Newborn Shoot FAQ

I thought it was about time I put some of your questions together in to one place as I feel like I am repeating myself ūüôā

What does a newborn shoot involve?

A newborn shoot is a wonderful way to capture the early days of the brand new human that you have made.  Normally your baby will be photographed in a variety of poses that capture the feeling of how small they are.  Newborn sessions work best showing shape and form and as such, wrapping and posing your baby in soft blankets and wraps is a better way to show them off than in baby grows and outfits etc which are usually always too big at this stage anyway!

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How long will the shoot take?

How long is a piece of newborn string?  Every baby is different and so each session will vary in length depending how settled your baby is.  Most of the poses are best undertaken when your baby is very sleepy (or they will usually stretch a leg or arm out when you are trying to pose them to look small!).  Newborns take a while to settle in to a routine, so what is feed time and nap time one day might be different the next.  I generally say that each shoot will last approximately 2 hours but that will vary depending on how well they are doing.  Some babies settle very well, others take longer, and others have gone home and come back another day!  The best advice I can give to maximise the amount of shoot time is to ensure that your baby is recently fed before the appointment time so that they might be settled and tired.

How many images will I get?

Same as above really, the results of the shoot will very depending how settled and cooperative your baby is.  Generally speaking you will be able to view and choose your favourites from between 20-40 images, although less is normal if your baby is particularly unsettled.

My baby has pretty bad cradle cap – can you airbrush this out?

Many newborns will have cradle cap, milk spots, scratches from tiny fingernails, flaky skin, or other conditions that brand new humans have to cope with while getting used to life on the outside.  I will of course minimise or take away these marks where appropriate.  Birth marks such as port wine stains, strawberry marks or mongolian blue spots should be left in the photographs to capture the moment in time of how your baby looked when new, although I know that these usually reduce over time, so I dont mind reducing the size or making them stand out a little less if you ask me to.  If you have any specific requirements, just ask!

My baby is so small and helpless Рare you experienced and qualified?  I need reassurance!

I myself am a mother and wouldnt dream of putting your baby in danger all for the sake of a photograph! ¬†On top of approximately 8 years of professional photographic experience, I have a BA (Hons) in Photography, an affiliation with the Baby and Newborn Photographer Association (www.banpas.co.uk), my business is insured, and I have a lifelong love of little babies. ¬†I dont take any risks with your baby. ¬†I dont shoot anything that requires precarious positioning, balancing, or hoping for the best. ¬†To achieve some of the more cutsey poses, I normally shoot in two parts, and photoshop out mum or dads hand. ¬†The ‘head in hands pose’ is a difficult one to achieve unsupported – it can be done, but that doesnt mean that it should be. ¬†I have read horror stories online of a babies head falling from its posed hands because there was no one to support it. ¬†PLEASE if you do not choose me as your photographer, ask your photographer if they are experienced and ensure that they are insured at the very least as it shows a certain level of professionalism. ¬†My studio is warm and designed with your baby in mind.

What do I need to bring?

My studio is well stocked with various props and blankets to show your baby off at its best. ¬†I dont have over the top props – catapillar outfits, peapods etc… I have seen these things and while they are cute, I think it is best to give your images which show off your baby… not a costume! ¬†I have some tasteful headbands, dried flower crowns and hats for girls and boys. ¬†Feel free to bring along something of sentimental importance to be photographed with your baby, for example something belonging to a family member no longer here, or a favourite gift. ¬†Take with your what you would normally pack in your bag for an outing with baby – extra nappies, milk, wipes/cotton wool and a change of clothes (for baby and for you! Just incase)

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Can I include siblings?

Yes!  Please remember that the session can take some time and so children may get bored waiting around (especially if they are jealous or apprehensive of their new family member)  so it may be best if someone could bring them along closer to the end of the session.  They are welcome to hang around and watch a dvd to pass the time while waiting for their turn in front of the camera.

Can I include family pets?

Yes!  I allow well behaved pets in the studio.  Again, take consideration of the length of time the session might take and note that the studio must be kept warm for unclothed babies.  This feels hot for us clothed grown ups, and even hotter for furry pets.  Please under no circumstances leave your pet in your car outside during warm weather.  I will halt the session.

