Monday, October 31, 2016

Safety in the studio

When you book your newborn or baby session with me you can be assured that your child's safety is my top priority. Many of the beautiful images of babies are created with the use of composites, where two or more images are combined to give the gorgeous final work of art.

Babies rely on us to keep them safe and ensure they are not placed in situations where they could be harmed. Not only have I raised 5 children along with my husband, but I have studied extensively and spoken with medical specialists about how to ensure babies are completely safe when being posed, especially if they have special needs regarding their breathing or reflux.

In the studio I will ask you to help me out at times when I need extra support for your baby, this may be a finger keeping their little head in place, or a hand keeping them stable. I will explain exactly what i want you to do before I get you to do it, to ensure that you feel confident. 

You know that "froggy" pose? The "potato sack" or the lovely images of babies in baskets hanging from a branch? All created with composites, these images cannot and should not ever be the result of a single exposure. The froggy and potato sack require hands on the baby at all times (these are removed during editing) and can only be attempted with a very relaxed baby. The hanging shots require a shot of the empty basket hanging from the branch and then a shot of the baby in the basket which is situated on a firm surface so there is no risk to the child.

Here are a couple of composite examples from my studio;

In these images (left is before editing, right is after) you see Mum's hand holding baby to keep her safe (you can also see the little toy Dad is holding to get her attention!). As well as Mum being right there, the baby is sitting on a grip mat covered with a handtowel for extra stability in the tub. Flowers are either artificial, safe for children or most often "non-existent"! I prefer to composite flowers in baths as they are distracting for littlies.

In this image you can see Mum's hand supporting the baby's head. 

This is just some of the magic photographers can work with editing, some of the other ways I work to keep your family safe are the following:

- Hospital grade hand sanitiser in the studio
- Thermostatically controlled temperature in the studio
- I am fully immunised against childhood diseases
- Families with an unwell member are re-booked, and I re-book if I am unwell
- Animals are not permitted in the studio (we photograph babies with their pets at home or outdoors)

Monday, October 24, 2016

Preparing for your session

For the past few months you have organised and planned and dreamt about your new baby and the wonderful changes this little one will make to your family and your world. 

You booked your newborn photography session early in your pregnancy and pored over Pinterest boards and Facebook posts, trying to decide which colours and poses you wanted for your little one. 

Suddenly here you are, the birth was a few short days and sleepless nights ago, you are still coming to terms with feeding and comforting this wee person and now you have to take them out into the world (and get the carseat into the right position!) for the photos you were dreaming about. You start worrying about how the baby will cope, about how you will survive, you are exhausted and bubs is always will you get them to sleep for their photos? what should they wear? what should you wear? Feeding isnt easy, how will you cope?


Relax because; you are coming to my studio and I know exactly what you are going through.

I'm a Mum, I have been there...through the birth trauma, the sleepless nights, the feeding agony, the worry, the stress and the overwhelming tiredness. I can tell you that while you are here with me I will do my utmost to ensure that your family has a calm, caring and positive experience. 

I don't care how you look, but I do care how you feel and the best way I can demonstrate that to you is to do my work in a loving manner. I'll tell you what is going to happen, I'll make you a cup of tea and sit you down on the couch so that you can relax and enjoy watching the magic happen with your baby.

So, its the morning of your session. Bathe baby if you can,but dont worry if you can't, dont fuss too much about dry skin and spots...Photoshop can deal with that if you wish, dress her or him in clothes that are easy to remove. Feed according to your choices, don't do anything different. Pack a small bag with bottles (if using), nappies and spare clothes, bring a snack for yourself and a dummy if baby uses one. Thats is, pop baby in the car seat and drive to my studio, I'll take it from here. 

Your session will take anything from two to four hours, a lot of that time will be spent getting baby to sleep, so don't worry about the time. I've said it in my studio guide, but don't worry if baby spits up, poops or pees, it is all normal and natural and if I minded I wouldn't be doing this!