I've been keeping this project to myself for a while, but now that we've announced our pregnancy I couldn't wait to share it any longer!
I have been subtly posting clues to what I've been doing so far on my facebook and instagram pages. Here are some of the pictures:
For those of you that don't know, a rainbow baby is a baby conceived after a loss. Sadly, we lost a pregnancy just before our son's first birthday. I wanted to be able to include that baby within our pregnancy photographs this time around. A lovely way to do this, I thought, would be to have a rainbow theme and dress in all the colours of the rainbow (the ones that don't look horrible on me at least) across the different photoshoots.
I started with red. Finley, our one year old son, didn't really understand what was going on and had no idea where to look. I had to do all the manual camera setups, including focus, without a subject matter! The timer for the photographs seemed to delay and was a bit temperamental and Matthew, my husband, has the shortest attention span of any adult I've ever met. Let's just say we didn't manage a whole family picture that time around.
Despite what seemed like a total nightmare at the time, I think we came away with some lovely images.
I skipped orange - NOT my colour! Actually, I didn't really think yellow was either but the photographs turned out pretty great. Finley thinks that 'baby' means 'belly button' and he loves to show off knowing where things are. So we asked him where mummy's baby was and he reached straight out for my tummy! In the photograph of just me and Finley, Matthew fake sneezed repeatedly next to the tripod, which Finley found hilarious.
We had to wait for Finley to have a nap to get the shot of me and Matthew. Even for a photographer, the curtain shot was a difficult one. I had to manually set the focus on Matthew and then run behind the curtain, hoping neither the curtain, nor Matthew, made a move.
To separate up the photo-shoots, we made an announcement photograph. Finley did not want to stay still for this, so we were all looking in different directions and jumping after him. I loved the photo of Finley giggling while we hung him upside down, but you couldn't see the t-shirt and that was the main point of the picture.
We are looking forward to our next photoshoot which will be green! What do you all think of these photoshoots? Has anyone done anything similar? Any other pregnant mummies with rainbow babies?
The most important aspect to consider when choosing a photographer for your most precious and important little bundle of joy is whether they are going to handle your baby safely. Most of the photos you see on a professional photographer's website will be edited a little bit. This means that if a pose looks a little unnatural or dangerous, the likelihood is that it isn't what it seems and probably is a composite image. A composite image is an image that is created from merging one or more photographs and manipulated to look like one photograph.
One has to be especially careful with newborn photography as babies under about 1 month old are unable to hold their heads up. A big red flag is if a photographer attempts to 'balance' a neborn to quickly get the shot. Personally, I won't do poses such as the 'froggy' pose (moving the baby's hands to look like they are holding their own heads up) without a trained assistant. I will write a seperate blog specifically for newborn posing later on, but for now lets have a look at some basic techniques for safely posing babies.
On top of lone or unstable objects
There are two ways we can go about achieving this look. Either with baby being fully supported by mum or dad, or with her not being on the object in the first place. One way to do this is by manipulating and merging multiple images together as described above. The other way to do this is to take a seperate picture of baby in the correct position and completely replace the background to look like baby is sitting on a chair alone when actually they are on a mat on the floor.
At the end of the day, you will get a feel for what is safe and what isn't. If you are doubting your photographer's ability to safely pose your baby, then make sure you are vocal about it as you are the one hiring them. It's always better to err on the side of caution and to not let anyone do anything with your baby what you wouldn't feel 100% comfortable doing yourself at home.
Sadly, 95% of them end up on the floor. I think the lesson here is to keep them as treats and only offer small portions. He used to put about 9 of them on my sons tray and let him have at them!
If you aren't a professional chef and are more of a beginner in the kitchen like me, then I have a few useful ideas for you! From the moment your child perfects their 'pincer grip', they will be going after the tiniest objects they can find to put in her mouth. Great foods that they will love in this stage include peas, sweetcorn, raisins and blueberries. In fact, this will work with any fruit or veg if you cut it up small enough to peak their interest. A great way to incorporate this into a meal is with rice, pasta or scrambled egg.
Proteins are important for our little ones as they help to maintain healthy muscles and bones. Salmon, turkey and sausages are always popular options in our house and are very easy to cook. Salmon contains essential omega-3 fatty acids as well as a variety of other vitamins. You would have thought that sausages would be a rather fatty option, but we have found that Heck sausages are made of 97% pork and are delicious! Make sure to cut the sausages small enough so that they are not a choking hazard. Turkey is a lifesaver in our house as we don't eat chicken. My husband makes the most amazing turkey pie and fills it with loads of vegetables. Turkey thigh meat is relatively cheap and flavorsome and it stays moist more easily than turkey breast. My husband likes to finely chop spinach, kale and parsley and add it to the pie too. It is hardly noticeable, but adds a nice herby flavour as well as a great superfood health boost!
I recently asked some other mums of toddlers what they give their little ones for snacks/mealtimes. Here are a few of their ideas:
My husband loves taking my son to see the horses down the road. After seeing other people walk through the fields (and with no signs to say otherwise) he decided that it was acceptable to go into the field to greet the horses. So, we set out on an adventure!
These horses were no fools - they could see us coming a mile away! They decided to come and say hello.
Something about this puts my husband on edge and he swiftly heads for the exit!
We then decided it was better to see the horses from the other side of the fence!
If you're living in fear of hearing the dreaded words "Mum! I'm bored!" or god forbid you've already heard them, then you'll be glad to read some of my ideas for what to do with the kids this summer.
I have two approaches to how I spend my free time: I'll either head out to all the baby groups and events I can or I take the opportunity to stay inside and relax in my pyjamas with my hubby and son! If you relate more to the latter approach and just need to find a few things for the kids to do at home then stay tuned for future blog posts about creative ideas to do with the kids at home!
Going out for a meal or coffee is so much easier when the little ones have somewhere to play! There are tons of family friendly places to eat in Bristol with outdoor playparks, but a few have been popping up with indoor play areas too. The Crafty Cow in Horfield is a personal favourite and has often provided me with a much less stressful way of going out for coffee and catching up with friends. The Eastfield Inn and Playful Cafe are other great places with indoor play areas. Mothercare in Eastgate shopping centre as well as in Cribbs Causeway have cafes and the one in Cribbs even has a softplay!
Churches and community centres often have activities on throughout the summer and may offer alternatives to their usual groups. Henbury and Brentry Children's Centres offer stay and play groups and often organise days out. Filton Avenue Children Centre are hosting picnics and even provide fun indoor activities if it rains! Cairns Road Baptist Church have a nice cafe with a children's play area - it's good value for money too!
There are quite a few softplays in Bristol but I have to say that our favourite at the moment is Jump in Cribbs Causeway which has an absolutely huge play area for kids (and adults!) of all ages. If that isn't nearby for you, then Kudacan would be another option. It is a more cozy softplay area where you can meet old and new friends while enjoying a cuppa. Other softplays include Playspace and Noah's Ark.
Other activities in Bristol include: