8 Newborn Photography Tips to Help You Have Great Baby Photos
The truth is that newborn photography can sometimes look like a difficult field of photography that scares away most photographers. Not everyone has the patience and expertise to work in this area. It is one thing to take photos of landscapes or some adults who pose according to your instruction, but when it comes to working newborn baby which are more fragile and unpredictable, even the most seasoned photographer can become anxious.
To help you have the most amazing newborn or baby photos that will generate a smile on your clients’ faces, here are some tips to help.
Newborn Photography Tips
#1: Take Safety as the First Priority
When you are considering newborn photography, the first thing that should be in your mind is safety. We may not be able to tell you all that is involved in newborn safety – the list is endless, but you can always rely on your common sense. Don’t use sharp or hard objects as props, and never place babies on unsteady or high surfaces without support.
The truth is that most newborn photos you see aren’t shot the way you see them. Instead, they are composites. So when you see a picture of a baby resting on a basketball or hanging from a branch, understand that they are two photos merged into one. Never attempt such unless you already have some composite techniques and safety measures in place.
#2: Be Prepared
If you are shooting in your client’s home, then you should know that shooting newborn photography requires as much prep as wedding shoots. You will need a bit of “stuff” and it can be easy for you to forget some things. So I always recommend you pack the things you need a night before so you don’t forget the important ones.
To make things easier for you, here are some important things you can include in your checklist:
- Camera and backup camera
- Formatted memory cards
- Backdrop stand and clamps
- Newborn posing beanbag
- A boppy pillow for posing
- Props (crates, baskets, etc..)
- A change of clothing for you in case of a mess
- Hats or headbands
- Big blankets for background
- Soft music (but loud enough to hide the startling sound of your shutter… could be from your phone)
- A space heater to keep the environment warm because of the new baby
Remember to wear cool and comfortable clothing because the house may be a bit warm for you because of the space heater. So make sure you prepare well so you could be at your best during the sessions.
#3: Prepare For Clients
One important factor that determines the success of your newborn session is making sure your clients are aware of to expect so they can best prepare for it. I will recommend you send your prep list a couple of days before the session so both parents can prepare along with you. Let them know what you will be bringing and how long the session will last.
Let the mother know there could be some messes and frequent feeding. Even though you will be bringing a space heater, let her be aware that the house will need to be warm.
#4: Keep Your Newborn Comfortable
In newborn photography, your focus should be on getting two looks. Either the baby is peacefully sleeping or awake and happy. To get either of this, you will need to make sure that the baby is comfortable. If the baby is no comfortable enough, he or she may become fussy, crying, and causing a difficult time for everyone there.
Try to use hand gloves if your hands are cold and make sure the space heater is doing well with warming up the house.
#5: Choose the Perfect Time for Newborn Photography
Just like it is in other types of photography like wedding photography and others, there is also a magic window time for newborn photography. The best time for this type of shoot is within the first 14 days of birth because they tend to be easier to work with at this time. That is the time it will be easy for you to adjust them and position them to your taste. If you are not sure when to take your child’s photos, 5 days after birth is such a perfect time to do that.
#6: Get Creative Props for the Day
The kind of props you use in your photos will go a long way to tell if the photos are going to be professional or amateur. You don’t have to opt for expensive props for newborn photography, you can even make use of some found at home or in local craft stores. If you need inspiration on this, consider checking Etsy or Beautiful Photo to give you the best ideas that you need.
#7: Be Mindful of Your Aperture
Most photographers into wedding and portrait photography love to shoot wide open at f/1.4 and f/1.2. But most of the poses of your baby can have extreme angles and shooting around f/2 and f/2.2 may be your best shot. Don’t forget that you may not always have the baby’s eyes on the same plane of focus. So closing down your aperture a bit from wide open may help you get a bit of extra field depth needed for amazing photos.
#8: Learn Proper Post Production for Your Photos
As much as the photography session, post-production is also important if you want to have breath-taking newborn photos. For such photographs, you will need them to be more airy and lighter than other types of photography. Consider using tasteful black and white effects and fades. You may also need to learn some Photoshop advance techniques for this kind of job. Such includes advance retouching and Frequency Separation techniques. However, if you are not very familiar with all of these, you can consider outsourcing to professionals that can help you get the best from post-processing.
Newborn photography can be more fun than you think. You only need to prepare your mind, get the right gear, and get set to shoot some amazing photos of your newborn. If the time comes for you to have some newborn sessions, remember to check these tips again or consider hiring the help of professionals such as Wow photo studios in Miami.