Free Newborn Posing Guides

March 18, 2019 7:37 am by crzybulkreviews
Natural newborn pose newborn photography
Free Newborn Posing Guides

>> Speaker 1: So when I come in to fix hands, I’m placing my hand over the whole body there. I’ve got this part of my hand on top of the knee, I’ve got my fingers on his body, and I’ve got my other two fingers on that top hand so they’re not gonna go anywhere.

Below we demonstrate one way to safely achieve a newborn photography froggy pose composite.7

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But we want this bottom hand in underneath. Because if I was to take a photo now, it would become quite blurry, and you would see that in the image. I’m shooting wide open. I’m focusing on the eye. The hand is going to be in front of the face, so it’s going to appear bigger, and it’s going to be blurry.

When it’s got a little bit of length you can actually drape it and it looks beautiful but we’re going to tuck it in. >> Speaker 1: All right. >> Speaker 1: Just grab that cloth nappy from the back of the bag. You can see a little bulge there, and when the light hits that, it’s gonna cause a shadow.

Oh, look, he’s smiling. Oh, that is so cute. He’s still doing it. >> Speaker 1: I’m gonna use another piece of fabric now just to wrap over the top of him. And I’ve got lots of different textures in here and beautiful color tones. And he’s just got the most beautiful skin.

We want it to be a nice smooth, round well. >> Speaker 1: When I shoot this image from over here, I want his little feet to kind of drift off into the background. >> Speaker 1: So now I’m gonna use one of my nappies just to give his little head a little bit of a lift and then that’s going to put everything, keep his, sort of, his chin and shoulder together to keep that hat in place as well.

Outdoor newborn photography has become increasingly popular among photographers and their clients. The thought of bringing a fresh born baby outdoors can make some very nervous but when handled by a properly educated newborn photographer it can be very safe yielding stunning results. Again, composites are often utilized so do not attempt any pose without knowing the safe approach to handling the setup. We will briefly go over an example or two later in this article.

I’m gonna keep them where I need them to be, and we’re just going to lift up gently here. >> Speaker 1: I just wanna bring some of these fingers out under here. There we go. So what I did was I used this part of my hand to just push his head up, nice and flat, it’s not pointing or anything like that, and then, I scoop the fingers out.

So I’m just gonna give him a little turn down that way, and push his bottom towards the back of the bag, so let him sink back into that sleep. >> Speaker 1: I try and make my blankets as smooth as possible before I take a shot so that I’m not having to do so much work in post-production to make them smooth.

There is a limit to the number of poses you will be able to achieve with a baby due to the fact that the range of the joints are limited physiologically. While itʼs true you can vary a pose with a slight change in the placement of the hands or feet, a tad more rotation at the hips or otherwise, there are still generally a limited number of basic positions in which to pose a baby.

You can see just by pushing there, I’ve just turned his little nose up towards the ceiling, which is where we want it to be. >> Speaker 1: Okay, we might get our first shot. Even though I’m really happy with where this is at, I would still like to get some flat fingers in there.

>> Speaker 1: So I want to put a beautiful color on in here. I brought too many things with me. >> Speaker 1: So my mom has been busy knitting. She does some beautiful things, and she’s been using some of the Monkey Moo-moo patterns which are now available. I used to buy a lot of my props from her, but now she’s actually making patterns and selling them, and no longer knitting.

Beach shoots can be breezy and when it comes to getting the perfect lighting at sunset you often don’t have a lot of time to work with. In these scenarios be quick and use a set up that ensures the baby is kept nice and warm. In breezy evening conditions consider setting up everything in the car in preparation. Often times these breezy beach shots can be accomplished in minutes. If sand makes its way onto a newborn, baby powder can work wonders in removing it quickly and easily. If ever in really cold conditions consider utilizing items such as a warm bag of rice to keep near the baby.

It seems pro photographers are trying more and more to push the envelope when it comes to their setups and originality. A good rule of thumb is to use items that are soft, comfortable and / or that come with a low risk of injuring your subject. Do not use glass jars or bowls in newborn photography (even if you intend to complete the shot as a composite). Microscopic faults and minor cracks can result in a cracked or shattered prop, either of which could be fatal to a newborn client. Should you decide to pose babe in or on a hard or wooden prop of any kind, refer back to ground rule #1 and be extra vigilant in spotting and / or supporting babe in the pose. When it comes to stork, suspended or hanging poses, you should test your materials with at least double the amount of weight of a typical baby for a period of at least 20 minutes. This helps to ensure the thread count and quality of materials are sufficient to handle the weight of the subjects.

