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BettyBhandari | Betty Bhandari . Wedding and Family Photography
Newborn portraits of my first rainbow baby

Newborn portraits of my first rainbow baby

End of November I had the huge honour to take portraits of one week old baby James, my first rainbow baby. For those who don’t know, a rainbow baby is a baby born after the loss of a previous baby, either through miscarriage, stillbirth or infant death.

James’s parents Katie and Adam tragically lost baby Olivia after 36 weeks of uncomplicated pregnancy and she was born asleep. Having photographed their wedding a couple of years prior, I was thrilled when Katie announced her pregnancy and booked me in for newborn portraits. When she told me about Olivia’s birth and death I was deeply moved and totally devastated. Having had two children myself I was familiar with the subject of the importance of monitoring the foetal movements and the worries associated with not feeling the baby. In Olivia’s case there were no warning signs, no hereditary issues and it happened very suddenly. Did you know that as many as 1 in 200 babies are born asleep in the UK? A terribly high number that makes my heart bleed.

In the UK 1 in every 200 babies are stillborn.

So you can imagine my joy when Katie sent me an email to say that they were expecting another baby and that in fact she was induced the very next day. Baby James was born without any complications and was completely healthy! Within a week I had the pleasure not only to photograph him, but also to hold him, give him a snuggle and even a bottle of milk!

The portrait session took place in Katie and Adam’s home which is where I prefer to take newborn pictures as the parents simply feel most comfortable at home. The shoot was very emotional, we laughed and we cried (me on the way home when I was alone in the car). But it wasn’t only sad, it was also meaningful, celebrating life, showing what an amazing bond Katie and Adam have to have gone through this together. It shows that hope and love are stronger that despair and fear. The pain of Olivia’s death will never go away, but it has been made bearable by the birth of her brother. Or as Katie herself put it – she said that Olivia had selected a little sibling and sent him/her towards Katie & Adam.

So while I go and wipe the tears from my face, I leave you to enjoy these precious pictures.

 

rainbow baby newborn portrait

newborn baby portraits hand detail

sleeping newborn on bed

For more information & to check availability:

(or so simply say hi)

3 + 12 =

I’m located in Bath, Somerset.

email   betty.bhandari@gmx.net

phone 07984 029 639

I will get back to you within 48 hours maximum. In the unlikely event that you don’t hear back from me please check your email spam folder.

When Dad is missing at the wedding (a moment in pictures)

When Dad is missing at the wedding (a moment in pictures)

Over the years I have learnt to ask specific questions during the pre-wedding meeting, one of which is directed at the bride: “Who is going to walk you down the aisle?”

You can and should never take the answer to this question for granted as there are various family circumstances that might change the answer to the question. Most brides answer with ‘Dad’, but some brides might not have a good contact with Dad so chose mum or Dad might no longer be around to walk his daughter down the aisle.

“Such a special photo for you to capture ❤ Thank you Betty!”

This was the case at Ed & Colette’s wedding at Aldwick Court Farm last year. Sadly Dad had passed away after short illness when Colette was a teenager and her brother stepped up to walk her down the aisle. During the ceremony and shortly before Ed and COlette exchange vows and rings both mothers stepped forward to be with their children. Colette’s mum grabbed her hand and I saw the ‘Dad’ tattoo which made him very much part of the moment, the day and their wedding.

For more information & to check availability:

(or so simply say hi)

2 + 2 =

I’m located in Bath, Somerset.

email    betty.bhandari@gmx.net

phone   +44 (0)7984 029 639

I will get back to you within 48 hours maximum. In the unlikely event that you don’t hear back from me please check your email spam folder.

Surprise Engagement at the Palladian Bridge in Bath

Surprise Engagement at the Palladian Bridge in Bath

Prior Park engagement portrait session

In the summer I had the pleasure of photographing a surprise engagement on the beautiful Palladian Bridge in Bath. Shehan had contacted me a few weeks in advance to share his plans of proposing to his girlfriend on a day trip to Bath. They were lucky to have a beautiful sunny summer’s day.

I got to Prior Park well before them to set up camp not far from the bridge, with my cameras ready and hidden under my rucksack. Once Shehan and Kumari finished their picnic, they started wandering towards the bridge and it all got very exciting. After a short while (of probably gathering his courage) Shehan fell down on one knee and held up his ring. They were too far away for me to hear them but not too far to catch them with my zoom lens. She said yes and there were hugs, kisses and tears.

Then he turned around and pointed at me, which added to Kumari’s surprise. After a moment of calming down, we went for a walk together through the park and took some portraits of the newly engaged couple. I have to say I have a lot of respect for Shehan to propose in front of my camera as I have no doubt this must have been an immense act of courage. But now they have the moment captured in pictures forever!

