With the much anticipated arrival of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s ’s baby yesterday, Kate Middleton more than anyone will understand that being a new mum for the first time can really put you in the spotlight. In fact, according to our research* over two thirds (70%) of new mothers have their photo taken within three hours of giving birth, and over half of these (40%) are straight after the birth!
Our research found that new mums are often given a raw deal when it comes to capturing those all-important first moments on camera with, on average, 19 photos of mum and baby are taken within the first week of its arrival. However 86% of first time mums aren’t happy with the photos taken in the week after giving birth – suggesting that mum needs to be consulted before you get snapping (we don’t think Kate will get that same choice though!).
And so with the excitement of the royal arrival in mind, we spoke to Royal Photographer for The Sun and Nikon user Arthur Edwards, who, with over three decades’ experience of capturing the Royal family on camera, has given us his top tips for photography around the time of a new arrival to the family:
All images © Arthur Edwards
1. Think about the light you’ve got – babies don’t like flash. If you’re in the hospital room visiting mum just after the birth, see if she can move to the window and let the natural light do its job. Our first sight of Diana with baby William was outside of the hospital and the natural light helped the photos look beautiful
2. Think about the time of day you take your pictures. Always catch the baby after a feed and a sleep so they are content, happy and giggly, and not grumpy. Ask Mum before you visit when nap time is
3. Some details may not seem the most attractive things to get into photos, but think about what you’ll want to remember and what might become important ‘firsts’. Baby William became extremely fond of a blue elephant toy, but Diana would move it away from him for pictures. She mentioned once she later wished she’d had a photo to remember the toy, as it was his first favourite
4. Lots of people will be taking pictures in the same locations, so think about using different backgrounds to help your photos stand out, like a coloured cushion underneath the baby
5. If mum is usually the photographer in your family or social group, make sure you offer to take the camera for once – remember she’ll want photos of her with her new arrival. Kate is the keenest photographer of the two, but even she will no doubt hand over the camera to William and trust him with the family album for a change
6. It’s important to have a good camera, and always have it charged! When a baby has a fit of giggles you need a camera on hand to be able to capture that moment
7. A top tip for new mums for getting a photo you’ll treasure is to make sure you’re happy with your eye make-up and keep your hair off the face. Also, a tight composition with just faces in the frame will make sure there’s no distracting detail in the background of the shot such as a hospital bed
8. When you have a great photo, PRINT it! If you haven’t got your memories, you haven’t got anything
* Research conducted by OnePoll. Fieldwork was undertaken between 2nd – 5th July 2013. Total sample size was 2000 adults.