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Newborn Photography Guide & Tips

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A photoshoot in (Newborn Photography) I did for a friend who was expecting his first child. He wanted a natural, relaxed feel to the entire experience, so we set up some props around him and had a few laughs while he posed.  Now you can read about my experience with newborn photography props.

Newborn Photography Guide & Tips Are here:

Have an idea of what you want your newborn’s photo shoot to look like. If you don’t have any ideas yet, I have some tips below!

Latest Guide for Newborn Photography;

  1. Camera – Make sure you have a good camera (I use Nikon D3300)
  2. Photographer – Find a photographer who specializes in newborn photography. You could also ask around at local mommy groups and libraries. Photographers generally charge anywhere between $600-$1000 for a single session.
  3. Suggestions – Ask a few photographers if they would mind taking pictures of your baby naked. Most of them won’t mind. Just make sure you give them plenty of time and have enough notice before the actual birth date.
  4. Newborn Photography Outfits – Bring a few outfits with you. You never know what kind of mood you’ll be in once you’re having a baby. You may feel more comfortable wearing something different than what you normally wear.
  5. Make Sure – Don’t forget to bring lots of diapers! Diapers are probably the most used item in a newborn’s wardrobe.
  6. Change/Dress your Newborn – When you get home from the hospital you should change/dress your newborn immediately. You shouldn’t wait until after feeding or sleeping because that might mess up their perfect little bodies.
  7. Clothes – Once you’ve changed the clothes of your baby, take a picture of him in his diaper. You can either print out the picture later or keep it on your phone.
  8. Baby’s First Bath – Your baby’s first bath is going to be pretty memorable. You should try to capture the moment when your baby gets his first bath. You can use a waterproof camera (like my Nikon) so you don’t have to worry about getting water damage on your camera.
  9. Newborn Photography Props – Try to find some cute props for your newborn’s first bath. I recommend finding a nice towel or blanket that someone else uses around the house. Any little toys you have lying around the house or a stuffed animal can work too.
  10. After your Baby’s First BathHe or she will need to eat right away. I suggest eating snacks like fruits, vegetables, and cheese.
  11. Set a Schedule – You can do this photoshoot wherever you’d like. There isn’t really a set schedule for these kinds of sessions since each family’s situation is different. Just make sure you have plenty of light and that you have enough room to play around with your baby.
  12. Important Thing Is – As soon as you get home from the doctor you should start preparing yourself for labor. You should start drinking lots of water, eating foods high in protein, and trying to relax.
  13. Labor is a big event that only happens once in your lifetime. You may not realize it but you’re probably going to experience quite a bit of pain and discomfort. To help with this, try to avoid using caffeine, alcohol, and anything containing sugar.
  14. Should be Acceptable – Canon Rebel T6i DSLR Camera w/18-55mm lens.
  15. Light stand & Speedlight 430EX II flash.
  16. GoPro Hero 4 Black Waterproof Action Camera (For underwater shots).
  17. Headphones.
NEWBORN CHILD PICTURES
NEWBORN CHILD PICTURES

Tips for Newborn Lifestyle Photography:

  • Lighting
  • Camera
  • Shutter Speed
  • Lens
  • Background
  • Pose
  • Clothes
  • Accessories

What kind of lighting do I need?

When choosing your lights, make sure they’re appropriate for your newborn’s room. If you have a small space, we recommend using portable lamps, which don’t take up much floor space. If your space is larger, consider getting two lamps to create soft pools of light. You’ll want enough light to illuminate the entire area, but no more than what is necessary. 

Lamps – This should never cast harsh shadows, so placing them in the corner is ideal. If you have a white wall, consider putting a piece of paper over the lamp to avoid any glare. Choose a color temperature that best suits your baby’s skin tone. A good rule of thumb is that warmer colors (such as red) look prettier on lighter-skinned babies while cooler colors (blue, green, gray) have a more natural appearance.

Where do I mount my camera?

If you already have a tripod, use it! Mounting your camera above the crib keeps your baby safe, making it easy to capture great shots without having to worry about their reaching out and moving things around. 

Headboard – A great place to put your camera is right above the baby, near the headboard, and just below the ceiling. However, if you don’t have a tripod, you’ll still need something to hold the camera steady.

We recommend attaching our BabyBox to your camera directly with tape because it provides extra stability while keeping the camera away from the bed and preventing unwanted movement.

How long should I set my shutter speed? Is it okay to use manual mode?

Shutter speeds are measured in seconds, and determine how long your camera takes to capture a single image. Shorter exposures provide sharper images, but longer ones give smoother backgrounds and allow for more time to move the subject. In general, you shouldn’t go beyond 1/15th of a second unless you’re working at night or indoors under controlled lighting conditions. 

Daytime Shots – For daytime shots, you can leave the shutter open until 1/30th of a second to get some blur in the background. You may notice that a lot of these images start off blurry, but then become sharp once you zoom in. 

When you shoot in manual mode, the camera controls both the aperture and the shutter speed. Using manual mode gives you complete control over the exposure settings, and lets you experiment with different shutter speeds to achieve the look you want.

Which lens should I use?

A wide-angle lens is perfect for capturing the whole scene, including the room, furniture, and people. A telephoto lens is great for getting close to your subjects, especially when you want to show off a specific feature, like the nose or chin. 

For Portraits  your portrait lens should be between 28mm and 85mm. Your widest angle lens should cover the width of the room, so it’s best to choose a lens that’s at least 50mm wide. Keep in mind that wider angles tend to produce more distortion and vignetting. Zoom lenses are

Lighting

Lighting is a huge factor in newborn photography. If the lighting is not right then the picture may look flat or washed out. A good photographer should always have a variety of lights available if they are going to do any type of newborn session. There are many different types of lights that can be used to create different looks for the pictures. Some of these lights include softboxes, reflectors, and umbrellas.

Softboxes are great because they allow the photographer to control how much light comes into the picture. Reflectors are great for using natural sunlight because they bounce the light back off of them and make the baby’s skin glow. Umbrellas are great for creating some interesting shadows.

Background

The background is probably the second biggest thing that people notice about a newborn portrait. You want to make sure that you don’t use something too distracting.

White Wall – A simple white wall works well, but if you want to add some color try something like a blue couch or chair. Avoid anything that is too busy or cluttered. Even though the subject matter might seem important, you still need to keep the rest of the photo clean and uncluttered.

Pose

You want to make sure that the pose makes sense. Is the baby facing away from the camera? Or does he/she face the camera? You want to make sure the pose is comfortable for both the baby and the photographer. Also, make sure that the baby isn’t squirming around. Squirming babies tend to look uncomfortable and aren’t very photogenic.

Clothes

When choosing what clothes to wear, think about…

  • What kind of feel do you want the photo to have?
  • Do you want it to be casual or formal?
  • What colors are best for the baby?

Think about what your baby would naturally wear. If you’re photographing a girl, she might prefer pink dresses while boys might love blue.

Accessories

Accessories are a nice way to give your portrait personality. Try adding a few props to make the portrait stand out. Baby shoes, hats, blankets, stuffed animals, and toys are just a couple of examples.

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