What really happens on a newborn photoshoot

August 11, 2015

Whether you have had photos taken of your own freshly born offspring or just seen the results via facebook (all the darn time), perhaps we should lift the lid on what actually happens behind the scenes.

  1. The timing. There is a very, very small window of opportunity for having the ‘optimum’ images of the baby – when they are between 7 and 10 days old. This is to make sure they are suitably bendy and sleepy, I believe. And early morning is best.
  2. The reality. At this time, mere days after giving birth, mums are likely to be having a pretty bleak time with feeding, sleeping and generally coping with life – a tangle of muslin cloths, tears and uncertainty. Driving alone to an unknown location? Not recommended. I cried after missing the exit.
  3. The room must be warm. Hotter than the sun, ideally. This is for maximum sleepiness of the sprog, though new mums are not excluded from the snooze-fest. Thankfully sofas are provided.
  4. The look. I specified my preference (no pink, no headbands, no themes) and you’ll probably find that the photographer has a Carrie Bradshaw-esque wardrobe full of teeny, tiny clothes to suit.
  5. The props. Buckets, bowls, baskets. Babies can fit anywhere, it seems. And remember, someone out there has a photo of their child in a pot plant, otherwise it wouldn’t be an option.
  6. Socks. Lots and lots of socks. This is the key to propping a miniature person up long enough to take their photo.
  7. Nakedness. Theirs, not yours. This is probably when a bowel evacuation of epic proportions will happen. All over a sheepskin rug.
  8. The belly button will most likely still have that disconcerting plastic clip on it. I get chills just thinking about that. Your photographer will be well-practiced in hiding the offending item.
  9. The close up. Our daughter was nicknamed The Monkey Princess for the first few months of her life on account of the dark down that covered her shoulders and back. And forehead. Let the photographer know if you don’t want to capture the fact your baby is the missing link so they can avoid the fur.
  10. The results. You’ll love them.


Our daughter photographed at 8 days old, monkey fur and all, by the lovely Nicky McLean.

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