A brief break in my birth photography series… birth photography and newborn photography – what is the difference?
Do you search for birth photography in Bucks, and something unexpected comes up? Are you really looking for an Aylesbury photographer for a newborn photo session? My previous blog series shares some birth stories all about birth photography and what it is.
Birth photography is about documenting the labour and actual birth of your baby. Newborn photography captures your new baby features, still tiny and curled up, usually in the first 2 weeks after birth.
I would like to share with you what to expect from a newborn photo session with me in my dedicated Aylesbury studio. I love to use props, and with my experience in wrapping, I use gentle posing to photograph your new baby in natural and sweet positions. Siblings are always welcome, and I include family photos in all full newborn photo sessions.
I’m going to take you through what a newborn photo session looks like with the various set ups, including a sibling and family.
Props in a newborn photo session
I use a variety of bowls, buckets and beds in my newborn photography work. I have different sizes to suit smaller or bigger babies.
I design each newborn photo session individually, according to preferred colour palette, use of any new items I might want to include, some props I use more than others, and some I have specific requests for prop set ups by parents.
A few of the props we used for the newborn photo session of beautiful Penny…
I often use different props of the same type, and have a few different bed props, and quite a few bowl props! I rarely do the exact same set up with the same colours twice as I love to explore putting different textures together, and I am constantly adding to my prop collection.
“The pictures are so beautiful. I cannot stop looking at them!” – Mum of Penny
This style of newborn photography is often very simplistic with the use of a wrap and backdrop material, and maybe some embellishments. Some newborn photographers use a beanbag, others use a table prop, depending on their preference of height, shape and softness. I use a bed poser as I like the wider surface area, versatility to move around the studio and also fold away, and I like to work sitting from the floor.
Beanbag posing can be quite varied, with many ways to photograph baby with materials and different poses. It is also great for any size baby, including multiples.
I talk a lot with older siblings through the newborn photo session – I love to learn about their character. Sometimes they like to help, and others need some coaxing to get involved.
Penny’s sweet big sister celebrated her 1st birthday just a few days before the photo session, and she was wonderful!
I often take the sibling photos gradually throughout the photo session, asking them to come into the set to capture them together, after ensuring I have all the shots and angles of the baby in the prop initially.
I have a drawer of various bits and bobs to encourage bigger siblings if needed, and always take an individual photo of them too – which they usually love! Penny’s big sister made me work for it, with not yet walking.
It is so important to capture all the family together when a new baby arrives into the family. Photos of you, in the image, with your children, let me stress again – is so important!
Being a Mum myself, I know that in those days and weeks that follow after birth, you usually don’t feel your best, but I hope that these images can show you how gorgeous your family photos will be.
Be in the photo – if only for your children in years to come.
It is always worth having them taken during the newborn photo session, you can then choose whether or not to purchase the images. This family ordered a large canvas of a family photo because it was just too lovely not to have it displayed on their family home walls.
Every newborn photography session will differ in terms of props used, and wrapping styles. Some babies like to keep their hands out by their face, others love the full swaddle and like that secure feeling.
I always follow the baby’s lead, and with my extensive training and years of experience capturing many many tiny babies, I will make sure you receive the best photos of your new baby.
For booking information, you can read the whole process in this blog.
Or visit the FAQ page, or of course, just pop me a message via the contact page for anything else; more questions, booking.
I have a huge passion to provide women with memories of what their incredible bodies are capable of. I am a Mum to 3. I loved watching my growing bump, and feel I have achieved something wonderful by carrying my babies, and bringing them into the world.
After the birth of my first 2 children not going completely to plan, I set out to be as an informed as possible, approaching my 3rd birth armed with information and research. I was also very keen to have it documented in photo form to replay the experience (memories do not serve me greatly post babies). This is where my dream of being a birth photographer began. You can read about my own birth story here: http://www.kellybond.com/2021/04/birth-and-babies-positive-birth-bucks-birth-photographer/
I am based in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, and live around a 10 minute drive from Stoke Mandeville Hospital. I gave birth to all of my babies here, the first 2 on the labour ward, and the last in the birth centre, a water birth. Being located so close to the hospital is ideal for the sometimes speedy arrivals of babies, certainly the case for the birth I will be sharing in this blog series.
Choosing a birth photographer in Aylesbury, Bucks
The lovely Ayshah got in contact with me about photographing the birth of her 3rd baby. I more commonly photograph 2nd or 3rd time Mums for birth photography. Why? Because afterwards is when you realise what an incredible thing you have just done, and it isn’t until the next birth that you think about how you will remember this. So often, after seeing the images of their birth, Mum’s say ‘I wish I had known about you for my first birth’.
Being a Mum to 2 boys already, she wanted to remember this birth for what it is; amazing, powerful, an accomplishment. We met up for an informal chat first at her home in Aylesbury – very important – I want you to feel comfortable with me to have me present for such an intimate event. I knew Ayshah from a mutual friend, but we hadn’t worked together professionally before.
“When I first thought about having a birth photographer, I wasn’t sure….but after meeting Kelly to chat about birth and my story, I felt a lot more confident.
When in labour, its like being in a hazy dream so having another person in the room that knew me and knew what I wanted just gave me that extra peace of mind”
Initially, we meet for an informal chat to just talk about your previous births, plans for this birth, and what I will do during your birth. Booking is the next stage, confirming when I’ll be on call from, what is included, and deposits paid. We can then meet again as often as you like in the lead up to the birth to just get to know each other a bit more.
