It’s taken a couple of weeks but I finally found my creative streak again…and some inspiration.
I’d been thinking about newborn photo sessions in general and had asked myself what would make them more effective. I already have a posing pillow and use extra padding in areas to raise and reposition the model. However rather than rolling out endless muslins or pieces of fabric for padding why not have a soft, padded ring in which the baby can be placed. It turns out there’s already one on the market!
I found some felted fabric in my craft shed and plenty enough for this project. It’s thicker and heavier than cotton and is great at maintaining it’s shape. I dusted down the fabric cutting board, quilting ruler and rotary cutter and got started.
I cut a length of the fabric and stitched together a long tube, sealed at one end. I turned right side out ready for filling. I considered filling it with tiny polystyrene balls which I left over from filling the posing pillow but I thought wadding for soft toys would provide better results. I had a new bag of toy stuffing which I had bought many months ago for making padded bunting but had never got round to it. I filled the fabric tube with it and it’s sturdy and yet soft. Perfect!
It will be covered by a layer of fabric or fur and provide a discreet well for the newborn to be placed in.
Since creating this ‘nest’ I’ve since seen a company selling one and knitted covers for them. So if you don’t hear from me in a while I’ll be in the middle of another project…knitting covers for it!
The day finally came when I realised my photographic equipment and other craft materials were taking over the house. Rather than move to a bigger house the logical solution was to stick a flag in one of the sheds and claim it as my own!
The shed I now owned was the smaller of the two and hadn’t been used for at least half a century. I came to realise that while stripping it back to its shell. It was dark and dusty and had been insulated with old coal sacks and invoices from the 1930’s. Donning a face mask and goggles I ripped out old cupboards, pulled out rusty nails, sanded and cleaned. It looked awful but at least it was a blank canvas.
My father-in-law and husband boarded the structure with ply and I painted it in brilliant white emulsion. Even my son helped paint the floor boards. A real family affair.
Once the paint was dry I couldn’t wait to move myself in. One half of the ‘studio’ was to be dedicated to my crafts and the other to photography. I bought some storage units from Ikea and used a writing desk from one of the spare bedrooms and the layout soon began to take shape. I emptied the house of yarns, knitting needles, crochet hooks, a paper cutting machine, a sewing machine, fabrics for quilting and much more. The remaining area was set up for my photographic space. It was small but a great place to start.
My ‘studio’ has turned out to be a great place to retreat when I need some quiet time to think but the most amazing thing about having a photography ‘studio’ is being able to trial a new set and leave it as work in progress and keep revisiting it.
….and it has a key so I can lock myself in. Even better!