I am often asked; "why does a newborn session take so long?" or "why is a newborn shoot 4 hours?"
There is many reasons why we schedule out 4 hours for a newborn photo shoot, each session is bespoke and tailored to your requirements, from the styling and chosen colour schemes to the props and poses.
Newborn sessions are entirely baby lead, and some babies do get the sleepy memo before their photo shoot and the rest decide it's playtime and they don't want to sleep.
1. Settling your baby
Settling your baby can take time, some babies require lots of soothing and cuddles to relax them and fall into a deep sleep, some don't. Which ever category your baby falls into this part isn't rushed, your baby may require a feed to help settle or to be rocked to their favourite lullaby. I have had some baby's settle in a few minutes and other in an hour. Each baby is different and different methods work.
So we have your baby settled and posed on the beautiful cream backdrop which matches your home decor perfectly when bam...... a cascading waterfall of poop and pee happens, lucky for you if it is on the backdrop and unlucky if it is on me or you.
Accidents always happen in the studio when you have baby's with no nappies on - but we crave for those cutesy naked pictures of our baby, so with nappy free time - expect little accidents on the way.
3. Feeding Time
To keep your baby happy a full tummy is always best (even now I am the same - happy when fed). Once your baby has had a good feed and full tummy and all of the wind burped from them we are always good to go.
Often during their photo's I will sometimes re-position baby which may disturb them but it's nothing a quick suckle on a dummy or a top up milk can't sort. The newborn session is longer than regular sessions to allow plenty of time for baby feeds during their visit to the studio.
4. Family Pictures
Your newborn session has plenty of time for family pictures - your first professional portrait as a family of three, or even four or five! If older siblings are to have their pictures taken with their new baby brother or sister - these do take time. Prepping the baby so younger siblings can hold them safely to getting toddlers dressed into their photo outfits.
5. Props and Posing
You see all of the rustic props available in the studio? well some of these props (especially the swing) these have to be photographed in a special way to ensure baby safety whilst using this certain props. The photo's have to be capture in a way so I can safely composite them together in photo shop, or edit away hands or supporting fingers.
Some props require baby to be inside it in a certain way, sometimes baby wriggles out of that pose an we have to start again, or they startle and jump out of position as soon as I pick up the camera!
The studio is full of beautiful outfits, headbands and bonnets, and parents can select any of these to use during the session, so it takes time making these changes during their session too.
Relaxing your baby back into the previous position can take time, uncurling their little fingers again, and posing them. I have Netflix in the studio should you wish to watch a film or box set, or even bring along your favourite book, the time does pass rather quickly even if you sit there watching from start to finish - enjoy the experience of watching your baby have their pictures taken.
I only book in one newborn session per day. This is so we have plenty of time to settle your baby for their pictures and all of the above.
Please don't plan anything in on the day of your newborn photo shoot, appointments with the midwife, or registering your baby or even a nail appointment, having plenty of time helps for a relaxing environment.
Some babies might not settle 2 - 3 hours into your appointment (and believe me - this does happen), having plenty of time assures us we have enough time, and no pressure on making your baby 'perform' as like you and I, babies can have off days too, they are human and no matter how much time they have, sometimes that day may not be their day and in these instances we choose another date.
If you have any further questions about newborn sessions or you are looking to book yours please do get in touch with me Sarah, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Guest Blogger – Maureen Burton
The Benefits of Baby Massage
I am delighted to have Maureen Burton as our guest blogger to share her hints & tips of the benefits of her baby massage sessions.
Maureen Burton is the founder of Maureen Burton’s Baby Massage and Support Group based in Preston Lancashire.
Maureen is 62, and a mother to two adult boys, and has worked alongside the Health Visiting Team for 16 years, using baby massage as part of the post natal after care to new mums.
Over the years her passion for Infant Health grew and I focused on providing mums with a Baby Massage & Support centre at two local venues in the community – Grimsargh Village Hall, and Ribchester Club in Preston, Lancashire.
Maureen’s sole aim was to not only help mums bond with their babies, but to also create a meeting place for mums and parents to meet and have a network of friends and extra support. The need for support is greater after the NHS services were reduced.
Adjusting to life as a new mum can be a daunting yet such an enjoyable time with your new baby.
Maureen’s Baby Massage classes not only give you that crucial bonding time with your new baby, Maureen also shares tips on other popular topics such as weaning and sleep routines, and can signpost Mum’s to G.P’s for any medical advise.
A little more about Baby Massage
What is baby massage?
Baby Massage originates from old Indian Culture and evidence has found that baby massage has been practised dating back over 3000 years, as routine part of childcare from the moment of birth until the baby is weaned and walking.
Since the late to mid 1900s baby massage has become popular here in the U.K and more emphasis on the physical bonding between the parents and baby that more and more professionals are encouraging parents to make baby massage a part of your daily routine.
Your baby has spent 9 month’s growing inside your womb with constant touch and contact on their skin, even during their birth your baby is still experiencing contact, and touch therapy has benefits to both parent & baby.
What are the Benefits for me and my baby?
There are many additional benefits from practising baby massage – such as;
Maureen’s Baby Massage class teaches parent’s how to massage their baby – Here you learn essential massage strokes which soothe colicky babies and help relieve that stubborn trapped wind & constipation.
Babies from as early as birth start her classes, and attend up until they start crawling.
Her massage moves and strokes are sequenced with popular Nursery Rhymes which your baby will come to recognise the more they develop and one of Maureen’s moves which is set to the Rhyme ‘Pat-a-cake’ brings your babies arms out and opens the chest which helps your baby’s respiratory system.
"I enjoy coming to the baby massage group as it is a chance to meet new parents, it is fantastic bonding time with me and my baby, and also she really enjoys it and has a long nap after!"
Maureen’s excellent support group is an added benefit of attending her classes where mums can come and socialise with other mums, and make lots of new friends.
“Even when their babies have grown up and start nursery or even school, its lovely seeing the mums still keeping in touch, they have created lasting friendships”
After attending one of Maureen’s classes I got a first look on how beneficial her classes and her friendly advice given to the new mums who attend.
Maureen’s group also enjoy organising evening’s out, and meet ups so mums/parents can enjoy getting dressed up and socialise with their new friends – it’s such a friendly network of new parents.
Find more information on Maureen's Baby Massage here on her facebook page below.
Maureen Burton - Baby Massage & Support Group
"Maggie absolutely loves baby massage!
"The chance to learn Baby Massage and talk to like minded mums"
Following on from Maureen’s Baby Massage classes, are her “Learn through play” classes.
These classes differ from your general playgroup and toddler groups – they focus more on early learning development, using interactive toys to develop your toddler’s co-ordination and social skills with other children.
Using sensory objects that are sticky, tactile or varied textures helps in your toddler’s next stage development.
The Baby Massage classes start Mondays at 10am – 12 noon at Grimsargh Village hall, Grimsargh. Lancashire
and Wednesday’s 10am – 12 noon at Ribchester club. Ribchester, Lancashire
There is no pre-booking system, Maureen likes parents to be able turn up as she understands that appointments and family life can sometimes clash with class days, all up-to-date class information can be found on her facebook page.
Maureen Burton - Baby Massage & Support Group
It's that time of year again, and you want to update your family portrait.
Just in time for Father's Day
You may be thinking of booking a professional photographer to capture your portrait, or you may take it yourself with a selfie stick – however you decide to capture your family and memories, check out our quick tip guide on what to wear, so you can look your very best for your artwork.
Sarah McLean is a newborn portrait photographer providing her service to the Ribble Valley & Lancashire. She specialises in Newborns, Babies, Children, Families .