Photographing Newborns Without a Studio

When it comes to shooting Newborns, you can pretty much set up anywhere as the ‘studio’ only needs to be quite small.

I make a point of offering to shoot my clients babies in their own home, as being a mother myself I understand just how hard it can be getting out of the house in those first few weeks! Especially when everyone wants to visit and see the gorgeous new baby! Then there is also the matter of whether mum is able to drive after giving birth.

I usually set up at least a couple of different set-ups which can be easily adjusted to get a few different looks in without upsetting baby too much.

Before you start there are a couple of things that will help you keep bubs asleep and cosy, which is what you need when working with a newborn. The main reason for this, is if you’ve ever tried to photograph a newborn, you will notice their arms and legs go everywhere and they make all sorts of strange and wonderful expressions with their mouths. Although this can be cute, it’s very hard to get the adorable shots we’re after! Firstly make sure the room is really warm. I usually work in about 28-30 degrees celcius. This can get uncomfortable for the adults in the room, but baby will be nice and cosy. You can always use a under blanket heating pad, and I also find if you’re using an oil heater in the room, you can pop a blanket over it for a minute to put over the baby once you have them positioned to make sure they settle. Secondly the use of white noise will help them settle as well. You may need to feed baby several times throughout the shoot to keep them sleeping. Having a bottle and/or dummy on hand can be helpful as breastfeeding and then repositioning the baby means you need to essentially start all over again. I always allow about 4 hours for a newborn shoot as you never know how it’s going to work out. Even if you are the baby whisperer!

I have a couple of adorable canvas backdrops perfect for babies, that consist of a vintage wallpaper and floorboards all printed on one piece of canvas. I have a couple of different skirting boards that I then clip to where the designs join and ‘viola’, an instant backdrop! These are great as they are very portable and can be setup anywhere where you can find some wall space. I use masking tape to keep it all secure as the tape won’t peel off paint or varnish. You can also use a backdrop stand but I find they sit better when secured to the wall.

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The second setup I have ready to go is a draped fabric over a beanbag. I’m always on the lookout for beautiful textured fabrics that will work well. I will layer them up for a quick changeover, and use other wraps and fabrics to position the baby exactly where I want them. Finding the right fabrics and beanbags can be quite hard. The beanbag needs to be really firm, so that they don’t sink into it too much. You also need to take into account that a naked baby will probably pee, poop or spew all over everything, so make sure they can be easily washed. I recently found an outdoor square beanbag which is perfect for this.

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I always have a black backdrop handy in case we need to set up something for the whole family. It also comes in handy if you want to get some shots of mum or dad holding the baby and you only want to see their arms.

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Here dad has black sleeves but his shirt was white, so we picked up the backdrop from the floor and clipped it to his shoulders.

Depending on the location you may not need a backdrop. Here we just used the curtain in the family home.

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These family shots have been photographed using a softbox, but when photographing newborns, it’s always best to try and use natural light where possible. If you are in a room where it’s not possible to use natural light, or it’s just not the right time of day, you can reflect a studio light off a wall or a reflector for a similar effect.

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These are just a few tips I have learnt along the way. I hope you find them helpful in photographing your newborns.

If you want to book a newborn session with me just fill in the contact form below.

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Best photographs of 2014

Wow! That’s it! The year of 2014 has come to an end!

And what a wonderful and busy year it’s been! I myself had my second (and last) child in April. Two baby girls who for better or worse are smart and boisterous and keep my hands full, especially when I’m running a business and trying to edit hundreds of photos at any one time!

My sister also had a baby girl and of course many of my previous wedding clients have come back when they’ve started their families, which is what I love! Growing with people as you share the most important parts of their lives, and help them cherish those memories.

So on that note why don’t we start on the journey of life in 2014 through my eyes, and start with the maternity and newborn shoots….

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And of course don’t forget the first birthday cake smash!!

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Weddings, weddings and more weddings!!

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I decided I needed to do some more boudoir shoots just for some fun! Hopefully there will be a lot more of this next year!

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And of course there’s is always lots of family photos. I love when families want to do something a bit out of the ordinary and just plain fun!

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2015 is already gearing up to be crazy busy. So much to look forward to!!

I hope you all have an amazing New Year and that 2015 will bring adventure, new beginnings and most importantly you spend some of it with the ones you love!

Leoni xx

Family Fun at Fort Lytton

family castle photosI love when people come to me with great ideas for their photos! When this cute little family asked if we could go out to Fort Lytton, I was very excited on what we might get.

Although access can be quite restrictive and it was a really windy day, we had lots of fun and got some great family photos.

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Visit the website for more fun family photos
Please contact me for more information on bookings.

Silver Anniversary gift – What a great idea!

These guys wanted to get their parents something really  special for their 25th Wedding Anniversary – so we did a photo shoot!.

What could be a better gift for your parents….really! I mean I’m sure your Dad has given your mum a kettle or a lawn mower for their anniversary before. Or maybe that’s just my Dad! But I’m sure my Mum would have preferred a beautiful family portrait of her now grown up girls.

Anyway I’m sure their parents are going to love it! Hope you all had fun at your party Silver Anniversary party! Congratulations!!!

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A day of fun with Isabella.

I spent a fun-filled day with Isabella, reading her books and playing at the beach. She’s a smart little munchkin and you can tell by some of her brilliant expressions!

By the time we got to looking at the photos on the big TV, she had to sit on my lap to watch, and kept saying Me? Me?  I had a great day in Isabella’s world – and would love to share it with you!

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