I absolutely LOVE red hair! Newborns have very interesting skin. So soft and kissable yet so hard to achieve perfect skin tones in photoshop. For some reason the camera really seems to bring out the nasty skin tones. Babies usually are very red, slightly blue or they have a jaundice shade. It is often not visible to the parent but as a photographer I can immediately see what skin tone I am dealing with and what editing needs to be done to bring the baby back to how it looks to the naked eye. Red haired babies however pop out perfect. There is very little work to do and straight out of camera you will achieve that milky, soft, smooth yumminess photos just love. Little Bailey you were so great behind the camera and I loved my morning with you and your mom and dad. Here are a few of my favourite newborn photos from her shoot at her home in Bantry Bay.
My husband often asks me why I don’t make client’s come to me instead of packing a car load of equipment, heaters, props, blankets, hats and headboards only to unpack it and setup at clients home and then repack it to bring home, unpack it at home and repack it in my office. Life would be easier. I could have my studio set up ready for each little person that walks through the door and I could edit photos if the baby needs a feed. I however have been a new mom and those early days are a very special time which belongs at home. You don’t need to worry about getting to an appointment on time and I believe a nice tranquil morning at home where I come to you is best. This little Charlie started the shoot not too settled and we needed a lot of time and took it slowly. It is so much better to do that all in your own home. You as parents are still trying to figure out feeding routines and settle into your new adjusted life so the easier the shoot is for you the better. I also absolutely love to photograph babies rooms and see what effort parents have gone through to make every details special. A lot of client’s love pets in their shoots too which can’t happen in studio. Have a look at Charlie’s exquisite baby room details at the bottom of this blog post. Lots of black which worked amazingly and ice cream cones as a huge part of the theme. I loved this couple and Charlie felt like she had been there far longer than a few days – the three of them just worked.
What a busy year it has been for all the newborn photographers in Cape Town. There are so few of us yet we always seem to be fully booked. Please always book your newborn shoots as soon as you possibly can. All it requires is booking fee and a booking form to be filled in. I often get told that they waited to ensure that nothing went wrong. Please note that in the event of a miscarriage or the like I would offer a full refund of the booking form. I often get asked how many shoots have you got today?. I don’t think people know what goes into a newborn shoot. A shoot can last up to 4 hours if the baby won’t settle and the shortest shoot time for a newborn has been 1,5 hours (average is usually 2,5 hours). It is back breaking and there is very little energy left to do another shoot that day. Then there is the editing. One shoot has a lot of editing time. Newborn editing is far more intensive then family shoots.
This little beauty was photographed in a beautiful home in Woodstock. Isla was 5 weeks premature and stayed in hospital for quite a while. By the time I got to photograph her she was 3 weeks old. I often get told that it is impossible to get sleepy poses out of a baby over ten days old and that they are so easily disturbed. This often is the case but it really does depend on the baby. Isla was a dream and by the time she had a full feed and was settled we got a lot out of her. Each baby is unique and there never is a set formula on how to keep them sleepy and happy but over the years I have come to realise that they will be ready in good time and no amount of rushing the shoot will help. A lot of patience, time and relaxed parents is all you need. Isla’s parents were amazing. Thank you for a lovely morning.
This is a family of 5 kids!!! The mom to these very amazing five kids is a fairy godmother to all those who are lucky enough to know her.
Being a photographer is a blessing and those who have it as a hobby often look to me with admiration. But like anything if you turn a hobby into a job it is exactly that – a job. Yes I get emotionally involved and I have a constant flow of creativity but to much of anything is never a good thing. Sometimes I just want numbers, logic, theory, analysis. So I had just come out of a very tough full month of newborns and all creative energy was spent. My desire to shoot was probably on a 2 out of 10 and I was in need of a weekend. All it took was two identical twins with golden blonde curls to come running out to greet me and my “shoot mood” hit an all time ten out of ten!! I last photographed these twins (now four) at their home when they were just a few days old.
We had decided to not use an outside location this year as it was cold and miserable and I was quite keen on photographing them in their own environment and documenting “life” at home. Photographing 3 small kids is usually a bit chaotic but these three … pure pleasure. To just hang around their house and just let them just be. To be there to capture everything they are and do at home was so special. One day they will move out and their first home will be no longer. To have record of that is special. Moms and Dads always want a beautiful beach, forest or river setting. Sometimes do just the obvious. Photograph them at home. I have a lot of blog posts to catch up on but had to do this one first. Photographing these twins as newborns and seeing them grow year after year has been such a journey. A little piece of my heart was left there that Sunday.
