This morning Dominic Cotter invited me onto his Radio Gloucestershire show. He ran a feature yesterday on families with a newborn baby at home during the current Coronavirus crisis. I came on to encourage his listeners to photograph their babies while professional photo shoots are not taking place. This got me thinking… why not share a few thoughts and tips on photographing your newborn.
Early days with your new baby are precious. These are wonderful days to document so grab a camera or a phone and get snapping.
It is always a privilege when a family asks me to capture their new arrival. The first step for me is to do my homework. I find out the style of shots the parents want to capture during their photography session. I ask if there are any special outfits, blankets or props they want to use on the shoot, and I offer a few ideas of my own. Pinterest is a great place to begin, it is full of ideas for you to recreate. So set up a mood board and gather up some props from around your home.
The key for a newborn shoot is to keep it natural and simple. Work with natural window light for soft shadows and highlights. Choose neutral backgrounds where possible, perhaps a plain white sheet or blanket, or a sheepskin, if you have one. If you are working with props be sure that your set up is safe for your baby. I photograph babies in their ‘birthday suits’ if parents allow, but babies look equally adorable swaddled in a blanket or a special outfit. It is important to keep your baby happy and warm during your photo session. I always recommend that baby has a full tummy and the heating is cranked up high.
Capture all the little details of your newborn, from the top of their heads to their teeny toes. Don’t worry if you don’t have a fancy camera with a macro lens for this, phone cameras do a fantastic job these days. Don’t forget a few shots that include yourself, your partner and siblings. These are priceless memories that you will treasure for years to come.
Take your time, don’t rush! These are special moments you are capturing with your baby. You don’t have to book a professional photo shoot in order to document these first few weeks with your newborn. One advantage of capturing these images for yourself is that you can record these early stages of your your baby’s development over a period of time. This is something that a ‘one off’ professional photo shoot does not allow for.
Once you have created these wonderful images of your little bundle why not choose a few of your favourite photos and make some special gifts for family and friends. I offer a range of gorgeous frames in my online shop or you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to ask about details of my photo book design service.