By: Corinne Brown
If you’ve ever wondered how newborn photographers create beautiful images with their adorable little subjects, there is a little more to it than setting up the lights and laying the baby out in a pose.
Newborn photography is an art and done well, can create stunning images that will be the pride of many families mantle piece.
If you’re stepping out into newborn photography and are keen to brush up on some of the tricks of the trade, we’ve laid out some of the essential tips to make your transition into newborn photography smooth and successful.
Want to create the perfect newborn photo session experience for your clients, their baby and for yourself? Here’s how:
1. Keep the baby warm
Usually, newborns are photographed before they reach 14 days of age or so, to ensure they are flexible, super sleepy and the photographer captures them before they start officially ‘waking up’. At this stage of a baby’s life, they have difficulty regulating their body temperature so it’s important if you are going to photograph newborns without their clothes to keep your studio warm and toasty.
Often the babies will be wrapped in divine blankets or laid out on lovely decorative rugs, however, they will need a little extra heat to keep toasty. So if you can, turn up the heat in your studio so they not only sleep more soundly but also are delightfully warm and toasty.
2. Make the room a little noisy
New parents often tip toe around their baby, but the fact is many babies prefer noise as it reminds them of the womb and keeps them calm.
If you have a baby sound machine that can be used to imitate sounds that babies are proven to relax to that’s a great idea to set it up in the room, other wise there are plenty of apps and tracks you can download that have white noise that are perfect for setting up in your studio during your session.
3. Stop for regular feeds
Newborn photography sessions can last up to 4 hours so it is important to stop for regular breaks for feeds. Babies in their early days need to feed every 2 to 2.5 hours so you will need to ensure your subject has a full belly so they are happy and sleepy.
Ask moms to bring lots of water and snacks if they are breastfeeding and if there is a sibling to ensure they have activities or another parent to take them outside for a play when they are not needed for the photo shoot to keep them busy and active.
4. Try and keep them awake before the session
While it is pretty difficult in the early days of a baby’s life to keep them awake much at all, if you can try and keep them awake it will mean by the time they arrive at their newborn session they will be really tired and want to settle in for a big sleep.
Ask parents to give their baby a bath to try and keep them awake before the session and for them to do whatever they need to keep them from closing their eyes. At the end of the day, babies will be on their own agenda, so as long as they are happy, well fed and warm you’ll be able to take great photos and capture their first days of life.
You can find out from parents what time of the day the baby is most settled and hold the shoot during this time, while babies patterns change considerably in the early days this can be a wonderful way to try and keep to the babies schedule and avoid witching hours or times when babies become unsettled.
5. Stay calm
If you have children of your own, you’re probably well aware that babies pick up your energy, so when you do take the plunge to being a newborn photographer it is important to stay calm and relaxed to channel the positive energy to the baby.
Provide parents with snacks or a cup of coffee to rest their nerves at being in the studio and have some comfortable couches for parents to sit and watch the process take place. Parents at this stage of their baby’s life can be very wary, so by being calm and relaxed you can pass on your energy to the entire group and create an environment that is inviting and relaxing for all.
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