Taking pictures of newborn babies is not a new thing. We have been taking snaps to celebrate their arrival since it has been possible - from the old film days, to polaroids, to i-phones and the fancy DSLR still set on Auto. And of course there is still the standard "stripey blanket" shot in the first days in the hospital.
Anne Geddes revolutionised the art of Newborn Photography in the 90's, posing super-cute babies in pea-pods, flowers and cabbages. Yet stylised Newborn Portraiture has only really boomed within the past 5-10 years or so. In saying that, it is not a fad that is going to go away. We are always going to want to capture those first precious moments; to document a time that will pass all too fleetingly.
It is the only genre of photography where the photographer is solely and irrevocably responsible for the safety and welfare of their subjects. A responsibility that is NEVER taken lightly or for granted.
I have been blessed to have been the resident newborn photographer at Kareena Private Hospital, Caringbah for over 6 years; introducing hundreds of babies, and working closely with doctors and midwives, and I hope to be there for many years to follow. I like to think I am also "revolutionising" the art of hospital newborn photography - that doesn't include that stripey blanket!
what to know
WHEN IS THE RIGHT TIME FOR A NEWBORN SHOOT?
There is only a small window of time in which to capture these posed newborn shots; between 3-14 days. Newborns like to sleep (well, during the day anyway!) and eat, and poo during the first 2 weeks - and little else. They are curly and squishy. After this time they are beginning to be more alert, they are starting to stretch and it takes a little longer to settle. Whilst I still photograph newborns up to about 3 weeks, it is not always possible to obtain certain curly poses.
Ideally, booking within your last trimester is best, however I still take bookings after bub's arrival - the chaos of becoming a parent can be challenging!
WHAT IS THE BAREFOOT NEWBORN STYLE?
I am a natural light photographer, and my style is quite organic and natural, with limited props. It's all about baby, with soft fabrics and blankets, and the occasional basket or bowl. Delicate tiebacks, and a large collection of wraps. Traditional poses are my thing however I allow bub to dictate what will unfold. Certain poses are not for all babies, and if they start feeling uncomfortable they will definitely let me know.
A TYPICAL SESSION
I don't really cap a session time. I recommend that you allow 1-3 hours for a studio or home session, however bub is usually over it in about 2 hours.
Babies are unpredictable! They eat, sleep, wee and poo - in such a variety of ways, that no one session is really like another, although I do have a routine of sorts.
A studio session will involve first getting to know you if I have not already done so. We may sit and have a cuppa in my sitting area whilst I explain how we are going to start. If bub is well fed and sleeping we will continue to the studio where I have kept the temperature at a cosy 25-28 degrees. It will be ideal for an unclothed baby, a tad warm for you, and it will be regulated throughout the session.
When bub is undressed, it's to be expected that they will be a little unhappy with me; who really wants to strip off? My aim is to do this as quickly as possible so we can wrap and soothe. It may be this time where a quick top up is required, or they may go back to snooze-land in no time at all!
I have a fabulous newborn posing pod (not unlike a big round beanbag) and I will usually get a wide variety of poses just on this alone. Typically I also like to do a bit of "floor-work" - posing in a basket or bowl. During these times bub is slowly unwrapped to be eventually naked. Most bubs will sleep throughout the session, yet there are times where they do not sleep at all.
to enquire on Kareena Private Hospital sessions click here
YOUR COMFORT AND PEACE OF MIND
I always encourage parents to be involved in the session. I am very mindful that mums might be feeling overwhelmed and emotional. Don't worry if your baby doesn't sleep, or is having an unsettled day. Don't panic if they poo or wee everywhere! Or don't do what we want immediately.
This is such a special time in your lives. I want you to enjoy it. To smile and walk away with a lifetime of memories.