Newborn Photography: A Beginners Guide
Newborn photography is a booming business these daysâand we want to help you make it big! Our handy guide will show you how to become a newborn photography whiz.
When it comes to newborn photography, youâll never run out of clients! The newborn photoshoot market is exploding because everyone is having babiesâand everyone wants cute photos of their babies.
This is great news for you photographers who want to try out different types of photography, or make a little money from your photography. Newborn baby pics are also an amazing addition to your online photography portfolio a great newborn photoshoot can really show off your skill and range as a shooter .
Want to learn how to take amazing newborn photos so you can get a piece of this lucrative business? Our newborn photography guide will show you how to produce newborn pictures like a pro in no time. Ready? Letâs go!
What You Need For Diy Photoshoot
As you can see, I own an adjustable backdrop kit with white curtains kindly gifted by my brother for a birthday one year . These dont have to be expensive and can cost you anywhere from $40 to hundreds of dollars depending on quality. You can find just the support system for $39 here or a full kit here .
You also need cushions or pillows to provide some padding because your little one will most likely not stay asleep on a hard surface. I used a cushion from one of my sofas and a Boppy pillow I use for nursing.
Then I spread a white blanket over the two cushions.
With this set-up, these are some of the photos I got. This was my first attempt at day 7 so there were some limitations. I wasnt fully recovered so I didnt have too much energy and it was hard to move around freely. I wish I took more time to perfect every shot, but because I couldnt push myself, I was only able to take what the baby allows.
Tip 5 Get Your Basic Poses First For Newborn Photography
Being creative is a large part of being a newborn photographer, but so is making sure you get the basic, must-have shots. You should always start with the basics and move towards the more advanced photos just in case the baby gets too fussy and you have to call off the shoot. Below are some of the basic shots you should get before introducing complex, time-consuming, and difficult photographs. For more info on Newborn Posing, please see our Newborn Workshop on DVD.
The Back Pose for Babies
The Side Pose for Babies
The Tummy Pose for Babies
The Small Details
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Newborn Photography Poses: 6 Simple And Easy For Beginners
The amazing inspiring newborn posing guide is presented here. Pin it to save for later this stunning transitional pose workflow when those unpleasant moments pop up. This session planner of newborn photography poses will help to motivate you when you need it the most. This magnificent posing flow gives you simple newborn poses for pictures that are essential during every photoshoot.
Some periods are like a piece of cake you feel enthusiastic, anything seems to be achievable. The other periods are more complicated and your desire is reduced to near zero. There will definitely be moments when your newborn photo session does not work properly, your knowledge disappoints you, and you feel strained. And those are the moments when inspiration is necessary.
In this article, we feature newborn baby boy pictures created by Kristina Mack from Tiny Posers. This beautiful newborn baby photo gallery is a place full of creative inspiration of newborn photography poses.
About Alison Brisbane Newborn Photography
Having a baby? Alison Cooke Photography specialises in Brisbane newborn photography, wedding and portrait photography and is an award-winning member of the AIPP. With over 20 years experience in the wedding, family and newborn portrait industry, Alison will capture all your favourite moments! Alison is a communications specialist, writer and freelance public relations specialist. You can view more of Alisons writing here.
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Turn Off Overhead Lights And Your Cameras Flash
and use window light.
Honestly, its just much prettier.
Overhead indoor lights give weird color casts and shadows, and generally not advisable for pictures. A cameras built-in flash will create an unattractive deer-in-the-headlights look. Using window light will necessitate that your photoshoot takes place in the daytime, when window light is available. Youll want to find a time when your baby is usually sleeping anyway during daylight hours. Its worth it.
The tricky part of window light is that it changes from day to day and room to room and hour to hour . It will take a little trial and error to figure out the best location, and thats okay! Just take your camera and a basic object and walk it around the house, taking pictures of it in different places. Then compare your shots to determine what works best.
If you have a slider door, thats often a good place to start. Find a time with the light isnt so bright that its streaming in, and thus creating really harsh shadows, but when that room isnt in shadow, either. Then take that teddy bear and take different pictures of him in different spots around the room. Try some close to the window, some farther away, etc. If you dont find a spot that you like, try another room.
Top 5 Basic Newborn Photography Poses
There are five main bare baby poses.
- Back Laying
1. Womb Pose
In the womb pose, babys feet are crossed over and curled up underneath them. A hand is tucked sweetly under their cheek. This posed is named for being somewhat similar to the position baby is inside the womb during pregnancy. In this photo, there is a little posing pillow underneath babys cheek to gently lift their head up towards the light and camera.
2. Bum or Tushy Up Pose
During the bum or tushy up pose, babys feet are crossed and resting underneath their bottom. Babies tend to love this pose. Having their knees tucked under their tummy, with their head to the side is a natural position for them when being held or burped by a parent. The tush up pose is one of the most classic bare baby shots in newborn photography.
3. Hands Under Chin Pose
The hand on chin pose is a parent favorite as it focuses on babys face. Babys hands are folded sweetly and placed under their chin. Your photographers goal is to have babys face in focus, as the body goes into a soft blur, or bokeh.
4. Side Laying Pose
While the side laying pose can be more of a challenging shot during a newborn photography session, we think it can be one of the cutest too! In this pose, baby is laying on their side with their hands tucked underneath their cheek. Again, the babys face is in focus, as the body goes out of focus.
5. Back Laying Pose
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Shallow Dof + Newborn Photography = Match Made In Heaven
That soft blurry background and/or foreground is a look called shallow depth of field. One element in creating this is using a wide aperture. So here we come to the one piece of specific newborn photographic equipment that you may need for the shoot – a lens with a wide aperture. There are some cheaper versions out there so dont worry and we cover this in our video here.
