Newborn Photos For Beginners

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Newborn Photos For Beginners

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Newborn Photos For Beginners.

Beginner Newborn Photographer Mistake #6: Take your time to get it perfect

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.

I quickly learned that nappy squares have a multitude of uses.  I use a stack of them at every session.  I place one between every layer on my beanbag to prevent accidents from going through more than one layer, and I also keep a stack of them folded and use them for supports under baby to give them more of a curly look.

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.

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.

Beginner Newborn Photographer Mistake #8: Don’t compare yourself to other photographers

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With more confidence in your newborn photography you’ll find that you don’t rush through sessions quite so much.  In my early days as a newborn photographer I used to get so nervous about not getting “the shot” that I would see something that wasn’t quite right and wouldn’t fix it.  Nowadays I really take my time much more.  I make sure that wraps are tight and don’t have creases, I fix backdrop fabrics to remove wrinkles, I spend more time adding support to make baby more curly.  Obviously if you have a very fussy baby you can’t always be such a perfectionist as they will wake up and you might not get anything, so the best thing to do is to follow your instincts and get a “safe shot” before you go perfecting things just in case!

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.

Beginner Newborn Photographer Mistake #4: Get the light right!

It can be exciting photographing a newborn so compose a list of shots you want to take before you pick up the camera. Grab these ‘safe shots’ first and once you have this selection in the bag, start to get creative with new angles and ideas.

The best lens to use when photographing any type of portrait is a fast 50/85mm prime lens. Operating at wide apertures (small f number) will allow you to work in darker environments and capture stills with the focus on your subject and a blurred backdrop to remove distraction.

If you’re uncomfortable operating in manual mode then plump for Aperture Priority and opt for a wide aperture of f4 or f5.6. Focus on your subject’s face and include a section of the backdrop into the frame.

This is where an interesting or colourful background can make the scene more dynamic. Alternatively position yourself at the end of the child and focus on the feet – throwing the rest of his/her frame into a creatively blur.

Attach a zoom lens to vary the composition of your shots; catering for up close cute pictures of feet, hands, nose or ears for example and then span out wide to grab contextual portraits or ones that reveal the entire length of the child.

As with any portrait pictures you’ll want to use even light. Avoid flash at all costs – not only is this disruptive to the calm atmosphere you want to create but it can rob the image of texture and tone.

Position the cot or child near a window (using a white sheet or curtain to diffuse if it is a particularly bright day. Remember to exposure for the face. Declutter the scene of distracting items such as nappies or bottles and incorporate soft blankets for interesting colours and texture.

Consider placing props such as a loved toy or teddy to emphasis size. Black and white images can carry more emotion that their colourful counterparts so experiment when photographing or editing images post shoot.

Some cameras offer this as a menu choice but so you don’t restrict yourself it is advisable to shoot in colour and desaturate or select a B&W option in an editing program later. Play around with curves in Photoshop or the Presets in Lightroom to control contrast and brightness of the shadows, midtones and highlights.

As newborns grow at such a daunting pace, many proud parents choose to photograph their tots at periodical intervals to chart the change. A collection of these images printed in a photobook can make a wonderful gift for a family member.

To emphasis the petite proportions of your newborn try taking images with the parent. For example – baby’s hand on mum and dad’s hand, or the baby’s feet in between the fathers. Use a wide aperture and ramp up ISO if shooting in low light environments.

The best time to shoot an infant is arguably after he/she has had a feed and has been put down for a nap. The noise of the shutter shouldn’t disturb them and means you can move their little hands and feet delicately without resistance or movement.

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We all start somewhere!  When I became a newborn photographer after the birth of my daughter in 2012, it was a difficult learning curve.  I really had very little idea about how to capture beautiful images like the ones I had seen online.  I didn’t know anyone in the industry, and at that time there were very few photographers offering workshops to learn.  I made a LOT of mistakes.  So today I decided to write a blog post about my top 8 mistakes that I made in those first couple of years as a newborn photographer.  If you’re a beginner newborn photographer, or you aspire to be one, I hope that these help steer you on a better path!

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!”

« Tips to Choosing a Newborn PhotographerThe Top 5 Things to Do After Your Newborn Photography Session »

If you’re doing posed newborn photography, no doubt a lot of the photos you take will be of babies with no nappy on.  Make life easy on yourself and make sure you have some sort of protective layer between each of your backdrops on the beanbag or under your baby in a prop.  I learned this the hard way.  At one of my very first sessions I had 5 blankets all perfectly set up on the beanbag ready to go.  I put baby on there and about 5 seconds later he promptly pooed all over it.  Silly me had forgotten to put anything in between the layers and it went through all 5 layers of blankets.  Joy!

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.

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So if you’re a beginner photographer.  I hope these tips have helped you somehow.  Remember to keep on striving to get better.  It takes time, courage and a lot of determination!  Be sure to get in touch if you have any questions.  I’d love to hear from you

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.

