For a newborn session, always be prepared for anything. Newborns can be unpredictable. One minute you have a calm, serene and sleeping baby, the next minute she’s red-faced and screaming her head off.
You might want to get some photos of your sweet newborn in her carefully decorated crib or nursery. If there’s a rocking chair that he loves to be held in, photograph mom or dad rocking the baby. One of my favorite memories with my babies was getting them out of their crib in the morning, or after nap time. They always seemed so happy to see me, and they looked so sweet and small in those big cribs. I wish I had photos to help me remember those times in better detail. Think of baby’s little world, and photograph him in the places he spends a lot of time in.
Sometimes the relationships the family has with the new baby are my very favorite thing to photograph. The love and bonding that happens so quickly with a new baby in the house is an amazing thing, and those special moments are so important to preserve.
This pose is a simple and natural pose for newborns. Simply lay the newborn on his/her back and place their hands on their tummy. A Westcott 5-1 Reflector can be used to add light, but make sure not to reflect the light directly into a newborn’s sensitive eyes.
Although I can appreciate all the different styles, I prefer to capture a newborn baby the way that I remember my three newborns. My kids are almost all grown up now, and it’s hard to remember exactly what they were like when they were brand new. Every once in awhile, I have sweet memories of how they were once upon a time. The sweet smell of a newborn’s head. The skinny knees stretching out. The reflex grasp of those tiny fingers. The perfect little toes and wrinkly feet. The million different expressions that could keep me entertained for hours. The soft cheek, and even the peeling skin that inevitably showed up for a little while.
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These are the things I remember. These are the memories I cherish. These are the moments I try to preserve with my camera with natural newborn photos.
Posing a subject is a skill that many photographers find challenging in itself, but posing a newborn baby can be downright terrifying for some. When it comes to newborn photography, safety always comes first. This delicate mini human is fragile and doesn’t adhere to any posing cues, so as a newborn photographer, you must become an expert at how to properly and safely pose babies.
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Now that you know the three basic posing positions, you can start getting creative with props, backgrounds and angles. To get more tips on photographing newborns, check out our Newborn Photography Workshop here.
For this pose, start with the newborn on their tummy and then gently ease them onto their side, allowing the baby to rest on their side arm while crossing their legs. Use the silver side of the reflector to catch and fill light into the shadows on the newborn’s face. Shoot the image directly facing the baby to get an intimate perspective of the sleeping baby.
Don’t wait for a perfect expression. Those wrinkly foreheads, big yawns, hungry mouths, pouty lips, and even those sad cries can be perfect photo opportunities. Baby faces are fascinating!
This is a slight variation of the above pose. Simply adjust the camera angle to shoot a top down shot directly onto the baby’s body. It does a great job of showing a newborn’s body shape. You don’t need a reflector because you’ll be standing where the reflector was.
One of the wonderful things about photographing babies more naturally, is that you can let so many ideas of perfection go. If your baby loves a pacifier, photograph him with a pacifier. If she’s having a fussy day, grab a few crying photos. It’s okay, because it’s life. Real life. We’re not trying to create an illusion that the baby is something other than who he is, that very moment.
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This shot seems simple, but can be a bit tricky because it requires a bit of time and patience. You want to make sure that the newborn is in deep sleep first so posing them will not wake them up. Hold the baby’s legs in the same position for about 30-60 seconds, and generally the legs will stay long enough for you to get a full-length shot.
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If you’ve always thought that baby photos had to be perfectly posed and creatively propped, give lifestyle newborn photography a chance. Try photographing a new baby swaddled in a blanket. See if you can capture a bunch of funny expressions, or capture “a day in the life” of the newborn. You may decide that these natural, real life photos are your favorite after all.
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Babies don’t generally move too fast, but we recommend staying above 1/100 of a second and ideally around the 1/200 to 1/250 of a second range.
I like to use a pretty wide aperture when I photograph these details. If you can shoot at around f/2, give or take, those details will be the star of the photo. You won’t be distracted by other things, and the part you want to highlight will look especially sharp. Shooting wide open is a good idea when you are capturing other newborn moments, like baby’s bath, putting socks or a hat on, swaddling, or anything that you want the focus to be on or a particular action.