I love talking about birth, pregnancy and babies! You can let me know preferences for what you would like captured, or let me just click away as the story unfolds.
Hospital birth – guidelines
Ayshah messaged me when she was in labour, and again when she was heading to hospital. My bag was packed (labour length can vary, so snacks and water are a must), so I just picked up my Nikon armed with 50mm f/1.8 – my fastest and smallest lens. As I plan to be unobtrusive, so must my camera be!
When in the hospital room, I ensure that I am out of the way from medical professionals. My job is to document the birth, and I have no active role in intervening in the physical side of the birth, unless we have discussed a doula role. A midwife or any doctor always have priority and I will always move elsewhere, or already be nestled away in a corner.
From my experience in hospitals though, all the midwives have always been lovely and accommodating. They appreciate that the labouring mother wants these images, and the midwives usually openly invite to make room for me.
Birth story – part one – labour
Ayshah was in the birthing centre at Stoke Mandeville and just getting ready to get into the pool. I said my hello’s, and settled into the background. When she got into the pool, she appeared much calmer.
“I did notice the first few clicks of the camera but after a while they just blended into the background”
A little while after being in the pool, Ayshah used some gas and air for a little extra help, but the physical touch of her husband, Gari, was very obviously a wonderful aid of support. He stayed by her side constantly, offering physical loving touch through holding hands and hugs. Touch from a birthing partner can be a positive and calming way to reduce pains in labour.
I was only in the room around 30mins, when the contractions intensified. The gas and air was helping to regulate her breathing and keep some focus, but I could see her confidence was wavering.
Our friendship had developed a lot during Ayshah’s pregnancy, and I was quite in tune with what was wanted from this birth from our regular chats. At times, my role transferred to a doula support, only when needed. We had discussed this previously.
“Kelly has such a calm presence and was able to know when to say some positive reminders and reassure me I could do it”
Birth story – part 2 – the birth
Ayshah’s second baby was a weighty 11lb 2oz, so we were all expecting a good sized weight for baby no.3. When her body was pushing, it was necessary for Ayshah to stand in the pool for the aid of gravity. The not so little baby boy was a little stuck with his shoulders and needed an extra hand from the midwife to guide him out.
The midwives of Stoke Mandeville Hospital really are exceptional. They helped Ayshah deliver a beautiful 11lb 3oz boy in the pool, following her birth plan. Ayshah remained in the pool for delayed cord clamping and had some gorgeous skin to skin time. Baby Cooper took a little while to pink up on the Apgar score, but it wasn’t long before he was exploring his lungs. Smiles all round!
I may have shed a few tears behind the camera… these moments are so incredibly precious. Even just looking back at these birth photography images from this 2017 birth, it makes me keen for another! It floods back all the memories of that day; the anticipation in the room, the tangible moments witnessed during a height of a contraction, the love seen and felt seeing parents holding the baby in their arms.
“Having photos of the birth of Cooper is something I’m so grateful for. Its so easy to forget these phenomenal moments”
Birth story – part 3 – after the birth
The placenta was being a little stubborn after a while in the pool having cuddles. As the cord had finished pulsing and providing the baby with extra blood from the placenta, the cord was cut so that Ayshah could get out of the pool to deliver the placenta.
Delayed cord clamping is advised with most babies and has big benefits to the baby.
“Deferred cord clamping allows extra blood to be transferred from the placenta, increasing the amount of iron transferred to your baby. Iron is essential for brain development and infants with better iron levels seem to do better on tests of neurodevelopment later in childhood.
DCC (delayed cord clamping) makes babies more stable after birth. If the cord is clamped immediately, there is a sudden drop in blood pressure due to the movement of blood into the lungs when the baby takes their first breaths. DCC allows extra blood from the placenta to replace the blood, keeping the blood pressure more stable.“
I personally find the cord and placenta amazing! This organ connects baby and Mum for 9 months, providing the baby everything it needed to grow and develop, ready to be welcomed into the world.
Seeing these parents bring another beautiful baby boy into the world was my absolute privilege. The connection in their relationship is intimate, knowing, understanding and welcoming. It is the image of love. Gari was right by her side the whole time. A husband’s role during labour is not to be on the sidelines, but right in it with his wife.
In the words of Jess Urlichs:
Thank you for standing by me watching what I’ve gone through. I forget sometimes through teary eyes that you’ve had to go through it too. The labor and the birth while that pain was mine. Your hand was never far away Your eyes never so wide.
Last words of testimony from Ayshah:
“Having Kelly at the birth was so special to us, having a familiar and calming support of someone who loves and appreciates birth as well as knowing she will capture moments that are so sacred. The birth of a baby changes you, and to have that captured is incredibly special”
The next in this birth series is a super speedy home birth. I’m looking forward to sharing with you.
I was ecstatic when my first birth photography enquiry came through, back in 2016. I related so much to the Mum; traumatic first birth, hopes for a positive birth, wanting support, wishing to hold onto the memories of a more positive experience.
Helen got in touch after seeing my Facebook post about wanting to photograph births, and we set up a face to face meeting. We clicked straight away (no photography pun intended). We talked about her experience with her first birth and her hopes and plans for the birth of her second baby. Helen shared with me the trauma and sad feelings that surrounded her birth experience.
Having experienced some post trauma to my first birth, I could completely relate and immediately wanted to do everything I could to help her achieve ambitions. I left feeling incredibly excited for what was to come!
