Safety first – Royal baby or not!

Prince George with his newborn baby sister Princess Charlotte. Photo: Kate Middleton
Prince George with his newborn baby sister Princess Charlotte. Photo: Kate Middleton

Who else cooed over the adorable photos of Princess Charlotte and her gorgeous big brother Prince George?

Taken by mum Kate Middleton, they captured a beautiful moment of sibling harmony – long may that last!

Babies change so much that it’s easy to fill albums, or memory sticks, with hundreds of photos of them, and of course it’s nice to have professional shots as well.

There are some lovely images out there – just take a look at our Baby of the Month gallery for inspiration – but it’s not as easy as it may appear.

Some of the most popular poses require not only specialist training but exceptional skill as well. Take, for example, the head-on-hands shot. Looks like we’ve just arranged the baby, hopped back to the camera, clicked the shutter and that’s all there is to it, right?

Newborn baby pose
An image like this is not as easy to create as it may appear

Wrong. In actual fact, that pose – and many like it – is actually created from several images seamlessly blended together. It wouldn’t be safe to prop a delicate, vulnerable newborn in that position and then leave it there – never mind the fact that they wouldn’t be able to support their own weight.

So we don’t. Instead, we use mum, dad or one of our specially-trained assistants, to support the baby’s head and limbs as we take several shots and then create the finished image.

Then there’s the baby-in-sling shot. Looks like we’ve just made a baby parcel, hoiked it up and there’s your photo, right?

Wrong again. Would you want your precious, days-old baby, lifted in the air and dangled by a piece of material? Probably not. So instead, we put the material under the baby and lift the ends, but leaving the baby on a safe surface, usually a beanbag, with mum or dad inches away. Then we substitute baby for something else to get the shot above ground – a bag of sugar or something similar works well. Again, digital skills are needed to create the finished product.

And it’s not just the poses. The studio environment is important too when you’re dealing with the smallest humans. It’s not simply a case of walking in off the street and starting to snap away – preparation is key.

For our part, we make sure the room is warm, not too bright and with nice comfy spaces for mum or dad to sit if baby needs a cuddle or a feed. We ask parents to bring their baby’s favourite things, toys or comforters, to reassure them and help bring a smile. And a few changes of clothes are also a good idea, for variety in the pictures and in case of messy moments.

So we’re willing to bet that even that relaxed, family snapshot released by Kensington Palace was more complicated than it seemed – and Prince William, or a member of the Royal household was just out of shot in case Prince George suddenly got bored of being the loving big brother!


Leo and Mason are Babies of the Month


Leo and Mason Ripley were winners in the April Baby of the Month competition.
Leo and Mason Ripley were winners in the April Baby of the Month competition.

If you were in east Kent earlier today, you may have heard some excited squeals coming from our photographic studio.

It wasn’t delighted clients viewing their images, or a group of friends having fun on a makeover shoot – although similar sounds are often heard then. Instead, it was our reaction to the news that this image of beautiful baby boys was a winner in the national Baby of the Month competition.

We’ve written something for our local papers to use, so we thought we’d share it with you too…we’ll be sharing the May Baby of the Month images soon, and June is booking up so please do get in touch if you’d like your little one in the spotlight!

Little Leo and Mason Ripley were named top of the shots in the competition after scores from a panel of professional photographers and mums, winning the title for the studio and £100 Mothercare vouchers for their proud mum Rozella.

The points were added to scores awarded based on the number of Facebook likes to find the winners for the April 2015 competition, who will now be entered into the 2015 Baby of the Year competition.

Photographer Doug Brown, who runs Style Photography in Herne Bay High Street with partner Sheila Mann, said they were delighted with the accolade.

He said: “All babies are adorable and it’s a real pleasure to be able to work with them and their parents.

“But as all parents will know, little ones can be tricky models and it does take skill and patience to get the best shots.

“Leo and Mason were fantastic in the studio but getting both of them to look in the same direction at the same time took quite a lot of work!

“We were so pleased when we heard the results, because unlike a lot of other competitions it’s not just a popularity contest where the winner is the one with the most ‘likes’ on Facebook.

“Instead, professional photographers and mums give their scores too so it really is a judge of our skills.”

Leo and Mason’s mum Rozella will receive a £100 Mothercare voucher and is in with a chance of winning £2,000 in the Baby of the Year competition.

Judging has now begun for the May Baby of the Month competition, and Doug and Sheila are busy with bookings for June. Entry is free and they are offering special deals on prints from the studio sessions. For more information call 01227 370650 or text BOMCOMP to 07824 166141.