When photographing a newborn, the best advice I can give you is to stay calm, be patient, and remain flexible.
- TIMING: Newborn pictures are best captured within the first ten days of life, the younger the better because you’ll be able to photograph them in a deep sleep, allowing for a greater variety in posing.
WARMTH: Newborns tend to get a bit spastic when they’re not toasty warm and snuggled. Use a heating pad or my favorite, a hot water bottle and wrap it under the prop you’re using.
- FULL BELLY: You will capture the best pictures when a newborn’s belly is full. Wrap the naked newborn in a warm blanket to allow clothing lines to fade and offer the newborn a full feeding.
- NATURAL LIGHT: Do not use camera flash. Capture pictures near large windows or outside if the sky is overcast or you have a overhang to shoot under.
- CLEAR BACKGROUND: Don’t be shy about moving furniture, pictures or any distracting backgrounds from the area you’re shooting.
- SIMPLE PROPS: Props can easily overwhelm and distract from the true focal point, the precious newborn. Choose simple props with lots of texture. Faux fur, knit or crocheted blanket, gauze wraps or anything to swaddle the baby that allows the focus to remain on the tiny newborn. A covered boppy or bean bag are great for positioning newborns.
GET CLOSE: The details of a newborns intricate parts are always amazing photographed. Get close to the newborn. Use the macro setting. Look through the lens and capture tiny fingers and toes, wrinkly backs, sleepy eyes.
- MOM and DAD: Nothing emphasizes the tiny size of a newborn more the incorporating a contrast with mom and dad’s hands or fingers.
- CREATIVITY: Be creative. Photograph the newborn from different positions, sides, angles. Come over the sleeping newborn laying on their back…shoot with the toes in focus and everything else blurred….capture the newborns back side.
A little personal story…