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I hope that this gives you an insight of your forthcoming session with Crave Images.  If you have any further questions please just ask!  (you might even prompt me to add to this faq)

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Girls and their Mothers Exhibition

February 3rd saw the opening of my second released works from my Exottish project.

48 images featuring girls and women of mixed race with their mothers are on display from now until the end of June in a touring Exhibition across Glasgow and the West.

The evening was opened by Keith Donnelly of South Lanarkshire Leisure and Culture, followed by a short introduction by Malcolm Dickson, Gallery Director of Streetlevel Photoworks – both of whom have been a huge help in putting the exhibition of my work together.

The reaction to the work has been wonderful – I hope that everyone continues to sign the guestbook so that I can gain your thoughts and feelings about the works.

The exhibition runs as follows:

4th – 28th Feb 2016 | East Kilbride Arts Centre

3rd – 27th Mar 2016 | Trongate 103

9th Apr – 22nd May 2016 | Hillhead Library

28th May – 30th June 2016 | East Kilbride Central Library

 

Safety First! Newborn Photography shot with composite images.

So there is a horror story going round that a newborn fell out of a prop during a newborn photoshoot at a large chain photography studio.  The more I looked in to this, the more blogs and posts on places like netmums I found discussing accidents at photoshoots.  This is something that just shouldnt happen!  The safety of your newborn should always ALWAYS be the photographers top priority.

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I recently joined the Baby and Newborn Photography Association to further show my commitment to the health, safety and wellbeing of any newborn baby and indeed any child who passes through my studio as I would with my own.

A newborn shoot is best conducted when the baby is under 14 days old to ensure that they are still very sleepy, and so that they are bendy enough to safely achieve the cute poses.  At this small stage, they can not support their own head, and so their necks and heads need to be fully supported by the accompanying parents.

My newborn shoots last approximately 2 hours but I have spent up to 4 hours on newborn shoots to get it right.  If a pose is not working, I move on and do something else.  Not every baby will sit in a froggy pose, not every baby will settle on their tummy, not every baby will do what you want when you want (parents, are you with me?).

I first photographed a baby around six years ago and every time I do, I have to prioritise safety over a good image.  I see images online of babies hanging in hammocks, from tree branches, stuffed in to jars and I wonder what safety precautions were put in place?  I would like to think that there is an illusion of being balanced, an illusion of hanging procariously Рbut more often than not, a baby is put in to a pose and left there during the shoot, where it would take one kick of a leg (believe me, the strength of newborns can surprise you sometimes) or a startled movement to cause the baby to roll or fall.  It just isnt worth risking at all!

All of my poses where the babies heads are held up are shot as at least two seperate images, and then stitched together in photoshop.  Babies are top heavy and newborns should never be left to hold their own heads up on their hands unsupported.  You wouldnt do it at home, and I wouldnt do it in the studio.

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It takes time to position a sleeping baby in to a cute folded pose, and when I have done so, I have a parent sat right beside the baby with an arm on top, only removing the hand for me to press the shutter, placing the hand back on the baby.  For more intricate poses where the head is raised, a parent will be supporting the head at all times, and their hand will be removed in photoshop.  It is possible to balance babies without the need for being supported, but why risk a fall?  Newborns need their head and necks supported at all times while they are still so small.

Another issue which also comes up is the temperature of the baby.  Tiny babies are not able to regulate their own body heat, and so an adequately heated room is essential, especially when the babies are most often naked or wearing very little to keep them warm.

Sometimes I say no too!  Parents will come in with images that they have seen and love, but dont understand how they are taken, so I have had to refuse a pose which I didnt deem safe before.  If the baby is not sleepy enough, I will opt for safer poses until they settle down.  Safer poses are still cute!

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I do allow pets to be part of a newborn session, but please remember that your dog is just getting acquainted with this new family member, so perhaps a shoot at the 6 month stage or later would be better, and more fun!  That being said, a well behaved dog lying down beside a newborn in a basket is a safe option.  Keep in mind the previously aforementioned temperature of the room Рit will most likely be too hot for your dog to stay in there for any length of time, so having someone bring them and take them away again would be ideal.

