Any mama that has tried taking photos of their newborn baby knows that it is not nearly as easy as you might think. Those babies are not only squirmy and tiny and fragile, but they also are very picky about their location!
1. The key to any great photography is light. Good photographers can work in any type of lighting, but if you ask them, 90% will tell you they prefer natural lighting. The trick about natural lighting is that you don't want the sun to shine directly on your subject. Ideally, you shoot in a bright, yet shady area, or you shoot on a cloudy day. In any case, your baby will squint if the light is too bright, so harsh lighting and flashes are not your friend when it comes to photographing babies.
|This photo was taken using natural light from a window directly behind the photographer as well as to the left.|
|This photo was taken at sunset with the sun lightly falling on the back of baby's head.|
|This photo was taken in an outdoor location on a bright summer day under the shade of a porch.|
2. Newborn babies in particular need to be very warm. If you intend to take photos of newborns without clothing, the room needs to be around 80 degrees or you should be shooting outdoors on a hot day. If a baby is cold, they will simply scream. Screaming photos are cute for about 2 photos and then it is suddenly not so cute anymore. Bundle that baby!
One way to keep babies warm is to put them in a peapod or sling. Photographers have been using these tools for years, but you can use them to! You don't have to pay $20-$40 online for them either. You can make your own using an old sweater for free. If you have a cursory knowledge of how to sew, this project is simple! How to video will be coming soon!
3. Babies not only need warmth, but they need quiet. Most of the best shots come when your baby is completely asleep. You are able to "arrange" them to capture detail shots in the perfect light and if you are lucky, you'll capture your little one smiling in their dreams. When photographing your newborn, don't forget to photograph their tiny hands and feet and ears and belly buttons. If you have a "macro" setting (the icon is often a closeup of a flower), turn the dial on your camera to it to get great close up shots.
4. It takes patience to create a warm, quiet, peaceful environment where a baby will feel comfortable. Be patient and take your time. Let baby nurse if they want. Once you have the baby comfortable, then you can begin posing. One of my favorite poses is with daddy holding his newborn baby out towards the camera. I love the contrast of Daddy's large, rough hands against the tiny, fragile baby with their wisps of hair.
Another favorite pose of mine is to simply let baby curl up on their belly in a natural sleeping pose and photographed on a slight diagonal.
As babies grow a little larger, they can start to pose themselves. For a photo like this, get yourself set and let baby wiggle his way to you. Get yourself down at baby's level either on a bed or on the floor.
|Babies will look at mom and dad instead of the camera if they are in the room.|
I often shoot by holding my camera under my chin while I look at the child from above the camera. It is much less intimidating to have the camera pointed at them if they also see your face! You will also be much more likely to get baby looking at the camera if you show them your face.
|Kick mom and dad out of the room and you'll have a much better chance at seeing those baby blues!|
Once babies reach this age, it becomes a whole different world!
If you are interested in learning about different posing techniques, you can check out a sample from the TRIX Posing Guides HERE!
...and remember... you might want to check out my other how-to photography posts at my sister site 'A Nest for All Seasons'...just click HERE!
Allenaim Photography is a home based photography and design studio located in the sweetest place on Earth; Hershey, Pennsylvania! Amy also coordinates a home design and nesting blog titled A Nest for all Seasons where she writes photo tutorials and videos on everything from homemade tortilla chips to making art display cases out of dresser drawers. While she is not blogging, she is chasing around three little boys and doing a LOT of laundry! Amy has been featured on the Nate Berkus Show, WomansDay.com, Hobby Farm Home, BHG.com, Design*Sponge, Zankyou Magazine, Occasions Magazine and is a design writer for HOUZZ.com.