OK,I know I say all types of photos are important, but newborn photos are really, really important. Think about it. Those tiny, little ,cuddly, yummy smelling, soft babies are only that teeny-tiny for a blink of an eye. Then they grow up and turn into sticky, loud, dirty, boogy nosed monsters. Cute, loveable monsters but still monsters (after the monster stage I'm not sure what they become, its just the one I'm in right now with a one and two year old).
I know times are tough and not everyone can afford to hire a pro photographer to come take photos of their new baby.So I am willing to share with you what I've learned (through trial and error) about newborn photography so you can give it a try on your own!
1. light,light, light did I say light?
Newborns are not always smooth skinned and soft as a baby's butt! Not having enough light can tend to make them look yellowy and show imperfections more. Find the window in your house where there is a lot of soft, filtered (not harsh) sunlight shining through and shoot directly in front of that. Its best to try and shoot at the time of day when its brightest in your home.
Most importantly turn the flash OFF on your camera. If you are using a point and shoot and your having troubles with your photos being too dark try and turn up your ISO (not to high or your photos will be grainy).
2. Hire an assistant.
Hire as in tell your hubby/friend/cousin/niece/mom that they have to help you or else. You will need someone to spot baby (so she doesn't roll off the chair or whatever your shooting on!)while you are taking photos.
3. Don't force it.
I know alot of people think it's just so cute to try the poses they see in professional photos...like a baby hanging in a pouch off the ground, or a baby with there head resting on there hands but I would not suggest it. Not only because its dangerous to try alone but also because you want to keep your photo shoot as peaceful and stress free as possible. I think babies can sense when your stressed or when your trying to get them to do something they don't naturally do. So no awkward poses or dangerous situations.Unless you are a professional with an assistant and mom and dad there I would NOT suggest hanging baby from a branch or placing them on a high shelf.
4.to sleep or not to sleep
Most photographers want baby to be sleeping during the shoot. For me I'm happy either way.While I love the classic look of a baby curled up sleeping peacefully. I also love their wide eyed looks of wonder . I lay baby down (usually in between two pillows with a blanket draped over it or a boppy) and then let them get comfortable. I shoot from whatever angle I need to once baby gets in a position she or he likes. If you crank the heat in your house your more likely to get a sleepy baby.
I love the silly faces you are bound to capture when baby is awake...like this
5. Keep it classic (no clothes)
I love a little nekky baby!!It's best to steer clear of trendy clothing like little skater shirts for boys or a bright, pink dress for girls as this can really date your photos years later. Of course there are exceptions with clothing ...like this gorgeous and classic Eden's Bouquet outfit.
If you want to keep it simple and photograph your baby in the nude remove diapers and socks and be prepared for poop and pee;) As far as backdrops I love a cream or white blanket with a pretty texture. I simply drape a blanket over a recliner type chair, put baby on the cushion and use that as my backdrop.
I love the texture of this yarn throw in Sylvie's newborn photos.
If you have an SLR camera shoot in manual!! I promise once you get the hang of it you'll love the results. I almost always shoot wide open (at a wide aperture). I just love the soft dreamy look it gives. If you aren't sure what the heck an aperture is but want to learn check out this awesome blog post:)
I'm sure this is about as clear as mud so please e-mail me if you have any questions.Good luck!