Newborn Photography Tips – How to do Newborn Photos

Newborn Photography Tips

Want some newborn photography tips?  Are you just starting out in newborn photography?  It’s a really challenging field and one that you need to get a lot of practise in.  To be successful, you need to learn all about perfecting your photography, lighting, angles, as well as how to pose and settle babies.  Over the past 4 years of specialising in newborn baby photography, I’ve built up a few tips that might help you with your own photography.

Tip 1:  Choose the right time to photograph newborns

Try to make sure that the newborn is at the right age.  If you photograph a newborn too early, they tend to want to feed constantly.  If you want to capture the sleepy poses, you also don’t want to photograph a newborn baby too late.  I generally recommend that newborns are photographed at around 7 to 12 days after birth.  There are always exceptions to this where a baby has been born prematurely or has had health problems.  I do also photograph newborns up to 6 weeks if it happens that I am contacted by a family after their baby arrives and I’m able to fit them in.  Older newborn sessions (between 3 and 6 weeks) are very different to the brand new newborns however and are likely to be much more alert and not able to be posed.

Tip 2:  Get your lighting right

In my opinion, lighting is probably the most difficult part of any sort of photography.  It is something that you learn to see as a photographer over time.  When I see great light on a subject, I get a good feeling in my gut.  Sometimes during a session, the lighting can be a little flat so I will adjust the angle by only a couple of centimeters and the results are so much better.  If you’re just starting out in newborn photography, spend time studying light.  When you’re watching tv notice where the light is coming from.  Study the catchlights in the eyes.  Generally I photograph newborns at either 45 degrees or 90 degrees to the light source for the best results.  For those that are interested I now use studio lighting only instead of natural light.  The Milky Way Illuminate Course is the bomb!

Tip 3:  Study newborn poses very carefully

It takes a lot of practise to get newborn poses right.  A bit of padding here or there can be the difference between a cute shot and an amazing shot.  I use small cloth nappies folded into thirds to pad underneath my blankets on my beanbag.  Each baby is a different shape and size so you need to learn to see how each one needs padding to be in the right position.  Study the images of photographers you admire and compare it to your own attempts.  Learn from each and every session.

And just because I can’t have a blog post without a photo, here’s an image from one of my recent newborn photography sessions.  Isn’t she a darling?

newborn photography tips

Have some more questions?  Check my Newborn Photography FAQs

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