What Is Newborn Baby Photography?
Newborn photography or lifestyle newborn photography is a specialty type of portrait photography. The stars of the show are babies who are less than two weeks old. The difference between regular portrait photography and this specialty is that the photographer often undergoes a newborn safety certification program. This ensures that the handling of the newborn and surrounding area is safe.
This does not mean that the parents will not do anything during the shoot. Parents sometimes act as assistants, posing or holding the baby for that picture-perfect shot. Parents may also be able to make their babies smile or soothe them if they get irritable.
There is more to newborn photography than the usual tricks of photographers.
Newborn Photography – Tools Of The Trade
When it comes to newborn photography, the right equipment is essential.
This depends mostly on preference. A high-powered camera may not be necessary, but a working knowledge of a camera is. As long as you can change your lenses on your camera and shoot using raw format, utilize any camera from a point-and-shoot to a DSLR.
Research different types of equipment to create the perfect lighting during shoots. Proper lighting equipment enhances the image and produces better photos as shadows can be eliminated or used with intention.
It is always a good idea to use natural light in newborn portraits as it adds a natural feel to the image.
White noise machine
When dealing with babies, they can become fussy or cry from time to time during shoots. With all the noises surrounding the space, it is not surprising that they may become startled. Investing in a white noise machine may help soothe little clients for better shots.
Newborn Photography For Beginners
Photographing newborns is increasing in popularity. As a first-timer, here are a few tips from professional photographers to consider before diving head first into the business:
Newborn photography workshops
The ins and outs and do’s and don’ts of newborn photography are offered in workshops in this field. Learn how newborn baby photography works and get insight on how to use newborn photography props and special newborn poses to create beautiful images. Newborn photography safety is vital to learn. Workshops lay the foundation for a photography business plus offer ideas on how to shoot the perfect newborn portraits for your clients. Workshops may also discuss the specifics of this business such as social media use and two-day shipping.
Natural versus artificial lighting
Newborn photography requires the right light for a photo shoot. Natural light and artificial light are both options. As a photographer, take this into account since lighting is paramount. Create a soft and awe-inspiring shoot with the right light. Knowing which light to use will help build your brand or style of newborn photography.
Photographing newborns requires exploring different angles. Shooting from below makes the image flat. Shoot from an angle, such as from the top or on the side. Move around to find a new angle that works perfectly for your client.
When it comes to newborn photography, start with photography safety which revolves around the newborn. Make sure that the baby is snug as a bug and that the props will not obstruct breathing or put a child at risk. Once the baby’s safety is ensured in the basket, crate or other structure, add the rest of the props to complete the picture.
Tips For Your First Newborn Photo Shoot
Taking up newborn photography is exciting, but a first photo shoot can also be filled with trepidation. Fortunately, there are photography tips provided by professional newborn photographers for starting a career in this field.
Set the stage
Make sure that the room is warm in your newborn photo session. Walking into a baking room is uncomfortable. Set your thermostat to 80℉. Adding warmth to the room prevents blotchy looking skin during the shoot. Ask if parents would like to feed the baby before you start taking photos to settle the little one. White noise can also keep babies quiet and calm during your shoot. If you are going to use a white noise app on your phone for this, keep your device in airplane mode so there will be no chances of calls or notifications that wake your sleeping client.
Keep it simple
When it comes to newborn photography props and posing newborns, simplicity goes a long way. Keep photography props to the minimum. Avoid making your “stage” all cluttered at this point. Posing a newborn should be simple, perhaps using simple headbands and a blanket. Keeping things simple allows you to capture beautiful portraits easily. In case there are older siblings, use them as part of the shoot. Have them lay beside their younger sibling and snap some precious moments.
Lighting is critical
As a budding photographer in the field of newborn photography, make sure that the light source is always positioned on the top of the baby’s head. When posing your tiny client, keep in mind the location of the light source. This way, the light will be shining downwards from the top of the head to create a nice shadow under the nose. Position the light straight on and also at an angle to create depth.
State of wakefulness does not matter
Capturing newborn poses of sleeping babies works just as well as babies who are wide awake. In fact, sleeping babies are easily poseable. Getting shots of newborns with their eyes open is quite captivating too.
Newborn photography safety should always be paramount when it comes to photographing babies. Make sure that the camera has a strap that loops around you to prevent it from slipping from your hands. If you are going to stand over the baby, use a sturdy chair. Place pillows and a small mattress underneath the basket or crate if you decide to elevate it. This way if the baby moves suddenly, there is something soft around them.
Newborn Posing Guide
Here are some popular poses that work well with newborns:
Newborn frog pose
This is probably the go-to pose for professional photographers as it focuses on the baby’s facial features and flexibility. Legs are typically at the side with hands positioned under the head cupping the chin. However, this can be a bit challenging for first-time photographers.
Another pose that is going to be easy to try during is to wrap the baby snugly in a blanket or rug. Capturing that perfect moment can be enhanced through textures, so play with different blankets as well as rugs. This creates a dreamy shot of the baby.
This pose means that the baby is sleeping on their side. Often the right side proves popular. Either the hands are joined together or posed under the chin. Once you add props, such as blankets and pillows, it will be the perfect shot.
Parents and siblings
Family shots never go out of style.
More Tips For Newborn Photography
Other tips to use in newborn photography are plentiful. There is no shortage of helpful advice from professionals, so here are a few more to get you started.
It is always a good idea to start your photo shoot within the first 10 days of a newborn’s life as they tend to sleep deeply. Beyond that, there is a chance that the baby may be more irritable and develop skin conditions such as baby acne. These things can affect the quality of the shoot.
Allow the baby to sleep
Before you start your newborn photo session, allow babies to sleep first. This makes it easier to pose their tiny little bodies. If your client is still awake by the time he the shoots begins, it may be harder to pose the baby. You may need to wait for the client to tire.
Choose a black backdrop
If you are aiming for a classic black and white newborn photo, drape a large black fabric on a beanbag or against the wall. You do not need a fancy studio to start.
Think outside the box. Try placing the baby on top of a decorative rug, inside a small box or on a parent’s chest. There are plenty of places to position the baby. Get creative.
Offering parents online viewing of digital images allows both you and them to see any areas that could be improved and pick out favorite photos early in the process.
A Last Word On Newborn Photography
Newborn photography does not have to be overwhelming especially when you attend pertinent workshops. Learning from the professionals is always a good idea before embarking. Once you are confident handling babies, it will be easier to do newborn photography.