Delightful Journey of a Wedding Photographer to Becoming a Newborn Photographer in Fareham… I thought I would share with you my wonderful journey from being a wedding photographer to photographing gorgeous newborn babies. They are both very different in the skills needed for a photographer. I have to say that I truly love both of my photography journeys for different reasons.
As many of you know, I was a wedding photographer for over 16 years. I absolutely loved being part of a couple’s special day and capturing their beautiful memories. Taking wedding photographs really challenges a photographer’s skills; knowing your camera and being able to change your camera setting quickly. For example, capturing the bride and groom coming out of the church and having to change camera settings for a bright sunny day. It’s non-stop – usually 9am until 9pm, so it is a very long day.
I loved being part of the ‘bride getting ready’ photographs, it was a very girlie time. I loved being part of the excitement and the build-up, and it gave me such a great opportunity to get to know the bride and her family. In the newborn photography world, I see this as similar to getting to know a mummy-to-be at her maternity session. Both are wonderful and exciting moments on your life journey.
The morning of the wedding is usually relaxed and calm, and as the time for bride to be to get into her dress comes closer, things sometimes got a little stressed. For me, I always wanted to capture the father of the bride first seeing his daughter in her wedding dress; it is quite an emotional moment. As this is an important photograph, sometimes I had to do what I could to keep things on track. I can remember at one wedding I even ended up plaiting the bridesmaid’s hair. I quite often helped getting the bride getting into her wedding dress too – multiskilled!
Being a wedding photographer, you do have to have good people skills, as it’s essential for you to be able to blend into the wedding day with lots of different characters. After taking quite a lot of photographs throughout the day, there were always a busy couple of weeks ahead; editing the photographs and getting the albums designed ready for when the couple returned from their honeymoon.
Why the Change?
So, what made me change to becoming a newborn baby photographer? I had always said that when I didn’t enjoy taking wedding photographs anymore, I would stop. As I said before, it is quite a long day and what I missed most was my weekends; getting invited to BBQs in the summer and being at a wedding waiting for the first dance. Brides and grooms often had lost all sense of timings once it got to the evening.
Pre-Covid days, I would attend photography shows and went to a photography show at NEC. There was a company exhibiting there, the Newborn Art Academy. They were advertising to train photographers as newborn photographers. It was something that I hadn’t considered before but I was very interested, so I signed up for an introduction day. At the end of the day, I made a substantial financial commitment and signed up for the year-long course. It was one of my scariest moments. And it was also the best decision I have ever made.
Me as the Baby Whisperer
Taking newborn photographs is totally different to being a wedding photographer. It’s much more relaxed and more of a game of patience. You absolutely can’t rush getting a newborn undressed without waking them up or getting them back to sleep. I learnt lots of magical settling techniques and I just love how I’m often referred to as the baby whisperer. Parents are always amazed how I can gently move their newborn little one into all the poses. Without a doubt, my visiting parents’ favourite pose is the ‘hands on chin’ one. It’s so important to do this pose safely; making sure that their little one can still breathe easily. Once I have their baby settled on the beanbag, I’m sure they could sleep in this pose for quite a while, and I’m sure their parents would love that too!
Initially, I started my newborn business in our converted garage, and it was a success from day one. Within months, I had outgrown the garage and then rented a commercial property as my studio. Some of you will probably remember my much-loved little Bulls Pen in Upton Grey near Basingstoke. I felt so proud that after years of being a photographer, I actually had my own studio. A professional photographer! Not that I wasn’t a professional photographer as a wedding photographer, but having my own studio made it much more real.
Then I moved to Fareham and the driving got too much. I started looking for a new studio and fell in love with the beautiful Cams Hall in Fareham straight away. It’s been such a shame, as I haven’t been able to fully utilise my studio because of Covid, but one thing I do know is that there is most definitely a demand for parents having their newborn photographs taken.
The excitement of a bride to be is very similar to a mummy to be. A special time in your life journey. Like a wedding day, you only get one chance to capture your wedding day. If the photographer doesn’t get the photographs you love, you can’t do it again. And it’s the same for a newborn baby, you only get one special chance to capture your newborn baby in the first 10 days of being born. Creating truly gorgeous images of your little one that you can treasure forever. Lockdown has most definitely disappointed a lot of mummies as they haven’t been able to have their own special newborn photographs. What I do know though, is that when we return to a new kind of normal world after Covid, I’m absolutely sure that newborn photographs will be much more valuable as the years go by.