In these uncertain times I wanted to share some top tips for taking better photographs of your newborn at home. You may have had a shoot booked or were planning to and have had to postpone it. Meanwhile your little bundle will be growing and you may want to try to capture them yourself.
First things first give yourself plenty of time and do it over a few days when your newborn is settled. A good time is after they have been given a feed or when they are sleepy. Don’t put pressure on yourself to create complicated newborn photography setups as these setups take time to master even for a professional photographer. Keep things very simple. Lay them down on the bed, in their crib or basinett, anywhere that they are secure and safe. Safety is the MOST important thing.
The main element that will help you to take better photographs of your newborn is to find the best light. Lighting is key to getting good photographs. Natural light is available to everyone but there’s still some good tips to take note of. Different times and weather conditions will bring different types of light. Harsh light on a newborn is not flattering. Look around your house and see which window brings the best light at certain times of the day. Make sure you turn off any overhead lights. The most scrummy light is during the golden hour, this is the hour before sunset and creates a lovely even golden light. Sunshine can be too harsh especially in the morning however this can be diffused with net voile curtains like these from Ikea
One of best tips ever is to place your newborn facing the light from the window. The number one mistake that people make is putting the light behind them. This will make the subject really dark and the background light. If you find this happening just turn towards the light. The person taking the photograph should have their back to the light coming in. Look at how the light falls from the window on the left lighting up the brothers’ faces. Once you see the light you can’t unsee it!
Don’t forget the garden. Go outside later on in the day and follow the same rules on how to take better photographs of your newborn. Have a look through my newborn gallery for lots of examples click here
I always tell parents to keep things simple. Don’t think that you have to dress them up! Lots of prints can distract from the main subject. The eye will be drawn to the pattern rather than your little one. I love plain babygrows or subtle designs unlike logos or wording can often date a photograph too. Blankets or bedding should be kept plain as far as possible again so as not to distract from your little bear!
Keep the room nice and warm and cosy so that your baby doesn’t get that corned beef look on their skin. Before taking the photograph look at the background. Ask yourself is it cluttered, can you move things that will be distracting out of the way? Look for plain or textured backgrounds.
Usually most people don’t think to try different angles. During the shoot try this checklist:
Take a shot from far away.
Take a shot really close up.
Take a shot from above.
Take a shot laying beside them.
Take a shot from 5 different positions within each of the above. Move all the way round taking a photograph with every move.
Don’t forget the details take photographs of their ears, baby nails, eyelashes, lips, toes etc… Babies change so so quickly so you will be so glad that you did!
If you’re calm this will hopefully transfer onto your baby. Don’t get stressed if it doesn’t work the first time round. Even when I’m doing a professional shoot in clients homes I go with the flo. Things WILL happen. Your baby may not settle, may need feeding or need their nappy changing. Go with it, take your time remember you’ve just had a baby and your emotions and hormones will be all over the place. Also manage your expectations, the photographs will not be the same as having a professional shoot. I’ve got special lenses that allow me to capture images in a different way that your mobile phone will. This is to help you take better photographs of your newborn than you would have if you just take a random shot without all these top tips!
If you’ve got older children take a shot with them too and don’t forget yourself! As a mum you will take so many photos of your children but often forget to be in them yourself. No matter how bad you think you look get in the picture you won’t care months down the road. Set your phone on timer mode and prop it up somewhere. Get that family shot. Life isn’t perfect so stop trying to make it that way. Relax and try to have a giggle while you take them.
If you have any questions just get in touch!
Natural newborn photography at home Stockport Manchester Cheshire
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