Jasmine: Everyone knows that newborns are only this tiny and sleepy and wrinkly once, so we thought we would splurge on a studio shoot for Dylan! This post details what a studio shoot involves:
When we first reached, we looked through the photographer’s gallery to let her know what kind of shots and colours we liked. I chose a lot of teals and greens for Dyl! I also told the photog I liked the look of round baskets so you’ll see quite a few being used for Dylan. Based on the photographer’s portfolio, I also wanted to let Dylan be suspended from a vintage weighing scale but we were told that the baby needs to be extremely deeply asleep for that to be remotely possible (and even so they would put a beanbag under for safety). Sadly, we couldn’t make that happen.
Such shoots are usually between 3-5 hours to give sufficient time for nursing and diaper change sessions.
In addition to a sofa and a kids’ play area, there was a room with a bed and aircon for us to nurse Dylan twice during the shoot.
Of course, all props, backdrops and costumes are provided, but you are free to bring your own.
To start off, the photog wrapped Dylan in a scarf. She explained that newborns like to feel secure, so they will usually begin with some form of wrap before proceeding to remove his clothing when he is more comfortable and drowsy. [Andrew: She also had a white noise app which she used to help baby to sleep – evidently quite experienced at this.]
Dylan: What is this weird fur that I’m sleeping on?
I was almost going to fall asleep…
… when this lady with a huge black thing came up and a flash of light woke me up again!
Jasmine: And still wrapped up in the same wrap, but switching out the props and backdrops for some nice family shots:
Dylan: Yes, Daddy, don’t I smell good all wrapped up… Keep your oily face away from me.
This is boring. Can we move on to the next prop?
Jasmine: It took at least 2 nursing sessions of 30 min each, but Dylan eventually got a bit sleepier, so it was time to change him to a different prop- a round basket with a fleecy knit blanket.
Learning how to protect my modesty from a young age
What’s with the winter hat? We’re in Singapore!
Jasmine: We also brought along a peapod that my Ee Ee knitted specially for Dylan. The furry white backdrop is actually a bean cushion with a white cloth over it.
Jasmine: Do not be fooled by Dyl’s sleepy look, he actually peed on the peapod and the beanbag.
Andrew: Out of all the shots of Dylan alone, I love the peapod ones the most. He looks so peaceful and just so vulnerable… Love how the green of the peapod pops so nicely against the backdrop too. Was quite happy too that the peapod fit Dylan quite perfectly! It was sweet!
Jasmine: For our wedding and honeymoon, our shoots were all outdoors, so we seized this chance to get a few studio shots in.
Instead of going with white or black, we opted for a navy blue theme:
Jasmine: I chose to do my makeup and hair myself due to time constraints. I don’t think it was fantastic, especially since I was still freshly post-partum, had not lost the baby weight and was a little sleep-deprived.
I’d say the three essentials for DIY photoshoot makeup are:
a professional quality curling iron (mine was a few years old from a pushcart at Raffles City but had rave reviews online)
false eyelashes (bought from Dollywink)
face sculpting kit (not used here, but Dear bought me one from Makeup Forever as a Mother’s Day gift last year and I used it for our Shanghai shoot)
Me in dress from Tasmania, Andrew in The Class plaid shirt, and Dyl in his birthday suit.
Andrew: You looked great, Dear, especially that it was just 9 days after giving birth. Loved the hair, especially. 🙂 (By the way, Dearie also did the make-up for our NYC photo-shoot on her own, and did my hair for me too.)
Jasmine: Some classic black and white shots. Here’s one with our wedding rings dangling off Dylan’s teeny feet.
Andrew: The shot actually took quite a lot of effort (as with most of the shots). It was a two man job, well three if you include the photographer. Baby had to be placed securely on a cushion, one person (Dearie) had to hold up a black cloth while watching over baby, and then fit baby’s feet through the cloth, while I knelt down to position my hands around baby’s feet. The result was great – love the sweet and playful element to this shot.
Jasmine: I was not quite so daring, but Andrew decided to go topless (gasp) for some shots with Dilly!
Andrew: Prior to our photo-shoot, Dearie had shown me many other new born photo-shoots with tender father and son ‘skin-on-skin’ shots, so I decided to go for it and the photographs turned out very well! They capture precious moments of me holding Dillie in my arms, smiling and appreciating how small, delicate and beautiful he is; at the same time, holding him in my arms as a gesture of support and protection, keeping him safe and secure. Looking at this pic, I can’t believe how much he has grown – it would be virtually impossible for me to take a pic like this now as he will just be squirming to get out and start running.
Andrew: Photographer captioned this shot ‘You’ll always have my back’ – again, a lovely shot which captured a small smile on Dillie’s face. It wasn’t an easy shot to take, as we had to place Dylan delicately on my back at the right position, so he wouldn’t slip off while the shot was taken. I’m not sure if it was intentional, but this shot also captures the right side of both Dylan and my face where you can see our moles – if you look closely enough 🙂 This mole was something the nurses at Gleneagles noticed immediately upon his birth – Jasmine’s aunts say the mole is my ‘signature’ on him! His slightly wavy hair is also something which he has inherited from me, and this is also apparent in this picture.
Jasmine: Remember what I mentioned about giving enough time for diaper changes? Dylan looks very blissful and snug on Daddy’s back… and then peed right after this shot was taken. However, poor Andrew couldn’t move an inch. I took my time to rescue him. Heh! [Andrew: Way to burst the bubble, Dear… There I was trying to talk about how tender and significant this pic was.]
Ending off with some of my favourite shots from the shoot. I thought the Farm Fresh Eggs basket was quite witty coz Dilly was “hatched” close to Easter.
We also tried to get Dyl to pose with his face in his hands, but it was very hard as he didn’t have any neck control and he kept nodding off. I have to say though that it was really worth it going for a photog specialising in baby photography, as she was very patient throughout and knew how to calm Dylan down and pose him carefully.
However, the photog managed to salvage some of these shots:
And this sweet little one, where his head nodded off and he let out a sleepy gas smile!
A behind-the-scenes shot:
Jasmine: To be honest though, it was extremely warm in the studio even with aircon and fans, so much so that we were sweating and even Dylan, wrapped up in all those fleecy throws, was sweating too.
Andrew: All in all, it was a rather tiring phoot-shoot given that there were so many factors that needed to come into play, especially baby sleeping soundly. We were very new parents then and weren’t so confident with handling him as well. even swaddling him and putting him in various positions was rather awkward for me. Was glad for the photographer’s guidance throughout! I was exhausted by the end of it all, but when I saw the photographs, it was all worth it! I’m not sure if Dylan would actually appreciate these shots in future, but at least we have well-captured memories of how our sweetest boy looked like when he was just 9 days old. We can never turn back time, hence photos are one of the best ways to bring back happy moments. Just writing this post has brought back many great memories.