Musings of a professional newborn, baby and child photographer in South London

How to photograph toddlers: advice by South London child photographer
10th November 2016
As a professional child photographer in London, parents often say to me "My toddler is so difficult to photograph. He never sits still and when I ask him to smile he makes a terrible face". So I thought I would share with you my top tips for photographing children between the ages of 2-5.

1. Make taking photos fun. Most toddlers will refuse to sit in one place for long and hate being told to smile, especially when they know it's something you really want! My approach is to throw a blanket over a bed for a plain background and let them play on it. Telling them to jump while you count to 3 and then landing on their bottom will get natural smiles every time!!

Child on tummy in London photography session Child laughing under blanket Photo of happy child laughing

2. Take photos in a place they are going to be relaxed in. This is the reason why I have my child photography sessions at your home rather than at a studio where kids aren't as relaxed.

3. Never ask your child to say cheese. This results in that weird grimacey smile toddlers are so good at! The best thing to do is make them laugh. This works better if you have someone behind you making silly faces or telling jokes. But make sure that person is right by your shoulder or your child will be looking slightly off-centre.

Portrait of child laughing on bed Black and white toddler at photography shoot London child with hands in air

4. Put your camera into continuous shooting mode. As toddlers move so quickly you will need to take a lot of photos to capture one where you get the perfect smile and pose.

5. Go to a local park. Taking photos on swings or slides slows down your toddler and makes capturing portraits of them much easier. You can also photograph them running as your shutter speed can be a lot faster outside when you don't need to use a flash.

6. Take photos of them just playing or being themselves. Great pictures don't need to be posed or have your child looking directly at the camera.

Child on playground in London park Photo of toddler playing football Photography of little boy in Clapham

7. Ideas for siblings include sitting one inside the others legs, putting one on top of the other, getting them to hug each other. Have a smiling competition. Alternate between smiling and pulling faces (because that moment after they pull the face you will get natural smiles). Above all, have fun with it and don't be afraid to be silly yourself!!

Siblings on top of each other in London park Child photographer: black and white photo of brothers Sisters cuddle at professional photography session

And if you need to, use bribes. Stickers and chocolate always work well :-)

To book a child photography session in London or Surrey please call Sara-Jane on 07958 734184 or email sarajane@shutterbaby.co.uk.
Merry Christmas from ShutterBaby Baby and Child Photography
24th December 2015
To all my newborn, baby, child and family photography clients in 2015, I wish you a very Merry Christmas. It has been a very busy year with around 100 families photographed around London and Surrey. For the first time ever in December I have had to turn away clients, so a very exciting time for ShutterBaby. I hope it continues into 2016! Here are a few photos of my favourite Santa babies.



I have also had a blog post published on how to take photos of your children this Christmas… please have a read here.

Again have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Hope to see you again in 2016.

Sara-Jane x

To book a newborn, baby, child, family, pregnancy or birth photography session in London or Surrey please call Sara-Jane on 07958 734184 or email sarajane@shutterbaby.co.uk.
South London newborn photographer - what to expect during your photography session
07th June 2015
I love being a newborn photographer in South London as I get to meet lots of beautiful newborn babies and their families to capture those first precious memories for them. Newborn photoshoots are best within the first 2 weeks, but I have taken some amazing newborn images at 4 or 5 weeks too; babies tend to be less curled up and more awake, but sleep better as they have stopped cluster feeding and are more settled. I have photographed many newborn babies and can guarantee that I will create images that you will treasure forever.

So what should you expect from your newborn photography session? Firstly, I come to your home so the session is more relaxed for you. I only book one newborn session per day which gives you plenty of time to feed and settle your baby - sessions can take up to 4 hours. Sessions aren't timed though and I won't leave until I know I have captured all of the images you want! I’m also entirely baby-led and the safety of your baby is paramount - I don’t force any poses they don’t want to do and all of my poses are natural rather than composites.

In terms of props, I bring along some blankets and a few accessories such as hats, headbands and my favourite heart chalk board to write your newborn's name, date of birth and weight on. I don't have any of the cheesy props such as baskets, scales or swings as my style of photography is much more natural than that. I also love to use things which mean something to you, such as blankets knitted by granny, soft toys that have been bought as presents etc.

I will normally set up in your bedroom or spare room. Hopefully there is enough natural light but if not I have a flash so no need to worry if your room is dark. And provided there is enough space for me to walk around the bed, no room is too small!