Most photographers have a certain style and once you have developed that style you are tempted to experiment out of the norm occasionally. The problem with experimenting is that you supply a “product” on your website that is consistent and when a client books your style of photography they expect you to deliver within that style. Every now and then I get clients who fill out the booking form with a few special requests. I am always open to them and this is when i get to experiment outside the norm. For this particular shoot mom asked if i could firstly incorporate the colour purple into the shoot (TOTALLY NOT MY STYLE) and then to bring a fur into the shoot. The week before that i had been telling my husband how I want to go less creamy and more brown while styling and that I was going to experiment with one or two photos on my next shoot. So little baby Vivienne came at the perfect time! Thank you little Vivienne I loved the outcome. What an amazing little family this is. Vivienne you are beautiful and so blessed to be born into such love.
I always love it when a client brings special sentimental items into a shoot. So often relatives or grannies knit something special for their unborn grandchild and incorporating that item into the shoot is always special when viewed further down the line. It also creates a lot of uniqueness to that shoot. The blanket viewed below and the cocoon little Olivia is in were all supplied by the client. Please feel free to leave any sentimental items aside even if it is jewelry. I will always find a way to bring it into the final product even if it is merely a photographic record of just that item alone. Please see photo of the room below. A lot of those items could be come very sentimental in years to come.
This little girl! Phew. I photographed her little sister 2 years before and absolutely fell in love with her mom. You know when you walk into somebody’s home and feel so welcome that you almost feel like you have been friends forever. We chatted and oohed over her first born and by the time I left I was hoping that one day our paths would cross again. 2 years later I got called back to photograph little girl number 2 and I scheduled her in immediately. This was one shoot I didn’t want to miss. I loved this shoot so much and to see Emma’s sister all grown up was such a special treat. What a beautiful family with such welcoming hearts. Thank you for a lovely morning spent with all four of you. Could we have a number three please ? 🙂
The other day I was looking through photos of my daughters first week of life. I wished i could go back and capture each tiny details close up and I wished that I had taken the time to do a professional photo shoot of her first days. I wanted to zoom in on each blurry image and examine every inch of what she looked like for such a brief moment in time. It was through the birth of my daughter that i found the love of photographing little people. I was through photographing her as a baby that my husband gave me the “you know you have an eye for this” line. I soon realised the patience that comes with photographing children and newborns was everything about me and maybe this was something that I could do to allow me to be away from my 9 – 5 advertising job. A lot of work, continuous learning and 7 years later I am still throwing my love into newborns and looking at every detail of each little miracle. Tiny toes, tiny fingers. Make sure you capture each detail. Zoom in and take it all in.
Anyone who photographs newborns will tell you that they put themselves to bed after photographing twins. Back pain and sweat and a whole load of patience. The recipe for photographing any newborn is to make sure they totally settled, fed, changed and asleep. It takes patience and time to achieve this. Occasionally it goes smoothly and you lucky but mostly there is a certain amount of a waiting game. Now throw another little one into the mix and you up for a whole load more fun :) Getting them both in that sleepy zone together. And just when you think you have them perfectly sleepy and perfectly posed the one punches the other in the face :) And you start all over again. The best advice I can give is make the shoot as early as possible so they less easily disturbed. A lot of twins are premature and I get moms asking if they can have the shoot when the little ones have filled out a bit. Firstly tiny babies never look as tiny on camera and secondly wouldn’t you rather capture them in their early days just as they are. Trust me they will be a lot happier if they can be molded into position while being fast asleep. A lot of changes after the 10 – 14 day mark and getting a sleepy baby is a challenge. You still can get beautiful photos but it might take a lot longer or you would have to just have a documentary type shoot. Here are two little cuties I photographed who made me want to take them home.
More and more I am getting requests to do newborn photos shoots for 2nd or 3rd born babies. There was a time when it was just first born babies. I absolutely love including older siblings into shoots and am often asked if I charge more. The answer is no. It is a lot more hard work especially if the first born is now two years old and not adjusting to the new important person in the house, but these photos are so special and so worth the effort. In this shoot Ella’s older sibling was the perfect age. She was so in love with her sister and so helpful during the shoot. With siblings that are younger I always try and make sure that they feel like the most important person in the room and make them feel like all the attention is on them :) I then suggest that they get removed from the room so I can do my thing and they can not feel left out. Its a good time for some one on one time with either parent and if you are open to it a little treat for doing such a good job for the photographer.