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Some tips for booking a photographer to capture images of your newborn.

First things first, ensure that they have taken the time to get insured Рit just simply separates the professionals from the inexperienced camera enthusiasts who might not know how to safely handle your baby.  A photographer who is adequately experienced, knowledgeable, with the right equipment may cost a little more, but the results will always be worth it.

If they shoot elaborate posed images, ask to see their before and after or composite images.  If they refuse, run a mile.

Check for reviews!  Who else has used them?

Ask to view the studio beforehand to make sure you are happy with the environment.  If the shoot is being done in your home, ask what they will be bringing (if only to ascertain what amount of space you will need) And again Рinsurance?

Most importantly, if something doesnt feel right, say no, take a break, suggest the photographer tries something a little more simple or stop the session.

Please take a look through my example images on my website, and contact me with your due date to pencil a date in the diary.  www.craveimages.co.uk

Photoparties

Babies with their cakesmash parties aren’t the only ones who can celebrate at Crave Images!

The beautiful birthday girl

The beautiful birthday girl

I host birthday parties for all ages and even hen parties for those looking to celebrate in style.

For the purpose of this post, I have included images of my own daughters photoparty at Crave Images.  Lamaya turned 11 in October, and gathered with 8 of her friends in the studio in East Kilbride to celebrate the occasion.  This was just a few weeks after the studio opened and for the first time I got to really use the whole 1000sqft of the main studio!

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During the 2 hour and 15 minute time slot, the children can have individual and group shots taken, as well as each guest photographed with the birthday girl/boy. ¬†Both ‘beauty’ shots and fun shots will be taken to appeal to the kids and the parents! ¬†There will be a selection of background colours and styles to choose from, and the children are welcome to bring a change of clothes for more variety in the images.

All smiles for the birthday girl

All smiles for the birthday girl

Feel free to theme the party! ¬†Princesses, heroes,¬†villains, divas and rockstars… even onesies! ¬†Anything is possible, just make sure everyone will be comfortable. ¬†My daughter went for Divas & Rockstars which worked well with their outfit changes. ¬†We began with a girly pink party theme for some beauty shots before getting changed in to more comfortable clothes. ¬†The second half of the party had a ‘photobooth’ feel to it, with props making the rockstars come to life. ¬†They formed 3 mini bands and really got in to character! ¬†Lamaya11079

I can work with you to help theme your party to make it completely unique. ¬†There are a variety of colour options available and different textured backgrounds including an icy blue ‘frozen’ style! ¬†Whatever theme or colour scheme, the children always bring the photos to life with their individuality and character.

Of course, some children are more confident than others, and I will use my judgement and experience to get the best out of the more reserved children to help them shine!  Music is played throughout to eliminate any awkward silences.  I begin with group photographs which slowly eases the children in to the flow of the party and when they start to loosen off, I will photograph each of them individually in a variety of poses to make them feel like the centre of attention.  Of course, the birthday girl/boy gets some extra camera time and is always the centre of attention.

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Cake Smash Photoshoot Parties

A first or second birthday can be celebrated at Crave Images studio in East Kilbride as a fun way to commemorate the occasion giving fun yet beautiful images to treasure forever.  This doesnt have to be done on the birthday Рwhy not do it a month or so before and have the cake smash images displayed on their actual birthday?

A smile before the smash

A smile before the smash

A cake smash is great fun for the babies who take part (many of whom have never tasted cake before) but is also fun for all those watching, so invite the grandparents along too so that everyone can have a giggle. The session begins as a standard photoshoot to gain some lovely portrait with the birthday boy or girl in an outfit which you dress them in before the mess, and then, while you get them changed in to cake smash worthy clothes, I will assemble an army of balloons and other props along with the cake ready for the mess to begin. Your little one will be sat beside the cake and I will document what happens next.  Little by little, the cake and your child get messier and messier! As with all sessions, you will be invited back in around a weeks time to view the images on screen to see the results and whittle down your final selection.

