Launching a new collection in the current situation was tricky, to say the least. Trying to navigate photoshoots, deliveries and samples under the lockdown restrictions was quite possibly the hardest thing we’ve ever done here at Baba+Boo. But oh my was it worth it… we’re so excited about our new prints, and what they represent.
This new collection was launched with a dispersed team, a skeleton warehouse crew (including my Dad who has loved helping pack orders!), delayed shipping and everything else in between. To say we’re proud of everyone involved would be an understatement, and we truly hope you love these prints as much as we do.
So, with social distancing and strict rules on meetings, how did we capture the essence of this collection? Well, we had to look a little closer to home (literally!).
One of our amazing photographers, Anna, brought some Baba+Boo joy to Mancunian doorsteps to hold lockdown photoshoots with some amazing cloth bum volunteers! Here, we find out what it was like shooting in lockdown and what made this photoshoot so unique...
What are some of the challenges of shooting in lockdown?
Lockdown has hit the photography industry hard. Most of our usual work, we just can't do. Until very recently we couldn't even do any outdoor shoots where both we and the families are out together in public. 'Doorstep shoots' became one of our only ways to work, where families don't leave the perimeter of their home and we photograph them as we pass by. Happily, it turned out to be a really special way to capture this unique and crazy time :)
Do you find a difference in shooting people on their doorsteps to the usual studios, homes and public spaces?
It's soooo different. Our movement is so much more restricted - usually I can let families roam around and do whatever they feel like, and I can do the same, whereas for doorstep shoots we're all much more static. Most people don't tend to just naturally hang about doing activities together on their front doorstep :) So, although it's quite an unnatural situation for both me and the families to be in, my priority and challenge has been to try to make these shoots both feel and look as natural and relaxed as possible!
What have you liked most about doorstep photography?
Meeting and chatting to these lovely families has been a real ray of sunshine during these difficult days. I've seen so much spirit, love and laughter, and it's so uplifting to see that all this beauty and goodness in our lives can remain, and even thrive and grow, while things are so tough. It's been so heartwarming to see and hear that so many positive experiences have come from such a heartbreaking time. I interviewed many of my doorstep couples as I really wanted to hear and share their individual stories - these are all on my blog if you fancy taking a peek at them.
We think these photos really capture the essence of lockdown, how was it photographing them?
It was in turns uplifting, sobering and enlightening. It's so easy to just see lockdown through the prism of your own experience, both positive and negative. Meeting all these different families and hearing about their own unique experience of lockdown was a valuable reminder that there are a whole raft of other positives and negatives that I might not personally have experienced myself. Photographing newborns also really affected me - thinking about how isolating those first few weeks can be at the best of times, let alone during lockdown... also how different their birth experiences were, and how grandparents hadn't been able to meet or hold their grandchildren. But through all of this, there was such a strong current of resilience, kindness and positivity - people really do show what they're made of when the chips are down and it was a privilege to witness such strength and humanity in so many families.
What's your favourite seaside memory?
As a family, we've spent so much time by the sea in Wales, especially Anglesey and the North West coast. I've so many happy memories of being there with my kids, crabbing, sandcastle building, surfing, swimming, wave jumping, paddling and shell collecting - it's always been such a joy! But one memory that really sticks in my head was the first time I let my ex-racing rescue greyhound Freddie run free. It hadn't been possible to let him off his lead in the city where he could have reached a road and caused an accident. I finally let him off on a huge beach in Wales where he couldn't escape onto any roads and it was one of the most joyful things I've ever seen. He charged around and skipped and leapt and had the happiest grin on his face with his daft tongue lolling out. His first proper taste of freedom.
A message from Anna with a lovely offer for our customers:
"I'm happy to offer half price weekday shoot fees and an extra fine art print (worth £112.50 in total) for anyone confirming a booking before the end of August, for a family shoot to take place any time before December. You just need to quote 'Baba+Boo' when you get in touch."
Take a look at Anna's work here:
BROCHURE DOWNLOAD: www.annahardy.co.uk/
FACEBOOK: Anna Hardy Photography www.facebook.com/
INSTAGRAM: @annahardyphoto https://www.instagram.com/