How Did I Do It? (#38 Small Talk 2018)

From Cardiovascular Researcher to Photographer

Hi, and welcome to this blog! My name is Lydia and I am the one and only photographer for GoFoto Lifestyle Newborn Photography…but I wasn’t always a photographer! This blog is about how I did it…

Following my passion:

architecture students big wildlife insects

After spending nearly 17 years as a researcher in cardiovascular disease, the creative side of my brain suddenly yelled “WHAT ABOUT ME???” and I woke up and decided to listen to that yell! So, for the past 7 years, whilst still undertaking my research commitments, I spent my spare time photographing everything – from portraits (of the students I work with) to architecture, to big wildlife and also little wildlife in the form of insects. This was invaluable experience as it led to my learning all about my camera and what I can do with all the different settings.

 How did I become a lifestyle newborn photographer?

lifestyle newborn

Although I love photographing nature, I also have a passion for babies…their expressions and their total innocence. So I started looking at other newborn photographer’s work- you know, those posed images, taken in a studio with 5-10 day old newborn babies who are all soft and squishy and can be posed in a variety of some stunningly creative ways? Although I liked and admired these images, I also knew that placing newborns into various positions was not for me. I knew I wanted to photograph babies and young toddlers in a natual context and with natural light. I wanted to give new parents creative and stunning images taken in their own home (as opposed to a studio setting) so that everything would be natural – from using natural light and the natural “poses” of the newborn with his parents. I wanted to capture the EMOTIONS involved in having a new baby in the home. The natural postures, the cries, the yawns!  Not only of the newborn, but also of the new parents! The love, the wonder, the amazement that this little being instilled in them. The perfect little feet, the tiny toes and fingers, the little pursed mouth. If I could accomplish this, the parents would be left with precious memories of what those first few weeks were like once their little one had come into this world. In addition, the new parents wouldn’t have to pack a “baby bag”, load baby into the car and go out to a studio.

For studio photography, babies are only considered to be newborn up until they are 6 weeks old. On the other hand, lifestyle photography considers babies to be newborn right up until they are 3 months old – what a bonus, both for the photographer and the parents!!! I could, therefore, also offer to have the lifestyle photoshoot from when baby was  10 days old right up until that 3 month mark.

And so, my vision become clearer as to what I wanted to offer parents!

My vision:

There was one more important thing that I wanted to get right. It worried me that in the South African context there were many new parents who would love to have images of their newborn but it just cost too much. I envisioned making my photo shoots as affordable as possible for the majority of new parents who might want the memories of their newborn’s first few weeks as well as their toddlerhood, preserved forever.

By not opening up a studio with all the resulting overhead costs, I could keep my costs down to the bare necessities (remember it costs money to rent studios, the lighting, props etc). But, of course, I still have to charge a fee to cover my costs, such as travelling to the parent’s home, software updates etc but I would try to keep my fees as low as possible!.

And so, almost 3 years ago, I started GoFoto Lifestyle Newborn Photography and have been thrilled to bits at each and every one of the sessions I have done to date! The parents have been so welcoming, so warm, so natural in their home environment and the emotions I have been able to capture are truly amazing!


And that is how I have morphed from a cardiovascular research scientist into a lifestyle newborn and toddler photographer! I have now retired from my university work and am a full time professional photographer – and what a rewarding career this is!! I love all the babies I have the privilege of photographing and meeting the parents is always awesome. Seeing their expressions of pleasure when they look at the images of their baby or toddler inspires me and I hope to continue delivering awesome, reliable and affordable service to all future clients.

Any comments gratefully read and replied to!

Yours in lifestyle newborn photography


photo credit: GoFoto Lifestyle Newborn Photography


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *