Newborn baby photography may sound like an easy feat, but for those who have actually tried it, it’s usually one of the scariest, most difficult tasks that any photographer has done on the job. After all, unlike adults, babies obviously don’t follow instructions and handling small and fragile babies require utmost care and experience.
Planning your newborn photography shoot effectively is very important. You need to know a great deal about the baby to be able to photograph them successfully.
The biggest tip we can pass on is that the parents need to have as much information as possible.
Photography is no different. By getting out there and applying your knowledge, you will start to see what works and what doesnt.
How are you going to cull and edit all these images that makes sense timewise? One way to do this in Lightroom is to batch-process images at the same time, in one go.
DSLRs are perfect for newborn photography, as they can shoot in raw, allow for lens changing and have a high ISO range.
Photographing a newborn from their level, and capturing them up close will give you great photographs to edit later.
The one thing that you can expect from a baby photoshoot is that you can’t always expect it to go smoothly. In many cases, babies take a while before settling and falling asleep, and they may even take a dump in the middle of a shoot. And since having diapers on can ruin some of the shots, the baby will most likely be naked, which can result in some truly messy situations.
Read here on all the information you need on cutting down your editing time substantially.
This article here is to help you get past these mistakes, learning faster and faster. This will allow you to take better images sooner, rather than later.
Parents will have a better idea about the location, they will own the props that you will use. They will also be your assistants in posing and keeping the newborn happy.
The time between the sessions means they are more likely to buy prints from you, as the difference in the baby will be large.
If you are seeking inspiration, look no further. As photographers, we are always trying to create unique content from original photo shoot concepts.
Newborn Photography Tip #3: Pick the best timeframe for the shoot.
The great thing is, you will have parents who can act as your assistants, holding and posing the baby. They can also make them laugh, and easily put them back to sleep.
It helps to have an experienced baby photoshoot photographer or assistant who knows how to carefully move the baby into a variety of comfortable poses without waking them up or having them fall over. It’s also important to make them feel snug and warm at all times. You may want to have a space heater near the baby and play soft music (or even white noise) to help keep them sound asleep.
Luckily, most DSLRs and mirrorless cameras have the capacity to shoot different scenarios. For other camera gear recommendations, read our article here.
Photographing newborns can be a challenge at the best of times. Crying is a common occurrence that will only give you one interesting photograph, not a whole series.
Word of mouth is one of the best marketing tools in this genre. Mums talk, and will recommend you if they came away feeling that their baby was safe, respected and adored. The testimonials that will get you more bookings will not be the ones where mum says the pictures are good, but rather the ones where she gushes about how lovely the experience was while with you.
It is because of this difference that it is so specialized, and requires the right set of skills. Not having those skills is about more than the risk of poor images – someone’s safety is at stake.
The best advice we can give you is to make sure you upload your images asap. Create a folder on your hard drive that you will remember and use the clients’ name and/or date for the best naming system.
Read the article here on how to start your newborn photography business today!
Knowing where to start with your newborn photography can be a challenge. Acquiring and finding a few simple props is a great place to start.
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Allow the decor to add a unique story to your photo set. But of course, remember to keep them realistic and safe!
Once you’ve gotten that establishing shot of your newborn and the setup, get close or use that zoom lens to capture little details. Take photos of the baby’s tiny little fingers and toes, or maybe even those long eyelashes. If you’re lucky, you might even catch the baby smiling in their sleep. The baby’s parents would love to have photos that show just how tiny their baby’s feet and hands were at the time, so you may want to incorporate some props for size comparison. For an added artistic touch, keep that aperture wide open!
One tip that will really help your photography, is just to have confidence when you shoot. This will help to put the parents at ease, soothing the baby and getting those stunning shots.
A hundred images of a particular angle will have the same light. So when you correct the light for one, you can apply the ajdustments quickly to the other 99.
If you are an on-location photographer, your preparation and workflow are going to be a little different.
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For the full review, and information on how to get started, read our article here.
These allow you to take portraits in the style and manner that suits you. If you’re getting started with studio portraiture, you’ll most likely want to set up one that is affordable.
