Oh Jacob... what can I say about him? He was an absolutely adorable little pickle! He brought his Mummy and Daddy with him for his photo shoot and was ready and raring to go as soon as he arrived. That wasn't to say he was sleepy... oh no, not in the slightest! I don't mind if babies are awake, I figure they'll go to sleep eventually and I've only been proven wrong once thankfully!
We started the session whilst Jacob was checking out his surroundings and before we knew it, he had started to doze off - woohoo!
It was going so well, we made sure we kept his little tummy full so that he would be content and stay sleepy long enough to get the one pose Mummy specifically requested. We got a few lovely pictures on the white blanket before I prepared everything.
Jacob was deep in thought, deciding whether he would let me do what I'd planned...
We got him onto his tummy, and even got a couple in this pose so that I could composite Daddy's rugby ball in!
I was quietly confident that we would get the next pose, everything was in position and Jacob was fast asleep - excellent!
The 'Froggy' pose, as it's best known, MUST be shot as a composite - newborn babies cannot hold their own heads, their wrists are very delicate, the position of the neck must be just so. This pose is not easy and ideally baby needs to be very sleepy. I had Mummy help me by holding Jacob's head while I held his arms. We remove 'head hands' first for a shot, then put them back on and remove 'arm hands' for the second. The photo is made up of at least two pictures, and we remove any hands supporting baby in Photoshop afterwards (so, yes, I do Photoshop babies - gasp! I get asked this a lot!). It's my nemesis pose, I just find it so hard to shoot without waking the babies up!
Anyway... Jacob was conked, the white noise was playing... we were ready!
Here's a SOOC (straight out of camera) shot (changed to black and white just because!) of us nailing the first picture. Jacob barely stirred and was quite happy and comfy... until we swapped our hands over and it all went to pot! Jacob was awake, and knew exactly what it was we were trying to do.. and was having none of it! I wasn't overly concerned that he was awake; after all I only needed a picture of his arms! But no, Jacob knew what we were up to and refused point blank to let us finish the pose (sorry Mummy!) We even tried at the end of the shoot in the hopes he'd forgotten... memory like an Elephant this one! So this is the only picture I got, and as fantastic as my Photoshopping skills are... they cannot create arms and elbows from nothing.
Now that he was awake, we decided to move on to parent portraits before we brought in Jacob's big sisters. I wanted to experiment a little with these and before we'd got the more traditional portraits, I did this.
Look at those little tootsies!
This kind of family picture is fab for parents who aren't overly keen on being photographed, because it still gives your baby a photo of you to look back on when they're all grown up - and it's timeless! This photo works beautifully on an Orb too - and would really give your home the 'wow' factor.
We paused the photo shoot at this point, as it was school run time - eek!
This meant that when everyone came back, it was sibling and family portrait time to finish the session. Jacob's big sisters were still only little so I try to work fast (and have bribes ready!) before they get bored and lose interest. The sibling pictures are all thanks to a tiny packet of Skittles (Daddy's favourite, it turns out!)
So there you have it, a whistle stop tour through Jacob's newborn session!
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Well what can I say about Rio? Absolutely beautiful little boy, definitely knew what he did and didn't like!
As I do for every newborn session, I warmed the studio up and set up some prop combinations so that we would be ready to go as soon as the new family arrived.
We started with parent and family portraits, then moved on to Rio's. I like to get babies down to their nappies and use wraps and outfits before being super brave and shooting during nappy off time. Well! Rio had other ideas and did not like being in just a nappy and was even less unimpressed when I tried taking his nappy off!
After some time I made the rarely-made decision to postpone the rest of his session, as he was not settling at all despite my best efforts. This decision is not made lightly and in five years is only the second time I've had to do it. I asked Rio's parents to bring him back a couple of days later and hope that he was feeling a little happier.
The day Rio returned with his Mummy, I decided that I'd give up on any undressed shots, and so he remained wrapped for the duration of the session, and he was just SO good! It really does make a difference when sessions are baby led, and I think the results show it.
Isn't he the cutest little thing?
Are you expecting your baby soon? Book your newborn session in after your 20 week scan to secure your due date in the diary; I can only take a certain amount of due dates per month. Head over to HERE and select your session to book!
I've had an influx of newborns over the last few weeks, one of whom was Rayan and his family - Mum, Dad and three older siblings! They'd travelled from their home in Peterborough to come to the studio on a sunny Saturday morning.
When siblings are involved in newborn shoots, I always start with those pictures first, as younger children get bored and fed up with the whole debacle very quick! Over the years I've learned to work fast with children under four especially (mostly helped with my children not cooperating!).
All four children were superstars! I did have to use all the tricks in the book, but it was worth it - don't you think?
Once the children had had their photos taken (some with Mum and Dad too!) it was time for Dad to take them for a walk to the park while I worked on Rayan's portraits, with help from Mum. It took a while for Rayan to fall asleep, so I snapped a few photographs while he was awake then got him all snuggled up and got rocking, pacing and cuddling! Perks of the job!
I always ask parents if they have any colour preferences and Rayan's Mum and Dad pretty much let me have free reign! It wasn't a conscious decision to use white, but I think it suited his skin tone perfectly, and the images look lovely and pure (even if I do say so myself!)
At the end of the session, Rayan's Mum showed me a blanket that had been made for him by his grandmother and asked if I could incorporate it in a couple of photographs, something I love being asked to do!
I hope you enjoyed looking through some of Rayan's photos as much as I did taking them, and thank you to his family for choosing me to capture these precious moments.
The ramblings of Emma, Little Cherubs photographer in March, Cambridgeshire