A family photoshoot with Natalie RobinsonMarch 7, 2017
When I had our first daughter we had a newborn photoshoot out of a sense of, well, duty, and while I was thrilled with the results (read about what was involved and see the photos here) it was quite a stressful experience e.g. getting a week-old baby into the car, driving to a studio and feeling self-conscious about feeding her when I really didn’t know what I was doing.
And this time, I was acutely aware that we should have some taken out of fairness, but also to celebrate our family of four.
However… I had some rules.
- No headbands (no offence if you like them, but there’s something about the shape of my daughters’ heads that makes them look like Easter eggs when accessorised).
- Phoebe, now two years old, should be included, as well as having some photos of tiny Tabitha taken on her own.
- We needed to be at home for both stress and practicality purposes – and with my husband getting only three days paternity leave (no comment, even though my fingers are itching…) it would have to take place at the weekend.
- The shoot would have to feel natural – we’re not a studio, posey family, and anything that felt inauthentic wouldn’t sit well with me, no matter how beautiful the images.
I met Natalie Robinson in a cafe when I was pregnant, introduced by a friend who had worked with her, and it felt comfortable immediately, so told her my due date and she was on standby. She also does hospital shoots, capturing your baby’s first 24 hours, but Phoebe didn’t look like herself until she was a couple of days old, and last time I looked like crap after delivery, so we preferred to wait until we were home and settled. Or as settled as you can be with a newborn, a toddler and not a clue how to cope.
A week to the day after Tabitha was born Natalie came over to the house on a Saturday afternoon – she even brought a gift for her, and does this for all her clients. Truly, it was like having a friend over to take family photos, and I didn’t feel awkward feeding Tabitha, dealing with a toddler tantrum or tidying up around her.
Over the next hour or so she managed to capture an honest insight into our family life – somehow getting all the little looks, hugs and smiles. Phoebe loved every minute, chattering away and proudly showing off her little sister, while my usually camera-shy husband relaxed straight away.
The results are photos that I will treasure forever. Check out the gallery at the top of this post.
Natalie balanced those intimate moments with family portraits that will give our relatives abroad a real insight into our home life – so much more authentic than a white room and some props, even though there’s nipple cream on the dressing table and the toddler bed barrier that I loathe is in the photos. But isn’t that the point? That this is our lives at this time, real and true. With a bit more under-eye concealer than usual.
The best bit? Natalie will send you all the photos you want, and within 24 hours I had a sneak peek at the shoot, and within another day, a WeTransfer file that revealed 90 images in both colour and black and white. No hidden costs, no scams to get you to pay for more photos. Just a photographer who wants you to have beautiful, honest photos of your family.
For more information, visit natalie-robinson.com.