Just look at this little face! This is what makes every hour of editing worthwhile!
Newborn photography is quickly becoming my major passion. Capturing these precious moments for parents is just amazing and I love every second of it (I know I say this time and time again but it's true). If I could have an extra 24 hours a day to cram editing in then I would photograph a newborn every day! In this (rare) blog I will talk you through the preparation work and the hours of editing involved after a newborn session which will hopefully give you an insight into what goes on in my little bubble and the reasons that have a limited number of newborns that I can photograph per month.
A very quick synopsis of the pre-shoot admin (there's much more to it than this and it certainly takes up more time than this blog implies) - When a prospective client contacts me, I will send my session fee and packages to them and answer any questions they may have about the session or the process. Once a booking is secured by payment of the session fee, a booking form is sent out to the client and then I eagerly await the message to say that their precious little bundle has arrived. We schedule a date and time for the shoot that suits us both and I send out an electronic Welcome Pack detailing the preparation instructions for the session and how it will all work on the day. I also send a colour preferences form which allows me to select a colour palette for the session that the client will love. I love this - picking out my blankets, wraps, bonnets and props is so exciting. It doesn't matter how many shoots I do, I select different combinations of colours and textures and my major prop addiction means that I always have something new to incorporate into the session.
The actual shoot. The studio, which is in my home (in Kilmarnock, Ayrshire), is heated to around 29oC so it's best to come dressed for the heat. My newborn shoots are scheduled for 3 hours. This gives us plenty time for feeding changing and working our way through different set-ups. Every baby is different. Some sleep the whole way through, some will fight sleep, some will wee and poo all over me (quite literally, usually in every session), some will love being wrapped, some will hate being wrapped and prefer to stretch out……basically, every single baby is different. I always start out with a plan (which we follow to an extent), but baby will dictate much of what we do, which as far as I am concerned is exactly how it should be. These little bundles have only been on this earth for a matter of days, and their comfort and them being content in my sessions is paramount.
After the shoot I will edit a sneak peek of an image or two if requested by the parents. I then have a lengthy edit ahead. I go through all images taken on the shoot to select the very best of each set-up to present to the client. I then process all images in Lightroom. Then all images are edited in Photoshop. Once I have images edited, they are processed again in Lightroom to create proof images for a gallery. The gallery is then uploaded to my website, each individual image is numbered and then client is emailed with a link and password to view their gallery. This editing process takes hours of my time. I get completely lost in time editing as I love this side of the job, but as I am a working mum with two little girls, I often don't get to start editing until the evening and therefore edit until the small hours each night.
I often get asked if my dream is to have my own studio. It's really not (well, not for now) as working from home means that my sessions are completely relaxed and I'm always close to my girls. Even if I'm working weekends, I'm still around and can see them as soon as my sessions finish. If I were to have a studio, knowing me, I would be away for hours before a shoot to set-up and then again afterwards and as my girls are so young I would hate to be away from them. A commercial studio would have it's plus points but I honestly believe that for newborn sessions then working from home is best for me…..and it also means that I have everything at hand that a new parent could possibly need.
So, that's a very rough guide to how it all works with a newborn session at Lynne Harper Photography. Basically, I'm working hard to photograph as many newborns as I can possibly fit into my working and family life. I'm so so sorry to every client that I have to say no to due to availability. Trust me, if I could find the hours to edit more galleries then I would photograph every newborn possible.
I hope you enjoy a few images from baby Cole's gallery. He was a dream, as was his completely adorable brother who joined us on his school lunch break for some sibling images. Perfect boys!
Please, if you have any questions about my sessions, comment on the blog and I will answer as many as I can.
Thank you so much if you got so far in reading this and to all of my amazing clients who value the time and effort that I put into each and every session that I do to ensure that you have these fleeting moments captured and documented for you to keep forever.