And then bringing him towards the front of the bean bag towards that beautiful light. >> Speaker 1: Oh. >> Speaker 1: There we go. And then the hips, so they’re not facing up. We’re gonna sort of face them over, turn them over towards the bag. And I’ve got one hand at the back supporting him, and one hand on his shins and his knees.

When practical, if you are venturing outdoors it’s a good idea to do a full test setup while inside first. This includes prop set up, posing and dressing. This allows you to prepare everything while in the warmth, which is something that newborns will appreciate! Once everything is setup you take a very warm blanket and drape it over the head and arms of the baby (leaving the face uncovered. This way skin is not unnecessarily exposed to any cool air). Once setup and test shots for settings are complete you can remove the extra blanket from the newborn.

Likewise, be extremely conscious of loud noises or disturbances when posing babies supine (on their backs) within props with their arms and / or legs free of a swaddle. The startle reflex is strong and can cause babies to hit their hands or feet on the edges of crates or bowls. There are other reflexes which can be of concern but getting a good handle on these two will definitely decrease your subjects chance of injury.

Convincing mom and dad to get in the pictures with their newborn may sometimes prove to be difficult at times but almost always are irresistible come proofing time. Sibling shots have been reported to be a newborn photographers best seller on many occasions as well. Below we provide a few different examples of parent and sibling relational poses.

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>> Speaker 1: So when you’re working in your studio and you’ve got this down pat, you wouldn’t be going through all the steps and going slowly like I am, you’d move through these poses really quickly. And sometimes, the trick is just knowing where to put your hands to keep them secure.

A favorite outside setup is the baby in a bucket. Why? First of all it’s extremely cozy! A blanket is swirled inside the bucket so the baby is tucked into a nice and warm little spot. The baby can also be wearing a diaper, socks, and pants in this set up without them showing at all. Those layers help ensure the baby is always warm. In addition to being tucked into a warm spot  you can utilize the use warm knitted hats to keep the newborn’s head nice and toasty! You can also tuck a phone into the setup which is playing white noise sounds. The white noise can help mask unexpected noises you may encounter outside. Some babies startle easy with loud noises and you don’t ever want your baby to startle out of a bucket or basket- even if you are close by with a spotter. It will likely upset the baby even if he or she is still perfectly safe and sound.

It’s funny, whenever we have sort of, different little props and things like that, not all of them are going to fit every baby. So we can tuck them in wherever we need them to be, and they don’t need to look perfect at the back, they need to look perfect at the front.

As noted a few times earlier in this guide, it is extremely important to understand that many of these newborn photography shots are achieved safely as a digital composite. Digital compositing is the process of digitally assembling multiple images to make a final image. Below we have provided a couple different examples as to how this is achieved.

I’m moving it around to sort of push them into that position. >> Speaker 1: If he was really stirring at the moment, I’d get a safe shot. I’m just going to do a little more tucking here, because I want these images to be beautiful for mom. >> Speaker 1: And then a little bit more height here underneath the face, underneath those hands, just to lift it up off the bag.

Below we demonstrate one way to safely achieve a newborn photography swing composite. 6

Below is a quick test shot example prior to blanket removal.

It’s common for newborns to be born with a condition called “acrocyanosis” in which the hands and feet are slightly blue in color. This condition typically resolves after the first few hours of life and occurs because blood and oxygen aren’t circulating properly to the hands and feet yet. It also typically clears up in the first days as the blood vessels in the hands and feet open up though babies do remain subject to reoccurrence and will more readily become blue in the extremities if circulation is compromised. What this means is that you should always keep an eye on the hands and feet when posing to make sure you have not positioned babe so that circulation has been cut off or compromised. Discoloration is particularly common in the hands with the chin resting on hands pose and the feet in the classic taco pose. If you see baby’s extremities begin to turn dark red, purple or blue, you should relieve pressure on the extremities, allow for recirculation and more likely reposition baby entirely.

What this also means is that positions in buckets and props require special consideration. It’s a smart move to counterweight your prop by adding hand or ankle weights or a large ziploc bag full of rice to keep your prop from tumbling forward as babe is posed inside and draping over the front edge.

The key to safe outdoor newborn photography is really warmth. After all, a warm baby is a sleepy and happy baby! A good way to check if a baby is warm is to check the tip of their nose or their little fingers for warmth. If a baby begins cooling those are two spots that will typically cool first.

