Your first trip out of the house with a new baby is pretty daunting. Getting this tiny bundle strapped safely into a car seat; rounding up nappies and wipes and bottles and dummies and an insanely large assortment of other necessities for such a tiny little person; trying to juggle nappy changes and feeds so that you all have a comfortable car trip but still arrive on time; and leaving the comfort of your own home when all you really want to do is sleep. Combine all this with a fog of tiredness like you’ve never even imagined could exist, and this whole new world of responsibility and care seems pretty overwhelming.
“What if my baby won’t sleep?!”
Parents often ask me what will happen if their baby won’t sleep during their photography session. Some babies fall asleep so easily and others fight sleep with their whole being, even during their first few days. (My son was one of those – I can relate very well!!)
This blog post is dedicated to those parents!
I wanted to donate a newborn photography session to someone who was deserving of it – someone who had been through struggles or hardships or someone who was always thinking about others and deserved something in return. There were so many nominations that it made me want to give away more than one session, but the beautiful tribute written by Isabella’s grandma was the deciding factor.
We clamber over boxes and bags and squeeze our way through to the surfboard racks on my garage wall. Levi’s dad is far taller than me, so he gets the job of grappling the surfboard down. Back inside again, we discover that the board was last used on a baking hot day – its cover has completely melted onto the wax and we can’t get the board out! Finally, with the help of some crafty broomstick wielding, we manage to free the board ready for our studio photo shoot with little baby Levi.
I already knew I liked this family before I even met them. In their pre-session questionnaire, their mum wrote that she wanted to have something that shows the love between them and how special her boys are. Her words were so filled with love for her sons and I could tell straight away how much they adored each other.
Connection and belonging are my favourite things to capture in a family photo shoot, and I could tell this shoot was going to be oozing with them!
The wallpaper backdrop was hanging perfectly; the wooden floor drop smoothed out; fluffy white towels folded neatly and stacked in a soft pile; and baby Quinn was tucked up on his tummy, dummy in his mouth and his blankie wrapped around him, drifting off to sleep. We had been working towards this for about 15 minutes, Quinn’s mum helping to settle him while I got his tiny bottom and toes and fingers placed exactly how I wanted. A sneak peek under his blanket showed that he had finally settled into the perfect pose. We removed his blanket. I stepped back with my camera, and his mum sat just off to the side, ready to remove his dummy at the right moment and to spot him if he moved.
And then…. Quinn startled, as tiny babies do. His legs shot out behind him, his arms flailed, and he jerked to wide awake. We were right back to square one, and Quinn decided that it was time to snuggle in with mum for a feed instead of getting this shot.
After a huge string of baby boys, I was so excited to be able to photograph sweet little baby Bonnie in her newborn lifestyle and mini studio photography session. I had some new headbands and wraps that I was dying to be able to use, and I was excited about featuring a bit of pink!
Bonnie was just the most perfect little model I could have hoped for. For nearly our whole session, she was quiet, content and sleepy. Whether wrapped up snugly on a sheepskin, curled up on my beanbag, or sprawled out and unposed, she was just the sweetest little girl you could imagine!
I just love doing newborn photography, and this newborn photo shoot with baby Lincoln in my Te Awamutu studio was one of my all time favourites. He was just the sweetest, most perfect little boy you could imagine! Throw in a stunning mummy and a handsome big brother, and this session was every photographer's dream!
Some babies just love to tuck up with their legs underneath them as if they were still in the womb. Others love to curl sideways. And some just like to stretch out as far as they can.
During this newborn photography session at my studio in Te Awamutu, sweet little Caleb left us in no doubt of his preference. He didn’t have the longest legs around, but he was very clear that he wanted them stretched out as much as possible! According to his mum, he did a lot of this in her tummy too – ouch!
Hamilton Gardens is one of my favourite places in the Waikato for family photography sessions. There are so many different settings that are perfect for family portraits and such a variety of options, all in one location. Big, wide expanses of lawn, beautiful big trees (particularly gorgeous in autumn!), heaps of ponds and bridges and railings tucked all over the place, and the beautiful themed Paradise Gardens which feel like you have stepped into a different country.
It was an honour to be able to welcome my friend’s little boy into their family with this combo lifestyle and mini studio session in their Taupiri home. At just a week old, little Benjamin was a total star. He was so sleepy and content, and just loved to be cuddled up with his mummy. He wasn’t always quite so happy being tucked up on my beanbag, but the mummy and baby photos we got are some of my favourites from this session.