Updated: Apr 8, 2021
Alot of people don't realise that a huge part of a newborn photography session happens after you leave the studio. During your newborn photoshoot I will handle, pose and settle your baby until we are satisfied with the gallery we have produced - this can take several hours and lots of patience!
But the work doesn't stop there. A huge part, and possibly one of the most time consuming parts of my job start after you and your baby have left the studio. The first thing I do in the evening after your newborn session is download your images and back them up to my external hard drive. This is to ensure your images are kept safe, ready for me to edit. If you have asked for a "sneak peek" image, I will edit this while the session is still fresh in my mind and post it to social media for you to share with family and friends, usually within 48 hours after your session.
I ALWAYS edit my galleries in time and date order. That means I work in chronological order of when your session took place, this keeps it fair. I know alot of photographers have started to offer a "fast track service" where you can jump to the top of their editing queue, for a fee. This wouldn't work for me due to the number of sessions I have ongoing at one time, it simply wouldn't be fair. I always advise allowing 2-3 weeks if you want your photos back for a specific occasion, this allows time for the edited gallery to be returned to you and for you to choose your images.
Editing is a very general term, which will mean something different to every photographer. We all have our own methods, tools and of course style of editing - it's amazing the difference in a final image that has been edited by two different photographers.
I have honed my editing style over the years, but I'm always looking for ways to improve and speed up my workflow. This is one of the reasons I continue to attend training sessions, there is always something to improve on - I am a perfectionist!
With newborn photos I try to keep my editing as minimalistic as possible. it's always best to get whatever you can right in camera first as this reduces editing time later. If you see me fiddling with settings on the back of the camera or moving my light during a session - then that's what I'm upto!
Newborn photoshoots are designed to capture your precious new baby exactly as they are in those early few days, that's the memory I want to preserve for you, so I don't want to change too much. I keep it as simple and natural as I can. Of course the creamy peachy skin we see in professional newborn images and those that adorn my studio walls, are not always typical of newborn baby skin. At some point in your newborn's early days they will likely experience dry skin, baby acne, red patches - or all of the above! These are all perfectly natural, very common and a normal part of your newborns skin adjusting to life outside the womb. However because they are so fleeting they are not really a "typical" portrayal of your newborns super soft skin. I know that's what most parents want to remember so I'm always happy to remove dry skin, flakes, baby acne or reduce redness in my edit. I keep this natural, there is nothing worse than babies who have had their skin smoothed to the high heavens in post production - this is what sometimes gives a doll like appearance, when the edit is too heavy.
I know as new Mums we are often not feeling ourselves in front of the camera in those early days. It can take a while for our swollen bellies to go down, we're not quite back in our jeans yet and you will probably come to your photoshoots wearing bags under your eyes like badges of honour from the sleepless night you just about survived the evening before.
I'm a newborn photographer, all things babies and birth are beautiful to me. All these things are a part of your story, your journey into Motherhood and I'm always in awe of anyone who chooses to leave their photos without any retouching of this sort. But I'm also a Mum of two, and serial photo-avoider! I HATE being in front of the camera, so I get it completely. I always shoot the most flattering angles for family photos - waist up and in close. If you haven't had time to apply makeup that morning and need your dark circles lifting, scratches (left from those tiny but razor sharp newborn nails) removing , or bruising on your arms from cannulas then these are all things I can do for you. Basic retouching like this is considered standard, it's all part of the process and included in your package. I will not retouch or remove permanent marks such as birth marks, or scars, unless I am specifically asked to do so. As I said before, these are all part of your story. If you wish to have them removed from your images then please discuss this with me at your session and I'll be happy to accommodate you.
I try to keep my editing style light, airy and clean. I don't want you to not recognise yourself or your baby in the images - that's not the point of what I do. These are your memories, I want them to be accurate. I want you to remember exactly how your baby looked. I can almost smell my newborn son when I look at his newborn images, that's how your gallery should make you feel.
Alot of people are surprised to learn that the style of editing I do is not produced by filters or overlays. It is painstaking hand edits, each image is tweaked and worked on individually and this can take anywhere from 5 minutes to half an hour depending on the style of image.
Many of the poses you see online are not safe to do without hands being on baby supporting them at all times, these are shot as what is known in the industry as "composite" images. Where 2 or more images are merged together during the editing process to create one seamless image. To the observer, they would never know that babies are fully supported at all times whilst these photos are taken - that's the sign of a good edit and the reason this style of posing should never be attempted at home or by anyone other than a trained newborn photographer.
If you have any questions or special requests regarding the editing or your newborn photography session I am always happy to discuss this with you prior to your session.