Alexandra Lord has been involved with IPPN for a number of years now, and is a highly-regarded newborn, maternity and family photographer based in Oxfordshire. I thought it would be a good idea to find out a bit more about Alex’s business and how she started out.
Tell us a bit about how you started in photography
I graduated into photography from art college back in the 8o’s, in the days of film and the darkroom. Then started a career in the travel industry and came back into the digital world about 4 years ago with no idea at all how things worked.
What areas have you worked in?
Played with a little bit of wildlife and landscape but I don’t do creepy crawlies and landscapes mean getting up too early. I love working with children and babies so portraiture was the obvious way to go.
I also hugely enjoy maternity shoots, it’s great to meet the mums before their newborn shoot so that they’re not handing over their precious little one to a complete stranger, and they can be so much fun too. I get to play around with different lighting techniques in my quest to provide a unique shot for each shoot.
Do you work from studio or on location?
My newborn shoots are all held at my home studio where I can control the safety aspects and lighting, and have easy access to the many props, blankets, wraps etc that are needed for newborns. My younger children portraits are usually held outdoors where they can run around doing what children do best – having fun. I don’t like to contain and pose toddlers. Despite all the funny faces I can pull, they soon get bored !
With older children I do studio and lifestyle depending on the client’s brief.
There are so many resources available to newborn photographers now – which are the key areas to invest in first?
There are far more resources available now than just a few years ago when I started specialising in newborns. The most important area to invest in first is safety training. We handle the most precious little bundles and it’s paramount to do this correctly .
My training in the field of newborn safety posing is extensive and continual, and I keep up to date with all the latest developments to ensure a safe and happy baby. Their comfort, with all safety measures in place, is key to achieving fabulous results. It’s so important to know how to safely pose a little baby so with these key factors in mind, I thoroughly recommend this training to anyone contemplating this speciality.
What are your tips for working with babies and children?
Baby and child shoots are held very differently from grown up ones. They need to be baby/child led. Working with an unhappy little one is a recipe for disaster. Babies need to be warm and comfortable with all their needs catered for and toddlers need to be able to enjoy themselves. My session times are not strictly limited for this reason.
What’s your favourite way to spend a Sunday afternoon?
With my boys at home. Garden in Summer, log fire in winter. Happy.
Who inspires you?
My favourite newborn photographers are Jade Gao from Sydney Aus and Erin Elizabeth from the US for their work in natural tones and softness and not too overloaded with props. For older children’s portraiture I love Lisa Visser’s fine art work, it’s quite dark and not for everyone, but I love it.
Tell us about your experience with IPPN
I have been a member of IPPN for 3 years or so now. The members on here have helped me immensely, not just with expanding my knowledge base and improving my editing skills, but also the various aspects and challenges of running a photography business. It’s a fabulous place to belong to and good fun too.
Thanks Alex! Some really interesting insights as well as useful information for those wishing to follow your path into family photography.