And the important bit, what pictures will I capture of your newborn? I will take a variety of photos - close ups, full body, little details such as hands and feet, with and without props and if your baby is awake and alert I will get a mix of sleeping and awake photos. If you have a newborn who is deeply asleep I will take some photos on their tummy, but be aware that not all babies like this. I will never try and force newborns into a pose that they are not comfortable in! Below are some examples of images taken in my last few newborn sessions:



If you have an older child and want sibling/ family photos too, I can also do that within the newborn session. I have lots of tricks to get toddlers to cooperate so don't worry if you think they won't sit still! Here are some examples of sibling and family portraits from a session I did in Clapham, South London last week:



After your newborn photography session I will pick the best 25-30 images and post them on my website in a password protected gallery for you to view. I generally do this within a couple of days of the shoot as I know you will be dying to see them!

Sara-Jane x

To book a newborn, baby, child, family, pregnancy or birth photography session in South London please call Sara-Jane on 07958 734184 or email sarajane@shutterbaby.co.uk.
South London family photographer - baby and chid photography session in Dulwich Park
07th June 2015
The recent beautiful summer weather has meant I have been able to do some baby, child and family photography sessions outside, which I absolutely love as not only do you get more natural images but also the beautiful light and colours make the images more stunning. Below are some photos I took recently of 9-year old Caitlin, 2-year old Joseph and 6-month old Amelie in Dulwich Park in South East London. I wouldn't recommend having a photography session outside until your baby can sit up, as lying a newborn or young baby on a blanket outside spoils the spirit of the picture!

Aren't the images beautiful? I love being a family photographer in South London in the summer! I just wish the weather was as good all year long!

Sara-Jane x



To book a newborn, baby, child, family, pregnancy or birth photography session in South London please call Sara-Jane on 07958 734184 or email sarajane@shutterbaby.co.uk.
Birth photography at Portland Hospital, London
23rd May 2015
This week I had my first ever birth photography shoot at the Portland hospital in London. I was a little apprehensive as I've never been present at a c-section birth before, but it was an amazing thing to witness. I captured photos all the way from the moment of incision, the birth itself, weighing the baby and some gorgeous first images of newborn James with his mummy and daddy. Those first intimate moments made me want to cry! I am looking forward to his newborn photography session next week where I can take some family pictures with his big brother :-)

Here are just a few of my favourite photos taken at the birth.

Sara-Jane x



To book a newborn, baby, child, family, pregnancy or birth photography session in London please call Sara-Jane on 07958 734184 or email sarajane@shutterbaby.co.uk.
Christening photographer in Clapham, South West London
23rd May 2015
Last week I photographed the christening of 3-week old newborn Delilah-Rose in Clapham, South West London. Vicars don't normally allow baby & child photographers into the church so I was extremely lucky that he was so relaxed about it. I love being able to capture those special moments through reportage style photography, as they are a lot more natural than the staged photos taken with parents, godparents, extended family etc. Lighting can be difficult in churches so it's necessary to have a camera which has a wide aperture and can cope with a high ISO. That's why hiring a professional rather than trying to take photos yourself is a great idea!

Sara-Jane x



To book a newborn, baby, child, family, pregnancy or christening photography session in Clapham, South West London please call Sara-Jane on 07958 734184 or email sarajane@shutterbaby.co.uk.
Baby and child photography session in Richmond Park, South West London
11th May 2015
Over the bank holiday weekend I met the lovely 3-year old Hugo and his 1-year old baby brother Solomon in Richmond Park, South West London. Their mummy had won a baby and child photography session which I had donated for a fundraising raffle for my nephew's playgroup in Kingston (he was in the same one as Hugo). We were blessed with the most amazing weather and so decided to do the photoshoot in the Isabella Plantation to make the most of the colourful flowers. I just love the vibrancy in the photos below, enhanced by the boys' beautiful expressions. Which is your favourite picture?

Sara-Jane x



To book a newborn, baby, child, family or pregnancy photography session in Richmond, South West London please call Sara-Jane on 07958 734184 or email sarajane@shutterbaby.co.uk.
Baby photographer in Peckham, South East London
11th May 2015
I'm loving outdoor photography sessions at the moment. Last week I was at a baby photography shoot in Peckham Rye Park, South East London with the gorgeous and smiley 10-month old Hamish and his family. I first met the family at a charity photoshoot I did for Kings Cross hospital and they loved the photos so much they wanted to have some more. The session was so much fun as Hamish has started walking around hand-holding which made him constantly happy :-)

Here are my favourite pictures from the day, I love the way the light catches in Hamish's beautiful green eyes and makes them sparkle.

