HOW TO PHOTOGRAPH YOUR NEWBORN SAFELY AT HOME
"A Grand Adventure is about to begin!"
Winnie the Pooh
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KEEP YOUR CAMERA OR PHONE CLOSE BY AT ALL TIMES SO YOU CAN CAPTURE MOMENTS AS THEY HAPPEN
Choose somewhere safe and secure to photograph your baby. The centre of a double bed is perfect.
A shallow basket or tub on the floor or bed can also work. Make sure there are no sharp parts and pad it out with muslins or towels and then put a blanket on top.
If taking sibling photos make sure baby is secure and your partner is within arms reach to protect baby from any sudden toddler movements!
I suggest aiming for a relaxed lifestyle approach to your photographs. This will be easier to duplicate on different days to achieve some consistency in your images.
IT TAKES TWO!
HAVE YOUR PARTNER WITHIN ARMS REACH OF BABY AT ALL TIMES FOR SAFETY AND TO SETTLE HIM OR HER IF THEY STARTLE.
TAKE PHOTOS OF YOUR PARTNER WITH BABY. ASK YOUR PARTNER TO TAKE PHOTOS OF YOU WITH BABY. YOU DON'T HAVE TO SHOW THESE TO ANYONE ELSE BUT YOUR BABY WILL LOVE TO SEE THEM IN 5/10 YEARS TIME.
I CAN GUARANTEE THAT IN 5/10 YEARS TIME YOU WILL WISH YOU STILL LOOKED AS YOUNG AS YOU ARE NOW!
For lifestyle photography at home I would most definitely keep it neutral. A plain white bedset is perfect. A white sleepsuit for baby or even just a nappy. Jeans and a white top for the rest of the family or perhaps a white dress for Mum and the girls. It will look really classy. You can also introduce some soft beige, grey and pastel colours if you like.
Lighting will make or break your images. Try and choose a light and airy room but without direct sunlight shining onto the shooting area as this will create very contrasty images. You can diffuse the harsh sunlight by hanging an opaque voile or white sheet across the window. You can always move your duvet and pillows to the floor of another room if the light is better there. If it's bright enough, the light on an overcast day is much softer...
TIMING IS CRUCIAL!
DON'T ATTEMPT YOUR PHOTO SHOOT AFTER A NIGHT OF PACING THE FLOOR WITH AN UNSETTLED BABY! TRY AND CHOOSE A DAY WHEN YOU HAVE MANAGED TO GET SOME SLEEP. 😴
MORNINGS ARE USUALLY BEST - I BOOK NEWBORN SHOOTS IN FOR 10.30AM WHICH USUALLY WORKS WELL. I FIND THAT EVERYONE IS USUALLY STARTING TO FADE IN THE AFTERNOON.
It is much more flattering to shoot down the face. Try and aim your phone or camera so it is looking from the forehead down rather than the chin up.
Use the timer function on your camera or phone or download a timer app. This will give you time to set up your family image and get into the photo without having to do a selfie. Having said that why not take a few family selfie's while you are at it!
Plan your shoot a day or two before so that you know what you want to do when the time comes. Have outfits and shooting areas ready to go. Remove clutter. This will save you time on photo day.
Are you going to be in the photos? Make sure you are happy with how you look. Remember this is lifestyle so you don't have to be all dolled up but you might want to give your hair a brush and put on a little make up, if you wear it!
Remove chipped nail varnish!
Immediately prior to your shoot:
Feed, Change and Wind baby. Take some time getting him or her settled and comfortable. Keep it calm. Perhaps play some soothing music or a white noise app. Don't rush, allow yourself plenty of time. Baby's don't like to be rushed!
Wisps of hair; furry ears; downy shoulders, delicate fingers; tiny toes; eyelashes; button noses and cute lips. Try and capture each of these newborn features as they will change over the next few weeks. Get the camera or phone in as close as you can and focus on the area you would like sharp in your image. Put the camera strap around your neck or hand. Hold your phone securely. Please be careful. Try to take the photos from the side rather than above, it will really hurt if you drop a phone or camera on baby.
If your colours are looking a little off, try a classic Black & White conversion for a simple, timeless look.
Don't forget to make a fuss and get some photos of your older children too. Even the most camera shy kiddies will want their photo taken when baby is getting all the attention!
PLEASE don't try to balance your baby on or in anything.
PLEASE don't try the chin in hands or any other complex poses.
These poses require professional training and are most often composite images (several images put together to remove the hands supporting baby).
IF YOUR INSTINCTS TELL YOU IT DOESN'T FEEL SAFE DON'T DO IT!
THESE ARE YOUR PHOTOS, NO ONE ELSES.
THIS IS YOUR DOCUMENTARY OF YOUR NEWBORN BABY. TAKE IT AS IT IS.
DON'T STRESS. BABY WILL SENSE IT.
IF IT DOESN'T WORK, TRY AGAIN TOMORROW...
TIPS & RESOURCES
I hope this helps a little.
Remember to keep it safe, photograph often, relax - these images are for you only!
Please get in touch if you have any questions, I will be more than happy to help.
You might be interested in taking a look at my
Usual posed Newborn Photo Shoots are currently not permitted but this new set
means that you can still capture those precious early days.
The set has been designed to meet current Coronavirus Social Distancing Guidelines.
It seems to be a hit!
Best wishes & keep safe