Newborn photography: documenting your new bundle of joy
A letter to you from Kerry Cheah, family photographer, ex-strategy consultant and mother to two young boys.
Let me say right off the bat that you cannot know for certain how you will be as a parent. We might have hopes and expectations of ourselves, based on our own childhoods or perhaps influenced by what we read and see around us, but nobody will understand your specific joys and challenges – and those of your loved ones – quite like you will. Which is my lead-up to say: no matter what happens in the future, cut yourself some slack. Through my photo shoots, I have observed hundreds of families and children at home, where they are often the most comfortable and willing to let their guard down. I spend quite a lot of time with my clients (most of my shoots are 2 -3 hours long), and they are often generous with the access that they give me in return for real, intimate images of their daily lives. Many of them have let on that they do not feel like they are doing a bang-up job at parenting.
And yet when I head home and look through the shots I have taken, all I see are the expressions of babies and children as they take comfort in their parent’s arms; fleeting touches, a hair tousle or a little squeeze; the curve of a new parent’s arms gingerly holding on to a tiny baby, trying to find the right position to burp or soothe. Sure, some homes I photograph are big and immaculate, while others are modest and crammed with mementos of childhood. But these environments matter not as a reflection of their inhabitants’ standard of living or earning capacity; they matter as a trigger, many years later, for your family to remember how you lived, where you had your meals, and what (or who) your child clung on to while drifting off to sleep.
You will be enough. You might not know this when you are deep in the trenches of daily drudgery and fire-fighting. But you will see it in the faces of your children when you surface for however brief a time. And you will see it in your photos, years down the road, photos that respect and celebrate whatever kind of family you are, right now.
Every day we are inundated with imagery that places so much value on how we look and how our homes look. Over time, we start to believe that only certain types of moments or certain types of homes deserve to be photographed. In our minds, our regular craziness becomes mess, our lived-in clothes become sloppy, our chaos becomes outtakes. We all deserve better than these thoughts; your family is enough. There is no better next month or next year to document, record and preserve your fast-growing kids, or what it means to be family now.
Kerry Cheah | Red Bus Photography
Kerry is a newborn and family photographer whose core purpose is to document relationships – between loved ones, and between subjects and their environments. Her typical clients want an unvarnished documentation of their daily lives and are prepared to let their guard down, in return for raw and emotive images that celebrate who they really are.
Instead of babies wrapped in blankets and baskets, Kerry focuses on the tenderness and bewilderment of new parents as they adapt to having a newborn at home. She aims to create a visual diary for clients that will resonate with their loved ones across years and generations.
A typical photo session with Kerry sees her observing her clients unobtrusively as they care for their newborn at home or even in the first few hours after birth in the hospital. She provides simple directions for a few family portraits, but otherwise moves herself around to document the family as they interact organically.
Emily Newell | Evie Grace Photography
With a bespoke portrait studio specialising in maternity, hospital, newborn and family photography, Emily launched her business while pregnant with her second baby. Her aspiration was to capture the love of family and the magic of being a parent. With close to a decade of experience photographing families in Singapore, Emily knows how to capture those special moments that are both beautiful and full of emotion.
Offering a unique experience from start to finish, Emily has developed a loyal client base who have worked with her, over the years, to document all their family milestones. She is passionate about capturing a family’s memories and having them forever recorded in beautiful keepsake artwork. With a product menu of archival quality printing for both classical and contemporary styles, Emily will work with parents to pick the best pictures to adorn walls, bookshelves and desks, rather than just sitting on the computer screen! P.S. They offer digital packages as well.
Maryann Koh | The Studio Loft
Maryann is the managing partner and head photographer at The Studio Loft. With a background in film and TV production, Maryann was in the advertising industry for a few years. After the birth of her firstborn, she took a leap of faith and pursued her love for photography. Since then, she has never looked back. Her work has won gold international photography awards and she is currently working on a curriculum for photo workshops.
As an all-woman team, The Studio Loft started with the aim to give pregnant women and newborns the space to feel safe, nurtured and beautiful; their style is both gentle and ever-evolving – they like to keep their ideas fresh!
The Studio Loft balance technical finesse, gorgeous lighting and good old-fashioned artistry. After more than 13 years running their studio, they know what it takes to get kids to flash a smile, mums to relax and even reluctant husbands to kick back and have fun. They guide you into tasteful shots that feel more like a conversation with friends than postured posing.
Leanne Jackson Photography
Leanne is a maternity, newborn and family lifestyle photographer. She loves lifestyle photography and particularly enjoys creating natural, relaxed images of clients in their favourite surroundings. Families can choose where to be photographed and at which locations; newborn shoots often take place in the comfort of home while maternity and family shoots may be at home or somewhere outdoors. Having a child of her own, Leanne appreciates how ‘free-spirited’ kids can be, so she is more focused on capturing the natural interactions and connections between everyone rather than photographing perfectly behaved children! Her main aim is to create a fun, stress-free environment in which to tell your story.
Contact Leanne on 9851 6346, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ann Holian | Little Me Moments
Ann is a maternity, newborn and family lifestyle photographer with well over ten years experience. Having previously worked in London, Sydney and Hong Kong, she is now based in Singapore. Time passes quickly and Ann loves to capture those special every day moments to create natural, beautiful images that can be treasured for a lifetime. Ann loves working with all age groups and especially enjoys catching ‘that moment’, when little personalities appear during the shoot! With her relaxed approach, she aims to put everyone at ease and make the shoot fun and memorable for all.
Using her extensive experience, she is as happy shooting on location in the park or beach using natural lighting, as she is shooting in a studio environment. If studio style shots are what you are after, she can bring along her portable studio kit and shoot lifestyle shots for you in the comfort of your own home.