How To Capture Those Precious Moments Yourself – Read On For Details And A Photography Course, Too
First of all congratulations and well done for even thinking of photographing your baby! You must be exhausted, overwhelmed and maybe even in pain. However the first few weeks of your baby’s life are so special and unique it’s the right time to capture them. These moments will never come back and your baby will change so quickly that before you know it, they are off to university!
As a professional newborn photographer, I don’t have that privilege you have of being around your baby 24/7. All I get is 2 hours where I might be lucky with baby’s situation that day. When booking I urge parents to book their session when baby is as young as 5 days. So it’s your perfect chance to capture your new bundle of joy within your home and by YOU – which makes it even more special. So grab your camera and start clicking!
As an FYI all the below images were taken in client homes with natural light so you can see what can be done:
1. Follow the light!
First and utmost where is your light? Look for the best natural lighting in your home. Walk around your home during different times of the day and study the light. When is the light streaming through the windows or doorways?
When I do home shoots that’s the first thing as I do – after getting permission, I choose the room with the most natural light. Avoid direct sunlight as it casts harsh shadows. A good rule of thumb is to look for nice soft shadows and highlights so when your baby is angled at approximately a 45 degree angle, the light flows from the top of baby’s head on down their body. Look for a soft shadow underneath baby’s nose to verify that you have this right. Also a well-lit room is also warm which brings us to tip number 2.
2. Keep your baby happy
…By keeping baby warm and fed. During pregnancy the temperature in your uterus which holds your baby is about 35 to 38 degrees and the idea to replicate the uterus environment so baby can be settled and ideally sleeping. The first is to keep your shooting area warm – really warm. I turn off the air conditioning and sometimes open the door or window to let the heat in and it becomes like an oven! Next is white noise which does wonders for keeping baby asleep. I use an app on my iPhone called ‘Sound Sleeper’ which has a number of soothing sounds that you can play for baby while you are shooting. I tuck it underneath the blanket (close to baby) and put the phone on airplane mode so I don’t get calls during the session.
The third trick probably goes without saying is to make sure that baby has a nice, full belly and doesn’t wake up and hungry. In addition to these three things, I have found that if babies are not cooperating, I swaddle and take them for a quick walk outside in the heat. They relax and fall back to sleep.
3. Angles and details
Instead of rushing to change your setup or reposition your baby, try getting up and walking around your baby to see what unique angles you can photograph. Exhaust all of your different angles and perspectives before moving on to a new pose or setup. Don’t forget to document all of those sweet little details that make your baby unique!
Some things to consider shooting are noses, lips, eyelashes, ears, toes, fingers, belly buttons, hair. Those details will change so fast as your baby grows and this is a wonderful way to preserve those memories. Also if you are having trouble with a busy background use a blanket or large sheet to make the setting and background mould in, so full focus is on baby who is so tiny can fit anywhere!
4. Use your garden
Who says you can’t take a new baby outside too? We have 360 days of light and nice warm weather where you can get some amazingly beautiful and unique newborn photos this way. Use a well-padded basket and make sure the background is not too busy. You can bring a blanket or sheet and have someone hold it up while standing behind it. Here I used the greenery as my backdrop:
5. Include siblings
Some of the sweetest and most endearing photos you can take of your new baby will be the ones you get with his or her older siblings. There are three ways of doing this and most of the time I swaddle or wrap baby if they are awake so hands and feet are not moving. First method is to get children to maybe hold their new brother or sister, and place them in front of them between their legs. Second is simply laying down poses which are perfect for younger children. The third and most common with toddlers is to place baby in a basket and ask toddler to interact with baby i.e. “show me baby’s nose” or “kiss baby”. This will make your older children feel special and involved as well, which is always a bonus when there is a new baby in the house getting a lot of attention!
Want to know more? Gulf Photo Plus/Lama Kabbani offer a one-day intensive workshop to family photography with a focus on photographing infants, toddlers, and children. Designed with parents in mind, this workshop will teach attendees the essentials behind propping, posing, and lighting for family photos.
To book, visit gulfphotoplus.com
Featured image via Pinterest