In this crazy time of COVID-19 I'm so upset that many new Mums are missing out on things that are so very special during pregnancy and when their newborn arrives.
I feel sad that you can't have you newborn shoots and show off your precious babies to the world. Over the last week I have tried to put some information together on how you can take better photos of your newborn at home, I know this won't be the same as a professional newborn session but at least you'll have some images whilst they're so small.
Some handy tips -
* Be prepared. Collect all things you want to use well in advance.
* There's no rush. You have plenty of time.
* Light is very important - Turn off your flash, flash is often way too harsh. Find a spot with a lot of natural light and position your baby. If there appears to be too much light you can always put a white sheet up agains your window to diffuse the light. You don't want any bright sun beams coming in your window. Filtered light is best.
* Check the little details - A baby with flat hands will look more relaxed but some babies won't flatten them so see how you go. Make sure to get all creases out of blankets, tie the bow pretty. Make sure you look at your entire set up before taking the photo to make sure everything is where it needs to be.
* Less is more - Make it about your baby. You want people to look at the photo and see your baby not some big bow or teddy bear.
* Keep it simple - Leave all the fancy stuff to your photographer, you just want to have some images to look back on while they are so little.
When Should you do the photo session?
I normally photograph babies between 7-14 days. This is when babies are most relaxed and have beautiful clear skin but they can be photographed at any age.
Shoot after a feed, make sure the room is nice and warm, we play white noise. If you have a dummy make sure you have it handy as this can help settle your baby even if they normally don't use it. Make sure you remove it before you take the photo :). A lot of babies don't like to be naked so you may need to wrap your baby. I will do a wrapping video and post it to my page.
Elvie and I did a little mini shoot today with "Rosalina" to show the basic things you can do. I used some of my props but I'm sure you have items around your house you can use. I am putting together sets that my clients will be able to hire if they wish to attempt there own photo session at home.
Are you ready?
Find the best spot with natural light to set up and things you will need to use.
Things you will need to help position the baby - socks, face washers, cloth nappies.
Props you will need - throw rugs or furs, wraps, headbands, bonnets, beanies, toys, flowers or anything that might be special to you. I have used my posie it's like a small bean bag but you can use a rolled up blanket or towel as below with will give you the same affect.
You don't need heaps of room to do this. I just moved some things around in my lounge room so I could photograph in front of the window with nice light. You don't need sun rays or harsh light coming through the window. Just nice filtered light.
Position the baby near the window so that the light comes from the top side of their face. Later I'll show you different light but for now lets try this one.
Think about the angle you want to photograph your baby at. Try and avoid shooting up the body or up the baby's nose
Once you're happy go ahead and add some props if you wish.
Take close ups of the face and feet not forgetting those cute little lips and hands.
You can place a wrap, scarf or material around the feet so that the feet are the focus in the image. Propping socks, nappies or something small under the feet to hold them up will help.
Try some more positions like below. You can see I've moved the baby around so that her legs are closest to the window now to give you another look.
You always want to get the baby as curled up and comfortable as possible, this is where you'll need cloth nappies, socks or wraps to bring the head up and legs in.
If you don't have a fur like blanket or fabric and are using a thinner styled throw blanket make sure you have a few blankets layered underneath this will hide your stuffers so you can't see them.
See below I have used a fur like blanket for another set up. I have placed cloth nappies and socks under the fleece blanket to bring her head up and under her feet to keep her curled up a little. Use as many stuffers as you'll need.
Keep an eye on your angles and posing.
When posing the baby on their side the position of the hands and feet will make all the difference to your image. I swear Rosalina was more difficult to pose than a real baby.
If you can get both hands in a praying position under the baby's cheek. Try and flatten the fingers so they look more relaxed and it will be more comfortable for the baby too. I couldn't do this for Rosalina as you can see but just try your best. All babies are different!
I would also place either cloth nappies, socks or wraps under the babies head and feet as below. If you have a spare pair of hands have them hold the blanket up at the back like below. This will remove any distracting objects in the background.
Bring the knees together and take time positioning baby's feet, think about how your legs are when you lie on your side and have both feet together, the top leg slightly combining over the bottom one. This should help hide any little boy or girl bits too. If not you can always place a wrap over the bottom half of them. Make sure it's all smoothed out and there are no wrinkles though.
If you have a black blanket or towel lets try something else. Get in nice and close and focus on the baby. You can do this shot naked or wrapped but wrapped is always easier for everyone.
Here's a couple more you can try.
Just make sure your babies head is higher thank it's little bottom when doing this, make sure you have towels, cloth nappies or socks so that her chin doesn't face up but down.
Lastly find a plain wall and try a few images of you and your partner holding your baby. Get in nice and close.
THIS IS SO VERY IMPORTANT! Please consider your baby's safety at all times whilst photographing them. Do not place your baby in any unsafe or unnatural positions or props. Do not leave them unattended on any surface not designed for newborns.
Remember images you see that are professionally taken by photographers have
spotters/supporting hands photoshopped out, made of two images or created in photoshop for safety reasons.
If you try and fail to photograph what you want one day just try again another day.
Have fun and just photograph all the things you love about your baby and want to remember many years from now.
And lastly I would love to see the photos you take, please share them with me.
For my clients with sessions booked I will be offering FaceTime sessions so I can help you while you capture some images of your little ones. I'll also have some items available for you to hire out at a small fee if you need them.
A huge shout out to Rana from Rana Rankin Photography who inspired this post.