Basic photos of just the newborns make very adorable portraits, but many now prefer to dress them up in the most adorable clothes or with just a couple of accessories and have them pose (or sleep) in a very creative setup (or two!). Props are often included to add a super cute touch to the overall image. Go ahead and seek inspiration online, or ask the parents for their desired output.
Mirrorless systems are also great as they shoot silently, keeping the newborn undisturbed. Both of these cameras provide great quality images, able to produce large prints.
Posing newborns should be relatively easy. Wait for them to fall asleep and then pose them in any number of humorous positions you see fit. After that, let’s get back to work.
This doesn’t mean they can’t fall, roll over or pull faces that are less than admirable.
It’s true that more professional cameras can take higher quality photos and help you achieve your exact desired image. However, you don’t have to worry too much about having just a point-and-shoot camera or even a good smartphone camera. Many professional photographers have attested to the fact that lower-end cameras are also capable of capturing super adorable newborn photos, as long as you have sufficient (and safe) lighting for your subject and setup.
Here, we have broken down the list of things you need to be a newborn photographer to ten necessary items. The camera and lenses are the first two you need.
It is the only area of photography where the photographer is solely responsible for the well being of the subject. Safety is key.
Newborn Photography Tip #10: Don’t worry about the gear… much.
Read here for more ideas on fabrics to use, to create better newborn photography.
Mistakes are helpful, as you learn how not to do something, letting you work towards getting it right.
Posing newborns can be a little daunting on your first try. They are all floppy and can’t hold themselves well, if at all.
This is why we need to use the best possible materials to capture the best possible newborn photography.
One accessory that will give you many different backgrounds and settings is a towel. These come in all kinds of colours, and add interesting textures to your image.
So that covers not doing a session too late, but you need to know why doing it too early isn’t good either. Newborns don’t usually look their best after birth, and it can take time for their faces to settle. Also, feeding needs to be established because until a baby is feeding well, he won’t sleep well. My advice would be don’t do a session under 5 days of age.
The sooner you can get comfortable with working in the context of the studio, the faster you’ll be able to improve your newborn photography.
This is a perfect way to tackle a paid newborn photograph session. It ensures that everything goes according to plan without missing or losing images.
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You will find this is easier when the newborn is only a few days old, whereas a week old newborn can take up to an hour to fall asleep.
We can all benefit from using a workflow. This is a great way to make sure you do everything you need to step-by-step, in a timely manner.
One tip we can offer you here is to focus on the details. An iPhone allows you to get closer to a subject, locating those easy to miss wrinkles newborns have.
Turning your talent and love of photographing newborns into a business is a great idea. It is an area of photography that will only grow.
You will need an area with plenty of natural light, some flowers, time and some patience. Quick and simple doesn’t go with newborn photography.
The fate of your business rest in your hands, and it will only continue if you price accordingly. You need to know how much to charge your clients.
Of course, setup isn’t everything. You will still need to work with the subject in the studio to get the look, feel, and the effect that you want in the portrait.
Feeding and nap times are important, but simply knowing the baby’s age can help considerably. Typically, within the first two weeks works best for newborns.
There are a few things you might not think about, but will help your work flow immensely. A space heater will keep the baby warm, especially when naked.
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Our recommendation is to wait until the newborn is nice and sleepy, so you are free to pose and photograph easily.
As a professional photographer, delivering your images in a timely manner that matches the quality of your photos is paramount.
One mistake to avoid is putting too much pressure on yourself. Stress is not going to help you capture that shot, it will work against you.
If you have a Speedlite, why not try some DIY. Store bought modifiers can be expensive to buy, and you might find you don’t use them all the time.
Smartphones are a great tool for capturing precious moments in time. They allow you to take great quality images easily.
Starting your own business is a huge undertaking, and it will be challenging. You will need to build it from the ground up, starting with investing money.
Then again, if you want to have more control over your output, you may want to invest in quality lenses that have been proven to be useful in newborn photography. As for your flash, you’ll only need to find an external one and maybe an accompanying diffuser so as not to disturb the sleeping baby.
