Oh my goodness gracious, you're having a baby! What a complete and utterly exciting (and I'm sure nerve-wracking) time!
So, let's take some pictures of your tiny gorgeous munchkin.
First up, let's chat about a few things.
Everyone always asks me when the best time to take photos of your baby is. For me personally, I love the 4-6 week mark, and then the 3-4 month mark (explanations why below).
So why does everyone talk about the first ten days in terms of photographs? This is when your baby is classified as 'newborn' in photographic terms, because they sleep all the time and are more easily pliable into those Anne Geddes-type positions. They can be wrapped up into pumpkin costumes, tutus and tiaras, all while snoozing their little heads off. There are a lot of photographers out there who are doing gorgeous variations of the Anne Geddes work, and I applaud them for it.
This is just not my personal style. For me, a baby should look like a baby - snuggled up in your arms - in their comfiest onesie, not a trace of taffeta in sight.
Throughout this post I've interspersed examples of what you can expect your baby session to look like - natural, real captures of your new life with your little one.
So how do you know when to book? My recommendation is to send me an email letting me know that you're expecting at any point during your pregnancy, as a heads up. I tend to be booked up at least 4-6 weeks in advance (though we can schedule you in with one of my amazing associate photographers at an earlier date), so email me as soon as you can - at which point I'll send through 3 potential dates for you to choose between.
Great moments to capture in the first year are:
1. Maternity shoot
This shoot is ideally done around the 7-8 month mark, but can be done right up until a couple of weeks before the due date. I recommend the 7-8 month point as you're definitely showing, but still comfy enough to move around with ease, and feel beautiful in your skin.
If we have however already passed that point, don't stress, we can still shoot! I definitely don't want you to miss out on pics of this incredible time in your life.
My personal favourite spot for the maternity session is at Delta Park (read up about the benefits of a Delta session here), or if you have a nice bright house we can shoot there - have a peek at this gorgeous at-home maternity session.
Would you like to see more? This album, this album and this album are all great examples of maternity sessions with myself and my associate photographer team.
2. The Baby Shower
Such an incredibly special event to get everyone excited for the arrival of your little one!
3. The First 48
This is literally the first 48 hours after your little one is born, this shoot usually takes place at the hospital. I recommend keeping it very short, about 20-30 minutes max.
This session is a nice chance to capture older siblings meeting the new little baba for the first time - but please do keep visitors to a minimum during our shoot time though, and ensure that the hospital allows photographers.
4. The 1-3 Week Mark
Tiny new baby goodness!
You can see the full album of this below shoot by following this link.
This shoot, this shoot, this shoot, this shoot and this shoot are also all great examples of the 1-3 week time frame.
You can see the full album of the above photos by following this link.
5. The 4-6 Week Mark
For me, personally, I find the four to six week mark is really cute for your baba. Your little one is far more alert, you've developed a routine, the munchkin's personality is starting to shine through (also - baby acne, redness and blotchiness has all usually subsided by this time!).
Here's more! This album, this album and this album all show babies in this initial stage.
6. The 3-4 Month Mark
And even better, the three to four month mark is my absolute favourite - they're less floppy, incredibly alert and are even starting to smile! I love it!
Here are a few more examples of the 3-4 month mark: this shoot, this shoot, this shoot and this shoot.
7. The 6-8 Month Mark
Oh my goodness, a personal fave! Little one is sitting up, smiling, laughing, so alert and so fun!
This shoot, this shoot and this shoot are all examples of this great age to capture!
8. The Christening/Baptism/Naming Ceremony
A cherished occasion in the first year of your little one's life, and usually a great introduction of your little one to the extended family and friends!
9. The First Birthday Party
You've kept your tiny human alive for a whole year, it's definitely time for some champagne, hehe!
This photo album, this album and this album are all great examples of what we can achieve during a first birthday party shoot.
I'd also love for you to read over this blog post - it has all the guidelines for getting the most out of your event photo booking.
10. The One Year Mark Family Session
This shoot, this shoot and this shoot are awesome examples of this fun time in your little one's life! They change SO much during this first year, it's quite unbelievable.
So now, a few things to keep in mind during a baby session:
Baby sessions are a little bit different from other photo sessions - they require a little more patience. Your munchkin is going to cry (this is completely normal!), is going to need to feed, and will probably need a little five minute break cuddle session every now and then. This happens during every session, and is nothing to worry about.
Please do let me know as soon as possible if your little one has had a rough night or is feeling a little under the weather, as it is always a better idea to reschedule at this point. Happy babies make for happy photographs.
LET SLEEPING BABIES LIE
If your baby is sleeping when I arrive please don't wake the little one up! There's no reason why we can't start snapping while they sleep, and let them wake up nice and slowly.
Baby photo sessions are best shot at your family home - it's lovely to capture the beginning of your little one's life in their natural environment. We do need a space with lots of natural light, big windows and clutter-free rooms. That said, please don't run around cleaning your house like a maniac, most of it will fade away into the background! Also, you've just had a baby!
If your house is under renovation, has small windows, a dark thatched roof or is otherwise not suitable, please chat to me. Ideally we would use another family member's or friend's house if this is the case.
I also do most of my family sessions at Delta Park, as it is filled with a gorgeous variety of locations and possible set-ups. However it is not advisable to set up a session at Delta if your little one is under a month old.
With regards to the big brothers and sisters - they tend to be a little jealous of the new arrival, and it's completely understandable! I aim to start with the older sibling first - keeping the attention on them while they get to show off their room, their favourite toys or their garden play set. After that we can work with the little one, keeping the focus on them in their crib, on your bed and cradled in your arms.
We will aim to get a pic of the siblings together, though this can be a tricky one! Again, a little patience seems to do the trick :)
This shoot, this shoot and this shoot are all good examples of photo sessions with older siblings involved.
Wondering how best to preserve these gorgeous memories of the first year of your little one's life? Yup, I thought so.
Have a peek at my A Year In Your Life photo books - designed to capture month by month the growth and development of your little one.
Ready for your photo shoot? Please read over this blog post - it's filled with tips and tricks with regards to what to wear, the best time of day to shoot, and how best to prepare for your session.
Please note: I am a fun, laid-back photographer, who will make your booking, photo shoot and post-production process as simple and easy as possible! I am not a studio photographer, and do not have a studio. My style is all about capturing life just as it is, so we'll shoot in your family home or a great outdoor location such as Delta Park. I do not provide wardrobe, and think the best props are tickles, cuddles and smiles! I do not under any circumstances release raw or unedited photographs.
Please note that by paying your 50% non-refundable deposit you agree to the information outlined in this blog post and accept it as one would accept terms and conditions.