Baby’s first photo shoot
As a photographer, I’ve been really excited about having a baby because it’s like giving birth to your own little model. I already have visions of her in little red wellies and tutus in a few years’ time. I’m hoping that she won’t come to hate being photographed, as happens to so many children of snap-happy parents. My grandfather was a keen photographer and took many pictures of my father, who started scowling at the camera in every photo from age two.
Her first photo shoot is an event I’d been looking forward to since I found out I was pregnant. We decided to do something a little different from the images we usually take of newborns in cute hats and colourful blankets; we wanted to introduce a bit of vintage into some of the images, as it’s a particular love of mine. The strapline of Julia Boggio Studios is “Portraits for the famous at heart”, meaning we like to do more theatrical pieces. With that in mind, we decided to go back to our roots with a few of Baby’s photos and use sets and props in a series we call “The Vintage Nursery”.
I also wanted to get some simple family shots. In fact, these were really important to me. We always get these types of images in our newborn shoots at the studio, but now I understand that, in a way, I prefer them to the cute pictures of Baby. But it’s great that we’ve got both kinds.
My favourite of the nursery series is the one with the little horse, where Baby is on the chair. It was inspired by the book, The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams, which was a particular favourite of mine as a child. James and I had a reading from this book at our wedding:
The Skin Horse had lived longer in the nursery than any of the others. He was so old that his brown coat was bald in patches and showed the seams underneath, and most of the hairs in his tail had been pulled out to string bead necklaces. He was wise, for he had seen a long succession of mechanical toys arrive to boast and swagger, and by-and-by break their mainsprings and pass away, and he knew that they were only toys, and would never turn into anything else. For nursery magic is very strange and wonderful, and only those playthings that are old and wise and experienced like the Skin Horse understand all about it.
“What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”
“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”
“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.
“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”
“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”
“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”
“I suppose you are real?” said the Rabbit. And then he wished he had not said it, for he thought the Skin Horse might be sensitive.
But the Skin Horse only smiled.
A two-hour Newborn session at our Studio is £75 and a one-hour Baby session is £45. For newborns, it is best to bring your baby in the first 10 days. Please do book early as we have limited space for newborn shoots. And yes, we can do the Vintage Nursery set ups for both newborns and babies, boys and girls. Please phone 0207 042 9777 to book or for more info.
Thank you to Nicholas & Steele for supplying the wonderful authentic vintage props.