When you are expecting a baby, your due date is engrained on your brain, and as it edges ever closer, you expect baby to have arrived. More commonly, babies arrived anywhere between 37-42 weeks, and less than 5% of babies actually arrive on their due date.
With this in mind, I was on call from 2 weeks before her due date, and I was constantly checking my phone to be sure I didn’t miss any messages! When my phone pinged with a text to let me know things were starting (38 weeks and 6 days gestation), I was literally dancing around my living room as all timings had aligned for me to be definitely available.
Arriving at the house for home birth
I set off for Helen’s house when her husband informed me that the pool was filling and she wanted to get in. When I arrived, the midwives were already there and Mum was in the pool. All seemed fairly calm; Helen was regularly contracting and her written birth affirmations pinned to the wall to help her retain focus.
“The lights were dimmed right down with just the tree lights twinkling. It was lovely and relaxing.”
I noted my surroundings, the available light source, took some test shots to get my camera settings ready for the environment, and set up in a corner of the room, intending to just blend into the background, my presence being an unobtrusive as possible.
I stepped in only when Helen’s husband was out of the room, to offer my hands as support for her to hold in the height of a contraction. Knowing I was able to help keep Mum’s focus with a helping hand later encouraged me to add doula services to my work.
Those moments of strength gained from physical touch are so important during labour as it helps to raise oxytocin levels, a love hormone. Oxytocin can relieve pain and offer comfort in the same way a hug releases those endorphins.
A baby girl is born, just as the birth plan was intended
In our initial consultation, Helen expressed her wish to see the crowning of her baby for herself and used a mirror in the pool at times. I did capture the crowning and head being delivered, but for the purposes of privacy, those images are just for the parents.
“Kelly captured my baby emerging into this world from the most tasteful angles”
Being present for that first second you see your baby is so wonderful. That raw emotion, and absolute amazement of what has just happened, captured in a beautiful image of love. I feel privileged to be invited to witness such an intimate event.
Helen was incredible. After her first birth that caused emotional trauma, she was set on achieving a birth which she had more control of. I felt so happy for her once her baby girl was in her arms – she had done it – she had achieved the positive birth she so longed for!
“I look back on the images with amazement of what I achieved”
Since photographing the birth of baby Phoebe, I have photographed the family on a few different occasions; a newborn photo session, an update of the children a couple of years later, and most recently, their doorstep photo in the first lockdown of 2020.
It was such a beautiful experience as my first birth to photograph. It also helped me to feel accomplished with the birth of my own babies, knowing that birth can be so different when armed with research and knowledge of choice.
I catch up with Helen every so often, and she regularly expresses such gratitude for the images that were captured of her baby girl’s home birth. I was only too grateful myself to be given the opportunity to capture such a special time for the family.
A final word from Helen, talking about her experience having a birth photographer at the birth of her second child:
“She is my last baby and this was my perfect birth; everything I wanted and more. I can honestly say it was the single most empowering thing I have done in my life. I made sure this time that I surrounded myself with positive people that were going to help me on this journey. I look back at the beautiful photos that Kelly took at the birth with a big smile. Being able to play back the experience gave me a new appreciation for what my body has achieved”
Email me to chat about your own birth plans. I would love to photograph the arrival of your baby, whether that is a home birth or hospital birth.
I will be sharing another birth with you soon. It is something so close to my heart. Birthing a baby is not easy, but what a birthing body is able to do is incredible, and I love capturing an act that I consider so beautiful. See you in the next one!
When I was pregnant with my first baby, I took a photo of the growing bump every week to document this event. Growing a baby is a form of miracle. It is really incredible to watch the changes of your body, and then reach the time when the baby is ready to make his or her appearance – although most likely not on the actual due date!
Then a whole lot of other changes happen in your body to allow this baby to be born. Whether that is through a natural birth, or through medical marvel.
I am Mum to 3 beautiful children, and had a natural birth with each, all a little different. With each of my pregnancies, I discovered more information and through ongoing research into birth choices, I was that much more aware of the options that were available to me.
This resulted in a more positive experience each time. Birth preparation is key!
My interest in birth expanded over the years and I was determined to achieve a positive birth with my last baby, which for me meant an unassisted water birth with minimal medical intervention.
Most importantly, I wanted my birth photographed. This is where my journey into being a birth photographer began.
What is birth photography?
Sometimes people look to me in confusion – ‘why would anyone want photos of that‘?! Your thoughts of birth will often guide your opinion on what birth photography is, and sometimes this is based on your own birth experience, and sometimes it can be from a shortage of information about birth.
I think birth is amazing! Birth photography really isn’t about what some people consider ‘the gruesome bits’.
Post birth, it is common for women to feel somewhat fragile, emotionally and physically. Being able to look back on the images of your birth can help you regain that feeling of strength, of what you were able to accomplish, along with the support you had during that time.
To me, photos are my memories. 3 kids later, my brain isn’t great at holding onto those memories without a photo to nudge it!
Part of photographing a birth, whether a home birth or a hospital birth, is about documenting those intimate moments shared between Mum and Dad –
Some supportive moments by partners during a few of the births I have photographed:
Supporting women through this incredible time is really special to me. I have always been an advocate for positive birth, and to help women be suitably supported. Everyone needs support through birth, in preparations for birth, the actual birth, and post natal support; it is a lot to process.
I want to share with you some birth stories to show what birth photography can be like, which will be over a series of blogs. First I’ll start with mine.