So in summary, I would suggest you take your time setting up as a newborn photographer. Research good training, and consider that in this area especially, you get what you pay for.
Landscape Photography Tips Portrait Photography Tips Photo Composition Tips Beginner Photography Tips Photo Post Processing Tips Get Started with Cameras and Gear
When it comes to starting your newborn photography business, you may think you need to buy all the props and accessories you can get your hands on.
This is mainly a tip for handling the parents. If the parents aren’t included in the photo, it can sometimes be hard to keep them away from the set. They might constantly want to be around and be stage parents (literally), especially when the baby starts crying. It’s your job to make them feel comfortable and to let them know that you’ve got this. If you haven’t done many baby photoshoots yet, take the time to educate yourself with tutorials, videos, workshops, and poses. Learn how to handle babies, especially newborns. You’ll have a much easier time once the parents feel that their newborn is safe in your hands and in front of your lens.
So having decided it’s for you, you’ll have a huge number of questions. Here I aim to answer some of the biggest, and most important ones.
This short glossary is a handy reference that you can check when assembling your lighting kit. This will also allow you to manipulate your lighting setup while working in the studio.
One way we can achieve this is by using presets. These are pre-made adjustments other photographers have created for you to use on your images.
But this is exclusively a natural light source dependent on the time of day and weather. You’ll need to pay close attention to the quality of the light.
Through apps, you can edit, add filters and post your images, all in one tiny package.
Lightweight cotton wraps are a favourite in newborn photography. These are for swaddling the baby, so chances are, they are already accustomed to them.
Natural light is also a great source for newborn photography as it adds a warm, fuzzy tone.
However, it can be also be one of the most fun and fulfilling projects for any photographer. Here are a couple newborn photography tips that will help you—and the baby—have an easier time on set.
Typical newborn poses include having them on their tummies, propping their heads on their arms and elbows, or allowing them to just lie comfortably on their backs. Some babies are easy to move while others are just happy with curling up into a ball. The key here is to never force the baby to do a pose that they’re uncomfortable in and to always support the head, neck, and body when changing their positions.
The more comfortable they are, the easier they’ll be to shoot!
By giving the parents a free session after they booked the first three sessions within a year, you ensure their return.
What we see, across all areas of photography, is that simplicity is key. Viewers relate better to simple images because they understand them more easily.
But there are other forms that will provide a constant light, rather than a flash. These are incandescent and fluorescent and are generally used in studios.
Using the natural light that shines in through a window is a great way to get soft light. This is great for an indoor subject which is often overlooked and it costs nothing.
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There’s absolutely no reason not to include the baby’s parents and/or siblings. You may want to suggest and encourage their participation, in case they didn’t think of it early on. Having a young brother or sister with the baby in the photo can make the sweetest portraits. Photos with the parents can be traditional, or they can try holding the baby in different positions for added drama.
A photography contract for newborn photography is to ensure both parties retain their rights.
A white noise machine is a great choice, as they are still used to the noise inside the womb. The noise will help them feel comfortable, and kep them sleeping.
Newborns are delicate and must be handled correctly. They can suffer circulation problems, are poor at regulating their temperature, and cannot tell you when they are feeling uncomfortable, which means they are relying on you to take care of them at all times. The correct training will teach you safe handling techniques, how to spot signs of baby not being happy for many reasons, as well as general safety and other important areas.
You camera equipment is only important in capturing the little one. Aslong as you can change lenses and shoot in raw format, you can use anything.
Your creativity and editing skills are what makes the image stunning.
It’s about capturing this beautiful moment before the child grows up and starts asking for pocket money and to borrow the car.
If you have children, you may well remember that newborns sleep a lot, at least through the day, and seem able to sleep through pretty much anything too. But that changes really quickly, and by week three babies are waking more easily, and spending more time awake each day. You cannot pose a baby that is awake, so a sleeping newborn is what you need, meaning you need to aim for under two weeks, and under ten days is even better.
Knowing how to use these props is the key here. Layering blankets, towels and other materials creates the perfect setting.
Read the other four tips here on how to improve your photography.