Sitting pretty - cake co ordinated with the tutu!

Sitting pretty – cake co ordinated with the tutu!

Some cake smash specific information: Cake Smash outfits can be supplied in the form of a nappy cover or colourful tutu.  Remember you call the shots with colour schemes though, so bringing your own outfits makes your session even more unique.  Denim shorts for boys look great against any coloured background, and with any colour of cake smeared all over!  There are so many girly options but tutus prove very popular. I do not supply your cakesmash cake as I do not have the relevant licensing to do so, but the following information will allow you to choose the best cake for your session. Cakes must be smashable!  Hard icing is no good Рa fresh buttercreme topping is best to get baby licking their fingers and getting big dods of it on their outfit or skin.

Cakey toes

Cakey toes

Where I can, I try to book cake smash sessions later in the day as the last session due to the fact that both myself and my studio end up covered in cake! ¬†It takes quite a bit of cleaning up! ¬†If this conflicts with your plans then earlier appointments are okay too, or alternatively book an evening appointment midweek. The following locations provide great cakes: 1. ¬†Taste Lindas Cakes (East Kilbride) – Linda and I met around 5 years ago whilst I photographed some of her wedding cakes for display. ¬†I was so impressed that I hired her to make an electric guitar cake for my daughters birthday. It was awesome! ¬†Linda is based in The Village area of East Kilbride and can make you a great cakesmash cake made completely to your taste and requirements. ¬†View her website here and contact with as much notice as possible to avoid disappointment¬†http://www.tlscakes.co.uk/ 2. ¬†Cakes With Love (Glasgow) – ¬†Valerie creates mouthwateringly beautiful cakes which are so detailed and intricate sometimes I cant believe that they are edible! ¬†Custom cakes are a speciality here with no theme out of reach. ¬†View her previous designs and contact through her website, but she books well in advance¬†http://www.cakeswithloveuk.com/ 3. ¬†Wholefoods (Nearest is Giffnock) – Wholefoods take cake orders which must be made at least 48 hours in advance. ¬†They use all natural and organic ingredients so you can pretend that it is healthy! ¬†I had a fabulous multicoloured cake made up to match one of our tutus and it looked amazing! Cake colours are truly up to you but I would say to¬†keep in mind that chocolate buttercreme smeared all over your baby and the background will look pretty muddy! ¬†I am fine with that if you are. ¬†Bright or pastel colours work brilliantly, even white or cream! **Please note that most supermarket cakes do not ‘smash’ they crumble and just leave a greasy mess on the backdrop – As such, they are not recommended. ¬†Your baby will also find them powdery and dry and probably not want to interact with it very much**

the aftermath...

the aftermath…

Please ensure that you bring a change of clothes with you.  Pyjamas or a onesie would be great until you can get your little one home for a bath, however I have plenty of wipes in the studio and there are toilet/sink facilities for a more thorough clean up before you leave if you wish.

Not every baby will completely ‘smash’ their cake, some might not even like the taste. ¬†Who knows, maybe you can even rescue some to take home. ¬†One thing is for sure though is that they are always intrigued by it, and pull some very interesting faces! ¬†Your baby might want to run around with balloons for the most of the session instead which can also yield some great images. ¬†Whatever happens, my clients are always laughing away during the session and again when they come back to view the images.

Its my Crave Images cakesmash and I'll cry if I want to

Its my Crave Images cakesmash and I’ll cry if I want to

Have further questions?  Drop me an email kim@craveimages.co.uk

I got a little too involved in this one!  Why not, I was covered in cake anyway!

I got a little too involved in this one! Why not, I was covered in cake anyway!

STV Glasgow Appearance

I was on the Riverside Show last week with my daughter discussing my new series ‘Exottish’ which I am currently working on. ¬†It was equally fun and terrifying. ¬†My daughter was with me and made us all laugh which took nerves away a little thankfully.

My project looks at Exoticism and Identity of non caucasian Scottish individuals, and also looks at mixed race girls and their mothers to reflect my own circumstances.  Scotland is a country which has very strong iconology (kilts, red hair, tartan etc etc) and I wanted to confront difficulties faced by Scots who dont conform to the visual stereotype.

