NCT is the UK largest charity for parents. Their vision is of a world in which no parent is isolated and all parents are supported to build a stronger society.
They offer great courses before birth and they support mums with breastfeeding. They connect new parents so you can meet people who live close to you and are in your shoes. You will meet the first friends of you baby 🙂
You can visit the Clapham branch website for more info about local events, courses and useful resources.
A while ago I had an interview with them and here it is.
Adorable sleeping newborns
Valentina from Photograface is a photographer who specialises in maternity and newborn photography. Here she shares some of the secrets to getting beautiful photographs of your beautiful baby.
Little babies are so adorable while they are sleeping – they look so angelic and peaceful and new parents cannot take away the eyes from them. But if you work out the magic of some professional photographers, they surely look even more precious.
Valentina from Photograface is a London photographer, based in Clapham Junction, who specialises in maternity and newborn photography. She comforts the babies until they are in a deep sleep and she carefully positions them in some cute and curled poses that you can only achieve in the early days of a newborn. She says the best time to photograph them is between 5 and 10 days, while they are still very sleepy and in their foetal position.
“The session takes a few hours and a lot of patience. Babies need to have a full tummy and they need to feel warm and secure before they fall asleep. The preparation together with the feeding and comforting time is what makes the session so long. Once the babies are deeply asleep, pose them and finally take the photographs, which is the easy and fun part.”
Apart from patience newborn photography requires specific training that goes beyond photography skills. The professional newborn photographer has learned how to handle a baby safely, soothing techniques to encourage baby to sleep, and how to pose them correctly amongst other things.
Valentina is a proud member of BANPAS (Baby and Newborn Photography Association) that promotes safe working practices in newborn photography, ensuring that baby’s comfort and safety takes priority.
“Safety is surely my number one priority. As a mum myself I know how precious and tiny a little baby is and I know that mums have lots of concerns at the beginning. I always make sure I use hand-sanitiser before touching a baby. I will check babies are never unattended while posed in specific props, they are comfortable in the position and never force them in something that they don’t feel secure. Sessions will be postponed if I feel unwell, have a cold or my daughter has a bug, or at least I let parents know about it and they can have the final call.
At the same time I want parents to be relaxed and comfortable as well so the baby can feel the good vibe, so I make sure they have a drink and some snacks before I give my attention to the baby”
Babies are normally snuggled and wrapped in soft and delicate wraps and fabrics, posed in some baskets, posed naked in cute curled positions and finally, they are portrayed with mums and dads.
Sleeping newborn images are definitely the sweetest ones, but the ones with the parents are probably the most cherished ones.
Those little babies will not fit in the same way in their arms for long, and so it’s a once in a lifetime moment that you won’t get again (unless you have another baby). Hiring a professional photographer will capture that moment and allow parents to have beautiful memories that can be enjoyed in years to come.
“My style changed a bit over the years. As an artist, my work evolves as well. When I started I used to incorporate more props and use more colours while now I tend to go back to the basics. I really like the simplicity of a baby sleeping on a white blanket in a natural position. Maybe just a little soft hat or blanket on top but not much more. I also like the black and white images that evoke the baby inside the womb. They all look very natural and that don’t put the babies in any dangerous position”
Newborn photography is quite popular nowadays; ever more new-parents are willing to have their babies photographed and they proudly show those images in the announcement cards welcoming the baby to friends and family.
“The joy of the parents when they see their photos is priceless. I’ve been told it was one of the best experience they had, that their images make them emotional and teary, millions of thank you . . . all special feedback that makes me love my job even more. Capturing love in a new family is surely the most rewarding job. I feel honoured when people trust me with their little ones and I’ll do my best not to disappoint them. I feel accomplished when I see my photos hanging on their walls or displayed in timeless albums”.
Here are Valentina’s tips to photograph your babies. These are the thing that you should focus on:
Get the details: baby details are very cute! Little hands and feet, button nose, hair if they have.
Document their behaviour: Take a photo while they are peacefully sleeping but don’t forget to record also a yawn, a little smirk and even a cry.
Use natural light. As a natural light photographer, I’m in love with the quality of this light. Move the baby near a window but make sure there is indirect light and not hot spots. In this case, just move the baby a bit back. Try to avoid the use of flash, as it takes away the spontaneity and natural tone of the shoot.
Include siblings: if you have other children it can be quite challenging, especially if they are toddlers, but it’s priceless having a photo with them. Probably the easiest thing is to place them on your big bed and then bribe them 🙂
Keep it simple, document your baby as is and don’t try to put him in a dangerous position to emulate some photos you have seen.
Photography by Valentina | Newborn Photographer Clapham, Battersea, London