Be careful when you are shooting with a depth of field this shallow that your focus is EXACTLY where you want it, and that you don’t move after you lock in your focus. A slight movement from you or the baby could put your photo completely out of focus, and ruin what you are trying to achieve.
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For more help shooting indoors with a wide aperture, you can read my article on Indoor Portraits Using Natural Light.
Don’t forget to capture how the rest of the family feels about the new baby. Photograph sister’s look of adoration. Photograph brother’s fascination with baby’s little toes. Photograph mom’s absolute love for her tiny new being. Photograph dad’s proud protectiveness, and contrasting rough, big hands.
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You could also take photos of the little things that are part of life with a baby, without the baby in the photo. Stacks of diapers, rubber ducks, teeny shoes, bottles, pacifiers, etc. can be photographed to remember what life was like when your house was overtaken by baby things.
Canon 5D Mark III; canon 50mm f1.2 | f/2.0, 1/100 sec, ISO 200.
A Guide to Newborn Photography – Preparation, … 3 years ago
Here are 3 easy newborn poses to try at your next photo session. Each basic pose has simple variations you can try to get different angles and compositions. These tips are an excerpt from our Newborn Photography Workshop. Check it out here or access it as a Premium Member here.
Be careful with young siblings that you keep the newborn safe as you are photographing them. You can capture their natural reactions to the baby while still keeping the baby safe. Let them sit near their little brother or sister if they’re too young to hold the baby. They can pat him, or lightly kiss him on the head. If you have a young child hold the baby, make sure someone is standing right outside the frame to take the baby as soon as little sister is “done”, because sometimes that can happen very suddenly.
There are lots of different styles of photography when it comes to capturing a newborn baby. Some people love to use lots of props, and introduce many fun things into every photo. Some are experts at posing the baby in unique and whimsical positions.
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For the first variation of this pose, you can adjust their hands underneath their chin and shoot from the top down, getting the side angle, looking at the newborn’s face.
Tips & Tricks 3 Easy Newborn Photography Poses To Try On Your Next Session
Be patient and flexible when photographing newborns, and leave lots of time to stop for feeding, burping, or changing a diaper. If your goal is to just capture baby as she is, you don’t have to be as worried about getting a whole session in within the two week old time period. It’s okay if baby isn’t quite as moldable if you aren’t trying to mold them into anything in particular. Since we’re just keeping it real, you can be more relaxed. Shoot another day if the first day you try just doesn’t work out. Also, you don’t have to stress out about keeping the baby sleepy the whole time. If he’s asleep, photograph him that way. If she’s wide awake, capture those eyes. It doesn’t matter.
When shooting newborn portraits, be sure to get in close to get details. They grow so fast that it’s soon difficult to remember what their little fingers and toes looked like after just being born. The little details will be cherished and remembered by mom and dad for years to come. Additionally, capturing both the wide full body shots along with the tighter detail shots add a storytelling element to your shoot.
7 Tips for Photographing Newborns without Becoming … 5 years ago
Have your camera ready to go for these moments. During this shoot, Baby Ellie woke up mid-shoot and blinked her sleepy eyes up at Pye. Remember to adjust your settings, speeding up the shutter and compensating for the baby’s movements so that your images will still be sharp.
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I love to photograph little details. I can’t hold a newborn without pulling her socks off to have a peek at her feet. That means that I can’t photograph a newborn without getting a few shots of those perfect little baby feet, either. Find the little details you love, and capture them. Feet, hands, ears, knees, hair; everything is cuter in miniature. It’s a good idea to capture hands and feet with mom or dad’s hands holding them too, because it will help the parents remember exactly how small they were.
Canon 5D Mark III with Canon50 mm f/1.2 lens | 1/100th, F2, ISO 200
The tummy pose is a versatile pose that provides many different angles and cute variations. Start by moving the baby to lie on his/her tummy. Remember that babies are resilient and sturdy, but you always want to be cautious and overly safe, especially when dealing with their fragile head and neck. If there is any tension or flexing of the head or neck, wait for the baby to relax and then turn the head into position.