The BEST Newborn Photography ResourceNewborn Posing GuideThe 6 Basic Newborn Poses by DefinitionTaco PoseBum Up Pose | Butt in the Air PoseSide Lying PoseChin on Wrists Pose Supine Curl PoseFrog PoseRelational PosesParents Relational PosesSibling Relational PosesNatural Poses | Safe Risk Free PosesOutdoor Newborn PosesNewborn SafetyIn-Door Safety Tips for PhotographersBaby UnattendedNewborns Immune SystemsProp SafetyImmature Circulatory SystemsTop Heavy NewbornsNewborn ReflexesAttaining Every PoseNewborn InjuriesEducationInsuranceOutdoor Safety Tips for PhotographersThe Bucket PoseKeeping Warm & BugsBeach ShotsNewborn CompositesNewborn Swing CompositeNewborn Frog Pose CompositeNewborn Potato Pose CompositeNewborn Photography – More Content Being Added

Stephanie Robin (Buckman). Newborn Safety Week 2012: Day 1 with Stephanie Robin ↩ Stephanie Robin (Buckman). Newborn Safety Week 2012: Day 1 with Stephanie Robin ↩ J Simoneau. Newborn Safety Week: November 7th, 2011 ↩ Stephanie Robin (Buckman).

All indoor tips provided unless otherwise noted.  Newborn Safety Week – Day 1 ↩ Brittany Woodall. All outdoor tips provided unless otherwise noted. Newborn Safety Week 2012: Day 2 with Brittany Woodall ↩ Cris Passos.

 South Florida Newborn Photography | Newborn Safety Week 2013 ↩ Stephanie Robin (Buckman). Newborn Safety Week – Day 1 ↩  Stephanie Robin (Buckman). Newborn Safety Week 2015 with Stephanie Robin ↩

 >> Speaker 1: So because our light source is over here, I’m actually gonna turn him towards that light source. Or would it be better for the camera if I turned him this way? It’s probably easier for you to see on this side, isn’t it? We’ll do that, because we still have our beautiful light here, and I don’t want you guys to not see what I’m doing.

This newborn photography guide is designed to provide you with basic newborn posing examples, safety information, newborn workshops, inspiring newborn photography, and will even point you in the direction of some great newborn photographers. The information is comprised of mostly existing articles combined and paraphrased with appropriate references to the original resources.

No matter how safe you are, NEVER practice newborn portraiture without first attaining an appropriate business insurance plan. Even a hobbyist should consider their liability when working with models. Contrary to popular belief, your home owner’s insurance etc will NOT sufficiently cover you, even when shooting in your own home.

There are a MULTITUDE of courses out there providing newborn posing instruction. If you are unsure about anything posing or prop related,  invest in yourself and your client’s safety by seeking out opportunities to educate yourself on the safest methods to achieve those beautiful poses. Thoroughly research the backgrounds of the instructors, their education and experience as well as the way in which they work so that you can learn from someone knowledgeable who poses similarly to the ways in which you do.

So I’m not actually lifting his head this way, I’m kinda turning his nose up towards the ceiling. So I’m not overextending his neck or anything like that. Cuz if you stand there or you lay down and you try to go like that, it’s not that easy. But you can turn easily.

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It’s estimated that the newborn’s head holds about 25 percent of their total body weight. The adult human’s head is estimated to be in the range of only about 10 percent of total body weight which means… newborns are quite top heavy. Thus, any position in which the newborn will appear upright should (read DOES) require support. Positions such as the hands supporting the chin and the potato sac shots should always be done as composites in which two images are combined using masks in Photoshop to achieve the final product. In other words, newborns should not in fact hold these positions on their own. Many setups are in fact composite shots in which babies are fully supported and at a much lower risk of injury or falls thanks to the support of their weight by external sources (i.e. your assistant or the parents’ hands).

Parents often give us the privilege of handling their own personal miracle within the first week or so of their life. As adults we know that with every privilege comes great responsibility. It is EXTREMELY important to be well researched and educated on a pose you are going to attempt BEFORE ever attempting it! One false move and it could devastate our industry forever and cause unthinkable pain for a beautiful new family. 3

>> Speaker 1: You gonna take your hat off? >> Speaker 1: I’m just waiting for him to just relax. Had a stretch. >> Speaker 1: And that’s something else that we also need to remember is that when we lay down in bed or we lay down on the couch to watch TV or we sit somewhere, we get comfortable.

So we want our blankets to be nice and smooth. >> Speaker 1: I’ve got his feet pretty much where we want them to be. We will perfect them in a minute, but I’m just gonna pop that cloth nappy in underneath there just to give a little bit of resistance there so he can sort of feel some form of support there.

