There is NOTHING more exciting and nerve-raking than bring a new baby home. Those first few days are a blur of naps and feeding and you can't believe how much that tiny baby is changing before your eyes. I think pretty much most parents out there take hundreds photos of their newborn, capturing those first cuddles, visits and super cute expressions that only babies can make. You may be opting to book in with a pro photographer but sometimes if's that's just not an option whether it's due to Lock-down or you actually just want to take your own photos, here are my 5 TOP TIPS to help you out.
1. KEEP IT SIMPLE
Don't overload yourself with lots of ideas. Simple is really beautiful and easy to achieve.
Your newborns safety is your number one priority so please do not attempt any highly posed positions as these are often achieved by taking composite photos (putting together different photos and editing out bits) Newborn photographers should be trained in newborn safety and have the knowledge to safely pose a baby in various positions.
2. FIND THE LIGHT
Light is THE most important thing. You need to find a large window or glass door that has no direct sunlight coming through, overcast days are the best! You'll see in the above behind-the-scene photos that I've popped a sheer curtain up to defuse (soften) the light further but this is a "nice to have" option.
Make sure to turn off any overhead/inside lights, you won't be needing those!
The easiest way to light baby is to have the light coming in from the side (as shown by the below photos) or even slightly down baby's temple towards its toes.
3. PREPARE YOURSELF AND TAKE YOUR TIME
Prepare yourself beforehand and have everything you need on hand so you don't have to rush off to grab something when baby is laying there ready to go.
Feed baby and make sure they're nice and sleepy. Keep the room warm and stay relaxed! If you start stressing, baby will pick up on it and begin to get fussy. A fussy baby generally is not in the mood for photos, it may be best to try another day.
Wrap baby to help keep them calm and stop them from startling themselves awake.
4. DON'T SHOOT UP THE NOSE
The angle of which you take the photo can change things dramatically. We all have our good angles and babies are the same. Try to avoid shooting "up-the-nose" of baby, it's not the most flattering. Instead be more overhead.
One thing to make sure you do when taking photos overhead is have your camera strap around your neck for safely. (if using your camera)
Make sure you take lots of close up photos too, those tiny features change so fast!
5. INCLUDE OTHER CHILDREN
If all is going well you may want to try include your other children.
I want you to be realistic though, this isn't always as easy as it sounds!
I'd recommend doing a lying down shot and having another adult on hand to help out. Baby's safety is always top priority and often the older child will loose interest in holding baby after a second or so. Keep the light coming in from the side, just like with the individual baby photos.
Have a cushion or pillow underneath the sheet/blanket to help support the child. If they are comfortable they are more likely to lie for a second longer. Settle the older child first and then have your assistant hand them the baby to cuddle. Make sure baby is safely supported and have the assistant stay right next to baby with hands just out of the camera frame, ready to instantly grab baby if the older child lets go.
Shoot standing overhead and make sure you have your camera strap around your neck for safety.
If it's just not going to happen then an easier and safer alternative to the "cuddle" shot is to have one with their heads together, legs going towards either side of the mat.
Try not to let it all stress you out. Remember whatever the results, you'll have beautiful photos of your baby to remember those times, forever. PS...you totally need to print your favourite photo out too, you won't regret it.