My birth story
Like all Mums, I experienced all sorts of feelings in the lead up to the birth of my first baby; anxiety, excitement, eagerness, uncertainty. I was blessed to meet a wonderful person during ballet classes I was attending during my pregnancy, who was training to be a doula.
If you have not heard of a doula before, Nancy Keen, hypnobirthing teacher, gives a great description:
A doula is a paid birth companion. They provide emotional and physical support during pregnancy, labour, birth and beyond. They are often someone who has given birth themselves so is able to give support through understanding. Their knowledge and experience means they are able to help parents make choices that are right for them and advocate for parents to ensure their needs are met. A doula is an invaluable part of the birthing team.
Jane offered to be a doula to me and I accepted. It was the best decision I made about the birth of my first born. She was an incredible asset, support, and confidence enabler during my birth. Jane has now become a much valued friend.
My birth went well, and I succeeded in my hopes for a physically active labour, aided by calm music used when labouring at home, but I had complications afterwards with a major haemorrhage. All eventually was well, but my experience of birth was tainted.
When the birth of my second baby approached, I was keen to avoid a repeat. Ultimately, I kept so calm during the labour, that I didn’t notice my own transition, waited too long at home, and nearly didn’t make it to the hospital at all!
My daughter crowned as we pulled up in the car park, and as I was taken by wheelchair straight through the triage of A&E for a short cut (works were currently being done on the entrance to Stoke Mandeville Hospital Maternity entrance), she arrived less than 5mins in the hospital room. So much for the water birth I was hoping for!
I had a positive birth experience in terms of no complications, but I missed out on the things I had hoped and planned for. I did manage to use a TENS machine during this birth, although put it on too late anticipating my labour to last longer, so it didn’t help much with the height of contractions.
My daughter arrived so unexpectedly quickly that we actually didn’t take any photos of her until she was nearly 15mins old, after lots of lovely skin to skin contact post birth. This saddened me as those first moments of holding and meeting your baby are full of emotion and adrenaline. I wish someone had taken photos sooner.
I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall and take in a visual of the whole room when she arrived so suddenly, taking us all by surprise.
Third baby – making a birth plan – hopes and dreams
We were blessed and surprised to be expecting baby no.3, and with the 2 different birth experiences I had already had, I set out to achieve a labour I was more in control of. Preparing for birth involved extensive research.
When my baby was discovered to be breech at 36 weeks – panic set in! I thought all was lost for my birth plans, but I got in touch with the lovely Nancy Keen of Birthright Hypnobirthing, who helped by directing me to the amazing Spinning Babies website and with research, advice, and much prayer, he turned!
Having a detailed birth plan does not mean that you are ignoring medical profession. It just means that, all being well, those are the things you wish for in your birth. The more research you do, the more you are aware of the options available in child birth.
Something I have always kept in mind that Nancy says:
“Your body, your birth, your choice”
I really wanted to labour in water and deliver my baby in a birthing pool. Given the hurry that my daughter arrived in, I made sure I left for the hospital in good time! I would have loved a home birth, but due to my postpartum haemorrhage after my first birth, I was advised to birth in the hospital.
I was thrilled to hear of the availability of a birthing pool, which I enquired about as soon as I entered the labour ward!
I was able to visibly and psychologically relax as soon as I got into the hospital birthing pool in the birth centre, knowing that I had made it to this point. I was so close to getting the birth that I wanted.
My Mum was my second birth partner (only 2 birth partners are allowed in hospitals) and my stand in birth photographer. We had had lots of discussions in the lead up to the birth about exactly the kind of photos I wanted captured – I had shown her so many from the style I loved! I gave her a mini tutorial with my camera beforehand, and had set it ready on estimated settings from the assumed lighting conditions. I knew I would just need to be prepared to edit heavily if needed.
I think my Mum did an absolutely fantastic job at meeting my (I’m sure exasperating) stipulations. I had told her in detail, what kind of moments to capture, how to frame images in terms of what was in the shot, the angles I wanted her to get and thus where to stand.
Bless her; Mums really are amazing aren’t they! I’m forever grateful for these birth images.
At this point, I hadn’t yet photographed a birth, but I had been marvelling at birth photography for the whole of my pregnancy. Then when I saw what an incredible job my mum had done under my direction, I was very keen to get some births booked so I could provide such images for other mums! I just knew it was something I wanted to bring into the photography services I offer.
6 years later, I have been invited to attend some amazing births, all quite different from one another, and captured some incredible moments.
Interested in talking about birth photography for your birth?
What is a birthday without cake?! Over the recent months, your baby has been trying out new foods in their weaning journey, so why shouldn’t they have a cake to celebrate their very first birthday? (Unless they have allergies of course!)
You choose a set to reflect your favourite interest or colour for your baby, we give them a cake, and they do what babies do best when they are a one year old and given a whole cake in front of them…. get messy! The results are super cute. There is something gorgeous and sweet about a baby (potentially) covered from head to toe in frosting, smooshed all over their face.
Don’t worry if mess isn’t your thing – we finish with cleaning up in the bath.
Why choose me as your photographer?
The simple and most honest answer? I love kids!
There are loads of local photographers out there and each one will have their ultimate ‘why’ they chose that career. The main reason I moved into photography and then chose to be a newborn specialist, and a cake smash photographer is that as a Mum of 3 myself, I know how important photos are.
I was so keen to document everything in that first year they wereeach born as it passes way too quickly. They achieve so many milestones in that first year and the age of newborn to a year is my absolute favourite. I would have so many more babies if my body could take it and I could keep them in that newborn stage for longer!