If you are planning a surprise engagement for your partner and would like to have the moment captured, please don’t hesitate to contact me – I can help you find the right location, plan the necessary details and help make it a memorable event!

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More lovely couples:

Surprise Engagement at the Palladian Bridge in Bath

Prior Park engagement portrait session In the summer I had the pleasure of photographing a surprise engagement on the beautiful Palladian Bridge in Bath. Shehan had contacted me a few weeks in advance to share his plans of proposing to his girlfriend on a...

Summer Engagement Portraits

These are beautiful Lydia and Andrew. We met for our engagement portraits a month before their wedding which was one of my most anticipated weddings this year for one wonderful reason: Lydia is the third of three siblings and I have photographed all of their weddings!...

For more information & to check availability:

(or so simply say hi)

2 + 3 =

I’m located in Bath, Somerset.

email    betty.bhandari@gmx.net

phone   +44 (0)7984 029 639

I will get back to you within 48 hours maximum. In the unlikely event that you don’t hear back from me please check your email spam folder.

How I photograph your newborn at your home

How I photograph your newborn at your home

Home sessions are about making you feel comfortable and capturing precious first moments.

The best part of my newborn portrait sessions is that they take place in your home (= your comfort zone) where you are most comfortable after giving birth and I will bring everything that is needed for a variety of natural and posed newborn portraits. We can take the photographs in your living room or on a bed in the bedroom, wherever the lighting is best.

newborn portrait session at your home

I’m not taking your baby away from you. I am working with you to create awesome pictures.

You will be present at all times during the newborn portrait session and depending on what images we want to achieve (we will discuss this before the portrait session) you can be very involved in the portrait session, either by holding the baby or as a spotter (a spotter is someone who will be right next to the baby when we pose it on it’s tummy to ensure the baby is safe and cannot roll off the pillow).

how to achieve certain photographs during a newborn portrait session

It is totally ok to feel self-conscious after having a baby.

Every new mum feels insecure about her body and sometimes mums need several weeks to recover from a traumatic birth. This should not stop you though if you would like to have some beautiful photographs of your new baby. The whole point of having home sessions is so that you can stay in your comfort zone, whether you feel fit as a fiddle or are tired and sore. I will not drag you in front of the camera if you don’t want to show yourself yet. if you however would like some photos of you and your baby, we can easily just use your face as shown on the examples below.

new mother and newborn portrait

My setup is easy and safe.

I would never endanger your baby so my setups are always safe. I don’t suspend babies in hammocks nor do I balance them on chairs. I pose babies in sleeping positions or other natural poses, all depending on whether it is awake or asleep. Oh and it doesn’t matter if your baby wees or poos on my blankets. Lots of babies have done it before. All my blankets and wraps are washed with non-bio washing powder and are clean. It’s part of the business. Plus: I have a child myself, I have been peed, pooed and vomited on more than once. Doesn’t phase me the slightest!

safe newborn portrait setup

What is the baby doesn’t cooperate.

You can hardly expect a brand new baby to ‘cooperate’ that’s why it is important to work WITH and not AGAINST the baby. If it is tired, let it sleep where ever it is comfortable. If it is hungry give it a feed. I come with lots of time & patience. Being a mum of two small children I distinctly remember the first few weeks after birth and that you have no other choice but to go with the flow.

I have found hair dryers extremely useful for small baby portrait sessions. They create warmth and wonderful white noise – both of which most babies cannot resist! You can take beautiful close up pictures in almost every setting and location.

newborn portraits at home

What you need to provide.

I’m trying to make life as easy for you as possible but there are a few things that we might potentially need and that would be great to have to hand: wet wipes, a couple of clean muslin cloths if you have any, a large clean towel (white if possible), a dummy if baby has one, a bottle of formula milk if you don’t breastfeed, any clothing you would like to put your baby in (please don’t chose more than 2 or 3) and a breastfeeding pillow if you have any.

I will bring blankets, wraps, a backdrop stand if required, a wee proof underlay as well as a little heater.

Please also read my Frequently Asked Questions.

bath newborn portrait photographer

Contact me now.

Considering your baby could be born two weeks either side of your due date, please try to contact me as early as you can. Newborn portraits are best taken within the first fortnight of the baby’s life but if you or your baby are not well enough during that time, we can do newborn/baby portraits in the weeks following. It’s never too late to take portraits of your new baby and I am never too busy to fit you in last minute!

For more information & to check availability:

(or so simply say hi)

1 + 1 =

I’m located in Bath, Somerset.

email   betty.bhandari@gmx.net

phone 07984 029 639

I will get back to you within 48 hours maximum. In the unlikely event that you don’t hear back from me please check your email spam folder.

