Preparing for your Newborn Photo Shoot with Carly Seaman Photography

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The key to a successful newborn photo shoot is preparation. Please don’t confuse this with me expecting your little one to be in any sort of routine, as this just isn’t possible at their age. However during the ideal window for Newborn photos, 5-14 days, they do tend to sleep a lot so we can use that to our advantage for the shoot.

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Feed baby 2-3 hours before the shoot

Baby ideally will have a feed 2-3 hours before your shoot. This is so they are due for a feed as soon as they get to the studio. They can then settle with a full tummy.

Try to keep baby awake

This is easier said than done, but bare with me! If we keep baby awake prior to their shoot, they are more likely to be tired and sleep through their session. If baby has had loads of sleep before you get here then you can almost guarantee they will wake up and be unsettled when they arrive. Usually they will fall asleep again after their milk, but it does depend on baby.

Ways to keep little one awake are:

  • tickling their toes
  • some nappy off time to let them kick about
  • a bath (as they are coming for photos it’s nice to wash their hair gently so it looks its best)
  • time without a dummy

Bring a dummy or soother

Even if you aren’t planning on using one ever again, a dummy can be a good way to keep baby settled during their shoot. The sucking action is very soothing to them so it helps them stay in a nice deep sleep.

Don’t worry, it won’t confuse them or interfere with breastfeeding at all.

Best dress

Bring baby in a simple sleep suit that buttons up without poppers, and no socks (they can leave marks around baby’s ankles).

The studio is at the ideal temperature for baby, around 28c, which will feel warm to us so you may wish to dress in layers to stay comfortable.

Don’t forget

Your changing bag with extra nappies, wipes, burp cloths. A spare change of clothes for mum and dad if you are having parent shots (babies often pee or poo during this bit and you don’t want to go home with messy clothes). Bring extra milk if you are bottle feeding as babies sometimes feed a little more during their session when being moved about.

If you want to include a special teddy or blanket this is fine, but please let me know beforehand so I can plan it into my set up.

I have cold and hot drinks here with biscuits, but you may wish to bring your own cold snacks too. Please don’t bring hot food.

Bring along an extra adult if you are having sibling shots so they can take them off and keep them entertained away from the studio after their photos are taken.

Of course, even with the best laid plans babies can and do surprise us so don’t be too worried if it all goes pear shaped! We will go with what makes baby happy, so please don’t worry if baby decides they don’t want to go along with any of my advice! Sit back, relax and enjoy your baby’s first photo shoot.

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What Should I Wear to My Family Photo Shoot?

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“What should I wear to my family photo shoot?

This is a question I often get asked so I thought I would write a blog post offering some advice based on my own experience.

Everyone has their own style, and it is important that you wear something you are happy to wear. There’s nothing worse than uncomfy clothes, and children won’t hold back their feelings on being unhappy!

In my experience though, there are certain guides to bare in mind when selecting your family’s wardrobe for your shoot. So you can take these suggestions and put your own twist on it.

Colours that work well together

These can be neutrals i.e. whites, browns, greys or colours like blues, greens etc. A variation on different shades of colour works well with a mainly neutral base.

Cool colours like blue, grey and white work well together and warm colours like orange, brown and yellow work well together.

Another idea is parents in neutrals and the kids in colour!

It would be a mistake to all dress in the same colours (unless for a special occasion), it works much better if you select colours which are complimentary to each other.

In Autumn I often recommend mustard yellow, purples, reds and greens, as they make a pop against the autumn foliage. For summer shoots, muted, cool colours really work well together like blues, pinks, whites, peaches.

Keep patterns to a minimum

Loud patterns don’t tend to photograph well and too many clashing patterns together makes for a busy mess!

Checks, plaids and the odd subtle pattern is great with neutrals, and don’t forget that textures like cable cardigans add interest.

Solid colours always photograph better.

Leave the logos at home

You may be a big football fan or absolutely love Nike, but our tastes change with age and you may decide you prefer rugby or Ralph Lauren in the future and cringe at your old likes. Incorporating logos, although I agree this is personal to you, actually ages your photos and takes away the focus from yourselves.

Add accessories

Hats, scarves, teddies are all great accessories to enhance your photo shoot.They can help to pull the portrait together and add a personal touch.

Don’t forget about your footwear

Make sure all footwear is clean and polished if applicable. A portrait can be ruined by scruffy/muddy shoes.

Make up and hair

Light make up and natural hair works best. Keep to your usual style unless you are very confident that a new thing will work! Don’t forget to bring along a brush as kid’s hair normally needs brushing again if we are playing outside.

Be yourself

When all is said and done, it is YOUR family photo shoot, and it is important that you are COMFORTABLE. This is just a guide, so please feel free to ignore it and turn up in a bright green onesie if that is your normal dress and you are comfy.

I want you to be happy with your photos and be happy to get them out in 30 years time to show younger family members!

Book your Family Photo Shoot now.

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The Suffolk Baby and Toddler Show 2017 Newborn Photographer Exhibition Ipswich

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I had the great pleasure of exhibiting at The Suffolk Baby and Toddler show on the 15th October.

