Baby-led posed newborn photography
Today’s blog is a guest blog by Bristol-based photographer, Kirsty Northover:
How do you find the right newborn photographer for you from the hundreds in Bristol?
I actually googled “newborn photographer Bristol” a while back to see how many results there were and I found what looked like hundreds! Even restricting it to “newborn photographer near me” didn't help much!
If you’re pregnant and thinking of capturing those precious early days how on earth do you know where to start? You may have a friend or family member that can vouch for someone, but if you don’t, it’s a minefield. I know, I was in that situation just over 4 years ago. Funnily enough, it was that experience that inspired me to set up what was then Little Pickles Photography.
Have you considered a newborn photoshoot?
I hadn’t considered newborn photography when I was pregnant. Or even in the first few weeks if I’m honest. I didn't know anyone who’d had one, so it just wasn't on my radar. Sadly.
Then one of my NCT friends told be she was going for their baby photoshoot and I had serious FOMO!
I did some research and found a photographer who’s work I loved. I booked in. Then she found out that my son was an unsettled cluster-feeding baby that didn't like sleeping or being separated from me. She cancelled us. I was really upset. I then booked in with a larger studio thinking the results would be just as good as what I’d seen on her website. How wrong I was! Newborn photography is a very specific skill and being a good photographer does in no way mean that you’re a good newborn photographer - there’s so much more to it than that!
Not all births and pregnancies follow our plans
I had planned a hypo-birthing water-birth. I ended up with a scheduled cesarean for medical reasons. This was far from what I wanted and I spent a long time feeling I’d let my son down. I know I didn’t logically, but new-mummy hormones are powerful things and they don’t fade very quickly! I don’t know if this moulded the type of parent I am, or whether I’d have been the way I am anyway. I’m not convinced it even matters, but the way I parent my son is very similar to how I work with you. How I am with your baby. How I ensure you have the best experience you can.
Bristol’s gentle, baby-led posed newborn photographer
I genuinely think I’m the only one. Because, tbh, it’s not the most efficient way to run a business. Baby-led and posed tend not to be two things we think of as complimentary. Posed requires painstaking patience and skill to keep your baby settled and asleep. If the baby doesn’t want to sleep it involves lots of soothing and waiting.
But why compromise? My motto is that your experience matters as much as your images and I mean that to the depths of my soul. I don’t ever want any of my clients to ever feel the way we did. Rushed. Embarrassed. Stressed. Anxious that we’d wasted time and money on something awful and it would be too late to do anything about it.
Offering you the newborn photography experience I wish we’d had
If your baby doesn't want to sleep and they need to feed and be cuddled to feel happy, thats what happens. We wait. We chat. You catch up on social media whilst I keep you fed and hydrated. It’s all part of the process.
This is how my business was born. I knew I could offer something different, but I also wanted to be at the top of my game. If I do something I do it to excel, which meant that the images need to align with the exceptional service. To ensure this was the case I trained with one of the best newborn photographers in the world. The renowned Kelly Brown who’s based in Australia. Thankfully she flies around the world training others so I’ve travelled to London a few times now to be trained by her. Training with the best of the best takes time and naturally a serious financial investment. It was worth it!
So, I’ve trained with the best and naturally I’m fully insured. You’d think both would be standard, but they’re not. The newborn photography industry is currently unregulated in the UK so literally anyone can call themselves a newborn photographer and work with your baby. Many are untrained, uninsured and do not know how to safely work with a newborn. It’s scary stuff, which is what makes searching for a newborn photographer such a minefield.
The baby-led photography experience
I’m completely baby-led. If your baby wants to cluster feed for hours to feel happy enough to be photographed, put your feet up, I’ll make you a drink. Just relax.
These early days are so precious. Don’t let something that should be memorable for the right reasons have negative connotations.
Every time you look at your images on your wall, or flick through your album pouring over your little miracles’ tiny features that changed so quickly I want you to remember how you felt having them created. How relaxed, nurtured and happy the experience was. Because that’s the way it should be.
Yes, I’ll create you beautiful images that you’ll want hanging on your walls, but I’ll also provide a little haven for you to step away from the hectic life of juggling laundry and visitors whilst possibly feeling like you’ve been hit by a bus! Childbirth and sleep deprivation are quite the cocktail!!
You can pause and take some time as a new family whilst we capture the start of your journey together. It’s precious and I make sure you get to feel that way.
To find out more about Kirsty’s work, go to: www.kirstynorthover.co.uk