Tips for Photographing you Newborn
The best time to photograph a newborn is before they reach the 14 day mark. This time frame is best for those sleepy curled up babies. Also, baby acne and eczema usually doesn’t set in until after the first 2 weeks. Plus, babies grow so fast you want to make sure you take advantage of capturing your tiny bundle of joy.
2. Set up Before
It’s best to set up any “scenes” or props before you begin photographing. Babies don’t stay asleep and calm forever, so it’s best to maximize the time you can spend photographing.
Crank the heat! If you are sweating, baby is probably happy. Babies love a warm cozy environment. If you don’t want to crank the heat in your whole house, invest in a space heater for the area you are photographing.
To create a calm and soothing atmosphere I would suggest some type of white noise. This could be a favorite lullaby or a white noise app on your phone. I bring a stuffed animal with me that makes womb noises and ocean noises to my shoots.
I live in Dallas, so most of the time I can get away with taking newborn shots outside. If its warm enough, you can try it, but if it’s chilly out I would keep indoors! I don’t like to take newborns outside unless it’s at least 80 degrees out.
4. Full Belly
A full belly means a happy baby. Try to feed your baby right before you begin taking photos to ensure a full, happy and sleepy baby. Don’t be afraid to take a break and feed if your baby is being fussy.
Safety first!!!! If a shot seems like it’s not a good idea or not really safe, don’t attempt it. With that being said, it’s always good to have another person there to help you out. No picture is worth injuring your precious newborn.
If you don’t want to use your house as a background, I would suggest getting a large blanket or piece of fabric for your background. You can drape it over your sofa and let baby lie on the cushion. You should only need about 2 yards of fabric. Another good option is to get an overstuffed bean bag to place baby on. You can drape a blanket or fabric over the bean bag first and either have someone hold it up in the back or drape it over a chair for the backdrop. You can also simply lay baby on the floor on a soft blanket. I would recommend getting rid of any clutter such as bottles, pacifiers, or other baby paraphernalia.
For props I like to keep it simple, keeping the focus on the baby. Blankets and fabrics are a good choice for backgrounds. I usually like to stick to solid colors to avoid crooked or bunched up patterns.
I am a big fan of using baskets or large bowls to put baby in. Just make sure they are stable enough for baby and on the ground instead of up high somewhere. Remember, safety first. Also, some baskets tend to be prickly so put a blanket or something soft inside for baby to lay on.
If you need help positioning baby, rolled towels or bean bags work great. You can put these under babies head to help prop it up.
It is also good to use a variety of outfits, hats, headbands, blankets so not all of your photos turn out looking alike. When I photograph a newborn I usually like to create at least 5-10 different “scenes” through different hats, accessories, positions, and props. You can use the same background, but try putting having baby naked in one, swaddled in one, in a different hat or outfit in another. Variety is key. Mixing the poses up as well as the shots is key as well. Get a variety of shots close up, far away, and at different angles to get the best selection of shots to choose from.
8. Write it Down
With so much going on it is easy to forget the shots you want from the baby, so make sure you write them down. I always go to a photo shoot with a list of photos I must get and then ones that I want to get. If baby is not cooperating for a certain pose, change it up, you can always try again a little bit later.
My list usually goes something like this: Close up of hands, close up of feet, close up of face, belly button, full body shot, swaddled baby, naked baby, baby in special outfit, baby with just mom, baby with just dad, baby with both parents, baby with siblings, whole family shot.
Natural lighting is always best for newborns. I never use a flash on a newborn baby. I don’t think the flash is good for babies and it also disrupts the calm and soothing atmosphere you are trying to create. Every house has good natural light, you just need to find it. Keep an eye on different rooms of your house at different times of the day. You may get great light in one room in the morning and great light in another room in the evening. For the best light, place baby near a window or french door so the light washes over them and you get nice even light without harsh shadows.
10. Patience, Patience, Patience
Patience is key in photographing newborns. They may not always cooperate, but just step back and take a break. Sometimes a feeding or a position change will keep baby happy a little while longer.
Keep baby wipes and burp cloths close by! Accidents are inevitable with newborns, especially naked newborns. I always place a puppy pee pad underneath any blanket or fabric I am using. You can purchase these at any pet store. If you don’t want to mess with an accident on your couch or on Grandma’s quilt, you may want to keep the diaper on and opt for a diaper cover or a swaddled baby.
Jessica of Lovely Fitzgerald Photography is one of the most sought out newborn photographers in North Dallas. If you are interested in booking a shoot with Lovely Fitzgerald Photography or would just like more information please contact Jessica.
Are you an aspiring newborn photographer? Not sure where to start? Struggling with your newborn shoots? Check out The Complete Guide to Newborn Photography to help jumpstart your business and guide you through newborn shoots so you can be the photographer you always wanted to be!
Frisco Newborn Photographer | Little Elm Newborn Photographer | Lovely Fitzgerald Photography LLC | Contact Jessica | email@example.com |