The Non Posers Guide to Wedding Posing

The Non Posers Guide to Wedding Posing

to pose (verb) – assume a particular position in order to be photographed, painted, or drawn.

As a wedding photographer I have a lot of meetings with couples who are planning their big day and I seem to be hearing sentences like “We hate having our pictures taken” or “We don’t want traditional pictures” or even “I don’t look good on any pictures ever!” I can’t teach you to pose like a model but I can make you feel relaxed and the position you naturally and cleverly without being awkward. I can pose you without looking posed.
bride and groom sky portrait
When I kneel down and shoot from a lower angle, I can cut the landscape out and just frame you with sky.
If you are a professional model you don’t assume a pose, you know how to pose. But let’s face it, 99% of us don’t know how to pose and that is totally ok. Because I will tell you all you need to know!

I love taking wedding portraits! I love the challenge of using what the venue and landscape around it offer. I love working to time restraints and having to be creative quickly. There is no point planning those pictures in too much detail before the wedding as you cannot predict the weather, how much light you will have at what time, which angle the light comes from, what flowers will blossom, where is the grass is high…

“We don’t really like having our picture taken.” You’re not alone and it’s ok to feel uncomfortable in front of the camera. Don’t be afraid, I will take you by the hand and make you feel relaxed & comfortable.
I am great at taking quite different portraits of you in a short time and in just one place. I will tell you where to stand but I will not tell you small things like where to place your hands – I let you do that naturally. I will tell you to look at each other or look at me without making you smile minutes at a time. Instead I will distract you and let you be you.

Here are 5 easy ways of taking fun and creative portraits of you.

 

1) I step away & leave you alone.

At the beginning of our little portrait session I am trying to keep it really simple. I look for a beautiful setting, leave you there and step away. By leaving you alone you can be yourselves, have a chat, a laugh or even a sneaky kiss. I use a zoom or portrait lens which works great when you are far away and produces amazing results.

discreet wedding portrait
bride and groom in the garden of the royal crescent hotel
romantic wedding portrait
natural wedding couple

2) I use frames.

I find features that frame you, whether they are ornamental like an arch or spatial like a path leading through an orchard. Framing the couple always looks good, whether it is during the day or at night. All you do is gaze at each other in amazement!

This shot is spectacular but the set up is extremely simple and quick to achieve.
bride and groom under an arch
wedding portrait in an orchard
bailbrook house staircase with newly weds
silhouette wedding portrait

3) I encourage you to be yourself. 

I ask you silly questions that make you interact with each other and forget about my camera. “Tell me your favourite moment of the day” or “How do you feel right now? I don’t want you to think about me and my camera, but about how special the day is, how much you are enjoying yourself and how awesome your new husband/wife is.

 

bride and groom in love
fun wedding portrait

4) I am getting closer

Once you have warmed up to this process I get my portrait lens out and get a little closer. Don’t worry, I will never be right in your face or on your toes or in your pockets, I’m just having a little closer look, which is still at a little distance with my trusty 85mm portrait lens.

close up portrait of bride and groom

5) And finally: Have fun

Jump, dance, kiss, hug your friends. It’s your day and it’s special! Whatever you want to do that is you and makes you happy!

jumping wedding party portrait
bride and groom hugging in a field
My method is easy: make sure you enjoy the day – you will look happy on your photographs. Delegate all duties before the day – you will look more relaxed. And don’t worry about your photographer too much. Then you will achieve natural, relaxed and genuine photographs that you will hopefully cherish for many years to come.

Copyright © Betty Bhandari

More weddings you’ll love:

When Dad is missing at the wedding (a moment in pictures)

Over the years I have learnt to ask specific questions during the pre-wedding meeting, one of which is directed at the bride: "Who is going to walk you down the aisle?" You can and should never take the answer to this question for granted as there are...

The Non Posers Guide to Wedding Posing

to pose (verb) - assume a particular position in order to be photographed, painted, or drawn. As a wedding photographer I have a lot of meetings with couples who are planning their big day and I seem to be hearing sentences like "We hate having our pictures taken" or...

Aldwick Court Farm Wedding Photography

Last spring I had the immense pleasure of photographing the wedding of the beautiful Colette and charming Ed at the amazing Aldwick Court Farm. I first met Ed and Colette three years ago when I shot the wedding of Ed's brother Will at Folly Farm. And if this...

For more information & to check availability:

(or so simply say hi)

15 + 9 =

I’m located in Bath, Somerset.

email    betty.bhandari@gmx.net

phone   +44 (0)7984 029 639

I will get back to you within 48 hours maximum. In the unlikely event that you don’t hear back from me please check your email spam folder.