A Newborn Photoshoot with Kate Kirkby
…what to expect.
When should I book?
So you are having a baby!! Exciting times… As soon as your little one arrives every second of your day will be filled with caring for your little one. That includes the hours when you are just sitting and watching them sleep, unable to take your eyes off the precious little being you have created. Before you know it they will be 3 weeks old and you will have already noticed so many changes. For many new parents this is the time when they think about booking in for a photo shoot. Unfortunately this can often be too late as sessions ideally take place between 5 and 18 days old. I will always do my best to accommodate late bookings but this is not always possible. Never again will they be so curled up, like they were when they were inside you, or their tiny feet all wrinkled and new.
This is why I always try to encourage people to get in touch whilst they are still pregnant. Any time after your 20 week scan is great. When you make a booking I usually suggest a provisional date, roughly a week after your due date. This is obviously flexible as we never know exactly when your little one will arrive. I limit the number of bookings I take per month to ensure that we will always be able to find a suitable date for your session.
Your photo shoot
So your baby has arrived and we have agreed on a date for your session. I will send you a preparation guide so make sure you read it well and follow my guidelines as much as possible. Newborn babies are unpredictable creatures so despite your best laid plans, there is every chance that they have all gone out the window! Fear not…
My newborn photo sessions are always baby-led and there is plenty of time for feeding, changing and soothing. They normally take about three hours, sometimes more, sometimes less, but I recommend not having anything else planned for the same day! When you arrive at my studio you will have plenty of time to settle in, have a cup of tea, a little chat and if necessary feed your baby. I have a beautiful natural light studio with a comfy sofa and refreshments available to you throughout the session.
At this stage I like to find out a little about your tastes so it can be really helpful if you’ve had a chance to look at some of my photos so that you have an idea of the colours and props that you like the most. Don’t worry if you haven’t had time, I am completely flexible with all my set-ups so feel free to stop me from using a colour that you’d rather I didn’t – I wont be offended!
If your baby is asleep I will most likely start with photos of them on either my ‘beanbag’ or in a prop. Please don’t be alarmed if I just ‘take over’ at this point. The smell of mum or the sound of your voice can sometimes be enough to wake an otherwise sleepy babe. The studio will be really nice and warm so that your baby will stay happily asleep when I remove their clothes. If they are still a bit fidgety I may decide to swaddle them for the first few photos. To them this feels like being cuddled so it is a great way to get them into a nice deep sleep. Once they are in a deeper sleep I will be able to remove the swaddling so that I can capture those beautiful tiny hands and feet.
If at any point your baby is awake but content I will always take the opportunity to get a few awake photos and perhaps some family shots. If they are unsettled then please do not panic. I have two children of my own and having photographed over one hundred newborns I am fairly practised at soothing them. Many of my past clients have asked if they can hire me by the hour in the middle of the night and I’ve been called a baby whisperer on more than one occasion!! I have quite a few tricks up my sleeve…so bring your notebook (only joking!!) (EDIT – I wrote another blog full of all my top tips! – Am I really a baby whisperer?)
Many people worry that trying to get photos of a potentially awake or screaming baby will be really stressful and this is enough to put them off having photos taken. I don’t think this has ever been the case and the overall resounding comments I receive are that it has been a relaxing and enjoyable experience. So sit back, put your feet up and watch me create some beautiful memories for you and your growing family…