The project has been really well received by many associations, but massive thanks goes out to STV and Show Racism The Red Card for their help in sourcing individuals for me to photograph.

I am still shooting so if you would like to get involved, please get in touch!

http://player.stv.tv/programmes/riverside-show/2015-02-10-1900/

Family Photographs Guide

There are two questions I get asked at the beginning of almost every session:

What will we wear?

What do we need to bring?

I will try to answer these images as best I can but if you have any further questions, just get back in touch!

Family/Child Portraits.

Come dressed as yourselves! ¬†A family portrait should reflect your character and day to day personality at the time the images are taken. ¬†The general rule is don’t all dress the same, but wear complementary colours. ¬†The days of photographing a family of five all wearing identical outfits are (thankfully) over. ¬†The internet is full of images of outdated family portraits with everyone wearing matching jeans and tops, I am not looking to add to these! ¬†I undertake some fashion photography work and have had a few editorial features and more recently a front cover, all of which I styled myself, so I would like to think that I can offer some assistance if you are stuck with what to wear.

My studio sessions can take place with any of a number of different coloured backgrounds (or white if you prefer) so if you want to match to a particular room colour scheme with a frame and background colour choice, or go for a bright background to match or clash against brightly coloured hair/clothing we can do that. ¬†Keep accessories minimal including only key pieces. ¬†For example, If your teenager¬†is never seen without headphones, bring a pair! If you wear glasses all the time, feel free to keep them on. ¬†Toddler wont let go of that scabby blanket? ¬†Bring it! ¬†We’ll try to bribe with a few shots with and a few without.¬† Above all else, be comfortable and as I have already said, be yourselves.

Please also dress appropriately for outdoor sessions – don’t wear heels to a session in a park in November – a pair of boots, a scarf and a hat will make much more sense and you will enjoy it a lot more without frozen toes.

Accessorizing with a patterned bow tie really make this outfitOutfits can match without being the same!

Complimentary tones yet three completely different outfits

Complimentary tones yet three completely different outfits

If you must dress similar, dont go EXACTLY the same

Newborn Portraits (up to 14 days old) and Baby Portraits.

Skin is in!  The more natural the better for newborn photography.  There is nothing better than a little newborn baby.  Fingers and toes should at least be on show to see how tiny they are.  I have a variety of different accessories, blankets, bowls and backgrounds to use to suit each baby so only bring along items which are important to have included in the images such as a small teddy or special blanket.

Posed images are best achieved when a baby is under two weeks old.  The best advice I can give is to try and choose a time where a newborn baby will be at their sleepiest (which can be difficult while establishing an initial routine) which will give us the best chance obtaining these poses.

The specially equipped baby room is very warm to ensure that babies are comfortable and warm while unclothed, so may get a little sweaty for us adults.  There are towels and wipes on hand for inevitable accidents and bottle warming facilities.

Items to remember in your baby bag Рplease ensure that you have a change of clothes for baby (and mum/dad, just incase!) Plenty of milk, bibs, soothers and nappies to last you through.  Newborn sessions take approximately 2 hours, but this depends on how well settled the baby is РI have had sessions take far longer before.

CarterNewbornShoot006bwww IsabellaWadeNewborn025ww Babies need to be fast asleep to achieve these poses Wide awake and slightly older babies can still get great results let brothers and sisters join in too accessories complimented by colour co ordinating the background props dont have to be overpowering

Pet Portraits

Well behaved pets are always welcome – please let me know beforehand in case there is a session directly after so that I have time to clean up pet¬†hair and drools before my next client! ¬†Please ensure that dogs are¬†well walked before the session to run out some energy… although if your dog is anything like mine, there is no end to the bounding around. ¬†Bring plenty of treats and two thin leads if you can.

Exotic animals welcome although I am arachnophobic so unfortunately I can not manage spiders.  I have managed to hold a tarantula before as a part of therapy, but I think it actually made me worse.

I regularly photograph rescue dogs to assist with rehoming appeals.  If you know of a worthy charity please pass them my details.  (Must be a registered charity)

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