Creating them at home means that you get to try different ways to light your portraits without spending a lot of money. You can try before you buy, or just keep the ones you made.
The effect of the window on the outdoor light is essentially the same as that of a softbox on a flash. The intensity of the light lessens and the light becomes soft.
With a few small pieces of plastic, you can create a few different modifiers. You might need to buy a pack of Pringles, but then you can enjoy them too!
One difference is that every tool or prop you use will either need to be taken with you or already be in the location you are shooting.
Now that you have a pretty good idea of props, camera equipment and how to start, your newborn photography is going to need a boost to reach that wow factor.
Read here on other ways you can use your smartphone to capture amazing images.
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Unfortunately, it’s nowhere near that easy. This is definitely an art form in itself. Start slowly and make sure the baby is comfortable and most of all, safe.
Running a newborn photography business is a great way to photograph your favourite subject, and of course, challenge yourself.
It makes sure that neither side can do anything with the images that were not pre-discussed and agreed upon. A risk of prosecution from either side can be enforced if consent was not given.
A camera for photographing scenes with newborns in them needs to have a wide range of ISOs and shutter speeds.
For more on newborn photography and business see these articles:
Newborn Photography Tips: Keep them safe and comfortable. Use safe lighting. Pick the best timeframe for the shoot. Plan your poses. Create an adorable setup. Move in closer. Involve the family. Be flexible and patient.
Be confident and assuring. Don’t mind the gear… much. Newborn Photography Tip #1: Keep them safe and comfortable.
At this age, the newborns are easier to pose, and you will find they curl up much easier than they will in a week or two. Use this knowledge to your advantage, and make the appointment as soon as possible.
They are both your best and worst clients. It goes without saying that safety comes first. You will see many images where the newborn looks completely on their own.
You are capturing precious moments of a baby’s first few days outside of the womb. Parents, grandparents, aunties and uncles will be your clientele.
Newborns are great to photograph, as they sleep a lot and hardly move. Saying that, they need a lot of attention and cooing when they are awake between shots.
Read the article here for photographic examples and a step-by-step guide.
Photographing newborns is no easy task. Thankfully, most of them can’t move so well, so they tend to stay where you place them.
Research and invest in lighting equipment to ensure amazing image quality and that soft, ambient light.
No doubt you will take hundreds of images of the newborns to make sure you have a few perfect ones. After ten different poses and angles, you could end up with a thousand.
Focus on only using simple coloured backdrops and materials. This makes it easier to set the correct white balance and colour correct during post-processing.
Babies have very sensitive eyes and cannot be exposed to harsh lights until after several months. When shooting baby portraits, photographers shouldn’t be using pop-up flashes. External flashes are a much better option, as long as you let the light bounce from the ceiling and keep the power low enough to avoid blinding the baby or waking them up.
One rule for photographing people is to get a model release. This is a contract between both parties, allowing the use of the model’s image. Most stock photography requires this if you wish to sell the images online.
Yet, that isn’t the case, it comes down to clever mother placement and image stacking. Post-processing allows this effect to happen. Read all our tips on how to photograph newborns here.
A note from Josh, ExpertPhotography’s Photographer-In-Chief: Thank you for reading… CLICK HERE if you want to capture breathtaking images, without the frustration of a complicated camera. It’s my training video that will walk you how to use your camera’s functions in just 10 minutes – for free! I also offer video courses and ebooks covering the following subjects: Beginner – Intermediate Photography eBook Beginner – Intermediate Photography Video Course Landscape Photography eBook Landscape Photography Video Course Photography Blogging (Service) You could be just a few days away from finally understanding how to use your camera to take great photos! Thanks again for reading our articles!
If you’re interested in having a newborn as your subject, you can follow the “10 Days Rule.” This means your baby should be 10 days old at most, but the ideal age is 5 to 10 days old. During this short time frame, babies spend most of their days sleeping and curling up like they did in their mother’s womb. After two weeks, the babies start to stretch and become more active, so it can be a little more difficult to make them pose in small baskets and beds.