It was my first time at the show exhibiting, but I had an idea of what to expect as I had visited the show myself when my little girl was a few months old. Usually it is held at Trinity Park, the Suffolk Showground, but this year it was at the Ipswich Cameo Hotel. It was handy as I knew exactly where it was having been there earlier this year!

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After setting my stall up, I had a chat with a few of my fellow business women. The lady next to me made keepsakes out of silver, and the lady behind me was selling really cute hair bows (I bought a few for my daughter!). I also spotted Katie from Jo Jingles, and Lisa, who I used to work with who now runs Moo Music. It was great to see some familiar faces and have a natter while we waited for the doors to open.

The first guests came in at 10am and collected their goody bags. I was lucky being right at the front so had a lot of people stopping. There was a lot of oohs and ahhs at my prints and people were amazed at the quality of the products I offer.

The show was fab, it gave me the chance to meet future clients face to face and get to know their requirements. I ended up with some fab bookings that I am really looking forward to and left full of excitement for the future of my little business.

I will be attending again next year, so if you didn’t have the chance to come over this year then I would be very pleased to have a chat with you next time round!

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Ipswich Autumn Mini Child Photo Shoot Sessions Suffolk

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Oh I love Autumn colours! I have been having such fun photographing you all in amongst the trees and leaves. No other season has such amazing foliage colours. I particularly like the reds of Virginia Creeper, as seen here in the background of this photo taken in an Ipswich park.

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I may as well add that the backdrop of this particular creeper was truly spectacular last year, so I was looking forward to shooting it this year. Unfortunately when we arrived, a little toe-rag was pulling a load of the leaves off, so the vines were very bare. Such a shame. It is a pity some parents do not teach their children the importance of respecting nature.

Some of the backdrops are evergreen, like this beautiful laurel. This shot is one of my favourites from this session, and has been described as ‘haunting’ which I think it is. I like to evoke emotion (whatever that emotion may be) when photographing, and sometimes children do look serious and thoughtful. They have a lot to be thoughtful about, after all, when else do we absorb such a high amount of information each day? School is exhausting, and as this session was after school, I think my model was a little dreamy.

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Our session was brief, but fun and we got some beautiful shots. My model’s pretty long, blonde hair complimented the autumn colours of the trees really well, but also made her stand out.

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Book your shoot now.

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Why should I hire a professional photographer for my family photos in Ipswich Suffolk?

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Please ask yourself a few questions before I begin: When was the last time you got family photos taken? Have you ever had professional photos taken before? Are you sitting on the fence about whether it’s worth it, or whether your iPhone will do?  Let me give you some more information and see if it helps your decision in whether to invest in professional portraiture. If nothing else, it may give you more of an insight into what we do.

 

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Family photos – we all love them, but who is most likely to take them? Mums, I bet it is you! How many cute snaps have you got of your kids with daddy, or running about on their own? I’m sure you have loads, and they are all wonderful memories. 

I should imagine you have a lot of selfies too. But isn’t it frustrating how that camera isn’t as good as the main one, and you end up with blocky images, really lacking in quality? Still cute photos though, of course.

When did you last sit down as a family and look through your phone at your photos? Are you happy to have your photos sitting on your phone, or would you like to see them more often? Beautifully presented around your house, making you smile each time you pass them?

 

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Hiring a professional photographer is so much more than just paying them for an hour to snap away to get a few images. You are paying for the photographer’s time and experience, which is what gives you high quality, correctly exposed and professionally edited images. The time they spend on your images continues long after the session is over. They will spend hours afterwards making sure your images are perfect. These images will be sharp, they will print big, and you can use them for albums and wall art to decorate your home.

Your photographer will use their experience to make the most of the natural light available in your outdoors session, and the best way to position all the members of your family. You will probably realise yourself how difficult it can be to get all family members looking towards the camera at the same time! It can be quite tricky when it comes to young children, but a professional photographer will have the experience to get the best results for you.

 

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The most important thing that professional photographers will capture is your whole family – none of you are missing ‘behind the camera/phone’. Interactions, reactions, playing, laughing. Mums – YOU ARE IN THE PHOTOS! Dress up a bit or come natural, it doesn’t matter, what matters is that you are in the photos for your kids to look back on.

We live in a digital age, everyone wants digital files to put on social media and the freedom to print them when and how they want. However, to really appreciate your images you should print them. And they must be printed by a professional photo lab. High street printers are often not calibrated, and the effort we photographers spend in getting the colours just right are lost when they are printed poorly.

I offer professional prints which are GUARANTEED to be the correct colour and quality that your images deserve. Along with prints you can purchase a stunning canvas of your whole family to hang above your fireplace or in your hallway. Each time you see it you will be reminded of that lovely day and your kids will absolutely love to have it to treasure in the future.

 

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Has this post helped? I hope I have gone some way in persuading you to put down your camera phone and come out from the shadows and get in the photos yourself! You are part of your own beautiful family, big or small, and you deserve quality preserved memories.