To learn more about apertures and how to control DOF,
Using a 50mm prime lens will help create a shallow DOF
What Safety Precautions Should Be Taken With Newborn Photoshoots
Currently there are no safety regulations in place for the newborn photography industry which we think is rather crazy.
Literally, anyone who owns a camera can begin photographing newborns with no training or knowledge of the special needs of infants, what, I know crazy!
Baby safety should always be the number one priority when selecting a photographer. Literally, number one. Babies can startle and move easily so its very important to be prepared to anticipate and always be close enough to put your hand on the baby.
Some things a trained newborn photographer will consider are room temperature, babys temperature and well-being, compositing only for certain poses, or only offering baby-guided posing and posing safely. Your newborn photographer should be insured in order to protect you and your newborn bundle.
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How To Manage Baby Feeding
Besides a sleepy baby, a content baby with a full tummy will ensure a successful photography session. Photographers often recommend parents to feed their baby full right before they come to the session. Some parents might object, but in reality it is helpful if you feed your baby before your photo session, so they will be ready to sleep. In this case warm milk equals a happy model!
One of the best options is for parents to arrive to the studio and then take all the time needed to feed the little model until they are full and ready to take a long nap. Depending on the deal with the photographer, the parents should come about 30 minutes early, settle in and feed the baby till it is full, happy and sleepy.
Of course, during the photo shoot itself, there should be plenty of breaks for messes, feeding and cuddling. Newborns will need feeding breaks throughout the session, especially if they are a little fussy. Feeding times also allow photographers to capture intimate nursing moments between mommy and baby, if that is the clients wish.
Another handy advice: Keep extra wipes, diapers, blankets, and trash bags nearby for quick cleanups. Naked babies do have more accidents, so it is a good thing to be ready. Just remember to be patient and do not get embarrassed or frustrated when things go wrong. They often do, and the photographers who often work with infants are used to it.
Take Pictures From Above
Keep your camera strap on for safety. You dont want it to slip out of your hand and fall. Angle your shot so that youre shooting down the babys nose instead of up because that doesnt look flattering on anyone. If youre shooting your baby from an elevated surface, Morrison recommends getting eye level with them so you can establish eye contact. Speaking of which
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Should Mothers/fathers Be In Newborn Photos
Unequivocally yes mom, dad, and siblings should get in the photo.
We know you might not feel your best. Heck, you might not even be cleared to drive yet. But you will never regret having those memories. And you cant get them back. Dont regret it. Get in the picture.
Again, this is why you go to a newborn photography expert. They know all the perfect angles and posing to make sure you look amazing, even if you are not feeling the best. These images really highlight your connection with your partner and your newborn!
Preparing For Your Photo Session
When youre packing for your hospital stay, be sure to pack for your babys photos as well. Here are a few suggestions to help you prepare for your photo shoot:
- Bring your favorite baby blanket or afghan from home. A beautiful blanket can add texture, color and memories to your newborns photo.
- Wear clear or neutral nail polish. The photographers love including parents hands in the photos, and a neutral polish will ensure that your baby remains the focus of the pictures.
- Bring a solid black, brown or grey shirt or camisole to wear in the photos. The photographers may photograph the baby in your arms, and these colors will look great in both black & white and color prints.
Please note: Photographs are taken before the day of discharge to allow the photographer time to show you the pictures.
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Use White Noise And Heartbeat Sounds
Newborns love to listen to white noise and a heartbeat. So much so, that there are many baby products on the market to help create these soothing sounds for baby. Make sure to have white noise going in the background while you are photographing baby. Most newborn photographers use the Baby Shusher, and we do too! It is a wonderful tool that makes the best white noise for a newborn photoshoot.
Similarly, you can also play a heartbeat soundtrack while you are working. There are plenty of apps and Spotify playlists for this! Other sounds that newborns love are: washing machine, hair dryer, traffic, rain, and ocean waves.
Tip 6 Get Creative Props For Your Newborn Photos
Creative props can be the difference between a professional photo and an amateur one. Newborn props dont have to be expensive and you can find most of what you need at home or a local crafts stores. Other recommended locations are Beautiful Photo Props and Etsy. For ideas, consider incorporating the parents hobbies, their culture, their favorite colors, or their overall personalities. We came up with the concept below for Ellie because her mother used to live in Paris. For more inspiration and to see how this scene was shot, please see our Newborn Photography Workshop.
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Newborn Session Prep Tips For Parents:
Here are some tips you can provide to parents to help them prepare themselves and their baby for the newborn photography session:
1. Feed your baby around two hours before arriving at the newborn session and then do not feed baby again until after you arrive at the studio. This helps baby get in a good, full feeding right before photos.
2. Keep baby awake from just after the full feeding until you arrive at the studio. This will help your newborn to be extra tired for the shoot. Baths, playing and un-swaddling work well to keep newborns awake.
3. Slightly loosen babys diaper about two hours before your session. This helps prevent red marks.
4. Wash or sponge-clean your babys hair on the morning of the session. This will help make sure the hair is fluffy instead of oily in the photos.
5. You may want to have extra pumped milk or formula prepared in a bottle. Overfeeding helps baby stay really sleepy and we may bottle-feed several times with baby in various poses/positions.
6. Have babys pacifier handy . Even if the baby isnt usually good at taking one, it can often be very helpful while they are settling into a pose.
7. I recommend not putting lotion on the baby the morning of the session .
8. The photo room will be hot for baby to be comfortable naked, so you might be more comfortable wearing a tank top or t-shirt when we are not doing family/parent/sibling poses.