A newborn baby is, figuratively and literally, one of the most precious things in this world. Every moment of a newborn’s existence is a reminder of the marvelous phenomenon that is human life. As with every precious and beautiful moment, it is wistfully fleeting and therefore sometimes makes you wish that you could have lived it again. Though you can’t relive the past again, you can, thankfully, always capture it– capture it through newborn photography.
However, just like a newborn baby, newborn photography can be the most difficult thing to handle, especially for a beginner. Don’t worry though– we’ve got you covered. Whether you’re a photographer diving into a new field or a parent with a decent camera trying to capture your son or daughter’s first moments, here are some tips and things to remember about newborn photography for beginners.
Tips Before the Shoot
According to some photographers, it is most advisable to do the shoot as early as possible– ideally within the infant’s first 10 days. Not only does the newborn sleep very deeply during his or her first 10 days of existence, shooting within that time period also lessens the chance of the newborn having baby acne as those annoying zits develop after the baby’s first 10 days of life. You wouldn’t want the baby rocking a zit in his or her first ever photo, don’t you?
As with every shoot, it is important to pre-plan the types of shots you want to take. With newborn photoshoots, shots of the baby’s little feet, the newborn’s tiny hands clinging on to the parents’ fingers, or anything detailing his or her infancy are the best shots to take. Also, it is best to consult the parents on what they would want to capture in the shoot. You could also offer them two themes: lifestyle or posed sessions. Both are fine arts with their own positives as a lifestyle pictorial generally is more casual approach and captures natural images of the baby in his or her home and preferably with the parents while a posed session speaks for itself wherein the infant is perfectly posed with an array of props. Also, the color schemes to be used should also be, as much as possible, muted tones. Anything more than the suggested color palette could overshadow the newborn. Options of whites, greys or neutral colors like beige are some colors that would let the baby be completely the star.
It is ideal to bring your own set of props such as headbands, wraps, blankets, etc. However, it is also important to remember not to overdo on them as it is advisable for newborn photographers to feed off the location like using props off things the clients own. Stuff like a hand-knitted blanket from Grandma or other sentimental things are highly recommended as props.
Tips for Mid-shoot
First and foremost, the newborn should be safe at all times. Where the baby is placed should be somewhere that is sturdy and that doesn’t have the infant at risk of falling or something falling on him or her. For hard surfaces, adding pillows around is not only a wise safety measure but also a great way to set the baby up in different poses and positions.
This is the most important tip to remember if you want to have a smooth and undisturbed newborn session. Any discomfort an infant feels would result into a loud and uncontrollable disturbance for the shoot. Therefore, to not waste any precious time, a baby should be well-fed, changed, and cozy with where he or she is sitting. Some photographers shoot with the baby asleep.
For newborn sessions, it is advisable to use as much natural light as possible to invoke a more sentimental feeling to the photos. Therefore, shots should be taken where light openings such as windows and doors are near.
Even though the newborn baby is the main star, it doesn’t hurt to incorporate some fresh people into your photos. People, mostly close family member such as parents, siblings, grandparents, and even the family dog are great ways to show sentimentality and emotion in the picture. Take photos of them and see them relax and enjoy each other’s companies.
Lastly, the tip that applies in all the parts of the newborn photography process is this: The newborn is always the boss. When the baby is uncooperative and you’ve tried everything, then it is best to find new ways of producing a photo. Thus, it is hugely important for newborn photographers to be resilient and flexible. Whatever happens, just keep shooting.