Should you try a newborn photo session? Gabby Denuzzo took her eight-day-old daughter for a professional photoshoot - find out how she got on.
When my first daughter, Ava, was born two years ago, I was so wrapped up in the world of being a new mum, it didn’t cross my mind to have some professional photos taken.
And I’ve always regretted it – I take lots of snaps on my phone, but they tend to stay there and I’d love some newborn photos to display at home.
So, when I was pregnant for a second time, and my mum asked if there was anything I needed, I didn’t hesitate and booked a photo shoot, with the date to be confirmed after the birth. And returning home from hospital with Adaline, I couldn’t wait to call the photographer, Emma.
On the way to the studio, with Adaline just eight days old, I felt excited.
Emma had asked if there were any poses I wanted to try or images I’d seen that I’d like to recreate, so I’d been thinking about it lots.
But I was nervous that Adaline would want to feed constantly or that her still-not-very-big sister, Ava, wouldn’t co-operate in front of the camera for the sister shots I wanted.
I needn’t have worried. We started with the sister photos, and although Ava refused to stay still while Adaline snoozed away, a little sweet talking from Emma soon had her posing. It was lovely having Ava included in the experience, and a great chance for her to bond with the newest addition to the family.
And I thought having these photos of the two girls together up on the wall for them to see would also help cement their bond.
With Adaline still so small, I naturally felt wary about Emma holding her and moving her into different positions, but she was so gentle and I soon relaxed, sat back and started to really enjoy the shoot.
Emma wore fluffy gloves to keep her hands warm, so she could arrange Adaline for the photos without waking her. And she used an app on her phone to make soothing shushing sounds while she worked.
Even when the inevitable happened during a no-nappy shot, Emma cheerfully cleared up. And seeing my gorgeous baby daughter blissfully unaware of everything going on around her, I felt an overwhelming sense of pride.
As the shoot wound down after two hours, I already knew I was going to love the photos and made a mental list of pregnant friends and family I’d recommend a newborn shoot to.
We soon received an online link to the photo gallery and I eagerly flicked through it with my fiancé, Ollie, choosing our favourites. I felt so emotional seeing our baby looking so delicate and beautiful. As she was our second child, I understood how quickly she’d change and grow, so I loved knowing we would always have these photos capturing a precious moment in time.
And while I know Adaline might squirm with embarrassment one day when she looks at her baby pictures on the wall, for me they’ll always be a celebration of my wonderful little girl.
Top tips for a newborn photoshoot:
Feed your baby before the shoot, so she’s asleep for the photos. Ask if you can arrive early to feed her at the studio for the best snooze time.
If you’re having photos taken with a sibling, take a friend or relative to look after them while you focus on watching the newborn shots being taken – it’s so relaxing.
Aim to have the photos taken within 14 days of the birth to capture that still-curled-up newborn moment.
Photography: Olivia Rose Images. A Newborn Session at Olivia Rose Images costs £150; facebook.com/oliviaroseimages