Written by Jess Ryan from @stolenmoments_au
Those first few months of a newborn baby’s life are so precious, but fleeting. As a mother and a photographer, I understand the importance of capturing those sweet newborn details, while they are still so little.
Of course, my first recommendation is that you hire a professional photographer to capture these moments, that also include you and the rest of your family! However, I can appreciate that not everyone can afford this and may choose to take their own photographs of their little ones. If this is you, I would love to share some tips and ideas to help you create beautiful images in your own home.
One word. Natural. You do not need expensive studio equipment and a fancy set up to take your own photographs. I always use natural light in any home I visit for newborn photography. That may be from a large window in the living room, the sun coming in from the open garage door or on the bed in the bedroom. Would you believe I’ve even used the bathroom when that was the best source of natural light! The sunlight shouldn’t be directly on your baby, pull them back from the open window if they are drenched in harsh light. You are aiming for soft shadows and highlights on your baby. A general rule of thumb is if there is a soft shadow underneath bub’s nose, you know you’ve got it right.
2. Keeping baby happy and safe
Make sure your baby has a nice full belly and a clean bottom before you start shooting! Keep the areas you are using nice and warm and even use white noise to keep them settled, especially if you are wanting to capture your baby while they are sleeping.
Keep that baby safe! Most of the newborn imagery you see online is made up of a composite of many images, not just one posed shot. Please don’t attempt difficult poses! Simply use your bed, their bassinet or cot (even if you must move it into the living room for the light), or even a small basket lined with blankets if you have one! If you are looking to wrap them all snug with their little feet up, there are lots of baby wrapping tutorials on the internet that can help you with that.
3. Photograph the tiny details
Don’t forget to capture those tiny details that change so quickly! Think about what makes your baby unique to you. Is it their tiny button nose, the fuzzy hair on their ears or shoulders, their little pouted lips. Those details will change as quickly as your baby grows so this is a wonderful way to remember them when they were that little. I’m a sucker for baby feet and hands, I always take plenty of photos of these! Those little wrinkly feet are like nothing else!
4. Experiment with angles and textures
Position your baby and when they are settled, move around them to experiment with different angles. Often what looks to our eye looks entirely different in a photo, so this is a good opportunity to see what works and what doesn’t. I remember when I first started, a photographer once told me to not shoot up baby’s nose! Test out those angles and see which ones you love!
Use different textures for your baby to lay on or be wrapped in. Sheep skins and knitted blankets look amazing in photos and add another element to your images. I love dressing newborn babies in hand knitted items, bonnets, blankets, and overalls!
5. Try and include the rest of your family… including yourself!
I know what it’s like… you have a million photos of your baby with everyone else but you. Get in the photo! Ask anyone… your partner, your children, your parents, or friends to take photos of you with your newborn.
If you have other children, see if they are willing to lay beside bub while you take photos of them. Give them some simple prompts to capture images that show the love they have for their baby brother or sister. Simple prompts such as carefully kissing or smelling their head, gentle Eskimo kisses, holding their hand in theirs, whispering something they love about them in their ear, gently touching their nose, or if you have a larger gap between children, they may be able to hold the baby for you.
Photographing your baby can be challenging but rewarding. The plus side of creating your own images is that you have more time with them. Taking photos here and there each day means you will have an abundance of images to look through and share with family! Pictures taken from a mother’s perspective will be special no matter what!
Written by Jess Ryan from @stolenmoments_au
Jess is also a Hey Mumma Co. brand rep. Check out her instagram at @smile_sweet_darlings