My younger brother, who lives back in Poland, finally had his first child: a boy named Cesar ( or Cezary for Polish speakers ). It's important to my brother I meet him as soon as he is born. This could be because I am his aunt, but I think it is mainly so I can can take his newborn pictures. He is one month old when I arrive ( so not exactly newborn ), but as he sleeps all the time we are in luck and we can take those tiny baby pictures.
There are 2 styles of photographing newborns that are popular with parents. First is the type of photos that Anne Geddes would take ( think of babies sleeping inside poynies or sometimes even on the top of them or casually sitting in a cabbage wearing a cabbage leaf hat ). To cut down on my editing I don't shoot composites ( images made up of two or more photographs ) and I don't want to use flash when there is so much more to think about, so I take pictures that are the exact reflection of what I can see. The only time I use Photoshop would be to take the blemishes or spots of the newborn's skin or do other tiny retouches if needed. The idea is to document the moment, as it will not last forever.
We shoot in the place where I grew up, The sitting room is very bright ( I nearly wish I could open a studio there ), which is lucky because we need to be indoors. It is also important the room temperature is right for the baby to keep it happy, but he was born during the hottest summer in Europe, so it doesn't seem to bother him that it is boiling hot. He is good as gold, if fact he is asleep so we start with the sleeping baby photos.
After a while, especially when we position Cesar in his parent's palms, he starts waking up and makes a little noise and a little sacking movement with his lips, he is hungry! We take a little break for feeding ( of course we put the nappy back on him temporarily, we have been very lucky so far, ( everything is still clean). While I give him his bottle ( proud aunt ), I order the parents to put on some white tops for the photos, the simpler the better. Time for kisses, lots of kisses!
So far so good, my brother's girlfriend panics a little bit about the way my brother holds the baby, I am proud of him, he is a natural. My theory is: the less pressure and less fuss, the better the mood. Honestly, I think this was one the easiest newborn sessions I ever did. No accidents, no crying, asleep and awake on command, did I mention how proud I am of my new nephew?
We finish with a photo of Cesar lying next to a Jellycat bunny !! ( my present to him ). Is there a better soft toy for a newborn? I really hope it is going to be his favourite for many years to come, it is a little bit selfish of me I suppose, but I want him to be able to compare how much he has grown when looking back at this photo.
He is ready to sleep again... that would be it for his first photoshoot, he did well...
Tips for Parents:
Don't panic or stress about the baby not behaving well, they can sense your mood.
The baby is happy when it is not hungry, has a clean nappy ( or no nappy at all ) and when the room temperature is just right.
Relax and enjoy the session, this could be your last one when your child doesn't try to run away.
Newborn Photo-session Info:
If you are planning on doing a newborn shoot, please get in touch before you are due to give birth, we can provisionally pencil in two or three dates to make sure we have it covered if the baby is a bit early or a bit late.
I will be available for either a phone or in person consultation, whatever works for you.
Prices start @ £400 for 1 hour session, this includes 15 digital images and 3 beautiful black and white fine-art mounted prints.