It was more than 4 years ago that Emma Shaw took part in our very first Enthusiast Photography Course, yet I still remember that she seemed to figure out what she loved shooting the most before she’d even graduated.
Her love of newborn photography came early, and as a testament to her determination to learn all.the.things, we watched her flourish in that genre in a very short space of time. In her learning journey she also embraced birth, maternity and families, and when she launched her photography business To The Shaw and Back Photography, it took off very quickly.
Emma is super busy, but to her credit, she carved out some time to chat to us about her styled newborn and maternity sessions.
“I specialise in maternity, birth, newborn and families in Noosa and the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. This little one was born 3 weeks early, but at 6 days old she was a very settled and calm little girl, so her session was a breeze from the beginning!
At the moment my sessions take place in my dining room, but I have plans drawn up for a studio that will hopefully happen next year, if I’m lucky! But you really don’t need a huge studio space. You just need to find the light in the space you’re working in and you can create beautiful images.
Most of my newborn sessions are styled, and I try to vary it with each baby, so that parents aren’t getting the exact same images as everyone else. However it doesn’t have to be a whole new concept each time – simply changing the accent colour is really subtle and very easy to do but makes a big difference to the overall look. Also, I highly encourage clients to bring along items that are meaningful to them, which makes the resulting images even more special to families.
I have some ‘go to poses’ that I know I do well and they are always present with each Newborn session. However before we start I let the client know that not all of the poses will work as not all babies will be happy in all poses.
My newborn sessions range from 2-4 hours, however I don’t shoot with a specific number of images in mind… I generally just keep going until the baby tells us he or she has had enough!
Fathers and siblings are very welcomed at newborn sessions, and if we’re including the family and siblings in the session, I’ll always start with those.
When I move onto the baby and mamma and baby shots, it’s not unusual for dad to take the older siblings to the park at the end of my street!
The biggest tip I can share is that I’ve started leaving the babies nappies on more now throughout their sessions which is making the sessions run more seamlessly.
The parents don’t get embarrassed when there is a poo-nami and we don’t need to interrupt the session to clean up!
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