Newborn photoshoots can be pretty unpredictable, so it’s best that you plan the poses ahead of time. Collect samples or pegs of newborn poses on your phone or tablet. Or, for an even easier time, hire a professional baby photoshoot assistant who has had experience in handling babies and making them do a variety of poses.
For the other 5 tips on making your business successful, read the article here.
Understand that photography, especially newborn photography won’t go swimmingly from the get-go. It will take time, and patience.
Fat rolls and wrinkles are the focus, alongside their expressions. Place them in poses that extenuate and show these off. Read our article here for all the tips you will ever need.
By working in a studio, or building your own, you will find a lot of different choices for lighting. Flashbulbs are the most common as they are cheaper and widely available.
Read the rest of our tips and advice for creating the best work, keeping mummy and daddy happy.
The BOGO (buy one, get one) baby plan might be a great idea for you and your business.
What you might not realise is that you already own many of these props. All you need is a little creativity, and that will save you money and time.
Keeping babies safe at all times should be the number one priority. Remember, these are tiny infants who have not been out in the world for too long. They have little to no control over their own bodies and have fragile skulls and bones. It’s not uncommon for them to be propped up on tiny bassinets a couple of feet above the ground, but the props should always be weighed and tested so they won’t tip over or fall once the baby is placed on it.
All our tips covering the workflow are here, in our article.
Don’t become discouraged by the competition or that you may not make a profit for the first two years. It can be a difficult market, and you need time to get the word out.
Posing a newborn is not the same as posing men or women. What you look for in adults, you look for the opposites in the baby.
Reducing the contrast creates this dreamy feeling and soft appearance. Read here on all the editing tips you need for newborn photography.
Your studio is where all the gear comes together. This is your controlled environment, where you set up your camera, lighting, and other accessories.
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Remember, you are dealing with a few kilograms of incontinent floppiness. Waterproof sheets or puppy pads are a great way to protect the more expensive items you own.
However, if you ask any professional baby photographer, it’s always best to use ambient lighting. Go for natural light, like soft sunlight coming in from a nearby window, or indoor lights that can be modulated to your desired lighting. Constant white studio lights are also good options, so the newborn’s skin looks less red and warm.
New parents love newborn photography. It offers them a capture of a fleeting moment in their lives, one that is impossible to get back.
Read here for the other nine tips on what your photography contract needs to have.
Done right, the effect can be very impressive and professional-looking. You are harnessing the power by moving the subject closer or further away from the window.
The back pose is one of the most common and the easiest to start with. Lay them on their back on soft material, and place their hands on their tummies.
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For newborn photography, you can create simple, inexpensive setups to photograph the little one on.
This is great, as they trust you to capture those fleeting moments. This is when you might feel that a baby plan will help you gain more repeat customers.
Your lenses should have a variety of apertures, as these will help you in low light.
Newborn photography is a take on portrait photography. Only the subjects are typically less than two weeks old.
This doesn’t mean that looking at and copying other images isn’t a good place to start. It will act as training until you find your own feet.
Becoming familiar with the vocabulary of lighting will help you become better at working with different types of light. Sources, patterns, and tools will help you take successful portraits.
All professional photography involves a multitude of skills and newborn photography is no different, with one very important exception. It is the only area of photography that involves the photographer being completely responsible for the safety and welfare of the subject – the baby. As a newborn photographer you will hold, comfort, soothe, pose, wrap, and often even feed and clean up after your subject, even with the parents present.
You are selling emotions. That is really the bottom line with newborns. The parents are melting with wonder and love at their new baby, and emotions are running their lives completely. If you can build a relationship with your clients that taps into their emotions, and leaves them feeling that you can truly relate to them and their baby, they will be more inclined to not only book you, but trust you.
Keep it simple. Training will show you the basic equipment you’ll need, like beanbag and backdrop stand, as well as a small selection of throws, hats, headbands, and wraps. The most important area for your development as a newborn photographer will be developing safe handling of the baby in your early months. The confidence in posing takes time, and that is where your focus should be, not on having all the props and the biggest selection of hats. What will set you apart as a top newborn photographer will never be the amazing set up you design – it will be how good your posing is, and how comfortable your baby looks in the images.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t invest in a few pieces of equipment to help this process.
