It is a very strange and difficult time for so many people at the moment. For me, it is hard not being able to work, to capture and create your professional newborn portraits, or simply meet so many lovely clients both old and new.
So, I thought it would be a great idea to put together a few tips to help you photograph your newborn at home. You don’t need to have an expensive camera; a phone is enough. The image you capture won’t be the same as those by a professional newborn specialist, such as myself who has been photographing babies for over 9 years, but the images you create are about capturing this special time which is all too fleeting. They will become treasured memories of your precious little one, so do take plenty even if you think they won’t be very good. I wrote a blog a while ago about the importance of photography, which is worth a read.
This is the most important thing as light is a photographer’s paint.
Look for big windows with no direct sunlight to keep the light even over your baby’s face. We are currently being blessed with a lot of sunshine but actually this is not ideal in your photographs. So if your room is too bright try another, or diffuse the light using voile curtains or material if you have any. Try to keep the light across your baby from either the side or the top. Imagine it is being the light from the sky falling on your child. Light never comes from the ground up!
I would avoid anything patterned, anything with a logo on or anything too busy. Remember to keep it simple and neutral. That way the focus will be on your baby. Try a plain simple vest (avoiding collars) or even naked. If you’re brave enough get baby nappy-free, but if you’d rather not you can cover their nappy with fabric draped across the baby.
If your baby is little wriggler try swaddling, again with a plain, neutral piece of material. This helps keep the baby calm and their arms down and out of the way.
Warmth & Noise
Keep the room nice and warm for baby. White noise will help to soothe them too. There are so many great free apps out there which you can try. A contented baby will make for a calmer photographer and this will show through in your images.
Keep it safe
You may have seen many professional images of babies in various poses but these require training and knowledge. Instead, place your baby on a safe, flat surface – a few blankets on the floor next to a window or on the centre of your bed, far away from the edges. If your partner is at home please have them nearby at all times to keep an eye on your little one so you can concentrate on the photograph. Please, please don’t try any posing as many of the images I create are composite images (made up of more than one image). Remember baby safety at all times. Nothing is more important when trying to photograph your newborn.
Where to stand
Stand over your baby so that you are photographing down their nose. It is never flattering to photograph up it! Focus on your baby’s face and all those tiny little details which make this time so special. If you have a wrist strap on your phone or camera, always use it, so it acts as a safety function just in case your phone should slip from your hand.
So, just a few basic tips to help you photograph your newborn at home. Good luck and please feel free to share your images of your gorgeous newborns with me…I am missing these little bundles of joy.