I love setting up the studio for a session, making the room toasty warm and choosing the props and colour scheme while waiting with anticipation to meet this incredible new little person! But I am aware that from a parents point of view it can seem a little daunting and you might feel a little apprehensive especially as it might be the first time you’ve left the house with your baby. So I thought I would try and put your mind at rest and let you know what to expect and how best to plan for the session.
Getting to the Tiny Baby Studio
My studio is just a few mins drive from Newcastle upon Tyne city centre in the Ouseburn area. Many know the area as they’ve been to The Cluny to see a bad or they’ve visited Seven Stories. The traffic in Newcastle can be a little bonkers at times especially if you are coming over the Tyne Bridge so allow plenty of time and it’s absolutely fine if you are early! If you are running more than 15 mins late I would be grateful if you would message me and let me know, just to stop me worrying and I can provide directions if needed. There is parking right next door and you pay at the meter using your card (it doesn’t take money).
I have a spacious studio on the ground floor with comfy seating, free wifi, a fridge and kettle. I also have a toilet upstairs although there is also a ground floor disabled toilet that I share with the cake shop and florist next door. So everything you could possible need really!
There is plenty of room for Mum, Dad and siblings and there is also room for your pram if you arrive on foot/public transport.
Preparing your baby for the session
There isn’t much I suggest you do prior to the session really! It’s also great if you can time a feed for when you arrive. Then you can make yourself at home and we can start with feeding baby. This will ensure he/she is as full and sleepy as possible. I do find if they’ve been fed at home and been all snoozy in the car they might not be in a deep sleep once they arrive at the studio. But please don’t stress about it. If baby is demanding a feed before you leave the house then just go with the flow.
Bring everything you need for four feeds. It’s usual for a baby to be fed a couple of times but I always suggest bringing more ‘just in case’.
Dress baby in something that’s really simple to take off. A baby grow with no vest is ideal. If baby does arrive in a deep sleep, I will just undress baby and get started so I don’t want to battle with fancy clothing!
Many babies have a lot of dry skin but it’s not difficult for me to minimise this when editing your images. So pleased don’t worry about putting anything on babies skin prior to the shoot. If baby has very bad baby acne, just drop me a line to discuss the timing of the shoot.
Babies are always undressed and swaddled in my lovely fabrics for the session so there is no need to bring any clothes for baby but you might have some special items you’d like to bring? Maybe it’s a special toy or a blanket knit by Grandma. Just let me know as you arrive and I can incorporate these into the session.
Big Brothers and Sisters
Siblings are more than welcome at newborn shoots and I also try to get some photos of them all together. It’s great if you can prepare siblings by explaining what is going to happen and make them comfortable being close to baby. I do find very young siblings under 2 are a little unpredictable and despite my best efforts, it’s sometimes not possible to pose the children together. I always get a family shot though! I am always optimistic though and sometimes they can surprise us!
It’s a good idea to bring some highly prized snacks or little toys to bribe them with and please let me know beforehand if big brother or sister has particular needs.
The sessions can last for up to 4 hours (although usually done in 2-3) so it can get a little boring for older children. If you find they are getting a little stir crazy, Daddy can take them for a short walk to the Ouseburn Farm. It’s just down the street and is free. There is also Seven Stories around the corner and they have an amazing bookshop (you don’t need to pay to visit the bookshop) so that’s an option too.
What do I wear?
Simple is the keyword here. When we create family portraits I really want the focus to be on baby so it’s a good idea to avoid fussy clothes, large patterns and bright colours. I generally only photograph parents from the waist up so concentrate more on what you wear on your top.
Keep it simple for siblings too. I like to take off tights and socks and if you have more than one older child, try and co-ordinate their outfits.
Please also bring a spare set of clothing as babies are always having little accidents on parents!
In the area
The Ouseburn is lovely area to visit and if you want to extend your day out you can have a lovely lunch in Dreamworld Cakes next door (open Thurs/Fri/Sat) or head to Ernest, The Biscuit Factory or The Kiln for fabulous eating options. The Ship Inn is a vegan pub with a fabulous atmosphere and always gets great reviews, or there are more meaty options in The Cluny.
The Ouseburn Farm is a free community farm and you also have Seven Stories too! For something a little different you could book onto one of the tours of the historic Victoria Tunnel or let the kids loose at Climb Newcastle.
There is also a nice riverside walk to the Quayside.
Tiny Baby Studio is based in Newcastle upon Tyne and I take bookings newborns, babies, and milestones like first birthday, family portraits for all ages and also weddings.