Book your Family Portrait Session now, or get in touch for a no obligation chat.

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Ipswich Suffolk Photographer now offering Family Photo Sessions

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My model call gave me some lovely photos to use in my marketing for my new Family Photo Sessions. Book your session today to get some lovely memories of your family, and make the most of the Summer (though saying that, I’m not sure where the Summer has gone just lately!)

I aim to capture your family in a very relaxed, documentary style way. So not a lot of posing instruction, just natural positions and interactions. Depending on the size of your family, some guidance is necessary, but I keep it light hearted for the little ones as they can find it hard to understand otherwise!

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I am a strong believer that every family should have their own beautiful professional family photos adorning their walls, so they can smile every time they see them and bring back the lovely memories of that time.

My Family Photo Shoots will take place in and around Ipswich. Making the most of our big selection of gorgeous parks, nature reserves and woodland. We are blessed in Suffolk to have such a lot of places to choose from! Imagine your family photographed in bluebells in the spring or poppies in the summer. They always make such gorgeous family portraits.

I will be offering Studio family sessions too once my new Studio is completed. You can book now for September onwards.

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Golden Hour Location Shoot Model Call for July 2017 Ipswich Suffolk Photos

Wow, the weather has been so hot lately, it has been truly glorious outside. I have really been enjoying getting out and about with my camera on the dog walk, photographing him and my little lady.

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Nature is a perfect backdrop, offers diverse colours and textures and is forever changing. The light is unpredictable, which throws up challenges, but makes photographing during random times of day interesting. When the sun is high in the sky it throws dark shadows on your subject, and blows out areas of definition, causing photos to be overexposed. There are ways around this, but my hands are pretty full already with a buggy, 1 year old and very lively large dog!

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All photographers I know the ‘golden hour’ (a time frame shortly after sunrise or before sunset during which daylight is redder and softer than when the Sun is higher in the sky) is an ideal time to take photos. However I am not a morning person, and my children’s bedtime is 7.30pm! So this presents some difficulty in actually shooting during this time. I am very determined to get some evening shots with my kids, but this could prove to be a complete failure as my 1 year old may be tired and grumpy! Saying that, with the heat, she has been staying up later anyway so it may work out!

It was while I was viewing the results of my little session with my daughter in the poppies (I keep her ‘sessions’ brief as she is at a difficult age to photograph (18 months today!) and doesn’t want to stay still long, that I thought I’d really like to do some family location shoots. So thought I’d put out a model call and do just that for golden hour family photos!

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I need some images to promote my new golden hour family photo sessions so a model call is a great way to get some! Models get a free shoot and some free images, with the opportunity to purchase more.

Want to enter?

Entries are still being accepted until the end of next week, so get your skates on over to my Model Call page and apply if you are interested.

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Newborn Composite Images for Newborn Sessions Carly Seaman Photography Ipswich

Big news! I am going to be delivering at least one composite image (an image created using two or more separate images) similar to the ones below in your Newborn gallery.

I will decide the theme unless you have any special requests, so let me know if you have a specific idea in mind. Composites are great as they expand the possibility of themes and backgrounds.

Composite images mean baby is kept safe at all times, and not balanced precariously on unsuitable props. We can place baby on a guitar, horse saddle, in a summer field when it’s really winter, etc etc. There are unlimited possibilities.

Safety first!

Please DO NOT attempt any of these poses at home. As with any newborn photography, it should only be undertaken by a fully trained professional who has been trained and knows what they are doing.

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Stand In Baby Newborn Training Aid Ipswich Newborn Safety Suffolk Newborn Photographer

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I had a special delivery today! The stork brought me a Stand in Baby! Stand in Baby, or SIB, was created in Australia by a couple of newborn photographers who wanted to offer a fully articulated training aid to help other newborn photographers practise posing and lighting techniques to ensure Newborn Safety.

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SIB is just amazing, she moves like a real baby. She is weighted to around 7lb, the weight of an average newborn, and you have to support her head and body as you would a newborn baby.

I handled a couple of SIB’s in my training workshop, and after a lot of careful thought, I felt she would be a worthy investment to my business. How better to try out new poses and lighting? I don’t need to ‘practise’ on real babies as my practise is with SIB. She is going to help me out loads.

You may get to see her during your session if I feel she is needed. She is handy with sibling shots, preparing before your real baby is placed in brother or sister’s arms. She will also be modelling my new props soon.

She does need a name though! I have asked over on my Facebook page for some help with naming her, so pop along and leave any suggestions you have.

In the meantime I need to keep her well out of Lucia’s way, as when she first saw her she shouted “baby!” and thought she was an early birthday present!

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Ipswich Photographer Carly Seaman Gains Newborn Safety Training Certificate

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As part of my training I had to submit multiple edited images from the day, as well as answer some questions on Newborn safety and posing. Happily, I passed, and I am now very proud to show off my certificate! It will be on display in my studio for you to have a gander at your session 🙂

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I take Newborn safety very seriously, and have further training sessions planned for 2018 with other trainers.