If you are pregnant, you will probably see images of newborns everywhere and without a doubt it is a lovely thing to have some beautiful images of your tiny bundle very soon after they arrive in your world.
However, if you aren’t au fait with this kind of photography, it can all seem incredibly daunting, especially when you are also dealing with the difference between cots and beds and cotbeds; babygrows and two pieces; real and disposal nappies and expressing machines (now that’s a blog post for another day!).
In this modern world of camera phones, you won’t need to worry about getting any pictures of your newborn but the more photos you have the less likely you are to ever actually do anything with them. Maybe therefore you need to get someone to get some shots for you?
Great idea! Now what…..
There are various different genres and the lingo can be confusing. Hopefully the following will give you a bit of clarity about what you need to look for.
Chances are you will be approached by someone on the maternity ward who will offer to take some images for you. Think about this before your due date and do some research. We didn’t go for these images when our little boy was born and I haven’t seen anybody else’s so wouldn’t want to personally comment. However, I have heard from people who have and they were pretty disappointed. Capturing beautiful images in a clinical environment is certainly possible but you would need a very experienced photographer to do so. Tread carefully and ask to see previous examples of their work. Remember, you will probably be exhausted and very emotional and this might not be the best time to make a decision.
These shouldn't be confused with birth photographs which are when you have a photographer present for the entirety of the labour. Not everyone's cup of tea admittedly but I have seen some stunning galleries in the past who's beauty has reduced me to tears! Google it!
You will have seen these images around, quite possibly on your Facebook feed, as they are very popular and why wouldn’t they be? Beautifully posed, tiny bundles fast asleep in gorgeous croqueted blankets. Whilst these pictures look incredibly peaceful, they have quite possibly taken a very long time to create. The baby needs to be very young - many photographers would suggest less than 14 days - and fast asleep in order to get them into such snuggled little bundles. More often than not, these are taken in studio conditions. If you would like images like this, it is worth contacting photographers a good while in advance to ensure that you can get an appointment in those precious early days.
These images are much more informal and therefore, whilst it is lovely to capture the teeniest tiniest details, the age of the baby is slightly less important. Lifestyle photography is more about capturing life as it happens and so images in those early days so can be taken in your home. Although a peaceful sleeping baby makes for an easy shoot, it isn’t essential and so the time involved might not be so long. Although the crying might be stressful when you are exhausted in the early days, you may look back on pictures of a cross little person with some amusement in the years to come (trust me on that one!). This style of image also means that the family - parents, siblings and the dog - can also be involved if you so wish.
My preferred genre is lifestyle as I love the informality of it and the fact that I can use beautiful natural light. However, you only get such a small window to capture the youngest days and it’s so important you get images that you will love now and cherish in the years to come. Therefore, it’s a great idea to do some research before the baby arrives so you are fully prepared once you have your hand very literally full of your bundle of joy.
There are more examples of my lifestyle images in my Families gallery but if you have or are expecting a new baby and have any further questions about any style of photography, i'd be happy to help. Just ask!