Britain & Ireland’s Next Top (Baby) Model

A couple of weeks ago I was browsing Facebook and found myself doing something that I’ve never done before. No, it wasn’t looking at photos of friends’ girlfriends in bikinis whilst on their holidays (I’ve obviously never done that…), but it involved taking a keen interest in one of the “suggested posts” that appeared on my timeline.

Instead of the usual advert for an obscure band, a betting company or a football site, the ad was for a newborn photo-shoot in Hertfordshire.

Rather than worry about the what, why and how Mr Zuckerberg knew that this would interest me, or the implications associated with the rich geek seemingly knowing more about me than my own wife, I thought about how nice it would be to professionally capture Baby L in her newborn state. And by this, I don’t mean in a creepy Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Child Catcher way or by using Carbonite to freeze her a la Han Solo.

The deal was for a 30-minute, newborn baby photo-shoot over the Bank holiday weekend with local photographer Becki Williams for the bargain price of just £15. Not only would we get some nice photos, but it would also be one of our first proper outings as a family and be a good opportunity to face any fears about changing a nappy or breastfeeding somewhere outside of the confines of the four walls of our house.

It was also an investment. Considering how cute Baby L is, it won’t be too long before the photos are with the UK’s leading model agencies and she would be appearing as “Baby Girl 1”, “Crying Child” or “Toddler Eating Cereal” in TV adverts, blockbuster films and designer brand campaigns. Whilst she goes out to work to earn her keep, I’d be laughing all the way to the bank. Or more likely, I’d be laughing whilst sipping mojitos on my own exotic holiday as our butler went to the bank.

Back to reality (for now). We hadn’t really considered a newborn photo-shoot, but having looked at Becki’s website and having dropped her a quick email for more info, we were booked in at 10am on the Saturday. We were given the option of having the photo-shoot at home, or in the nearby National Trust estate, to which we chose the latter. Becki even generously offered to give us a two-hour shoot with two free photos, instead of the 30-minute shoot we’d initially gone for, for the same price. It’s a shame that other companies don’t offer such a personable and value for money service as that!

We arrived a few minutes late, after our model in training decided to be sick just before we put her into the car, and met Becki at the Cafe. After introductions, we had a wander round as she took us to a spot she’d scouted earlier and as we answered a couple of questions as to the type of photos we wanted.

Once settled, Becki opened her goodie bag to reveal an array of scarves, blankets and hats to use as props for the shoot. She put some of these out, got the little one comfortable and then started snapping. In true diva style, Baby L decided to throw a couple of hissy fits during the two-hours as she demanded food, a clean bum and attention – Naomi Campbell eat your heart out!

Newborn Baby Photoshoot

Taking photos of the photographer taking photos. Wonder if this is how they got the idea for Inception…

Despite the difficulties of photographing a model that is both uncooperative, unapologetic and unpredictable, Becki remained calm, reassuring and professional throughout. The two-hours were enjoyable, and in between soothing our little bundle of joy, she was even able to take a few photos!

Having seen the edited proofs two weeks after the shoot, we were more than happy to part with some more of our hard earned cash in order to buy digital copies of a number of the photos (5 for (£20). We liked the vast majority of the photos, so choosing the best ones was a pretty difficult task! However, after much deliberation, we finally chose our favourites and now plan to replace old photos around the house with these new treasures. Below are a couple of the photos we chose for your viewing pleasure – Lights…Camera…Action!

Baby L Photoshoot Hat

Photoshoot Baby L

Baby L photoshoot grass

Dave Hay Baby Photoshoot

Having seen the results, we are delighted to have these early days captured due to the photo-shoot and would recommend doing so to other new parents. We’ve taken thousands of photos ourself in the first few weeks, but no matter how creative I get, they are never going to be to the same standard as those captured by a pro. Plus, any photo the missus takes is usually blurred or obscured with a finger!

If you’re in the Hertfordshire area, then give Becki a holla if you’re looking for any bump, baby, child or family photos. We can’t recommend her highly enough. Her website is www.beckiwilliams.co.uk and she’s also on Twitter @BeckiWPhotos and on Facebook BeckiWilliamsPhotography.

Did you have, or are you planning on having, a photo-shoot with your newborn? How do you capture the special moments with your family? Also, as a random question, what’s with some people taking photos of babies in baskets or flower pots?!

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