Newborn photography, the best way to bottle up everything you want to remember from those early days of newborn life. These are the images that will trigger all your senses and take you back to the milky smell of your baby, to the touch of their smooth, delicate skin and their warm, bump shaped little bodies. Their teeny little fingers and toes in your hands won’t stay that little for long but the photographic evidence of their nails half the size of a grain of rice and the baby skin that peels of their little bean shaped toes will last a lifetime. 

I adore newborn shoots. They are perhaps the most tricky of all of the shoots that I do; they say never work with children or animals but these are actually my favourite things! These shoots are run completely on baby time and while I suggest spending around 60-90 minutes with you on your home visit shoot, the reality is that we may need much, much longer. If baby needs a feed, a cuddle, a change or anything else for that matter then we go with it! I am there to document these early days with your newborn and actually, some of these things that your baby will need you to attend to, actually give me some really good chances to photograph you just being you in the new born haze. 

Some parents don't mind being in the photos and want photos of the whole family caught on camera with the new addition, sometimes pets included! Other's don't want to be in the photos and actually, I get it, especially for us mums, you're beyond tired, you body feels strange and not like it is really yours, you can't remember the last time you had a shower without hearing the baby crying (even if it was all in your head!) and you have had to jump straight out again, only half washed. But honestly, I really actively encourage you to be in the photos! We don't have to take portraits of you or close ups of your face! I can subtly include you in the photos, or your arms, or hands, just so we can also document how teeny tiny your baby is against your body... they don't stay that little for long!

While beautiful images are of course my main intent, I love the quiet moments in between where I can quietly snap away. For example during a feed or a quiet snuggle or where a four legged fluffy family member tiptoes by to check that their new family member is ok and being looked after. I love to catch these unexpected moments to help tell part of this chapter of your story.

Now, the thought of this shoot being at your own home will quite likely result in one of two thought processes. It’ll either be pure dread that a stranger will be coming into your home where the baby stuff is everywhere, you haven’t thrown the hoover around in ten days and you can’t actually remember when you last washed your hair. The other, and opposite, will be utter relief that you don’t have to leave the house, no stress of packing all of the newborn essentials needed to leave the house, putting it all in the car and remembering to change into your shoes from your slippers before you too get in the car. Either way, there is no judgement here! I have had two babies and on one I would have felt dread at someone coming into my house and on the other, I would have felt even worse about having to leave the house. Honestly, I am not coming to look at your house and inspect it for whether or not you have hoovered before my arrival; in fact, my kids are now four and six and as I sit here I am looking around wondering when I last hoovered! 

All I need for this shoot is a light and airy space and for it to be warm. A room, upstairs or downstairs with the most natural light is perfect but equally, if said room is hard to find in your house, then just pick your favourite space or one that you feel comfortable in. I also bring lights! I never use flash on these shoots but I do have a wonderful video light that radiates pretend natural light if we need to use it. And the temperature is kind of key as at some point in the shoot, I like to strip baby down to a nappy and photograph all of the teeny tiny baby details like baby fluff on their ears or shoulders, wrinkles where they haven’t yet grown into their skin or where their top layer of newborn skin is starting to peel. I never take baby’s nappy off, there is no need but it does help to keep a happier and sleepier baby if we have sub-tropical temperatures!

On the topic of sleepy babies, I have no preference if baby is asleep or awake. In the perfect scenario, I would get some photos of both but like I mentioned earlier, we run on baby time and baby rules so if they don’t want to play, that’s ok! I don’t wrap babies up in tight bundles or put them in baskets with novelty head gear on, rather, I like to use blankets that were knitted or gifted as a special memory of these heartfelt items. In fact, I always ask at every shoot if there is something sentimental or special that should be included in the shoot and encourage this as much as possible. A teddy gifted from a loved one, for example or an outfit which is a family heirloom and has been worn by generations of the family.

As with all shoots, I like to try and put you as much at ease as possible before the shoots, and I invest a lot of time trying to be as open as possible with you and also in getting to know you a little. My hope in writing this blog post is that you can now imagine what it would be like to have me visit your home to photograph your newborn and family and that if you were previously in the ‘I couldn’t possibly have someone in my home taking photos’ camp, that you may see that it really is not a home inspection or me coming in to judge you, I genuinely just want to be able to celebrate your new arrival with you and to give you the gift of photographs that you will cherish for life. If you are still not convinced, head over to ‘Jess and Arnas’s Newborn Shoot’ Blog. This lovely couple loved their shoot so much that they have written an account of their experience and the best bit is that I get to return to their home later this year to photograph their second newest arrival… I already can’t wait!