I worked with children in a nursery, then as a private nanny, before exploring photography and moving into it full time after the birth of my second child. Many previous clients comment on my positive interaction and patience with their children, and it makes me so happy that this is what shines through during a photo session.
“Not only are her finished photos so beautiful, she is so patient and engaging with my boys”
What should my baby wear for the cake smash?
There are 4 smash options to choose, starting from £50; birthday splash, simple smash, smash and splash, custom smash and splash.
Clothing can vary between a full outfit, (fancy dress or 3 piece suit), to a nappy cover and accessory. Depending on the theme you choose for the smash set, a particular style may suit one more than another. You can opt for an outfit change for the latter two sessions which also include birthday portraits either in the cake smash set, or a separate set – the best of both if you can’t decide on what to wear!
I email a preparation guide to you once you have confirmed the booking (see here for details on the booking process), to help with choosing suitable outfits. The prep guide includes more specific details and suggestions on how to dress your baby for the photo session.
Some of the gorgeous outfits from smash sessions:
Do I need to bring the cake?
No – I provide these in all my cake smash sessions and it is factored into the session fee. I want this to be as easy and stress free as possible for you, so I take care of the cake. By working with a local baker in Aylesbury, where I am also based, the cakes are all designed to perfectly match the set. You only need to choose and provide the outfit you wish your baby to wear.
When do I need to book?
It is best to book a cake smash photoshoot around a month before your baby turns one. Many parents like to include the images of these milestone sessions on birthday party announcements, so it is great to get the session scheduled with ample time before the actual birth date.
I recommend booking ideally 8 weeks in advance. The baker and I both need adequate time for planning and accommodating in our diaries. We can sometimes squeeze in last minute bookings though, so do get in touch even if you have only just considered a cake smash photoshoot and the date isn’t far away.
I have a newborn – is it too early to book?
It is never too early to prepare for a birthday celebration! I offer package sessions which are perfect for those who like to be prepared; Baby to birthday, and Baby’s First year. These are very popular and are often booked during the second trimester, ready for the newborn photoshoot.
In my years of experience as a cake smash photographer, it is quite rare for a baby to completely refuse to go near the cake. Some babies do take a little while to warm up to the idea of touching or eating the cake – others dive straight in, occasionally face first! I have lots of methods to encourage the baby to try touching, and sometimes that is all that is needed. Other times, they will still refuse to get involved.
There is no need to worry if they really don’t like the cake smashing part of the photoshoot,
The images from this part are just as special and a beautiful memory of this milestone. Those cheeky smiley faces, and trying to catch bubbles are utterly gorgeous – sometimes the favourite!
An advantage of the baby not completely demolishing the cake, is that you can take the remainder home to enjoy. Of course, you are welcome to take home any remains, however deconstructed it may be!
I don’t want a framed wall art of a cake smash – can I just get digitals?
Yes – I offer digital bundles as well as the option of print collections (which include matching digitals), individual wall art, and multiple aperture framed wall art. In the digital world we are experiencing, digital images are often sought after, and although wall art is something I absolutely adore, I also want to meet desires to own the digital images.
That being said, people so frequently leave images stored on a computer, on an external device or USB in a drawer and never get round to printing them; please don’t leave your beautiful images unprinted. Part of my job, after creating the moments of treasured milestones, is to help you decide on how to be able to enjoy the memories of these images, and share them with others, through print.
Yes, this is included in the custom smash and splash option (session fee – £125). You will be provided with a preparation guide for choosing your family wardrobe for photos all together, along with a separate guide for the cake smash part of the session. You can choose to have the photos taken within the cake smash set, or on a separate background for a more classic portrait.
If you would like to get booked in for a cake smash session, just pop me a message via the contact page, and I’ll aim to get back to you within 1 working business day.
Choosing a photographer to capture a special chapter in your life – a new baby, an update of family photos, a reason to celebrate a particular story in your lives – can feel like a big job. I want to take out all the possible stresses of this task and for it to be an easy process so that you can be fully informed and confident in knowing what you are receiving before you book a photographer.
Let’s dive right in with the steps from making the inquiry, all the way through to holding the beautiful images of your family that you will treasure. I’m here to look after you through every step and make this simple and easy for you, and we will have lots of fun along the way!
Making an inquiry
When using the contact form on my website (here), your message will ping over to my email. I’ll be smiling already when I see your inquiry! I’m so thrilled for you – I get excited for each message I receive, ready to discuss taking gorgeous family pictures for you. I love what I do and I want to share that!
I will respond to your inquiry within 1 working business day. My response will detail pricing, availability, and the options for photo session types so that you can see exactly what I offer with all the information you need to know before confirming a booking.
Deciding to book
You’ve read all the information and want to book – yay! My mind will begin whirring away with possible plans for your session from the moment you decide that I am the right photographer to fulfil your needs. No two photographers are the same as we each have our own essence of creativity, and I get very excited that you love what I create in my studio work. I can’t wait to schedule your date in my diary. Now for a little paperwork….
Deposit and contracts
The next step involves:
1.) completing the booking form
2.) signing a contract of terms and conditions
3.) paying your deposit of your chosen session
Completion of the 3 things secures your date with me officially and then we get planning!
The full session fee amount is due to confirm a booking, or £50 of a package session with the balance paid at least 48 hours prior to the session date. Session fees confirm your booking and pay for the planning and time of the session. Images are ordered separately at your presentation viewing, and not included in the session fee.
