I often get asked what my favourite age to photograph is, and although my honest answer is “it’s difficult to choose’. I would have to say that photographing babies, (especially newborns) is a magical experience. Being part of those first days of life and sharing the journey with the parents at such a special time is such an honour and privilege.
I love the fact that I get to be an honorary member of the family and I cherish the opportunity to capture such important images. The parents, grandparents, siblings and friends are so full of love and joy, I soak up and relish the energy of it all. So I have made a personal commitment, to help families invest in their memories. Once such heirloom piece I enjoy creating is the one year baby album. It tells the story for the baby’s first year of development. The journey starts at either the hospital, or at home, within the first twelve days of life.
The first time I attended the hospital was a huge learning experience. On high alert, and eager not to miss the event, I rushed to the hospital when I received the text message saying my mother-to-be, Victoria, had gone into labour, only to find myself waiting for twelve hours. I sat through the night, patiently, listening to her labour as it progressed. In fact, at 5am, when there was still no baby, I left the hospital to get some rest. I made this decision with a heavy heart knowing that I could risk missing the birth, but equally, I knew I had to be fifty miles away by midday to photograph a birthday party. Of course, after two hours rest at 0815, I received a text message with the birth announcement, so I drove like Kimi Raikkonen back to the hospital, to capture the newborn portraits at 2 hours old.
For privacy, the curtains were drawn around Victoria’s bed, and the baby was lying in the crib. It was such a small space, the lighting was poor and being a newborn baby, I wasn’t using flash. So, with the help of Grandma, we wheeled the crib to the nearest window where I just took the newborn portrait capturing the moment as it was – natural and breath-taking. I was gone 15 minutes later.
Some say that the birth of a baby is a private affair and professional photography at the hospital isn’t the right time or place. Personally speaking, I am happy to attend the hospital if asked. But speaking from experience, newborn photography is easier and more relaxed when done at home once mother and baby are fully rested, where the room is warm, space is plentiful, where there are lots of natural light, and there are no time restrictions.
London Portrait Photographer Kim Rix strives to create beautiful family heirlooms, making memories precious, across London, Essex and the UK.