The newborn days are so precious, yet so fleeting. As photographers, we can appreciate how quickly these days go by and how important it is to capture all of the sweet details of new babies, while they are still little. While some may opt to hire a professional to photograph their baby, some of us are excited at the prospect of capturing our baby’s first days ourselves. I would love to share with you some tips and ideas to help you create beautiful images.
- How long will this take? The average session is 2-3 hours, and you will soon realize why when you have done a couple of your own. The session is taken up by everything BUT taking photos. Your time will be spent primarily soothing, cuddling, and gentle and slow posing. Every baby is different and every baby is on their own time schedule. Leave your self with plenty of time as to not stress yourself, baby, or mom and dad. As a general rule, most newborn specialists will do just one session a day.
- When is the ideal time to photograph newborns? Between 5 days and two weeks old. Babies are going to be sleepy, flexible and their baby acne hasn’t set in yet.
- What do I pose baby on? While there are specific bags made for newborn photography, you don’t need one to start out. Make sure to fill your bean bag to make it very firm.
- How warm should your environment be for posed newborn photography? Between 82-85 degrees, you want to feel sweat. Remember you are mimicking the womb for baby. Have a small space heater or if you travel you can ask parents to turn up the heat.
- What is the best time of day for a newborn session? The morning time, baby is usually their sleepiest as they have been up most of the night. During these first few days of life their schedule is still a little backwards!
- How do you keep baby asleep? While a warm environment is very important, I also use several other tips. I use my iPhone or iPad to lay next to baby with my White Noise App (there are many free apps available). Some newborn photographers with very cold hands also use soft gloves while positioning baby. If it’s been 2 hours since baby fed last, baby may just be ready to eat again!
- How do I ensure baby’s safety? Baby’s safety is the number 1 priority while you are taking his or her photos. If you are trying a more difficult pose or working with props, have someone there to help you and to spot baby. However, if you’re just beginning, you should stick to safe and very natural poses . Remember that many of the more difficult looking poses and setups are actually composite images and NOT created from a single shot.
- Should I attend a workshop? The short answer is yes. It doesn’t matter how skilled you are at photography, because the skills required to be safe as a newborn photographer are really very different than anything you have done before. Newborns are delicate and must be handled correctly. They can suffer circulation problems, are poor at regulating their temperature, and cannot tell you when they are feeling uncomfortable, which means they are relying on you to take care of them at all times. The correct training will teach you safe handling techniques, how to spot signs of baby not being happy for many reasons, as well as general safety and other important areas.
Pensacola Newborn Photographer
Destin Newborn Photographer