Scheduling and preparations
If you have booked me for family portraits (outdoor location or in the studio), headshot photography, maternity photography, or a cake smash photo session, we schedule a set date. If you have booked a newborn session, I book you for your due date (this is a temporary date). I only fill my diary with a certain amount per month to ensure I can accommodate all bookings regardless of when the baby actually arrives. When the baby arrives, you share your baby news with me, and we book a date from there.
When you have completed the contract and deposit, I will email over a prep guide. This details studio address and directions, clothing suggestions, tips for a successful session, and details of your preferences for the photosession.
I will be in touch to check in during the weeks leading up to your photo session, and I can answer any questions you may have. For maternity photography and newborn photography sessions, you will also be sent a questionnaire to complete, which will help with further planning and styling of your session.
The day of the photo session
The day arrives! You will have all the guidance prior to this day, knowing exactly what you need to bring to either my photography studio, or to meet at a location in the gorgeous countryside of Bucks. On arrival at my Aylesbury studio, you can take a seat and relax through a newborn photo session, or with all the family, we get straight into fun with photos! My aim is always for you to enjoy the time spent in my studio while I create some incredible images for your family. On location, we make our way to some beautiful favourite spots of mine, usually on a gentle stroll while stopping along the route to capture precious family moments in action.
The presentation and ordering appointment
In the 2-3 weeks following your photo session with me, I will be choosing the best images from your gallery, and begin the first stage of edits on a sample of this gallery. You will be invited back to studio to view your images, and make your order. You will have already received the product pricing guide in your initial contact to me, so there are no surprises of pricing and what is available in the form of wall art, print collections, and digital collections.
The presentation viewing is often an emotional one. It is my job to create stunning images that you feel connected to, these are precious memories of that point in your life, and frequently those emotions come out in tears – not to worry though, I stock tissues too! I’m there to help you every step of the way, and can assist with tips on ways to frame your images in the best and most effective way.
Receiving your order
I will complete the editing on your chosen images (I love this bit – making those final tweaks to make it perfect), and fulfil your order. Approximately 4 weeks after your ordering appointment, I will invite you back to collect your gorgeous wall art or print collection. I love seeing the look on client’s faces when they see their images in print for the first time, it makes my heart flutter every time.
In a blink, children reach the next milestone; sitting, walking, starting school – my oldest will be at secondary school in just 18months! I want to capture every moment of my children, and be able to mark those memories for you too.
After almost a full year of the world standing still with so many restrictions in place,the exit of lockdown is the perfect time to mark a milestone of family memories with a photographer near you. A photo session in a studio will need to have Covid measures in place, so I wanted to give you an idea of what to expect when booking a photo session in my studio.
Last year I opened my brand new Aylesbury studio, although lockdown sadly halted a lot of my first year being open, but the end is almost in sight! I’m now taking bookings from 12th April, for baby photography and family portraits. If you are concerned you have missed your ideal window of opportunity for your newborn photos, check out my blog about photographing older babies: no need to be worried!
We haven’t had many opportunities for holidays this past year; treat your family to those memories you can hang on the wall
Your family have grown and kids don’t stay little for long; hold that moment with some fun family photos
Photos are the perfect gift for family who may not have been able to see much of you this past year – Grandparents love photo updates!
Marking another year passing with family photos is always a good reason, (especially with a year like this last one,) and even more so if you welcomed a new baby during this time!
Your children will love to see their faces on the walls of your home. I love to update the walls with new photos and we are always talking about the memories that accompany the time those images were taken. This image below was a day of great fun – we ventured out into the chilly fog! My kids actually embraced their role of ‘photographer’s child syndrome’ and let me capture this. I love it!
5 tips on how to prepare for your photo session
Read the preparation guide that I send after your booking is confirmed
Choose your clothing by following the tips I share in the prep guide (reduce stress by not leaving it until the last minute)
Chat to your kids about me so they feel more comfortable when meeting me
Take note of any symptoms in the days leading up to your session and contact me so we can reschedule if any of your family members show Covid symptoms
Email or call me if you have any questions between your confirmed booking and the day of the session – no need to wait until the day to ask
With lots of vaccinations happening all around the country, we can hopefully see the light at the end of a very long tunnel. It is still very important to stay vigilant about safety measures. I have various measures in place to ensure that your risk levels remain low when visiting my photography studio for your photo session.
What to expect on the day
I will meet you outside and invite you in to my studio
Adults are to put on your masks before approaching
You will need to take your shoes off as you enter the studio
All family members are required to use the available sanitiser (small children may need assistance) – I have a gel or spray option
Areas are measured out in my studio to ensure social distancing
Clients may remove their masks once in the designated waiting area
I will guide you through the session to maintain social distancing
My mask will remain on throughout the session
You must replace your masks to exit the studio
For additional peace of mind, I limit weekly sessions to allow for thorough cleaning of all surfaces and props used throughout each session. Cleaning of the studio and used props is standard practice between sessions, but I want you to be confident in the knowledge of this practice. Props or newborn accessories which cannot be washed or disinfected due to fragility will be quarantined after use for 7 days before they are used again.
I am very much looking forward to meeting the new babies who have already arrived and waiting to visit, and to welcome families back to the studio – whether it is your first visit, or a returning visit.
Lockdown, missed opportunity, and ideal baby ages for newborn photography
If you have a baby a few weeks old and worrying that you have missed your opportunity for newborn photography due to this current UK lockdown, I want to reassure you that you have not. There is always time, and it is always worthwhile to get booked and preserve those memories of your new family.
