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Newborn Photography In Lockdown: All You Need To Know

 In baby shower gifts, newborn photography, postpartum care

They’re little for such a short time, so you may be thinking about booking a newborn photography session. But with Covid 19, lockdown and social distancing rules all changing day by day, venturing out the door for a photoshoot can seem like a daunting prospect. Fortunately it’s not as scary as it sounds and thanks to some fairly succinct government guidelines and the professional practices of many photographers, the whole experience can be as seamless and enjoyable as ever. We sat down with the guys at Musselwhite Photography to get all your questions answered about newborn photography during lockdown.

Newborn Photography: What measures have you put in place to make sure your studio adheres to COVID guidelines?

Whilst most of our shoots are in clients’ homes at present, we have put measures in place in our studio, such as hand sanitiser, face shields, masks and reminders of social distancing. We have  also reduced the amount of clients we see to just one or two per day, as this ensures there is enough time between shoots to clean the studio thoroughly. In addition to this we are also somewhat less hands on than usual and we ask that parents help with the posing.

Newborn Photography: When should I book my photoshoot?

It depends on the sort of newborn photography you want.  For a sleepy baby, all curled up, we recommend photographing in the first 14 days. However, if you would like baby to be a little more alert, eyes open and making faces, it’s best to wait until week six. With regard to booking, we suggest a tentative booking for around seven days after the due date and then we ask that someone gives us a call once baby arrives in order to move the shoot accordingly. As photographers we know that a lot can happen – baby often doesn’t arrive on their due date and there are many reasons why parents may need to change the date. It may not always be possible to shoot at the point you had envisaged but baby’s are so magical that the images will be special whenever they are taken.

Newborn Photograhy: Will baby get cold?

If the shoot is in our studio we heat the area ready for your arrival so that baby is nice and warm, even when we are photographing skin.  For much of the shoot we use blankets and baby has lots of cuddles in between the shots to keep them cosy and content. We also use sounds like white noise, which help to soothe bub.

Newborn Photography: I want doorstep photography. How do you stop baby getting cold outside?

Newborns and very small children do get cold quickly so we tend to set everything up and check the setting and lighting before introducing baby to the ‘scene’. This minimises the time baby’s  are exposed. Also, we shoot quickly and baby is always cuddled by mum or dad, so they stay snug throughout.

Newborn Photography: Our garden isn’t camera-ready.

Portrait shoots are a lot of fun outdoors. You don’t need a stunning magazine-worthy garden though. We use all sorts of tricks like foliage, walls and focal lengths to blur backgrounds.  The main focus is on the people, faces and reactions. We can make any location look great.

Newborn Photography: Should I bring my own props?

We always ask our clients to bring blankets, and that has been the norm since before Covid 19.  We do have a number of blankets that we use too, and these are washed and ready, but we prefer to use personal items from the family. In terms of props, we have seen everything from family heirloom blankets, parachutes and Armed Forces uniform used in sessions.  The more that is personal to you in the session, the more depth of memory the images have and the greater impact they have to you over time.

Newborn Photography: Should we wear face masks?

There is no need for you to wear face masks for the full duration of the shoot as we maintain social distancing wherever possible, and we wear masks ourselves during the shoot. It’s very important that babies and children see familiar faces and react to your smiles, in order to get the best out of the shoot. Whenever possible, we wear clear face coverings, which helps put little ones at ease.

Newborn Photography: Can we shoot at home?

Yes, absolutely!  Having the session in your home often feels more relaxed, especially in the current climate.  We don’t need a lot of space for a shoot and we don’t need to rely on the window lighting, as all of our lighting is portable. We have big batteries so our lights can go anywhere they are needed. The most important thing to remember is that your shoot is unique to you and your family and we want to capture moments that represent you. We always talk to our clients when we book the session and answer any questions. We like to get to know you a little and help you get to know us too.

Felicity Musslewhite is a Portsmouth-based photographer and the co-owner of Musselwhite Photography.

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