Sara-Jane x



To book a newborn, baby, child, family or pregnancy photography session in Peckham, South East London please call Sara-Jane on 07958 734184 or email sarajane@shutterbaby.co.uk.
Christening photography in Herne Hill/ Dulwich, South London
10th May 2015
Last week I was in my home town of Herne Hill, South London photographing a christening. The actual service was in Dulwich, but the vicar wouldn't allow photos inside the church, and the rain put paid to photos outside, so the photography session was held at the family home. I have met the family previously when I took Flynn's newborn photos last November when he was just a tiny 3-week old baby. He is now a super smiley and gorgeous 6-month old. He takes after his 2-year old brother Austin in that respect!

Christenings are very different from my normal photography sessions as it's more about the adults than the children!! Below are a few of the pictures I took of Flynn and Austin with their parents and their grandparents.

Sara-Jane x



To book a newborn, baby, child, family or pregnancy photography session in Herne Hill or Dulwich, South London please call Sara-Jane on 07958 734184 or email sarajane@shutterbaby.co.uk.
Baby photographer in East Dulwich, South London - outdoor location session
30th April 2015
Last week, I made the most of the lovely spring weather by holding a baby and family photography session outdoors in Dulwich Park, East Dulwich, South London. The baby was the very gorgeous and smiley 1-year old Sophia. Her family only wanted a couple of photos - one of Sophia on her own and one of the three of them - as presents for Sophia's granddad's 70th birthday. I threw in a double-aperture print with both photos, what a nice baby photographer I am! I totally love it, what do you think? :-)

Sara-Jane x



To book a newborn, baby, child, family or pregnancy photography session in East Dulwich, South London please call Sara-Jane on 07958 734184 or email sarajane@shutterbaby.co.uk.
Newborn photographer in East Dulwich, South London - family of four
30th April 2015
It's been a quiet month for session bookings and client orders but the ones I did have were fab! I met the gorgeous 4 week old twins Arabella and Jasper and their big sisters Saskia and Lexi at a newborn photography session in East Dulwich, South London. The twins were an absolute dream and slept soundly whilst cuddling each other, while Saskia and Lexi did exactly what I asked them to (unusual for toddlers!!). I love being a newborn photographer when children are this gorgeous :-) The family picture of the four of them is one of my favourite sibling photos of all time!

Sara-Jane x



To book a newborn, baby, child, family or pregnancy photography session in East Dulwich, South London please call Sara-Jane on 07958 734184 or email sarajane@shutterbaby.co.uk.
Baby and family photographer in Bermondsey, South East London - Cillian's session
31st March 2015
I met the very cute 9-week old Cillian at a baby and family photography session in Bermondsey, South East London this week. While I love taking photos of newborns under 2 weeks, older babies are starting to show off their personality… and Cillian definitely did that, with his huge beaming smile. I love the photos below, and the family picture is one of my all-time favourites - just gorgeous :-) What do you think?

Sara-Jane x



Click to view my home page, further examples of my images in my galleries or my pricing page.

To book a newborn, baby, child, family or pregnancy photography session in Bermondsey, South East London please call Sara-Jane on 07958 734184 or email sarajane@shutterbaby.co.uk.
Child photographer in Balham, South West London - lifestyle photography session
31st March 2015
This week I photographed the gorgeous Xavier at a child photography session in Balham, South West London. This is the third time I have met Xavier, as his family had purchased my popular Watch Me Grow package, where you get three photography sessions in a year. I did a lifestyle photography session, so rather than throwing a blanket over the bed to create a studio-like environment, I take photos of the child in their own environment - playing, reading, laughing… This works really well for toddlers, as they don't like to sit in one place for very long!!

What do you think of the portraits below?

Sara-Jane x



Click to view my home page, further examples of my images in my galleries or my pricing page.

To book a newborn, baby, child, family or pregnancy photography session in Balham, South West London please call Sara-Jane on 07958 734184 or email sarajane@shutterbaby.co.uk.
Family photography session in Putney, South West London
31st March 2015
I met the beautiful 10-yr old Karena, 8-yr old Leon and 11 month old Louis at a family photography session in Putney, South West London this week. I don't very often get to take photos of older children, so it was a lot of fun. Especially with Karena - as she has done a lot of modelling herself she knew exactly how to pose. The great thing about older children is that they take direction really well, which made the family photo below just so adorable. Don't you just love it :-)

Sara-Jane x



Click to view my home page, further examples of my images in my galleries or my pricing page.

