Rebecca Fitch is one of the top local family and baby photographers in South Bucks, with many years of first hand experience of photographing newborns and young children. Every week she blogs about her work, gives tops tips about everything from capturing the best photos on your iphone to how to soothe your crying infant, as well as giving an insight on how she juggles life as a working mum to two young energetic boys.
HOW, WHY AND WHEN TO BOOK YOUR NEWBORN PHOTOGRAPHY SHOOT
It’s the perfect way to capture those tiny features, squishy hands and feet, and all the funny little expressions that will be over before you blink. When I look back at the photographs of those early days, I find it hard to believe how much my children have changed. I have put together some top tips to help you to make the right decision for booking this once-in-a-lifetime experience.
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO BOOK?
Most established newborn photographers book up well in advance with some families booking after they have had their 12 week scan. I recommend making a booking around the time of your 20 week scan. If you leave it too late you may find your favourite choice of photographer may not have space in their diary. I will accept babies up to 6 months old, although the ideal time to photograph your baby is between 6 and 16 days old.
DO I REALLY HAVE TO BRING MY BABY IN WITHIN TWO WEEKS OF BIRTH?
You don’t have to do anything. It is your choice. But I prefer to take photos so early on because that fleeting newborn stage is so easily forgotten. Newborns change dramatically in the first weeks of life. When they are first born, they are able to bend and curl into sweet little poses, mimicking how they lived inside the womb. And, they have that precious, brand-new “newborn look”. All these amazing characteristics will begin to disappear forever after just a few short weeks.
Always check out your potential photographer’s website, google business pages and Facebook page before booking. The reviews should give you a good idea about their business and what clients think of them. Recommendations from friends and family are the best way to find the perfect photographer. They can show you their final products, prints and share their experience.
WILL MY BABY BE SAFE?
One of the most important considerations is your newborn’s safety during the actual shoot. The baby should never look uncomfortable or be unsupported. Photoshop is often used to edit out a supporting hand or finger. You can ask your photographer how they approach newborn safety. Ask how the photographer ensures the safety of your baby when posing.
WHAT SHOULD MY BABY WEAR?
Do ask your photographer what, if any outfits, they provide during the session. Photographers who specialise in newborn photography will have a collection of blankets, wraps, bonnets and headbands in a variety of colours for you to choose from. But mostly baby will be photographed nude.
DOES MY BABY NEED TO BE AWAKE OR ASLEEP DURING THE SESSION?
This is probably one of the most common concerns our new mums have – and it’s why the length of the photography session is so important. Your baby is so tiny and so new; at this newborn stage, their routine is still evolving. Babies work to their own schedule, and your photographer should work with this. My sessions are completely baby led, so if baby needs feeding, changing or simply just a cuddle, I will work around your baby’s needs. Babies all sleep when they are ready, and we make the most of these sleepy moments to take the photographs. There are also some lovely photos that can be achieved with baby awake.
WILL MY BABY BE COMFORTABLE?
Your baby’s comfort is as important to you as it is to me. Apart from being spotless, I always make sure that the room is nice and warm. I will also play white noise constantly, this will keep your baby calm and hopefully you too! I have had a few dads fall asleep.
WHAT IS THE BEST THING A PARENT CAN DO DURING THE SESSION?
The best thing I can advise is to not to be nervous. If your baby is crying you can trust me that we will work together to soothe your child and I will stop the shoot until they are comfortable and happy and if necessary give you the privacy you need to feed and comfort your child. Take a deep breath and relax, and have fun, I will take my time and not rush you. Patience is one of the most important things when it comes to newborn photography.
HOW MUCH WILL IT COST
Check what is included in the session price. Any good photographer should have a clear price list available so you can plan ahead for image purchases with no hidden costs. You wouldn’t go out and buy the cheapest car seat, you’d go and buy the best one you could, to keep your baby safe! And it’s the same with photographers, there are always going to be photographers offering very cheap sessions, but please consider that on those prices they can’t afford to invest in the training and equipment to take the time to give you and your baby the best possible service.
What if my baby dirties their nappy, poos or wees during the session?
This is what babies do – we clean them up and carry on. All the wraps and blankets in the studio are washable! It’s no big deal to me so don’t let it worry you!