I cover Bucks, where I am based, and also the surrounding areas of Bedfordshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire. Many expecting parents book with me in their second trimester, confirming their place in my schedule ready for a photosession when their newborn baby is aged between 7-14 days. However, I have photographed countless babies who, although are older than the considered ideal age range, have been just as adorable, and posed in suitably cute positions!
I would love to share with you some of the older babies I have photographed in recent months to reassure you that photography of your newborn baby, the new addition to your family, can still be achieved with lovingly cherished results. Note the age of baby detailed above each of the galleries achieved with these babies, (from Aylesbury, Winslow, and Slough, Berkshire), were some of my favourites from last year.
Newborn photography of older babies
First, I introduce you to baby boy Max. Mum got in touch with me when he was already nearly 6 weeks old. My schedule thankfully allowed to be able to book them in within just a few days. I only take on a limited number of newborns per month to be sure I can fit all my booked babies in, and sometimes I have space for last minute babies (see FAQ page for more info). I was so happy to meet them all; Max came for his newborn photoshoot along with his beautiful big brother. He was an absolute angel. Mum and Dad purchased my luxury presentation print box which holds your 10 favourite images on matte board mounts. I’ve been told they are up all around the house!
Max, 6 weeks 2 days old.
Moving down in age ranges, next we have scrumptious Isaac. This little guy has the best hair of the newborns I photographed in 2020! Isaac was 11lb 2oz at birth, so on photoshoot day, had a few more lbs to add. Bigger babies don’t phase me; they all look diddy when they are wrapped up in a cute bundle! He practically slept the whole time he was in the studio and I adored his gallery. His parents purchased a beautiful trio of canvas wraps, and a presentation box of matte board mounted prints.
Isaac, 5 weeks 4 days old.
The 3rd edition of the next family was a bit special, as I have photographed all 3 of their gorgeous girls as bumps and babies, a mixture of studio photography and outdoor location photography for each maternity photoshoot. Mum says they are done and family complete now…. sad face! This little lady was born just before November lockdown hit us, so I sadly had to wait for cuddles, but she was so worth the wait. This family have been with me through my development as a photographer, and I have loved capturing their growing family throughout that time. They purchased a stunning 24″ square multi aperture cream ridge edged frame, which sets off their living room decor perfectly, along with a set of digital images.
Robyn, 4 weeks and 5 days.
Next in line is Mason, with his beautiful doting big sister. His parents got in touch in with me after recommendation from Mason’s Auntie; I had photographed his cousin when she was born a couple of years prior. A lot of my work comes from verbal recommendation. We booked Mason’s newborn photo session when he was just over 4 weeks. He didn’t sleep with total ease, but one of my skills as a specialist newborn photographer is also being known as a ‘baby whisperer’. We achieved a beautiful mixture of sleepy and awake shots. It can never be a disadvantage to have a baby who does not sleep as we then capture lots of gorgeous expressions and those amazing eyes! His parents purchased a large selection of digital images.
Mason, 4 weeks and 1 day old.
Lastly, for this blog, especially showcasing the beautiful images that can be created with slightly older newborn babies, we have this sweet little treasure… Not all baby girls are expectantly dressed in pink, in fact, Mum expressed the desire to avoid typical pinks. At nearly a month, she was initially wide awake, but with my baby soothing skills, I was soon able to settle her and she was placed in gentle poses very contently. I was a particular fan of the gold tones with her and as a result, have added a few more items to compliment this palette for baby girls coming for their newborn photosession. The middle collection package of their favourite digital images were purchased.
Rose, 3 weeks and 5 days.
I adore what I do; I have always loved newborn babies, before becoming a Mum myself. It is always worthwhile to capture these images when they are little because they really do grow so fast. My firstborn is now 10 and I still often look back at the images taken of him in his first year. You haven’t missed your opportunity for the posed style newborn photography that I offer. Baby wrapping is the key for older babies, and I’m an expert in that – head over to read the kind words shared by other parents of their experience of my baby photography.
I would love for you to get in touch today, and I would be happy to chat about what might be most achievable depending on the age of your baby. Email me, get booked in. I’m taking in person bookings from April onwards with hope that the end of lockdown will arrive and allow my gorgeous studio to welcome new babies back in! I only opened my studio mid 2020, and I’m sad I haven’t been able to use it much due to dipping in and out of lockdown!
There are a million different baby items you can purchase when a new baby is born; whether that is for your own baby, for a baby born into the family, or the baby of a friend. Those items are special; how many parents have photos of their baby with their treasured comforters? I know I do. The online world is full of baby shops; Etsy, eBay, Amazon, but I want to draw your attention to the local independent shops. These are the businesses that need your support right now, and I can recommend one that is very local to me, based in Aylesbury, Bucks. It is such a lovely business, with the products offered as well as the lady who creates them all.
Spotlight on: In Craft Corner from newborn photographer – Kelly Bond Photography
I have known about In Craft Corner ever since I started my journey to being a newborn baby photographer. I was looking for a taggy blanket for my first baby who is now 10 😮 (How fast the years have flown!) Nic was only doing the business part time at that point, moving to full time in 2014, and now running a successful baby product business with over 6 thousand followers on Facebook and many more who find her direct through her website.
In Craft Corner sells a range of baby keepsakes which are perfect for gifts for new babies, or purchasing for your own baby. In Craft Corner is safety tested with the CE marking for that extra peace of mind, and each item has been made with babies real needs in mind. Being a specialist baby photographer, baby safety is absolutely key to me. I personally love the dummy bibs and teether bibs – perfect for that dribbly stage! They are 3 for £14 at the moment – you can find them by clicking here.
