When my oldest and dearest friend told me she was expecting her second baby I was absolutely thrilled.
When she then agreed to let me photograph her precious newborn I was even more excited.
That was six months ago, and the time has just flown past. Two weeks ago the gorgeous Zara was born and this weekend I got to meet her.
On the morning of the big day I nervously ran through the check-list I’d gradually built up trying to ensure I had everything I’d need for a photoshoot in someone else’s home. With the car fully loaded with everything thrown in from beanbags to backdrops, heaters to hats, I was all set.
I wasn’t really sure how I’d feel handling a close friend’s brand new baby but Zara’s mum was an absolute superstar. She calmly handed over Zara and asked if I’d mind being left on my own so that all the photos would be a surprise when she got to see them.
It still amazes me to think that less than three years ago I had never held a baby. I can clearly remember the look of shock on the teacher’s face at our antenatal class when at the end of the final class she asked if anyone had any questions and I had to sheepishly ask how to pick up a newborn.
Instead of feeling nervous about being left with someone else’s baby I was much more concerned that I’d let down my best friend and she’d be disappointed with the photographs I was about to take.
Things didn’t initially go to plan when Zara refused to go to sleep but I took the opportunity to get the room ready, camera settings right, and generally get settled down so I could focus on taking some beautiful photographs.
Deciding to just roll with the situation the first set of pictures I took were all with Zara wide awake. I got to capture her bright blue eyes and outstretched legs, then I invited mum back in for a feed and a cuddle to get Zara settled.
It did the job perfectly and within a few minutes Zara was totally calm and gradually dozed off to the special type of sleep that only newborn babies can achieve. I quickly got to work and started with some simple close up shots making use of her stillness but also allowing her to get totally relaxed so that I could move her in to different positions without worrying I’d wake her.
With my own two daughters waiting outside with their mum time was limited so once Zara began to stir I decided to call it a day having had a good half an hour of uninterrupted shooting time. We said our goodbyes and hurried home so that I could take my first proper look at the shots.
I was relieved to see that on first review there were at least one or two of the 300ish that I’d taken that I was pleased with.
The final edited album has 50 photos in and I’m really pleased with the results. I felt that I’d managed to successfully put all of the things I’d learnt over the past year or two to good effect. It’s satisfying to feel that the hours and hours of work have paid dividends and I can hopefully make other people happy with my photographs.