One of the things that I hear quite often is that people are going to get their friend to take their photos as they have a good camera – it largely applies to wedding and newborn photography actually and it does make me a little bit sad in a way.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that the friend wouldn’t potentially do an amazing job but it’s just that having a good camera is only part of the equation. Especially when it comes to newborn and wedding photography which are two of the most demanding types of photography that I’ve ever come across. Leaving aside weddings, which come with their own bundle of issues and probably deserve a whole blog post all of their own, newborn photography is something that you really have to invest in learning. So why choose a professional newborn photographer? Well there’s no way of writing about it that isn’t going to seem a bit self-serving in trying to earn myself bookings so, that acknowledged, I’ll just jump right in there…
I’ve handled hundreds of babies and I’ve got pretty good at reading their cues as to the best way of soothing and judging the right time to move them between poses. That of course doesn’t mean that every baby instantly falls asleep and complies in my hands (oh lord, I wish!) but experience does give you a better chance of getting there. I set up my studio to create an environment that is conducive to relaxing them and also I can quite quickly work out why a particular pose isn’t being comfortable for them and either adapt it or move on past it to something that suits them better. There’s no shortcuts to getting there, it’s simply time doing it, trying techniques that work and learning from each photo shoot.
This experience and my training mean that I also know how to get to poses safely (there’s a whole post on safety and newborn photography here) whether this be through careful posing or using cushions to support them to creating full scale digital composites utilising ‘parent power’ to provide support where required. It is NEVER a case of balancing a baby, even for a fraction of a second to get the shot.
Props & Accessories
I have a good collection of props and accessories which I carefully vet and select for being both perfect for photographs and safe to use. OK, you’re not a newborn photographer until you’ve walked round IKEA wondering if you can put a baby in something but certain items just wouldn’t work for safety or aesthetic reasons. Images of babies in baskets, boxes and drawers don’t just happen – believe it or not, basket selection is actually an important part of the process! Plus this means that I can legitimately spend time shopping for the perfect item to use and I can’t tell you how happy this makes me.
A Good Camera Plus Some Other Stuff
I have a good camera that’s for sure but you might well know someone who has the same one and who can also adjust it manually and do all that stuff. The difference might well be that I also have thousands of pounds of other studio equipment and without wanting to sound arrogant (it’s really difficult to avoid that when I’m writing a post like this), I also know how to manipulate my lighting to create the looks that we want – whether this be of your baby on their own, with siblings or as part of a family group. I’ve been a photographer for more than fifteen years even though newborn photos weren’t even in existence outside of the Anne Geddes phenomenon when I started out, but all of my experience feeds into what I create today.
Why Use a Professional?
I truly believe that newborn photos are a beautiful way of capturing those fleeting early days. The window to create them is really short as they’re only possible within your baby’s first two weeks in your arms. Investing a little in a professional photographer (my sessions already include five digital images and are priced at an affordable £95) can give you the best chance of capturing these precious memories.