We are pleased to continue Design Aglow’s Baby Week 2016 with a fantastic feature from newborn photographers Lauren and Rachel from Sweet Root Village. Enjoy!
Sweet Root Village is made up of a small crew of twenty-something year olds marching to the beat of our own drum.We began over a glass of wine and dreams of a creative and wonderful future doing what we love most: photography and floral design. These two creative outlets merged our individual passions and have grown to be inseparable from who we are.
When it comes to photography, we love capturing details, whether that is the small intimate moments between a mother and her child, or an artist honing their craft. We find the truest moments when photographing people in the space where their purpose is most revealed. Our ideal subject is someone who can be vulnerable in their images by taking us into both the sweet moments as well as the trying times of their everyday life. We are blown away by the incredible miracle of birth and photographing newborns and their families has come naturally to us. Every moment of a newborn's life is filled with so much love and vulnerability and that's exactly the sort of experience we want to be a part of. There is so much beauty to capture here!
While every newborn photographer has their own preference, we find that babies are the easiest to photograph in the first few days of life - ideally in the first week! That’s when newborns are the most sleepy and happy, so we are always able to capture some incredibly sweet moments. The older they get, the less likely it will be that they will fall asleep for us. Wide eyed babies are also adorable, so if you've missed your window, it's absolutely not the end of the world!
We tend to travel to client’s homes for most of our newborn sessions. Due to the transit, we like to keep our bags pretty light. Our cameras and a fixed lens are always present, but beyond that it truly depends on the situation. Sometimes we come bearing cozy blankets and a space heater! But typically, we prefer to work with the elements already present and important in a home.
It’s always recommended that the entire family is present during the photoshoot, as this is the perfect time to capture everyone together. Here are some of our top tips for creating the best environment for the photoshoot:
Newborn photography comes with some hurdles, too. Surprisingly, one of the more challenging elements of a newborn session is posing mom and dad! This can be, very understandably, a vulnerable time for mom in the first few days after having baby. And the entire experience can incredibly stressful and nerve wrecking for a set of new parents. Plus everyone is extra sleepy and not quite feeling themselves. Babies can be sensitive to stressful situations, so the less stressed that their parents are, the happier they will be.
We do our best to make everyone feel at ease and take the reins as we don't want the shoot to feel like too much work. We want it to be completely wrapped up in sleepy baby snuggles and smiles and kisses on little noses. Due to that, we do our best to keep the focus on that little baby everyone is gathered for and whip out an arsenal of jokes to keep things light and relaxed.
In our experience, we don't recommend diving into the fancy propped up newborn poses everyone sees on Pinterest during a shoot (unless you are working with a photographer that is very experienced with this process). There is a lot more to it than it initially appears and those who excel will know the best way to work with mom, dad, and baby to make the magic happen and keep baby safe the whole while through!
Personally, we typically shoot a very relaxed style and often times there isn't much posing involved for baby. We let them do their thing and adjust a little bit of clothing here or blanket there. We definitely recommend keeping the room you are shooting in quite warm. It means less accidents if there are nakey baby pictures and also keeps baby much happier and super comfy.
Thank you so much, ladies.
Sweet Root Village is based in Alexandria, VA, but travels worldwide. We spend half our days telling real stories through candid captures and the other half elbow deep in armfuls of flowers. EST. 2010.
To view more of Sweet Root Village's work, visit them here.
As photographers, we’re always on the lookout for new tools that will make our workflow faster and easier (while making our images look their best), and when we found Mastin Labs’ film presets for Lightroom, specifically Fuji Pro, Ilford B&W and Kodak Portra, we knew we had hit gold!
We downloaded and installed all three, and watched the included Getting Started tutorials Edit Your First Image and Using Tone Profiles that hold your hand and walk you through the presets and how they work.
The presets are incredibly easy to use, and quick to apply. And, we love that they are designed to replicate the films that we have known and loved.