Hi mamas! I know this is a crazy scary time for you all right now, and believe me when I say that my heart goes out to you. I cannot imagine the stress and fear of preparing for your baby’s arrival during a pandemic. Since I can’t be there with you right now, I wanted to pass along some tips and tricks for you to take your own newborn photos at home!
Lighting is everything! Look for the best window light in your house. This is usually in front of a large window (but not in direct sunlight if that makes sense). If you have a window that faces North or South, that is usually the best! Morning light is usually the softest, and babies are usually happier in the morning as well. Turn off all overhead lights/lamps and use only window light.
Be sure to turn up the temperature in the room where you will be shooting (I recommend low 80’s). Babies are happiest and sleepiest when nice and warm.
Plan to take the photos around your baby’s naptime. Change baby into what you want them to wear and then feed them. Most babies fall asleep feeding, so this will help you not have to wake them up to change them after.
Keep a neutral background. This will help to eliminate distractions and put the focus on your sweet baby. White sheets are perfect for this! You can have baby on a bed, just on a blanket, or even put him in his crib.
Babies usually don’t like being laid directly on their back or belly. They like to feel secure or like they are still being held. Try putting baby in a basket with blankets loosely draped in it, or even in a boppy pillow with a white blanket over that will keep them feeling snug.
Move slowly with your baby. Wait until baby is asleep before placing them down, and then keep you hand on them for a min or 2 so that they doesn’t startle awake. Anytime you move baby (or even just move an arm/leg/etc), go slow.
While baby is lying on their back, be sure to get all of those little details (fingers/hands, toes, lips, etc). Take lots of different angles and photos before moving baby. Take a far away shot, close ups, details, etc.
Angles are important. Try to never shoot the photo from an “up the nose” angle if that makes sense. Keep your camera (or phone) either level with baby’s face or upward a bit looking down. Think of taking a selfie…you always want to have the camera slightly above our head pointed down to be the most flattering. Also the angle of the light matters too. Be sure to position baby’s head closest to the window light.
Lastly, stay calm. Babies can feed off of our energy, and staying calm will help them stay calm and sleepy. If baby just isn’t having it, try again another time.
You’ve got this, mamas! I can’t wait to see what you capture!
specializing in birth, fresh 48, maternity and newborn photography in Nashville & Franklin, Tennessee
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