Babies are born with a multitude of reflexes. These reflexes have developed over generations and are meant as measures to help the newborn survive in a world outside the womb. It’s prudent to pay particular attention to such reflexes as the rooting and startle reflex as ignoring or paying little consideration to them can lead to situations in which your baby is at risk of injury, even when positioned on soft surfaces such as a beanbag. If rooting is noticed, in most instances, this newborn should feed. This reflex is quite strong and ignoring it can lead to your newborn working their way right out of position sometimes face down on your posing surface. Rooting is particularly risky in the bum up pose as the newborn’s attempts to suck can cause them to roll right out of position towards the front of the posing surface.

>> Speaker 1: Bring his feet down. And now I’ve got his fingers. Sorry, I’ve got my fingers on his elbows. So as I gently turn him, my little finger under here is going to push that wrap out the back. >> Speaker 1: I’ll just leave that over him for a minute. Make him modest.

So, I’m sliding one hand underneath, it’s there under the bag. And what I’m going to do from there is lift his head, take his weight off the bean bag and slide the cloth nappy in underneath his head. >> Speaker 1: It’s moving that cloth nappy. So you can see it, I’ve kind of just bunched it up underneath there.

Always have an adult very close by when outdoors. This is not only to spot the baby, but also keep an eye out for bugs. Sometimes a gust of wind will come up suddenly out of no where. Whoever is spotting the baby can easily re-cover the baby with the blanket to prevent him or her from chilling or startling from the unexpected wind.

So what I’m gonna do is stand above here and I’m going to take the weight of his head off his hands and slide the other hand in underneath. So I’ve put my finger through the palm here, bring those little fingers out, and push the thumb through just like that.

A newborn’s immune system is not fully developed leaving them much more sensitive to germs and the like. If you or those in your home are ill, it is highly recommend  to reschedule any newborn sessions. The last place you want your clientele to end up is the NICU thanks to their visit with you! Furthermore, ALWAYS wash your hands before, and multiple times throughout, handling baby. Your hands carry the highest concentration of germs on your body and they will be in contact with baby’s fingers and face. It’s a great idea to have a big bottle of hand sanitizer ready for your sessions and to use it frequently.

So it’s the same with babies. We’ve gotta remember that they’re the same as us, they’re just a ridiculously small version. So making them comfortable the whole time. >> Speaker 1: I’ve just, oh he’s going to do it for me again. Easy baby. >> Speaker 1: Now I want to bring his top hand, when he’s lifted his head earlier, he’s brought the top hand in over the top of the bottom hand.

>> Speaker 1: And then, we don’t want it covering his cheek here, so we wanna bring that cheek forward, so it looks nice and full. >> Speaker 1: So just push in that hand a little bit further, up and underneath his cheek. And then we’ve got beautiful straight fingers. Let’s tuck that hat in a little bit more.

While it’s safe to say that a baby has likely never died from crying, they certainly have died from falls and concussions. Less severe, but still notable is that newborns can also suffer Dysplasia, dislocations, muscular strains and ligamentous injury. Mentioned below are a few ground rules to preach and follow. 4

The first step for newborn photographers is to familiarize yourself with the different poses and styles utilized in newborn photography. Below we will provide an examples for the most commonly used poses. Please DO NOT ATTEMPT a pose without educating yourself extensively on how each one is achieved and precautions to take. Remember that photographers often use composites (combining 2-3 images into one) to safely achieve some of the poses displayed in this article.

And then when he relaxes that elbow, just giving it a little gentle rock. Now when I lift up, he’ll probably move with me. And slide that thumb in over the top of the other wrist. >> Speaker 1: And I’m just waiting for him to relax those fingers. There we go.

So we’ve got those hands in place. >> Speaker 1: There we go. I’m just tucking that hat in so it doesn’t look too big. >> Speaker 1: Okay, now we can start to move our cloth nappies to get everything in the right place. So I’m just pushing it down underneath his little knee there, so we don’t have like a big deep sort of well here, and then it kind of just comes up at the end of his feet.

And this is gonna come over the top, and it’s going to just. Aw, hi. >> Speaker 1: He’s just having a stretch. He’s posing himself. >> Speaker 1: I’m not actually going to have any of this coming out as a detail. I’m going to tuck it in really tight because it’s not very long, so I don’t want it to look too silly.

Never leave a baby unattended on a beanbag, in a prop or with young siblings etc. It’s unlikely that a newborn would roll itself out of position, however their startle reflex can be strong enough to jolt them into an unbalanced or precarious position. If you HAVE to step away for any reason, ALWAYS make sure an adult is extremely close by with a set of eyes  and hands devoted to baby.

>> Speaker 1: You can see where the arm underneath is now. It’s in line with the body. If it was up like this it would be the same as the hand. It would be a large, sort of, object in front of the face, being the elbow. So we don’t want that anywhere near his little face so it becomes all about the face and he’s lifting so I’m gonna bring that up.

