Considering a newborn photoshoot but not sure what to expect?
Do you dream of those gorgeous, sleepy newborn images of your treasured new addition, but worry that your little one won’t cooperate on the day?
Do you long for those beautiful new sibling images full of the magic of new life and filled with that special sense of pride and love – but worry that your older child might not play ball?
Or do you wish you could pull off those gorgeous newborn and family portraits you’ve seen on Instagram, but worry that either you or the other members of your family won’t look “the part” if they were yours?
If you’ve answered yes to any of the above… This blog post is for you! Here, I’m going to share all of the Behind-the-Scenes secrets that I use to make sure your images from Moments Captured by Marie are stunning every single time!
I know, I know – you’re wondering why I’m sharing my secrets with you right? Well, that’s because I want you to be sure you have found the photographer who is going to be the perfect fit for you and your family! You can’t go back in time and take those gorgeous curly newborn portraits again – so I want to give you as much information about how your sessions with me work - right from the get-go - so that you can feel truly comfortable choosing to book in with me here at Moments.
So get ready, grab a drink and (and maybe some snacks) and lets get going!
The start of something wonderful! (aka, the studio set up)
Did you know that newborn portraits are usually done before your new baby reaches 21 days old?
There are a few reasons for this, but the most important is that after the first two weeks of life, newborns become a little harder to settle. They start to realise they’re not still on the inside, and problems like colic and baby acne start to flare up around now, which can cause discomfort and make them a little fussier.
Not only this, but around two to three weeks old, your baby’s spine starts to straighten out as they get used to being out of the womb and having the space to stretch out and lie flat. This makes it much harder to capture those gorgeous curly newborn poses (like the one below!)
Now, I know what you’re probably thinking – “But I’m not sure going out and spending two to three hours at a studio, without my home comforts, is something I want to do before my baby is even two weeks old” - but hear me out! I’m a newborn portrait specialist, and I’m a mum myself. I have designed my studio space to be as cosy as possible, and to mimic all those lovely, homely vibes you get in the comfort of your own home – that’s one of the main reasons that I’ve chosen to keep my studio based in my home; because it’s a safe, cosy, “home away from home” for you whilst you’re with me!
Snacks, hot and cold drinks, nappy changing essentials, as well as things like toys and books to keep older children busy are all available, as well as a lovely cosy sofa and a calm and relaxed environment to help you really wind down and enjoy what may well be your first outing to somewhere other than a familiar space. Everything has been thought out and laid out to ensure you and your family have a truly wonderful first outing together, and a really wonderful once-in-a-lifetime experience.
The cutest thing you ever did see! (aka your portrait session)
Now, if you’ve had the chance to take a look at my facebook page ( https://www.facebook.com/MomentsCapturedByMarie ), you’ve probably seen photos from lots of my sets, like the ones below!
If baby is already nice and sleepy when you arrive, or if they need a feed when you arrive and fall asleep whilst feeding, we’ll start out on the posing bag to achieve beautiful sleepy images like in the first and second images above.
For these images, I like to start with baby dressed in the outfit they have travelled in and take a couple of “test shots” with them in place on the beanbag, to get them used to the flash, and the feel of the fabric they are laying on. Once I’m happy that baby is comfortable with the environment, I’ll gently strip them down to their nappy – but don’t worry about them getting cold – the room is kept at a balmy 23-25 degrees so it’s comfortable for them without all the layers of clothing they are used to having.
If your baby wakes up here, or gets unsettled and hasn’t already had a feed, I’ll ask you to wrap them in their own blanket for its familiar smell, and to give them a little more milk if you are comfortable to. If baby is just unsettled and doesn’t need or want milk, you’ll give them some cuddles to help them settle down, and then once we are happy that baby is calm and happy, we’ll move back over to the posing beanbag.
As we work through the poses on the beanbag, trying a variety of angles, wraps and different background fabrics, you’ll see me calmly talking to your baby and keeping myself very close to them at all times. This enables me to reassure them throughout the session that they are safe, and to perceive any changes in their physical comfort so that I can adapt my workflow to their needs. For example – some babies get cold feet when they’re uncovered too long, some may prefer the room a little cooler or warmer than where it’s at, some babies hate having their hands touched, others only want to lie with their head to one particular side, and some hate being on their backs or sides for too long – all of this is completely normal and is something that I adapt and react to in every session to ensure it is perfect for you and your baby.
And of course – if baby decides they need a feed, or that they find a pose too uncomfortable to let us photograph them in, we stop and meet their needs! This is what I like to call a “baby-led” session and is a major part of the way I work.
As well as using my instincts and experience as a mother, I also regularly attend both in person and online training courses with some of the top names in newborn photography, to ensure the poses I deliver are perfect and performed in a way that is safe for baby, whilst still looking beautiful. These courses also ensure I stay up to date with all the latest trends in newborn photography, and that I can offer you a wide selection of poses and ideas.
So what about parents and siblings?
Your session also includes time for family and (where applicable) sibling portraits, as well as images of your beautiful new baby.
Now, as I touched on right at the start of this blog, I know this doesn’t come naturally to everyone. You may be worried that you don’t look your best, or perhaps you feel that you “aren’t photogenic” and worry that your images won’t turn out as you hope – but let me reassure you… I know what I am doing!
When we take family portraits with your newborn, it’s not a case of just standing in front of the camera with no direction and hoping for the best. I know exactly what angles are flattering for your size and shapes, as well as how to hide the areas that most new mums are self conscious about, without hiding the rest of you away too.
You’ll receive full direction on how to stand, how to hold baby, where to look, even where to place your hands on each other if you need it, and I promise the results are going to astonish you! If you aren’t one for looking at the camera and smiling – you don’t have to. Some of the most beautiful family portraits are those that show connection between the people in them, and for that, it’s all about how you interact with each other, so looking at each other, or at your beautiful new baby is a fabulous way to achieve really natural looking portraits full of love and emotion.
If you still don’t feel up to stepping in front of the camera but want some family portraits which still demonstrate that deep connection between you all, you could also opt for some gorgeous “hands on” black and white portraits like the image below!
As for siblings – well I know how tricky toddlers and pre-schoolers can be so please don’t stress. I honestly don’t think they could throw anything at me that would surprise me anymore! I have heaps of experience working with toddlers, pre-schoolers and children, and the key is to get their images out of the way first so that they haven’t got bored by the time we come to them.
If you would like sibling portraits at your session, we will always start with these, regardless of whether your new baby is awake or asleep. I find this is the best way to keep little explorers interested enough to get those beautiful sibling keepsakes.
With your sibling portraits, I like to swaddle your new baby to keep them nice and safe whilst their older sibling holds them or engages with them. Of course, if you have special outfits that you prefer, it isn’t a problem to use these instead, however once baby is all wrapped up, they become a lot easier for little hands to hold onto and engage with.
The Big Reveal! (aka your viewing and ordering appointment)
Once your session is over, I’ll invite you back to view your gorgeous gallery around a week later at a time that’s convenient for you and anyone else you might like to involve in your decisions.
Your viewing and ordering appointment is just as important as your session itself, because this is where the magic of the session becomes real! We will take as long as you need to look through all of your gorgeous images and slideshow, and to find the products and/or packages that suit your needs best.
Whether you love the idea of an album, or you adore the simplicity and classic beauty of a canvas, or if you just want to keep it simple with digital image files you can share with all of your friends and family, I’ll help you find the products that you and your family will enjoy and cherish forever, because this is where the moments become your memories!
Want to know more about my newborn sessions? Get in touch!