Well, it’s been quite a while since my last post. Life has gotten unbelievably busy these past few months – so much to share that I’d be here all night typing if I tried to cover everything. So instead, I thought I’d share a little glimpse of life lately from my camera roll.

House renovations are still ongoing but we’re finally, finally nearing the end. It won’t be quite done by the time we move in, but it will only be the small things that we can do over time left. It’s amazing to see how the kitchen has gone from this…

kitchen renovations1

to this…

kitchen renovations 2

to this…

kitchen renovations

and most recently this…

kitchen renovations

In the space of 15 weeks. It feels like it’s taking a lifetime to get through it all, but I know in the grand scheme of things we’re doing ok. We still have to finish panelling the cupboards and tiling the backsplash, but then it should be good to go. The rest of the house is coming close to being finished too – maybe I’ll do a house tour when we’re finally in.

With everything going on at the house we’ve had to divide and conquer life a little lately. I’ve mostly been home looking after Baby G while Mr G has been at the house pitching in and project managing the various contractors. Apart from that day I rented an industrial vacuum and pitched in to get the floors ready for the laminate…

He thinks I I have a bit of an aversion to dust so I made sure I was wrapped up well. He says I’m crazy, I say I’m clean. (Anyone else watching OCC on Channel 4? Love it.)

All of this means there has been a lot of alone time and very little family time overall – but once we’re in the new place, life will settle down and we’ll get to relax a little. We’re both exhausted (and both working full time too) so I’m looking forward to what will hopefully be a lovely summer so we can enjoy plenty of time in the new garden. If we ever get around to clearing it out that is. Still, it will be nice to have some down time before the new baby arrives…oh, did I mention I’m four and a half months pregnant? #tootiredforafunpregnancyannouncement

Meanwhile, Baby G and I have been enjoying plenty of play dates and mini adventures. We tend to travel all over Dublin and down to Wicklow to visit my sister on the weekends looking for entertainment. She’s developed a new obsession with swings and we’re slowly but surely trying out every single playground within a 10 mile radius of the house. (When I say obsession, I literally mean she could sit on a swing for 40 minutes straight and still burst into tears when I try to take her out of them!).

Baby G Stylin

Baby G Minnie Mouse

beach time

In big moments, Baby G had her 2nd birthday. We celebrated with a tea party picnic in the park with her baby friends (you might remember we celebrated the 1st birthdays back here…). It’s so sweet to see how much they’ve all grown up in those 12 months!Babies Turn 2!

So right now life is just…somehow racing by and at the same time crawling along. Some days I can hardly believe when it’s bedtime again because it feels like we were only just getting up and other days I feel like I can live 10 years in an hour. It reminds me of one of my favourite parenting blog posts of all time by Glennon Doyle Melton. It always makes me feel a little better about myself on days where I find myself counting down the minutes to naptime.

We’re also currently in the Chicken Pox trenches. It’s the end of day 2 and I’m already letting her watch far more TV than I should. But what can you do? Sometimes a girl just needs to binge watch The Hive.

chicken pox has arrived

At least she’s still smiling!

That’s it for now – I’ll be better about blogging once we get moved in. In the meantime, don’t forget you can always follow me on Instagram for snapshots into our family life.

Hope you’re having a good Spring, wherever you are!

People are sometimes amazed when I tell them that I like to photograph newborns when they are between 6 and 10 days old. As someone who still catches herself saying “I just had a baby” (and she’s now 21 months old!) I completely understand why people might think newborn photos can be taken at 6 months old.

First let me be clear – I take photos of babies at all ages! I have taken some adorable posed newborn-esque images of babies as old as 8 weeks. I have taken many portraits of babies as they learn to sit up and crawl. I take images of babies around their 1st birthdays. I will never tell you your baby is too old to have their photograph taken.

But, if you are after those deliciously sweet images of tiny toes and curled up bodies there is an optimal time to do it. Most newborn photographers will agree that the best time for newborn photos is when they are between 6 and 10 days old. Allow me to explain to you why this is!

Firstly, when babies are under 10 days old they are still nice and curled up and squishy from being carried inside the womb for 9 months. This means they are already in those sleepy, curled up postitions and are easily posed on the beanbag.

Secondly, a newborn baby’s skeleton is made up mostly of cartilage which means that they are flexible and are much more comfortable with their bodies being curled up than older babies. Did you know babies are born with 307 bones? By the time they reach adulthood, they only have 206. Bones start fusing together from day one – so the younger they are, the more flexibility they have.

Thirdly, everyone knows that newborns love to sleep, sleep, sleep. Unfortunately for some of us (myself included!), that doesn’t always mean they love to sleep at night! But newborns are only awake and alert for short bursts in those first few weeks and then they tend to sleep for long stretches in between feeds and wakeful periods. This means that we have a greater window for soft, sleepy images with minimal disturbance to the baby. I’ve had a few babies sleep for the entire session – so they never even knew the camera was there!

But, it’s equally important to note that I don’t like to photograph the babies too early either. Those first, precious few days are important for you and your baby to bond. There has been a lot of changes for both of you – neither of your worlds will ever be the same! It’s a unique time to bond and get to know each other. You’ll be amazed how even 5 days will imprint a sense of who your baby is on your heart. You’ll begin to recognise which noises mean they’re getting ready to cry or maybe to poop. You’ll also need some time to rest and recover from the birth.

So it may seem a little unusual to photograph a newborn baby when they really are so new to the world, but it really does make sense and you can create some beautiful, timeless photographs. Those first few weeks really do go by in a flash and their tiny little features begin to change so quickly. If you truly want to capture your newborn in all their squishy newness, I recommend you have your shoot happen when they’re 6 – 10 days old.