[video-description] In this video, professional newborn photographer, Kelly Brown demonstrates the art of flow posing for capturing the first months and days of a baby’s life. While this is a powerful art form, it’s also a demanding one. Covering everything from props, lighting, and camera angles, Kelly describes how to best capture the beauty and innocence of a newborn. In the full course of Newborn Photography Bootcamp, Kelly Brown will cover every aspect of the exciting field of newborn photography. [/video-description]

Below we will demonstrate the 6 basic poses. Most of these poses can be achieved on a simple and safe beanbag setup as well as within or on top of props (including slings) or in parents hands. You could actually achieve at least 18 different varied setups utilizing these 6 primary poses alone. Realistically it provides and unlimited number as each parent, prop and baby will require individualized adjustments to these poses. 1

>> Speaker 1: I’m just gonna use the weight of my arm just on his body. It’s not heavy, it’s not hard, it’s just so that he feels secure whilst I’m moving him. >> Speaker 1: So with this side, what I’m gonna do is in a second, I’m gonna lift here from the side of his head, and I’m gonna push with my finger down on the bag to bring that tassel down.

When shooting outdoors we take most or all of the same precautions that we would take in the studio and more! There are elements outdoors that we don’t have to worry about in the studio: temperature, wind, bugs, sun, noises, etc. A studio is a controlled environment that is often perfectly suited to naked newborns, but when we venture outside we take on a lot of risks we can’t control like a sudden gust of wind or a loud unexpected sound. We have to take all these risks into consideration when we are spotting and shooting to ensure the baby’s safety at all times. There are specific set ups that allow for a much more comfortable baby while also being safer. 5

Babies are individuals. Just like you and me, not every person can crank themselves into a pretzel position. If you feel resistance getting baby into a pose, stop and move on. There is enough variety that you need not attain every pose with every baby. Some of the most popular images are those in which baby’s are naturally posed anyhow.

Utilizing blankets and wraps and several combinations of relational images can also help when aiming for a minimalistic posing approach.

Whoops. >> Speaker 1: So, when I’m shooting anything, I’m using my 24 to 70 lens. I want to be at that 70 mil focal length. >> Speaker 1: Oh, dear. So we’ve got a quick shot. He’s just had a little bit of a wiggle, but we’re gonna fix his hands, and then we should be right to take our image.

All the time. We do it without even noticing. We move until we’re comfortable. Yes, they do the same thing. And they have their own comfy place and we have to remember that not every baby will go into every pose comfortably. And as easy as a side pose is, sometimes babies don’t like laying on their side.

So yeah, she’s having a great time creating all these wonderful bits and pieces. So we’re going to use this. And these colors are going to go really well together. >> Speaker 1: So I’m just using my hand over the top of the thigh there so he doesn’t kinda flinch. With the side pose, I like to have the feet tucked up towards the bottom as much as I can.

These are poses you might find baby doing naturally on their own. The poses that lend best to this scenario are most notably the side lying, bum up or supine curl. They also happen to be the least likely poses to cause injury to babe as you can lie a sleeping babe naturally on their tummy, side or back and they will almost always pose themselves accordingly. 2

And, that’s the beauty of having the flow posing, and if you’ve got a little one that’s not quite happy in one position, you can transition over into the next. >> Speaker 1: And when you’re using bows or anything like that, if they’re too big, they’re gonna become distracting. You do not want anything in your images competing with the little one’s face.

Below we demonstrate one way to safely achieve a newborn photography potato pose composite.8 Click here for in-depth information about how to do the Newborn Potato Pose safely.

>> Speaker 1: Our windows can be fill light today. So, I’m just pulling the wrap. >> Speaker 1: There we go. And now, because we are going to turn him this way, this side here I want to pull down, like this. I’m not going to pull it out just yet, because as I turn him it’s now gonna come out the back.

Newborn photography Posing Video Tips Newborn Photography Flow Posing

So just going to bring his little bottom around, making sure that the elbow stays in line with the body and the hand is up so that when I do turn him his hand doesn’t end up up here. And we’re gonna really struggle then to bring it down in line with the body.

Unintentional injuries (including falls) are rated as the 6th leading cause of infant death in the United States. Please ALWAYS consider safety when attempting any type of pose with a newborn in which they are more than a few inches from the floor, or beanbag. There are ways in which these poses can safely and easily be accomplished either as composites or through other safety measures. Never suspend a baby more than a few inches above anything other than a large soft supportive surface such as a beanbag, couch cushions or bed. Even a spotter located underneath of your setup leaves a margin for error. There are ways in which these poses can be accomplished safely without leaving anything to chance.

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