The huge range of fabrics available to choose from are also a big benefit; something for everyone! I think Nic has a similar obsession with fabric buying the way I do with newborn props, hats and accessories for my baby photography! Its a sign of how much we absolutely love what we do!
Headshot photography session with In Craft Corner
My studio business had to close twice last year, as it was classified as non-essential during the UK 2020 lockdown periods of March and November. Doorstep photography kept me busy for part of it though – check out my blog here. However, inbetween these lockdowns, I could re-open (yay!), and Nic got in touch with me to get some headshots done for her business. I was happy to help out and invited her to my studio. We scheduled a morning session once we had both done the school drop dash, and armed with some of her products and a few different clothing items, we got to work. Nic also makes her own clothing, very handy for showcasing her business branding. I think I need some clothing for when I’m in photo sessions! I personally love anything rainbow related, and her brand including clouds is a perfect mix of both.
I already had something in mind from the moment we started chatting about headshots, and as she embroiders a lot of her products, I really wanted to showcase the endless threads she uses. This was my favourite from the session, and you will also see it in use on her website:
In Craft Corner specialises in baby keepsakes, and each one is lovingly made with personal items saved from baby’s first weeks, and formed into a blanket or keepsake teddy. They are such lovely items. I have yet to order one from my baby’s early day clothing as I just can’t decide which animal I like best! I have a huge box of keepsakes for each of my children. Their early days are so precious, which is part of why I specialise in newborn photography. Your baby will never again be that small, and through photos, tiny curled up poses, and the diddy clothing they wore, these are all some of the special ways to remember how little they really were!
These are some of the beautiful items Nic brought along to the studio to photograph on their own, and being held to help show the size, especially useful for the keepsake animals. You can see more of the images from our headshot session on her website.
I recommend the gorgeous teether rings – perfect for when those teeth start to make an appearance. Babies can start to feel movement of teeth behind their gums from 3 months, even if the actual teeth don’t break through until the more typical age of around 6 months. Time passes quickly, and its worth being ready.
In the meantime, I hope you take lots of and lots of photos of your little ones – they change so quickly! I would love to capture beautiful memories of your baby with a newborn photosession, or milestone session when they may be sitting and capturing more expressive moments. Feel free to head over to my newborn gallery to see my style of work, and if you would like images of your baby like this – pop me an email!
It has been a joy to see In Craft Corner grow in business, and I’m sure Nic and I will continue to cross paths, as I recommend her to all my local and wider location based clients with her lovely baby items! Get in touch with her if you would like a memory bear, animal or blanket, or any baby products ready for those teething days.
Hopefully this blog post can help! Some babies manage to fall asleep quite easily, while others need a little bit of help. When I have babies in the studio with me for a newborn photography session, I can encourage a baby into a comfortable sleep using methods developed over my years of experience. As a specialist newborn photographer it is an essential role to be known as a ‘baby whisperer’ as babies need to be asleep to be able to pose them in certain positions, to achieve those baby photos you all love and adore! I hope that by sharing some some of these methods, and those of other local specialists, you will be able to help your baby sleep, because as we all know, happy baby = happy Mummy!
Why is sleep so essential?
Psychologically, sleep is absolutely paramount to our bodies ability to function, physically and mentally, and also how it handles long term health issues . It is really important that your little ones have sufficient sleep, so that you, as an adult, are able to achieve the necessary amount of resulting sleep. Julia Fensom is a baby consultant based in Aylesbury, Bucks, who specialises in sleep education and makes references to her research from Matthew Walker’s book “Why we sleep”. Julia is a lovely lady who I have the pleasure of knowing personally, so my first tip is to get in touch with her if you would like some practical help with sleep training. Julia told me in conversation with her earlier this week that ‘newborns can’t stay awake longer than 45-60mins in the first month so if they’re getting grizzly, put them down for a nap. Newborns have to be actively put to sleep, they won’t just sleep when they’re tired’. All her contact information can be found on her website: https://www.juliafensomthebabyconsultant.com
have a warm room, or add a layer to help them feel cosy. I start all my newborn sessions with wrapping the baby using trained techniques. This usually helps the baby feel safe and secure, without getting distracted or startled by their involuntary limb movements. It also helps their body temperature stay warm, as newborns are unable to regulate their body temperatures very easily.
take a baby massage course. I can highly recommend Becky who runs Blossom in Aylesbury, Quainton and local surrounding areas. Baby massage helps with circadian rhythms, so your baby will have better awake times in the day, and deeper sleep rhythms at night. Contact Becky – click here.
have something near that smells of Mum to help with familiarity when Mum leaves the room. Nic at In Craft Corner can help with these type of items. She offers all sorts of lovely baby items and I personally ordered taggie blankets from her for all 3 of my babies when they were tiny. Her work is beautiful. Some babies really benefit from having something tactile that they connect to sleeptime, and it can be quite useful to have something to begin that connection early on.
rocking and swaying with your baby can help remind them of the movement they had regularly when in the womb. I gently rock babies and keep my hands on them while wrapping them up ready for newborn photos. Babies benefit so much from physical touch as having close contact is all they have ever known.
If you have any tried and tested methods of your own that you think would be helpful to other parents out there, leave it in the comments. I would love to hear from you!
Sending you good sleep vibes for you and your little ones!