Lucie Woods, baby photographer talks about photographing newborns
1. Goodness, newborn and maternity photography seems quite specialist, how did you get into that?
When I studied photography at college I specialised in landscape photography. I loved taking moody black-and-white images, quite often on deforestation. I also really enjoyed using film and working within the dark room.
But, after having my children and taking their pictures, I thought about how much really enjoyed taking their pictures and how much joy I got from the outcome! And so I decided to pursue Newborn Photography as a career.
2. Do you need special training to work with newborns?
There is actually a lot of learning/training involved in becoming a professional newborn photographer which I don't think people realise -
Knowing how to use your professional camera to a professional level is essential. Anyone can buy an expensive camera and take pictures using the automatic functions, but knowing how to use a camera manually is what stands you above the rest.
Knowing how to use light to enhance your subject is another huge learning curve when it comes to becoming a professional photographer. When I started my journey, I started out using natural light but soon turned to studio lighting when realising I needed consistent lighting which you can't always get from natural light. Once I bought my studio lighting I took an online course which taught me everything I needed to know about using them.
Knowing how to care for a newborn baby and ensure their constant safety is also essential. Photographing someone's newborn baby is a huge responsibility - baby safety is the number one most important thing when it comes to newborn photography. I have a blog post on baby safety here if you would like to find out more - http://www.luciewoodsphotography.com/new-blog-1/2017/12/9/52l4avwwvxmlzhfodcfdx38v2fek7t
Knowing how to finalise images in post processing (the editing of) is always a big learning curve. There is a fine line between being edited well and being over-edited. I have taken countless online editing courses to find my editing niche, but also have spent hours and hours and HOURS practising. There are other very important jobs photographers have to do on their computer to ensure the final images you receive are of the best quality, such as working within the correct colour space for the printing of pictures and monthly screen colour calibration, just to name a few.
Another challenging learning curve is how to pose newborns while keeping them asleep and happy in these super cute womb-like positions. This is something that not only needs to be learnt but also practiced A LOT. In the first two years of my photography journey I worked for FREE, for TWO YEARS!!!! Some people would call me crazy but I knew I wanted to obtain a certain standard before feeling I was good enough to take money for my work. I worked SO hard in these two years, so much practising! But with this two years of practice I was very happy with the standard of my work and was able to go into business confident that I would be providing my clients images I am proud of.
3. What can people expect if they book a photo shoot?
My newborn sessions aren't just about capturing these special memories for my clients to enjoy, I also work very hard in providing them with a wonderful experience to remember during the first few days of their baby's life.
The first thing I do is to book the due date into my diary so their session is guaranteed no matter when baby arrives. They can then relax knowing that they are booked in and have this ticked off their list.
I then send my booking form which helps me to style the session and my newborn brochure which has all the information they need to be fully prepared for their newborn session.
5-10 days after baby arrives they will come to my home studio in Ramsbottom where they can relax with a brew and a biscuit while I take some beautiful pictures of their new baby.
A few weeks after the newborn session I invite my clients back into my studio for an image reveal session, where they will view their images for the first time. The reveal really is so special and we often get a few tears so I always have tissues at the ready. Once they have seen their images I am on hand to help with any decisions on which package to buy and any products they would like to add.
Then just a few weeks after their image reveal session they'll have everything in their hands to share with their family and friends.
4. I love working with families to be and new parents, how do you find it?
I love working with young children! Over the last 10 years I have been working with pre-school children, firstly working as a nursery teacher in Abu Dhabi and then running pre-school music classes called music monkeys which I really loved. And now I photograph children. I also volunteer to run music classes a few times a month here in Ramsbottom called Rhyme Time which is held in the Civic Hall on Thursday mornings at 10am. It isn't always easy, but it is always worth it.
5. How can I find out more?
If you would like to find out more about my newborn sessions I am always happy to help!
Visit my website - http://www.luciewoodsphotography.com
Email me - firstname.lastname@example.org
Or have a chat - 07702197331
You can view my work also on my social media pages -
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/luciewoodsphotography/