Baby Photography 101

1. Timing
This can be rather tricky as all babies seem to be on their own schedule, especially cute photogenic newborns. Here are 3 things to be aware of.

  • First, babies can loose the ” newborn baby curl” within about 10 days of birth. If your looking for that little rump to be up and the baby to be mold-able, try to shoot within this window.
  • Second, coordinate with the mother beforehand and the two of you should plan the sleepiest time for the shoot. The sleepier the better, and no one would have a better idea of when that is than mom.
  • Third, before the mother comes with said sleepy baby, make sure she dresses him/her in something easy to take off without disturbing the baby. Clothing that doesn't have to go over the head is good or even bring the baby in a swaddler. You need to be able to undress the baby without losing the deep slumber. Don’t be afraid to have mom help you move and mold the baby. With practice you will feel more comfortable with newborns and babies, but in the beginning advise mom on how she can help you position the baby and shoot away.

2. Don’t overload with ideas
If you are a fan of Anne Geddes or an avid baby photo lover, it’s easy to set your expectations too high and overload your photo-session with so many “concept” shots that you end up with a big headache and little to show for it. Choose 2 or 3 poses only. If you nail those, take a break a try a couple more later.

Always do a quick google image search for baby photographs to stir the creative juices. For babies it seems like the simpler the better. Unless you have a human sized flower or clam shell lying around, the baby is so new and perfect they can easily stand alone as the center of your photograph. Have fun with them and make sure the mom and dad know they have the cutest baby on earth.

3. Heating up the Room
More than likely, the shots you will be attempting to get will include cute baby buns, baby feet and baby bellies. All this clotheless shooting can quickly add up to a cold, cranky baby. You might want to invest in a small space heater to get a little extra heat in the baby’s direction. Be sure to turn the heat up to around 74 degrees about an hour before the shoot.

If you are shooting in a clients home, this will require prior planning and bring your space heater as well because baby is usually not used to hanging around in just a diaper.

4. Prop’s
As mentioned above, the baby usually provides enough aesthetic appeal for most shots. Prop’s though, when tastefully used, are wonderful. They help convey perspective, size, fragility or add a hint of color to show whether it’s a boy or girl.

5. Know your simple tricks in post production
Unless you are a very experienced shooter, the pictures may not look exactly how you envisioned straight out of the camera. A good overview about post production will help.

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