Read the article here on different baby plans to help your newborn photography business.
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Sleep isn’t the only issue that dictates though. Newborns are gorgeously squishy, floppy and bendy under ten days old, which, coupled with being sound asleep, makes them perfect for gently posing into those adorable positions parents love. Much after two weeks and they begin to gain muscle tone, which means they lose the flexibility that makes such posing possible.
A white noise machine, or even soothing sounds can make the difference between a sleepy baby and a wailing newborn.
The average session is 3-4 hours, and you will soon realize why when you have done a couple of your own. The session is taken up by everything BUT taking photos. When I do a session my camera is in my hand for less than ten minutes the entire time. The session will involve settling, cuddling, reading baby, soothing for sleep, and gentle posing. They baby runs the show, of that there is little question, and as each baby is different, so is each session. Try to rush it and clock watch, and you’ll put yourself under huge pressure, and babies pick up on stress, which could cause you to have an unsettled baby on your hands. As a general rule, most newborn specialists will do just one session a day.
Read our article here on the difference between these lights, and why and when you would use them.
The best way to edit images into stunning captures is to make sure you get as close as you can with the photograph. You can’t fix an angle problem in lightroom.
That’s where Pixieset comes in. This is a platform that allows you to easily share large files with your clients. This all comes at a monthly fee.
Move slowly, be confident and never put the baby in danger. Use the parents to hold the baby in different poses, then Photoshop them out during the editing stage.
Read the article here on all the different camera systems, and how they will benefit your newborn photography.
10 Things You Can Learn About Photography from Elliott Erwitt
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While they are there, grab some detail shots of their hands and feet. For the other two poses, read the article here.
As you will see, from taking quality images of newborns, the parents might decided to come back as the baby grows. They are repeat buyers into your product.
Many newborn photoshoots take 2 to 3 hours to complete, and you won’t be able to take your winning shots until the last half hour. For this reason, many parents go for photographers who charge per session instead of on a per hour basis.
A good way to determine the pricing is to check other newborn photographers in your area. This research will also show you the quality of their work.
One idea on how to pose your newborn subjects is within a flower wreath. This is a unique idea to create stunning images the parents will love.
You also don’t need to worry about colour casts, and reflected tones affecting your newborns’ skin.
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Studio lighting is a vast topic unto itself and there is a large amount of terminology that you’ll encounter when dealing with it.
Talk in a way that shows their baby means almost as much to you as he does them. Ask them lots of questions about their baby, and life since his arrival. New parents can talk all day about their baby, so showing he interests you will really endear you to them. Use emotive language on your site and Facebook page. Rather than saying “I like doing baby shoots” say “I simply adore capturing images of beautiful, squishy babies!”
Use a neutral background for this shot. Something earthy will work well with the flowers, so light beige or off white will work well.
Camera Equipment Recommended Cameras For Newborn Photography
The short answer is yes. It doesn’t matter how skilled you are at photography, because the skills required to be safe and of a good standard as a newborn photographer are really very different than anything you have done before. If you decide to become a wedding photographer with no training, the worst that may happen is you let down a couple on their big day. As bad as that could be, no one will get hurt.
Look after the parents when they are with you. Provide drinks and snacks, and comfortable seating. Mum will be sore and they are both likely to be exhausted.
They offer a tight covering, allowing the shape of the baby to show. Many of these host different patterns, that can add a texture to a plain and simple backdrop.
Confidence comes from practise, knowledge and believing in yourself. It is invaluable as a tool for your newborn photography.
This means your clients will be happy, satisfied, and likely to work with you again! It’s definitely one of the top options for file sharing.
Newborns are soft and cuddly, so the images should reflect this tone and mood. To generate smooth, creamy skin tones, use the contrast and clarity sliders of Lightroom.
Make sure to physically, mentally, and emotionally prepare yourself for the photoshoot—and bring along a huge pack of wet wipes while you’re at it.
Posing Newborn Poses: How to Minimise Fuss and Maximise Cuteness