November 19, 2021
The first thing to know is that I design my sessions to make it as easy and relaxed as possible for the new parents. Most comment afterwards how much they enjoyed the experience, and that it was much easier than they thought. For a start the shoot takes place at home, so you don’t have to worry about travelling somewhere for a set time with your new baby. And secondly, once the shoot starts I have the very special job to help take care and settle the baby so parents get a little hands free time and can sit with a cup of tea watching their beautiful new baby being photographed.
As an experienced baby photographer, and as a Mummy myself, I know it is difficult to plan when it comes to newborn babies, and so I approach every shoot with as much flexibility as I can. However, there are a few things that parents can try to prepare in advance to help for a smoother session.
My biggest request to all parents before a shoot, please don’t worry about tidying your house because a photographer is visiting. You have your hands full with something far more important! I am also likely to use only one or two rooms in the house or a small space by a window. I suggest you save your best bedding for the day of the shoot though, and ironed if possible, as one of the main beds is often the primary canvas for the shoot. If there are bedside tables I suggest these are cleared of every day items including, more often than not, a book on how to get your baby to sleep! Also if you have a cot that attaches to the bed, it may be easier if this is detached in advance too. Other than that, there is nothing more you need to do to prepare your home. If we go and use other spaces in the house, I will arrange furniture and home furnishings as needed to ensure there is nothing that will detract from the photo and we make the best of the available light.
For a large proportion of the shoot the baby will be naked. They are still adapting to being outside of the warmth of Mummy’s tummy, so will feel the cold much more than we would, even with clothes. So I suggest the house is heated up and this will keep baby more content and hopefully sleepy while they are just in their nappy. Don’t worry if you have an old drafty house (like mine!) as I also bring a small blow heater which warms up a room very quickly and will have all the adults stripping down to vests and t-shirts in no time (nb. I always come dressed for a newborn shoot in summer clothes as it can get very warm!).
Our aim is for baby to be asleep at the start of the shoot. To do this I suggest baby is fed, in a clean nappy, and just a blanket, prior to the shoot starting. If they are nice and warm, with a full tummy of milk, often they will go into a nice deep sleep and I can start taking the posed baby photos. Some days though this doesn’t go to plan, baby decides to have an awake day, or is unsettled, so we play it all by ear. I do have a magic touch when it comes to getting babies to sleep, and will ‘sschhhhh’ and rock on repeat for as long as it takes, and I rarely fail to get baby to drop into a cosy slumber for the curled up baby shots.
As this is at home these will be on hand anyway, as I always try to use the client blankets, or swaddles to make the shoot as personal as possible.
It’s really as easy as that. Prior to the shoot all my clients receive a shoot guide providing more detailed information on how to prepare, and we also have a chat on the telephone to discuss it all. We will also cover off what to wear for the shoot, and many times Mum uses the time at the start of the shoot while I am looking after and photographing the baby, to get herself shoot ready.
I genuinely think it’s a lovely experience, one that I love as a photographer, and something that provides so many treasured memories for not only the parents and grandparents, but for the babies too as they grow up. To give you a taster of a shoot, here is a shoot of a beautiful baby girl who I am lucky enough to be photographing again this week for her six month milestone session. I’ll write a post at a later date covering off how to prepare for at-home older baby sessions.
I am always happy to talk bumps and babies so please do get in touch if you are expecting a baby and have some questions about booking a newborn shoot. You can contact me by phone or email, or fill in my contact form.
© Vanessa Keevil Photography 2023. All rights reserved.
Newborn and baby photographer covering Haslemere, Godalming, Cranleigh, Guildford, Farnham and other areas across Surrey & West Sussex.
M: 07824 737571
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