A Real Mums Experience of a Newborn Photography Shoot
Our baby girl was born at the start of June and just 11 days later it was time for Summer’s Newborn photography session. The day before the shoot I remember being slightly nervous about what to expect, the week or so after our Baby girl had arrived was eventful; packed with anxiety of whether we were doing everything right, lots of sleepless nights and at 5 days old a further stay in hospital due to her weight dropping dramatically. We were only starting to understand our baby and our new roles as parents and now we had to actually leave the house!
My Newborn Photography Shoot Experience
The night before the shoot I scrambled around making sure I could find black tops for both me & my husband then filled our changing bag with what I thought were the essentials. Infact apart from hospital & doctor appointments this was our first outing since Summer had been born.
Our photographer had asked us to try to prepare Summer so that she was ready for a feed when we arrived, our feeding patterns were all over the place which made me slightly nervous. I was topping up with formula, as well as breastfeeding to quickly increase her weight and trying to time when she would be sleepy after a feed I though was going to be difficult.
Our session started at 10am so after the 7am feed we began getting ready. I managed to get dressed, do my hair and add a tiny bit of makeup in less than 10 minutes, followed by Mike’s comment, ‘how did it always take you over an hour before our baby arrived’.Probably because now I only half look in the mirror and making sure Summer is content getting into her car seat seems to have priority on the state of my hair.
When we arrived our photographer Cat- Kitty Belle Photography greeted us like friends and we immediately relaxed. Everything was set up in her lounge/studio with candles lit and white noise playing. Her heaters were on full to make sure Summer was comfortable. I began feeding Summer but she seemed too curious to look around at everything that was going on.
Cat made me & my husband hot drinks and I can honestly say that was the first full cup of tea I had drank in 11 days, compared to the usual 2 sips before the next feed or nappy change.
We had already discussed the style, colour scheme etc. with Cat previously so after quickly confirming everything she began making Summer comfortable on what looked like a large firm bean bag. Straight away I felt at ease letting Cat take over, Summer was happy and I could tell the way in which she positioned her was both comfortable and safe.
Cat rocked her when she started to stir and no positions were ever forced on her. At the start of the shoot Summer was so awake and we have some lovely photos of her with her eyes wide open. We watched as she curiously followed the camera lens around. Then after another feed, Cat managed to get some sleepy shots as she settled a bit.
Initially I wasn’t sure about having the Newborn package which included pictures of both me & Mike included but the closer to our due date we got, the more we thought having a picture of the 3 of us would actually be really nice and its probably something we would forget to ask anyone else to do when we were running around looking after our baby in the early days.
We both hate having our photo taken but Cat took some natural shots of us both playing with Summer. She also managed to capture a beautiful moment between Mike and our baby girl. From the day Summer was born Mike has been sticking his tongue out at Summer to which she copies (something our health visitor recommended as it helps babies development) Cat managed to capture this perfectly, a brilliant Daddy daughter moment.
Nothing felt rushed or hard work. The style we had decided on was quite minimalist and simplistic as we wanted the emphasize to be on Summer’s features and expressions. The relaxed atmosphere meant Cat captured lots of Summer’s emotions. We also felt monochrome pictures would work really well in our home to match the décor and our goal was to get them printed around the house.
Both me and Mike were mesmerised watching Cat work and it is the first time I think we had both fully relaxed for an hour together since Summer was born. The relaxing music and environment had us nearly falling asleep. I really did not need to be nervous, the experience was a pleasure and our baby enjoyed it and slept beautifully all afternoon when we got home much to our delight.
After a brilliant experience, here are some of my top tips;
1. If you are looking for your Newborn photographer at present, I would stress that you check the safety training your photographer has undergone. Manoeuvring your newborn into certain positions needs to be done by a professional and that became hugely apparent when we were watching Cat at work. Anybody can pick up a camera and take a few shots but calming your baby and ensuring their safety is the top priority comes from someone with the correct experience.
2. Be clear on what you want in terms of style, props, colour scheme etc. Your photographer is not a mind reader, take some examples of work you like and think about where you will print them- are they going to match the style of your décor? As Cat said- There is no point in having lots of stunning photographs just sat on a USB stick.
3. Pack some essentials the night before. Make sure your changing bag is loaded with everything you need and pack a bottle of water and snacks. You may find you actually have some time to yourself and eating is usually the last thing on your list- so do it while you have the time.
Remember to enjoy the experience- watching my little girl posing away is a day I will never forget!