How to Photograph Newborn Babies - 7 Top Tips

 

Fancy going DIY for your newborn pictures?  Follow my tips below on how to choose the perfect location, set up and poses for your new arrival.

 

Safety

This one has to go first because it's a biggy.  No newborn picture is more important than keeping your little one safe.

- Never leave them unattended.  For a baby that apparently cannot move, they sure can move!  All it takes is one startle or wriggle and he or she can fall and hurt themselves.  If possible, have someone with you to help if you have to step away from them for a second. 
- Never force them into poses they don't want to go into.  Newborn photographers have been trained in keeping your baby safe.  Many poses are composites - 1 image made up of 2 or more images to remove supporting hands etc.
- Never leave them in one pose for too long.  Keep checking their little hands and feet for good circulation.
- Make sure the room is nice and warm but don't place heaters too close.
- Do not place him or her on any hard surfaces.
- Do not use any glass props, or wood that may splinter.
 

Here's my usual set up for newborn pictures when using my lights.  If it was a brighter day I would have opened my curtains and used the light from my patio doors.

Here's my usual set up for newborn pictures when using my lights.  If it was a brighter day I would have opened my curtains and used the light from my patio doors.

 

Find the light

First things first - choose the perfect spot to set up.
Natural light is your friend.  Turn off all inside lights and find a nice bright spot without any direct sunlight.  By patio doors or a large window is perfect.  
 

 

 

 


Here's a DIY set up on my bed.  I have placed down towels to protect my bed and then gaffer taped a blanket to my frame.  Simple but effective! **i would smooth the blanket out after placing the baby

Here's a DIY set up on my bed.  I have placed down towels to protect my bed and then gaffer taped a blanket to my frame.  Simple but effective!
**i would smooth the blanket out after placing the baby

Set up your 'studio'

Most photographers use a large, firm beanbag for posing. 
Find a nice large soft and SAFE area to lay your baby.  This could be a large foot stall, a sofa, a bed or blankets laid on the floor.  If you plan on photographing them naked, make sure you protect the surface from accidents.  If you have puppy training pads, these are perfect!  If not, lay down plenty of towels. 

Choose a blanket for your backdrop and drape it over your background.  I love lighter colours without patterns to leave all of the focus on the baby, but choose something that reflects your style - a fluffy blanket, a patchwork quilt, a crisp white sheet. 
Whatever it is, make sure it isn't creased!

 

Here's the image i got from the set up above.  my main source of light is my window, which is to the right - simple!

Here's the image i got from the set up above.  my main source of light is my window, which is to the right - simple!


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Prepare your model

The best time to photograph a newborn is when they are in a deep deep sleep.  Generally this is right after a large feed (known to some as a milk coma!)  
Keeping the room nice and warm (around 28 degrees) will help to keep them nice and sleepy.  Keep some water close by for yourself because it's bound to make you feel hot and sleepy to!

Clothed or Naked?  That's completely up to you!  I love photographing babies naked but it doesn't come without its hazards.  Make sure the surface you are using is protected from accidents.
Pick out some hats, headbands, toys & blankets that you love to make the photos more personal. 


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Get Posing

Right - they're asleep, now what?
It's time to pose!  Choose a couple of simple poses.  I would suggest firstly laying them on their back and then moving them onto their side.  Use the accessories to get a variety of photos. 
Only if you and they are comfortable should you attempt to move them onto their tummy. 
If at any point they resist, never force them into a pose.  Let them guide you.  Sometimes the more natural poses are the best. 
Pace yourself.  Work at babies speed.


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Get the shot

Get in close and photograph all of the details - tiny toes, wrinkly hands, all of those rolls and the way their hair sticks out behind their ears - all those little things that you want to remember. 
Step away and photograph them in all their glory.  Show how tiny they look when they are swaddled and how chunky or gangly their limbs are. 
Photograph lots of different angles to get lots of variety. 

 


my dad, sister & brother holding me in the hospital right after i'd been born #existinphotos

my dad, sister & brother holding me in the hospital right after i'd been born #existinphotos

 

Exist in photos

This one means A LOT to me and it should to you to.
As much as you may not feel like it right now - exist in photos with your children.  These are the images that they will treasure when they grow up. 
They will not care if you aren't wearing make up or haven't brushed your hair.  They will purely see their mum or dad, holding them, feeding them, smiling, playing with them and loving them. 

 

 


 

I hope these quick tips have given you a helping hand for when it comes to taking your newborn pictures.  Take your time and enjoy the process as soon you'll be photography something not so little :)

 

One last bit of advice...

Never leave a spaniel alone when setting things up for a blog post!

 
I should have known something was up when she snuck in...

I should have known something was up when she snuck in...

i left the room who a whole 30 seconds!

i left the room who a whole 30 seconds!

 

Interested in hiring me for your newborn pictures?