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 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 were given the option of having the photo-shoot at home, or in the nearby National Trust estate, to which we chose the latter. We arrived a few minutes late, thanks to our model in training deciding to be sick just before we put her into the car. After introductions, we had a wander around as Becki the photographer 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

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 liked the vast majority of the photos, which made choosing the best ones 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 ourselves 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!

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?