When I talk about capturing precious memories, nothing can be as momentous and ephemeral as newborn photography.
But too often professional baby photos involve working through a series of contrived and clichéd poses. How cute is the wee one hanging out of the bucket?
When I decided to launch my newborn service, I knew I wanted to create a timeless piece of art but more important than that was the safety of the baby.
Without doubt, it’s the number one priority for me. They are so precious at that age so it’s about doing it right and keeping baby safe.
When I see some newborn photography, I am genuinely terrified by the positions that babies are put in.
So that’s why my partner Elaine and I will both be trained in pediatric first aid as we launch this new service for babies between seven days and three months old. The fact that Elaine is already a trained nurse also helps.
Unique newborn photography
But while we are creating a safe environment, we are also creating a timeless piece of art that captures a tiny new member of the family.
I have always seen the studio as offering something that is totally different and completely unique, so this new service really does complement the art pieces that I already do here.
We make a single piece of art with the newborn baby at the very centre that will never be repeated. The set is made from scratch, built up with layers of fabric and using real organic materials, like pebbles, wood and wool, so it is an entirely bespoke product.
We discuss what the parents are naturally drawn to, whether it’s woodlands or the mountains, a flower theme or maybe the sea, and interpret that into a piece of art that sums up their vision.
They choose their backdrop and we make a bespoke set that won’t be replicated for anyone else ever.
I have to confess I didn’t come up with such a fully-formed concept all by myself.
To learn how to do it all properly, Elaine and I went down to Bristol to one of the best trainers there is, Melanie East.
I’ve never done a workshop without researching who I think is top notch and Melanie is very well known in the industry and teaches all over the world.
Her work is just out-of-this-world beautiful. My favourite work that she’s done with a baby is the Tree of Life, which was created using wool, jute and natural fabrics, and it’s spectacular.
But the draw was that Melanie is so safe with babies, and for me that is vital. When mum comes into the studio, the most important thing is her peace of mind that safety is going to be our number one priority. Nothing else matters.
During our workshop, we had babies gurgling away, and we were shown how to wrap them, how to handle baby, and how to make the basic sets.
We also learned how to tell when baby’s had enough. But Melanie said she’s been doing this for 15 years and it had only happened twice to her, mainly through having a safe and comforting environment that encourages angelic baby behaviour.
So we’ve been to Melanie’s amazing workshop and learned so much, and now we are furiously practising making the sets, developing our skills – we have all the wool batts here you could ever need!
This means you can have your newborn picture from the end of November. A call for models will be going out ahead of this, so shout if you know a heavily-pregnant woman who would love a piece of out-of-this-world and unique natural art.
But don’t feel you’ve missed the boat if your little one is already here.
We have also just had these amazing backdrops delivered from Australia that are ideal for toddlers.
It’s more high-end beautiful stuff to give a gorgeous backdrop that makes your little one’s day. They are shot in sets made to look like bedrooms, filled with light and teddy bears, and they give the most stunning and special finished images.