I love photographing newborns. There is something so sacred about capturing a tiny human so fresh from God.
10 tips to capturing your little miracle:
1. My all time FAVORITE thing to do with newborns is to put them IN and ON things. Look around your house for bowls, baskets, plates. Get creative! If you can’t find anything you love in your home check out Ikea, Target, antique shops & yard sales for some inexpensive magic makers.
2. Before your wee one is born, hit a local fabric store stock up on variety of fabrics and blankets. Find at least one of each—- high dimension texture (above), silk, fake fur, loopy/bumpy and velvety. You may also like to have several basic solids on hand; black, antique white and your favorite baby shade. Think about using vibrant and bold prints and heirloom quilts (below) for lovely memories too. Fabrics are essential for backdrops if you have lots of clutter around. Also use blankies to make a tasty baby burrito or put your fabric over a bean bag, pillow or boppy for an instant “baby poser.”
3. Click with your heart. Don’t worry if your photographs aren’t technically perfect. Some of my finest work is highly flawed… as long as you love an image, it is a treasure. Photograph baby with something you cherish and/or something that represents you; vintage baseball glove, cowboy hat, wedding rings, mommy’s wedding dress… the ideas are endless.
4. Turn off your flash. Let God’s light do all the work for you. I have lots of expensive & fancy lighting equipment— never used it on a baby, not once. Find a spot in your house that has soft, subtle light. Notice the way the light changes in each room through out the day. You may find exceptional light in the nursery during the morning and then the dining room in the afternoon. Trust me when I say your house has perfect light— it’s just a matter of finding it!
5. Don’t be afraid to be ridiculously cheesy and silly. Costumes aren’t just for Halloween!! I love to accessorize fully clothed and nakie babes in hats, scarves, booties and big beautiful bows.
6. Go black and white. Nothing beats a timeless and classic black & white photograph. Often fresh newborn skin can be bit blotchy and/or red— black and whites will help hide that! The baby angel (below) had flawless skin, yet black and white just worked perfectly here. Let each photograph speak to you– I usually know within the first second if it should be B&W or color… if in doubt print both and pick your favorite.
7. Take the one shot you can’t live without. For me, every session includes the quintessential hand shot (below). I love how this pose highlights the smallness of the baby against dad’s big hand. Search your favorite magazines and blogs to find YOUR SHOT. Do what it takes to capture it!
8. Print your photographs regularly. This sounds simple enough, but in this age of digital greatness it’s easy to forget about REAL PRINTS. Please don’t use your local pharmacy or home printer for photographs you actually care about. Skip Target and Walmart. Find a local professional camera shop and see if they do in house printing. If they don’t they will recommend one to you.
9. Show some skin. Go for the birthday suit. Tushie shots are a must have. You can easily cover up privates with a blankie. Their skin never again be so velvety, soft and gorgeous.
10. Pee. Poop. Patience. Photographing newborns is a hard, messy job! Take your time and take lots and lots and lots of photos. It’s okay to take 100 shots and only get ONE that really makes your heart sing.
Okay, this was only supposed to be 10 tips… I can’t stop myself, just TWO more!
11. Sleepy heads. Who isn’t a sucker for sleeping newborn? You’ll find babes to be most easily movable and flexible within the FIRST TEN DAYS of life. Keep a sleeping baby warm and wrapped until you are ready to begin your session. I always ask my clients to turn the heat way up (parents should be sweating by the end of session) to keep baby content. You can also use a hot water bottle or heating pad to warm babies spot in advance. Some photographers like to use white noise machines or soothing sounds to relax mom and baby!
12. Get Close. Move in as close as your camera will allow. Capture tiny toes, drool, wrinkly skin, belly buttons… and capture it close. Always remember this— when you think you are close enough, go a tad closer! How can anyone resist those sweet kissable wrinkles (below)!??
13. Plan Ahead! Make a Checklist! Organize and have everything ready to go before your start shooting. Make a habit of having your lens clean and your battery charged. This post, “THE CHECKLIST: Ten items to have on hand for yoru baby’s photoshoot” may be helpful!
Now go get clickin will ya! Can’t wait to see all your beautiful babes!