If you’re interested in booking a newborn shoot with Nessa Robinson Photography, please send me an email onhello@nessarobinson.com and I’d be happy to discuss everything in more detail with you!

Sometimes people ask me if they can purchase the digital images instead of prints when they view the images from their portrait session with me. I completely understand the desire to have a digital copy of your images – especially with how much technology has become a part of our lives.

But I also want to explain a little bit more about why I think prints are important – and why I think you should always make sure you choose prints as well.

Late last year, my trusty MacBook Pro began to show signs of its age. After 7 years of working pretty flawlessy, it began to struggle to open applications and eventually started slowing down when I’d turn it on. I knew in my heart that I should take time to go through all my old files and photos and start to back things up – but the job was just so big I kept putting it off. The funny thing is, I know the importance of having backups for your images – all of my client sessions are meticulously documented and stored not just locally but also on to an external hard drive. That external hard drive is only used for client images and is put away when I’m not downloading or editing the images. I keep it in its own box on a shelf that is out of reach so noone can confuse it, take it, overwrite it, use it or lose it on me. I’m very careful with making sure I do not lose any of that work.

It turns out though that for some reason my own life and documents and photos didn’t have such an importance associated with them. There’s something about being entrusted by someone to document their special moments that really makes you aware how valuable those images are. But when it’s your own every day stuff – it’s taken for granted that it will always be there. I still have photos from 10 years ago when I was a college student and I didn’t value the importance of a proper filing system or making sure that all file types are stored in one location that are floating around on my computer’s hard drive somewhere. I just blindly copied them across when I purchased my new laptop all those years ago and I never gave them a second thought.

Of course I printed out images after my daughter was born – but only a handful and after a few months, I started grouping them into folders to print out another time.

But then my computer started to splutter and slow down. I knew that I should stop and take stock of everything – delete the things I didn’t want or need and make sure I copied across the things I did. One night, I started to upload my media folder to Google Drive but after 4 hours of uploading a few hundred images, I lost steam and decided I’d keep going over the next few weeks. Only, life happened and I didn’t.

Then one day the unthinkable happened. I pressed the power button and a little grey screen appeared. My computer was trying to turn on. But it didn’t. I told myself it was no big deal and I’d try again in the morning. It still wouldn’t turn on. Quietly panicking inside, I deicded to leave it until we got back from our weekend trip away. Maybe it needed a few days to re-charge.

But it didn’t.

When I got home and finally realised that it wouldn’t turn on again – I suddenly remembered all of the images I may never access again. Sure there were friends and family ones from 10 years previous that I wanted to keep. But mostly, I was horrified to realise that all of the photos I had taken with my iPhone of our daughter and moments from my pregnancy were gone. Yes, I am a photographer and I take portraits of my daughter. But I’m also a modern mom who pretty much keeps her phone to hand and uses it to document the little day-to-day details of life.

I couldn’t believe I had been so stupid – espeically because I knew in my heart that this was going to happen one day. But one day just always seemed like it was far away and I never really contemplated what would be lost.

Luckily, there is a happy ending. I happen to know a pretty fantastic IT team through my old place of work – and with a quick (hysterical) visit, they took my laptop from me and hooked it up to all sorts of hard-drive reading machines. It had to be left over night, but eventually I was able to navigate it remotely from another computer and copy everything over to a new external hard drive. I only lost a few files to data corruption – and by some serious stroke of luck, everything else was saved. Those first few hours in the hospital with my first newborn? All there!

I always stress the importance of a printed image. I grew up in a house of photo albums that were kept in the main living spaces and regularly pulled out and enjoyed. As a teenager, I printed out countless images of my friends and proudly displayed them on my walls with blu-tac. As I began to settle down, beautifully framed photos began to decorate the mantel piece and dressers in the bedroom. Now my daughter has arrived, we have family portraits and baby photos decorating our home proudly showing ourselves and our guests who we are and what we value in life. I know that images stored on computers rarely get looked at and usually get forgotten. I know that images on your phone end up getting deleted to make more room for apps or new photos. I know that technology fails you sometimes. Technology also moves on. All you have to do is look at your CD or DVD collection and realise that they’re soon going to be obsolete – but will you do with the contents on them when you can no longer play them on a machine in your home?

You cannot underestimate the power of a printed image. Something that is tangible, always to hand and something that can be looked at and enjoyed in your own home helping to create an environment that is personal to you and that represents what you value in life. It’s something that you can pass down to your children and family over time.

It’s wonderful and so so important to take the time to print and enjoy your images.

It’s also important to make sure you back everything up!!

I know I’m a little late posting this but – Happy New Year! I hope you all had a lovely break over the holidays and got plenty of family time and rest.

We enjoyed a chaotic enough break – it seems to have gone by in a flash! The Christmas decorations are finally down and we’re slowly getting back into our regular routines.

Over the next few weeks I’m going to be posting some exciting changes that will be happening for Nessa Robinson Photography in 2016 (the first of which I posted about back here).

So make sure you head on over to Facebook to keep up to date with the latest announcements – and don’t forget check back here regularly either!

xxx

I can’t believe it’s almost time for Christmas – I’ve been so busy finishing up shoots and getting everything ready for the break that it seems like it really snuck up on me this year. Personally, I’m looking forward to a break – I just hope there will be plenty of sleep involved!!

From my family to yours, I wish you a very merry Christmas and a happy new year.

My website will be down over the holidays as we do some housekeeping (you may have seen on Facebook that the site went down!) but I will still be checking and responding to any emails that come in. So if you have any questions – don’t hesitate to get in touch!

I’ll be seeing you in 2016 🙂

family holiday card 2015

Nessa x