Becoming a new mommy is one of life’s precious gifts and hiring a photographer to capture the sweet blessing can sometimes be daunting.
How will I get the baby quiet quickly? Will the baby sleep? When is the best time? How comfortable are you with someone else touching them so soon? How much time do we have? Will the baby just want to feed all day that day?
All of these questions go through a new mom’s head when thinking about Newborn photographs. I’ll be sharing with you some tricks and tips on taking your own beautiful newborn photos stress-free and enjoyable for your baby and the entire family.
1. Lighting is Everything!
The biggest mistake most DYI photographers make is the lighting in the photograph. Natural lighting is the best for all photographs but when shooting a newborn finding natural light can be difficult. The sun is always the best source but you can’t necessarily take a newborn outside, so you will want to make sure you are shooting next to a window. You want the reflection of the light from the window on the baby, you do not want to place the baby directly under the window. I always shoot next to a window, and if that is not enough light or there is shadows somewhere on the baby, I use artificial lighting. I do use the Nova ring light for that (when/if needed).
2. Be Patient!
Getting the best shots can sometimes feel impossible with a Newborn. Make sure you are being patient with baby. The best part about shooting your own pictures is you will have time to get baby comfortable, full, and happy without feeling rushed. Make sure you remind yourself of that during this time because getting them in the perfect position can sometimes feel frustrating. If its not working today, try again tomorrow.
3. Find a Solid background
The best background for Newborn is always a solid color. You want the center of attention to be on the baby so any other backgrounds can be distracting. I suggest purchasing a large white blanket that has some texture on the blanket. If you get a blanket that doesn’t have any texture you will see every imperfection, crease, wrinkle, etc. Believe me, you will not be able to make it perfectly smooth. You can take the blanket and just lay it flat on the ground or you can blanket it over a chair. Also, using pillows to help prop the baby or hold that baby works. I found that using a Boppy under the blanket works perfect.
4. Keep Newborn Happy
There are a couple simple things that you can do to help baby feel comfortable and happy. First thing is to make sure the shooting area is very warm. I use a small space heater and turn that on 5-10 minutes before the start of the shoot. Also, a white noise machine or your cell phone with a white noise video playing will help calm the baby -make sure you keep it as close to them as possible. Then you want to make sure they are completely full and into the deeper part of their sleep before laying them down. Lastly, you want to consider the time of day you shoot the pictures. A newborn is normally happier in the morning between breakfast and lunch. I would suggest shooting during the time your baby is least likely to be fussy.
5. Don’t forget the details
Of course we all want those cute sleeping newborn poses but, I can’t tell you how important the small detail shots are. You will miss being able to kiss their sweet small fingers and toes and you will forget just how little they were. Their little button nose will become a distant memory, and those little soft lips that you love so much will change. Don’t forget to take those photos of the details that make your baby so unique. Noses, lips, eyelashes, ears, toes, fingers, belly buttons, hair, fuzzy shoulders – those details will change so fast as your baby grows and this preserves those beautiful memories. Sure these shots can be a little more difficult but I am telling you they are worth the extra time you will take to get the perfect shot.