Capturing our precious children when they’re newborns is magical. So sweet, so innocent, they’re memories we treasure forever.
But not everyone wants to, or can afford to, hire a professional for a professional photo shoot. If this is you, you’ll be happy to know that you can capture moments on your own with a few tips.
Tips for Photographing Your Own Baby
1. Safety first
The most important part of any baby photo shoot must always be your baby’s safety. If you’re planning on doing your own baby photographs, please make sure that you don’t attempt any complex poses that you see online. Many of the adorable newborn photos you see use a few photos edited together to get the perfect shot, also known as a composite image. Keep it simple and safe! Place your baby on a large soft surface such as a bed or a lounge.
2. Research, research, research
Look online to see images your like, props, positions and backgrounds. With the positions, as per tip number 1, check how they are done and if they are doable at home or on your own. Many, such as the froggy pose are not. Check out this post for newborn photography ideas that are easy to do yourself at home including poses, people and props.
3. Lighting matters
In a studio we use professional lighting to get great images, however, you don’t need to. One of the best sources of lighting is natural light from the sun. Mid morning or mid afternoon so the sun isn’t it’s harshest provides beautiful natural light for your photos. You can use a baby doll or other prop to check the lighting in different areas of your house such as a bedroom or living room window, work out where you want to do it then play around with the lighting. Alternatively, head outside. Shaded areas such as under a tree can be wonderful for newborn shoots.
In the home the most beautiful soft light is next to a window with white sheer curtains to diffuse it. Sit your baby next to a nice big window and you’ll have the perfect light for your session.
4. Have extra hands to help
Your partner, family members or friends all make great helpers to either hand you props, support your baby, be in the photos or hold Having extra hands also contributes to tip #1 with being safe.
When you book a professional photographer you have a set amount of time to get the shot in. At home, you have more time, can take breaks and even space it over a few days if needed. Work with your baby when they are at their happiest, most rested or when they’re sleeping to get the images you would love to have. You don’t need to rush it.
Photoshoots rarely go exactly how you want them to, but you will always get memorable images! Patience will help you and help bub create great photos. (Crying photos are definitely worth capturing too!).
6. Capture lots of different angles and types of photos
Place your baby on a soft surface such as a bed or a lounge next to a window of light. The light source should be at the side of your baby’s face. Capture lots of images of your baby. Remember to change positions for different angles. Try close up shots as well as wider photos. Don’t forget to take parent and family photos – get a friend or another family member to take a photo of you all together. Don’t forget to be in the photos yourself! When your baby grows up they will want to see a photo of you both together.
7. Print your images
I can’t stress this enough! All too often we take thousands of photos but they all get stored on our phone or on SD cards and rarely get printed. You took these photos because you want these memories, so print them out. On top of that, studies have shown children who grow up in homes with photos of themselves displayed have higher self esteem. If you need more reasons to print your photos, read my 5 reasons here.
How did your newborn photoshoot go? I’d love to see what you come up with!
Amy Tong is a multi-award winning newborn and baby photographer in Sydney’s Inner West. Amy specialises in natural, beautiful images of babies from birth to age 1.