is easy to fix.
As for me, I loved every second and the toddlers fed my energy and made sure I gave the last kids (four brothers) as much fun as the first one. One mum, in particular, an angel by the name of Naike, made me a cup of tea that I will be eternally grateful for. And you’ll be pleased to know I managed two toilet breaks 😉
“I am a strong women because a strong woman raised me.”
Ever since Samantha gave birth to gorgeous Thea 15 months ago her own Mum has been desperate to get a photo of the three of them. Unable to get a good one by themselves they booked me to capture their three generations of women for them.
I am always really honoured when I get to capture these types of moments as it will be amazing for Thea to look back when she is older at her heritage.
Thea certainly kept us all on our toes but was easily bribed with Cheerios :-). She had the most amazing blue eyes that mum had emphasised with her pretty blue and white floral dress.
Who run the world (girls)
Any excuse to quote Beyonce (am I right?)
But with this amazing Mum and doting Gran I think Thea will go on to do anything she wants in life – maybe even run the world.
Who can forget gorgeous baby Hugo and those immensely kissable cheeks? Well he was in for the second of his Grow with Me sessions now he is 4 months old (I know, where has that 4 months gone?!).
You think they can’t have grown that much in 4 months! As I used my vintage suitcase prop at his newborn session I thought I would use it again at this stage to chart how much he had actually grown…..WOW!
There wasn’t even any room for Ted this time!
I’m going to use the suitcase at all his sessions as I think it will make a cool montage at the end for his mum and dad. But I don’t think he will be in it for any more sessions!
His next session will be around the 8-month-old stage when he can sit up by himself. Then we round off at around one year old when he can stand by himself (or with a little help). I absolutely love it when parents book a Grow with Me package as it means I get to see these little people grow and develop. It was amazing the range of expressions Hugo has now and how much he recognised his mum’s voice. He still let me snuggle him as well so that was an added bonus 🙂
The next few weeks in the studio are busy busy busy! I have a pet shoot this weekend and more pets in the coming week for family shoots. Then it will be Christmas Mini session madness! This week I am getting to try something new photographing handmade jewellery for a local college. Watch this space…
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.
Cake Smashes are a big deal across the pond and for those of you that don’t know what one is (where have you been?). Allow me to enlighten you. You take a child turning one, an elaborately frosted cake, a pretty studio set up and a photographer. And get super cute milestone pictures of your little angel destroying, eating and smearing said cake EVERYWHERE.
Okay, that’s what we want you to believe. But, come closer, closer still *whispers in your ear* I’m going to let you in on a little secret. They rarely go to plan. Allow me to illustrate with some behind the scenes footage of the above shoot.
The little one is usually overwhelmed by the cake. In-between takes parents have to cajole them into eating refined sugar and often have to smear on faces and bodies. Side note – If using chocolate cake please make sure the cake is in the shot, otherwise it can look like a dirty protest!!
I mean in this case, Dad (aka my little brother) definitely got something out of the shoot so it was all good. But all too often parents leave this type of shoot disheartened that their little one didn’t smash the cake up like everyone else’s did. Don’t feel bad mum and dad, very few kids do. YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
I prefer Hole Foods
That’s right – doughnuts! My love of doughnuts is very well documented by now. But they are also great for these milestone sessions as well. Kids don’t seem as overwhelmed by a stack of doughnuts as they do a large cake. They are handily sized for little hands and if you stack them up, kids like nothing more than to knock them down.
So I mainly offer Doughnut Smashes.
Grace (shown above) made it onto Animoto’s International Doughnut Day slideshow with her one in each hand and one in the mouth pose 🙂
Arya combined unicorns and doughnuts for cuteness overload.
And Finnley proved that you can still enjoy a doughnut stack when you turn two!
So, when considering a fun milestone photoshoot for your little ones, don’t just stop at cake.
No doughnuts ever go to waste - I eat up all the leftovers ;-)