Maternity & Newborn Photography – what you need to know!
For those of you who know me, you may or may not know that I’m 38 weeks pregnant and am supposedly sitting around waiting for the arrival of baby number 2. If you know this much you would probably also know that the likeliness of me just sitting back and relaxing and not coming up with some new project that will consume a massive amount of time and energy is close to zero! Well your right I can’t just chill out and watch daytime tv – but instead I am focusing my energy into the newborns and pregnant mums that have come to see me recently.
Photographing baby bumps and babies that are just days old is so rewarding, as it is such a special time and oh so short!
Carrying around that pregnant belly or rocking your baby to sleep can sometimes feel like the longest journey, but once it’s over it’s just a distant memory, making way for all the new and exciting milestones to come. It is a really special part of a photographer’s job (and the reason why we love what we do!) being able to share those incredible moments and memories with you.
I want to share with you some hints and tips for your maternity or newborn photos that will get you prepared before you arrive at the studio.
Initially you may not feel like you want to get semi naked in front of anybody when you are considering maternity photography, and hey you don’t have to if you really don’t want to! There are many ways to show off that gorgeous baby bump and pregnancy glow, and you can always include your partner and/or other kids as well. Photo shoots out on location can be a very relaxed and free spirited way to get in touch with that maternal instinct, and in the studio you can really make magic happen with the help of lighting. We can also do a combination of both and I am happy to travel to you if you are more comfortable in your own home.
Ok I’m ready! So what do I need to know?
The best time to get your maternity photos done is generally between 32 & 38 weeks, depending on your personal situation. I have even photographed pregnant ladies at 20 weeks only to find out a few weeks later they have had complications and have been ordered to strict bed rest. 32-38 weeks means you’ll really have a bump to show off and hopefully your hands and feet haven’t started swelling (oh the joys of pregnancy!) Listen to your body and be sure to let your photographer know if you are uncomfortable or need to stop for a minute. Although you won’t be expected to perform any acrobatics, standing around in front of studio lighting can really have an effect on your unbalanced body. If you need to stop and have a break, sit down, have some water or go out for some fresh air. We don’t need you fainting during your photo shoot!
Maternity photography is really quite basic when it comes to what you need to get organised. The general rule is keep it plain. Maternity photography is all about your belly, and your natural glow, not about your fancy accessories or new lippy. If your in the studio plain black and white always works, in fact be sure to take both to give yourself more variety. If you have a white mens button up shirt bring that along too! There are always ways to use the draping of different materials to create different looks and textures and you can bring along any props such as teddy bears or blocks that spell bub’s name to include as well. Unless you’re outside on location you probably won’t need to choose other clothes, but flowing dresses or jeans and white tops are always a good place to start.
Of course after the maternity shoot along the comes the newborn, the anticipated bundle of joy that will change your lives forever!
One thing you need to be aware of with a newborn is that nothing ever goes to plan! Want to make a booking, but not sure of exact dates? Most photographers are very understanding and flexible when it comes to newborns. If you give them an approximate date they’ll be expecting your call once your baby is born.
Newborns are best photographed within the first 2 weeks of their lives, when they are still new and fresh (and sometimes wrinkly and flakey – especially if they’ve been overcooked!). The main reason for this is that they should still be mostly sleeping, which makes it easier to capture their innocent sleeping beauty. To be able to achieve this you need to be patient! Sometimes a photography session with a newborn can take up to 4 hours, although we try not to do this to you as everyone especially the baby can get over it by this point! Depending on your baby, if they are sleeping pretty well through the night, mornings are easiest as they can be a bit more tolerant. We all know about the ‘witching hour’ come afternoon. Don’t know what I’m talking about? I’m sure you’ll find out soon enough lol!
Babies are best started off with a full belly, so feed your baby while the photographer is setting up or as you get there. Don’t worry we can wait – and we’ve all dealt with breastfeeding mums. While your feeding the baby, loosen his nappy to help get rid of excess marks – although any unwanted creases, blemishes and peeling skin can be retouched in Photoshop afterwards. Be sure to give baby a good burp after his feed, to keep them as content as can be. If you can pump breastmilk, of if baby is bottle fed have one on hand as it’s easier to settle a baby once in position with a bottle.
If you are having the photos done at home, don’t stress about the mess! You’ve just had a baby – we don’t care about the state of your house! Ideally if you are having the photos done at home find a spot close to the window as natural lighting tends to work best. Babies can get disturbed by too many flashing lights! The environment should also be reasonably warm as when you start peeling clothes off baby they won’t like it much, especially if it’s cold.
Sometimes the smell of mum can be a distraction too so it’s always good to have another set of hands if they are available.
I have several packages on offer so that you can combine your Maternity and Newborn photo shoots as well as through the first year of your baby’s life. In the first year your baby will go from a precious little bundle to a crazy toddler – leaving you wondering where your baby has gone? Be sure to capture all of those special moments and finish the year with a bang with our new 1 yr old cake smash!
If you want to check out more of my work with babies and bumps head on over to this gallery: Maternity & Bubs
If you would like more information on my packages for mums & bubs send me an email:[contact-form-7 id=”152890″ title=”Contact form 1″]