By Cris Passos on | No Comments
When it comes to newborn photography, I am always thinking about props! I admit that I am a "propaholic" and I bet most other newborn photographers are too!
Seriously, I can find newborn props pretty much anywhere I go. For instance, I often find great treasures at Home Goods, Joann's Fabrics, local thrift stores and some amazing vendors on Facebook and Etsy.
First, you need to know your style and that of your clients. Are going for a colorful shot or do you prefer to use neutral/organic tones in your newborn photo sessions?
One important thing to keep in mind is that the newborn props you use should not take away the attention from the baby. The new little bundle of joy needs to be the MAIN FOCUS of the image for parents and viewers.
Hats and headbands are sweet little accessories that are always welcome newborn props. Whether you have a theme in mind such as a pilot's cap in a nod to a parent thats in the aviation industry, or a sweet knitted cap that means something special to the parents, a hat always makes babies look adorable
Choose colors that are complementary to the background color or other props that you might be using like blankets and wraps. A cute little knitted hat will keep the baby nice and toasty warm too.
Although sometimes infants have such beautiful hair that you can just let them go natural and leave headware of the scene.
Ever since Anne Geddes photographs took the world by storm, successful newborn photographers have used buckets, baskets, crates and other props of a similar nature to lay babies in to photograph.
There are so many variations on how you can use these props. For example: some crates can be used placing the baby belly up or belly down inside the crate, or achieving a completely different take by turning the crate down and posing the baby on top of it.
Use layers, furs, fluffs, blankets to style and add some final touches to the prop. Receiving blankets and wraps can also be very useful in supporting a baby's arms and face as you are posing them inside the prop.
If you go to a client's house, it's great if you can incorporate posing the baby on a piece of their furniture, such as a dresser, a beautiful chair, bed, or coffee table. Just look around and see if you can find something interesting to give it a plus to your session.
They are so many ways you can use a wrap to create beautiful shots, such as bundling the baby, and as a plus, most babies love the swaddling effect. You can also use the wrap as a blanket or cover, as a diaper cover up, or even to achieve the "dream pose", the options are endless.
I love to use contrasting wraps and rugs (and even add some dramatic shades) which will add beautiful depth and interest to the images!
Tip: Wraps are very good when you have a baby that is not settling or a little cranky. Most of the time a wrap will calm the newborn down.
There is something pretty cute about a mini outfit. Whether your subject is dressed in a tutu, a sailors outfit, a mini fireman’s suit or a bumble bee, a photo shoot with a mini outfit is pretty darn cute and bound to be a favorite for your clients.
Find out the industry the parents work in to see if you can source a little outfit that matches their profession for a sweet little photo shoot surprise.
Hanging props, like a swing or sling, produce beautiful images but keep in mind these shots are much more difficult and require more that 2 people to execute. They are normally a combination of 2 or 3 images, so don't try them if you don't know how they are executed. And be honest with your client if you don't feel comfortable with this kind of prop.
Check if the surface will have something that could hurt the baby's skin (even when you are buying an antique prop, try to find out if the container was holding a chemical product as you don't want to expose the baby to some hazardous substances that might still be there).
When working with deep buckets make sure to use weights inside the newborn prop to make sure the prop will not flip over with the baby inside. And always have a spotter with the baby on a prop.
Here are some additional newborn photo safety tips.
Keep in mind you don't need to spend a lot of money on newborn props. Just try to think outside the box, go to thrift stores, garage sales and most importantly get creative! Another nice thing about newborn props is that they can be reused for future newborn photography sessions.
If you edit in Photoshop and want to create beautiful newborn images for your clients -- you must try the LUXE Newborn Complete Workflow Photoshop Action Collection, you'll be so happy you did!
And if you prefer to edit in Lightroom, Pretty Presets recently released their fabulous Bella Baby Newborn Preset Collection, which includes tons of presets and brushes specifically for newborn editing in Lightroom
Do you have any questions or comments about Newborn Photography Props? Leave us a comment below - we would LOVE to hear from you! And PLEASE SHARE our tutorial using the social sharing buttons (we really appreciate it)!
My Name is Cris Passos and I am a natural light photographer based in South Florida. I am specializing in Maternity, Newborn and Babies but my HUGE passion are the newborns. I always loved photography but never thought I would be a photographer. I’ve been in this business for almost two years and this has been my passion since then. I am married to my High-school sweetheart and we’ve been together for 19 years, we have two beautiful kids: Victor is 9 and Bella is 7. I am a Brazilian girl but I move to the US in 2001 and have already lived in 11 different addresses..I am a chocoholic and a coffee lover. WEBSITE | BLOG | FACEBOOK