To book a newborn, baby, child, family or pregnancy photography session in Putney, South West London please call Sara-Jane on 07958 734184 or email sarajane@shutterbaby.co.uk.
Dulwich family photographer session - South East London photography
26th March 2015
One of my favourite ever families to photograph was 3-year old Dexter and his 7-month old baby brother Aden at a family photography session in Dulwich, South East London. 3-year olds are generally a difficult age to photograph as they don't generally do what you ask, and are too young to be susceptible to bribes! But Dexter was such an angel, and as long as I let him climb on my back and take some photos himself between takes he would do what I wanted. My favourite pictures of the family are below - I really like black and white family photos :-)

Sara-Jane x



Click to view my home page, further examples of my images in my galleries or my pricing page.

To book a newborn, baby, child, family or pregnancy photography session in Dulwich, South East London please call Sara-Jane on 07958 734184 or email sarajane@shutterbaby.co.uk.
Baby, child and family photographer in Blackheath, South East London - Alex's session
14th March 2015
I went to Blackheath in South East London to meet the lovely 7-month old Alex for a baby, child and family photography session last week. I had met him, his big sister and family before for a newborn photography session. However I prefer this age for natural smiles, tummy time and personality shining through. He was so well behaved and was an absolute joy to photograph. Which is your favourite picture?

Sara-Jane x



Click to view my home page, further examples of my images in my galleries or my pricing page.

To book a newborn, baby, child, family or pregnancy photography session in Blackheath, South East London please call Sara-Jane on 07958 734184 or email sarajane@shutterbaby.co.uk.
Baby, child and family photographer in Hammersmith, West London - Vivaan's session
11th March 2015
I met the smiley 5-month old Vivaan, his brother and family at a baby, child and family photography session in Hammersmith, West London last week. I was due to go before Christmas when Vivaan was 3 months old but I am so glad we waited, as 5-7 months is one of my favourite times to photograph babies. They are generally more smiley (especially on demand) and able to do more - tummy time being one of my favourite baby poses! I also love the mini yoga pose with Vivaan holding his foot. What a beautiful set of photos the family chose :-)

Sara-Jane x




Click to view my home page, further examples of my images in my galleries or my pricing page.

To book a newborn, baby, child, family or pregnancy photography session in Hammersmith, West London please call Sara-Jane on 07958 734184 or email sarajane@shutterbaby.co.uk.
Newborn baby photographer in Greenwich, South East London - Theo's session
08th March 2015
Another newborn baby photography session this week was with the gorgeous 7-day old Theo in Greenwich, South East London. I come to your home for your newborn photography session, bringing with me various blankets and props to use to make your newborn baby look even more beautiful! My favourites are the baby blue blanket below and the little heart chalk board on which you can write your newborn's date of birth and weight. These are the family's favourite photos, what do you think?

Sara-Jane x



Click to view my home page, further examples of my images in my galleries or my pricing page.

To book a newborn, baby, child, family or pregnancy photography session in Greenwich, South East London please call Sara-Jane on 07958 734184 or email sarajane@shutterbaby.co.uk.
Newborn and family photography session in Chelsea, London - Elliot's session
06th March 2015
Last week I went to Chelsea in central London for a newborn and family photography session with the beautiful 20-day old Elliot. I had previously met mummy and daddy for a pregnancy photography session as they had booked in for my popular Bump to Baby Package. During a newborn session I will take a mixture of colour and black and white photos to give to the family to choose, both of the newborn baby on their own, mummy and baby, daddy and baby and the whole family together. As such, newborn photography sessions can last up to four hours! These are my favourite black and white pictures from the day. I particularly love the nose to nose one with daddy :-)

Sara-Jane x



Click to view my home page, further examples of my images in my galleries or my pricing page.

To book a newborn, baby, child, family or pregnancy photography session in Chelsea, London please call Sara-Jane on 07958 734184 or email sarajane@shutterbaby.co.uk.
Baby and child photography fundraising event for Kings College Hospital, Denmark Hill, South London
05th March 2015
This week I was at All Fired Up Cafe in East Dulwich for a baby and child photography fundraising event for Kings College Hospital in Denmark Hill, South London. The event was a huge success! 12 mums, 15 babies and children, 36 photos and a total of £360 raised in total for them. Yaaaaay!!! Here's a selection of the gorgeous photos of the babies, children and families who came along to get their photographs taken and to support such a worthy cause :-) I hope to do many more photography sessions like this one.

Sara-Jane x



Click to view my home page, further examples of my images in my galleries or my pricing page.

To book a newborn, baby, child, family or pregnancy photography session in East Dulwich or Denmark Hill, South London please call Sara-Jane on 07958 734184 or email sarajane@shutterbaby.co.uk.