Tuesday, 4 June 2019

a real relaxed newborn session

I've been wanting to start running a blog alongside Fox and Farley for a while now. I know that it can be an intimate and useful way to connect with clients and document the families I work with. Instagram is great for allowing a glimpse into a shoot, a kind of highlight reel if you will, but a blog allows you a closer look. I can share more images here, collected together so that they make sense and better tell a story.

Looking at these images here all in one place, I feel they really convey the atmosphere of the entire session a whole lot better than a few tiny squares lost in a feed would. Of course, I've shared there too, the more places the better right? 😄

How goes a newborn session? Well...

Ugh, you guys, this one was just dreamy. There's nothing like being in a room full of oxytocin to lift your spirits. You just can't be unhappy around the snuffling newness of a fresh baby. If you've ever been there, you'll know what I mean when I say that there's a tenderness to the way a newborn moves and sounds in the first little while that's never present again. To be allowed into that space feels exceptional.

Baby was just over five weeks old in these photos, which in my experience is a sweet window where we can capture an array of different expressions (now that they are more alert) yet they still look like a 'newborn'. I'd still recommend a 'fresh 48' session or a session within the first ten days if you can but as you can see, you don't need to worry if it's gone past that!

Isn't she just lovely? This was incredibly relaxed, such a calming atmosphere - considering there were quite a few people in the house. It was just easy to be there, to chat and laugh and coo over her while I clicked away. This is what in-home sessions should be.

They hadn't had to 'prepare' their house for me. Part of the authenticity and candidness of my style of shooting is shooting you as you are. No prepping the space or dressing in specific outfits. I mean, sure, you can make it look how you want it to look beforehand and you can dress them in something you think is aesthetically pleasing, but it's really not intrinsic to getting good photos. I want it to be as if I were a fly on the wall, giving you another perspective on your everyday. Documenting what often is missed.

 When she started crying, we didn't let it phase us, it's part of having a new baby and it's just as precious as any other part of it.

If you've seen Inside Out, think about the scene near the end when Joy realises how important Sadness was all along. Sadness being present led to Joy. Just as here, that instance of sadness; of the cutest little newborn cry; led to a mother comforting her baby, which in my eyes is pretty heartwarming in itself.

Yes it's ordinary, it's just what we do, it's instinct. But just look at that gentle touch, the calm observation, the soothing voice that you can almost hear through the image. That's something we should document more of! I like to think that maybe later down the line, during one of the difficult days (let's face it, there are plenty of those) she might look at these photos and feel reassured remembering how just her touch, smell and voice could quieten her crying baby. That she is enough.

I don't rush and I won't leave until you feel happy with what I've captured. You know those moments when someone shouts "quick, grab the camera!"? I'm there to get those without you having to disturb the scene; and to avoid the sometimes inevitable "oh, she was doing it a minute ago." when the camera arrives a split second too late. But it's not all about those special flashes. The everyday ordinariness of your busy, bustling, wild and wonderful life is just as important, if not more so. There is beauty in the mundane.

I will document breastfeeding only if you feel comfortable, but I do encourage it. No one else ever has to see it, all of my clients let me know what they're happy to share and what they'd like to keep private. The hormones that are released while your baby nurses set this brief period apart from the rest of the session. The whole mood becomes slower, more thoughtful. I've never seen anything deeper than a baby's eyes while they feed. The way they instinctively turn their entire bodies to their mother, to maximise contact and gain assurance. They don't seem to do that so strongly or as often later on. It seems to be almost exclusive to those first few months.

Well done! You made it to the end 😂 I didn't intend for this to be so long but apparently I had a lot to say. I should have done it sooner! I have a few ideas for future blog posts but if there's anything you'd like to know about or see examples of, just let me know through here, Instagram, my website or facebook and I'll do my best to provide! I'll be posting Q&A's every now and then through Instagram stories so you can ask on there too.

Thanks for reading,
Pepper xx