It can feel like a scary and uncertain world at the moment. I know a lot of people are disappointed that they won’t be able to visit the studio for newborn photos. But the advice is clear “STAY AT HOME” I am devastated too, trust me, I miss seeing all the beautiful babies in the studio so much! If I could come to your house and shoot I would! But the same rules apply for me too and no photographer should be risking your babies health or their own families health at this time.
Some things won’t change though. Your baby is still going to be beautiful, you are still going to be just as in love as the moment you first met your new baby. I am still going to be here, ready to photograph your family as soon as its safe to do so.
In the meantime, I have put together a few things that I think may help new parents photographing those precious first few weeks with your baby while you are at home.
1. EXIST IN YOUR PHOTOS
This is think is the most important thing, especially for your baby to look back on. They are going to want to look back and see photos of them with Mum, Dad, Siblings and all the love that you all share. Make sure you are in the photo, especially you Mum’s as we are often the ones taking the photos! Dad’s just grab that camera or phone and photograph your beautiful partner with your new baby. Here are a few quick tips for photographing mums/dads with babies.
- Eliminate distractions. Place your subject in an area where there are no distractions or clutter in the background. Move a lounge or kitchen table out of the way etc and place your subject in front of a plain wall. Frame your subject so that they are filling most of the frame.
- Lighting. Use the natural light in your home. Avoid the pop up flash on your camera or the flash on your phone. This light is very harsh and unflattering. Photographers will use off camera flash/strobes in studio or natural light from their studio. You want the light to be lovely and soft, so filtering it through a sheer curtain is a great idea.
- Wear plain solid colours. You want the focus to be on you and baby. Brightly coloured patterns, stripes etc can distract from this.
- Get up close, hold your baby up close to you, cheek to cheek. Kiss your baby, nuzzle in close and smell that delicious newborn smell. The closer the better, you want to be able see that connection, that bond that is like no other. Take your photos right after baby has had a big feed, so that they are nice and sleepy and relaxed. Wrap them so little arms and legs are all snug and secure and not waving about the place, these little babies are very active when awake sometimes!
- Angles. Shooting from slightly above is much more flattering for your subject. Have your subject sit on a chair or stool or you stand on a small step.
- Posing. Relax your shoulders, tilt your head slightly towards your baby and chin up.
- Put your camera on self timer and get everyone in the photo! Or just do the selfies! Just make sure you are all in it. I can still capture that beautiful family portrait that you can hang on your wall once your Baby is a bit older and its ok to venture out again.
2. CAPTURE THE DETAILS
The tiny fingers and toes, the adorable baby profiles with the little upturned nose, the flaky skin, the little bit of baby hair on the shoulders, the most perfect little rosebud lips, the eyelashes, the delicious back rolls! These are all the things that you will want to remember. Get in close and capture those little details individually. Your camera may have a macro setting, sometimes this is the little flower symbol. Get in nice and close, make sure you are using good natural light, and hold your camera steady to focus on the little details.
You want photos that you are all going to look back on and say “OMG look how tiny you were”. By doing simple things like adding in parents hands, placing your thumb on their toes, adding in little props etc. I love using the little cuddle teddy bears to show how tiny they really are. Your baby may have a special toy in their nursery, photograph them with that, then as they grow they can see how much they have grown by looking at the size comparison of that toy. Place your baby on a plain coloured rug or blanket, tuck them in and place the teddy next to them. Make sure that its SAFE! Don’t use anything that could potentially hurt your baby. Photographing babies with just parents hands around them is another favourite of mine. Again it just shows the perspective of how tiny these beautiful little babies are.
Please note that all the images that you see with babies cradled in dad’s hands (like below) are photographed with baby laying safely on a soft surface, and shot from above looking down, babies are not lifted up at all! DO NOT lift your baby up in the air. This is not how its done, its not a scene from the Lion King 😉 Also, you may see some photographs of babies in swings, buckets, outdoor scenes etc. A lot of these shots are done by professional photographers using digital composites. This is where the photographer takes a photo of the baby by itself then it is digitally manipulated into another photo in photo shop. This is the safest way to achieve this kind of look and something that should not be done without proper skills and training.
I hope this has helped. Don’t stress, enjoy your baby and cherish the time at home with your family. Still take all the every day photos of your baby, these are all priceless moments that you will all look back on in years to come.
My studio is currently temporarily closed due to COVID-19 restrictions. However, I am taking tentative bookings for shoots and will be contacting people who have registered their interest once business is operating again. Please contact me via the contact form on my website or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Also if you have any questions on the above please let me know, I am only too happy to help guide you from home 🙂
Stay safe, and I am really looking forward to seeing you all in the studio again soon xoxoxoxo