Baby Steps into Newborn Photography...
One reason I haven't had much time to post much on here recently is that in the middle of November last year my wife and I became first-time parents.
I very quickly discovered that having a newborn son doesn't leave a lot of space in your life for much else!
Babies change so much in their initial few weeks and months it feels like a constant race just to keep up with them, and for the first time in my life I fully understand why parents are so keen on taking photographs of their little ones at every opportunity. You need to find a balance of course between capturing every development and taking time to just be fully there with them without experiencing everything through a viewfinder or the screen of a mobile phone.
Within a month our son had gone from a scrunched-up, blotchy, slightly alien little thing into a proper little chap, with the first few hints of a personality and a fine taste in shirts (OK, he's not actually choosing them for himself yet, but it can't hurt to nudge him in the right direction, can it?)
It was about this time that I asked around in our NCT group to see whether any of the new mums and dads would be interested in a mini photo shoot for their babies. I don't have any particular ambition to move into baby photography, and I get the impression that to do it properly you really need a studio set-up. It was more about pushing myself to try something new and hopefully getting a few shots the new parents would enjoy. One or two of the couples already had professional shoots booked, but a few of the others were keen to take me up on the offer.
The first was a Christmas shoot with the "oldest" baby in our group (she arrived a couple of weeks before any of the others). She's a real cutie with the most amazing hair and huge dark eyes, so getting shots I was pleased with was pretty straightforward:
Next up was a little boy who hadn't had the easiest start in life but who's really starting to thrive now.
And finally, another little boy who's turning into a right little charmer...
I really enjoyed this brief foray into baby photography, and while I doubt it's something I'd want to make a significant part of my photographic career, I'll definitely be interested in doing again. I learned a lot (particularly about lighting), and I'm pleased with the images I got. Obviously, they're not in the same league as the professional, studio-shot photos you see, but then again they can look a bit too staged and clinical. I feel I managed to capture something of the spirit of these little people, and - for me, and hopefully for their parents, too - that's worth more than achieving technical perfection.