These days I naturally gravitate towards neutrals and pastels: browns, creams, pinks and blues.  My favourite fabric store is A Little Life.  I think I have one of every fabric she has!

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A Guide to Newborn Photography – Preparation, … 3 years ago

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.

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.

I can’t tell you how many people contact me to ask me the “secret” to getting nice skin tones in babies.  Honestly the two most important factors are good light and good exposure in camera.  When I first became a newborn photographer I had a terrible habit of underexposing baby’s skin.  I would try to fix it in Photoshop but once you underexpose it is so much harder to get nice skin tones.  It seems to grab more red from the babies skin and leave you with yucky looking images.  If you get it right in camera, the results will be so much better and need far less work in post-production (who wants to be staring at a screen all day?!  Not me!).  For caucasian babies, you should be aiming to overexpose the skin by about a third of a stop for the best results and that lovely dreamy creamy skin that everyone wants!

When I first started newborn photography I had a little experience as a photographer but I really underestimated just how specialised being a baby photographer was.  One of the most common beginner mistakes is to “ghost light” babies – that is, to place your baby so the light is coming up their face rather than from the top of the head down.  This is a fundamental rule of newborn photography.  Sometimes when you first start out you’re so focused on everything going on that you can forget.  Before you take the shot, take a quick breath and check the direction of light.  Look for a butterfly shadow under the nose.  If you are finding it hard to see it, squint your eyes a little.  It helps!

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.

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.

Beginner Newborn Photographer Mistake #2: Don’t expect to get it right first go!

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.

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P.S  If you enjoyed this blog post you might also like to read The Reason I’m So Passionate About Photography

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Looking back, I can’t believe I ever thought that buying a bright red blanket to use in my newborn sessions was ever a good idea.  In those days, there weren’t really many prop vendors here in Australia – we certainly didn’t have the amazing range of fabric vendors that we do now.  So what was a girl to do?  I went to my local IKEA store and bought blankets in all sorts of colours.  Any photographer knows that red skin in newborns is the bane of our existence.  We spend a lot of time removing red skin tones in post production.  How could you add more red to make it worse?  Photograph a baby on a bright red blanket for a beautiful red colour cast.  Don’t do it!!!

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.

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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.

Beginner Newborn Photographer Mistake #5: Nail your exposure

 Beginner Newborn Photographer Mistake #3: Nappy squares are your friends

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One of my first newborn photography sessions. I decided to use a bright red blanket. Oh dear!

When you’re first starting out as a newborn photographer it can be difficult to be yourself.  Often people see images online that they try to copy and replicate without thinking about their own creativity.  I found that with more experience I actually spend so much less time looking at and comparing my work to other people.  I often think about the lyrics in that old 90’s song ‘Sunscreen’…  “Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind, The race is long and in the end, it’s only with yourself”.   I used to get so disheartened by comparing my photos with photographers that I admired.  It was only once I stopped doing that, and I started focusing on my own work, my own creative voice, that I fell more in love with what I do.  There’s someone out there for everyone.  To shine in this industry you need to find what makes your heart sing and do it!  People who love what you do with gravitate towards you.  You and your photography are unique.  Don’t try to copy anyone else.  Look at other photographer’s work for inspiration, but never try to copy them.

The trick is to take is slowly.  Understand that you’re not going to be perfect straight away.  Start with simpler poses, get those perfect and then try another one.

Wedding Photography – Just How Specialized is … 2 years ago

We all start somewhere!   Here is some of my earliest work when I was still learning compared to last year.  Photography is forever a work in progress and you never stop learning and improving your work.  Don’t expect to get it perfect straight away.

Newborn photography is challenging.  It’s physically and emotionally draining – particularly when you’re first starting out.  When you’re just learning there is a huge learning curve to getting the photos just right.  Mastering the poses, your camera angles, working with babies who just don’t want to cooperate.  There is so much to think about!  If you’re anything like me you’ll see amazing photographs online from photographers you look up to and expect that you’ll be able to replicate the shot (or at least something similar).  When it doesn’t quite work out as you had planned – you get a challenging newborn who doesn’t want to play ball, or you are all excited to see the photos from your session only to look at them on your computer screen and realise you’re so far away from where your idol’s work is.  It’s really easy to get disheartened.  I used to put so much pressure on myself when I was first starting out.  I wanted to get it perfect right from the start.  I put so much pressure on myself that I wouldn’t sleep the night before a photo shoot and I would be (literally!) sweating bullets during a session.  It was scary!

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.

New child photography might be exceptionally challenging , not solely because the models can are usually somewhat uncooperative, but in addition due to the truth they spend a lot of time sleeping and very little time smiling. This text has a few hints and tips that ought to hopefully show you methods to photograph newborn babies and ensure that you find yourself with a shot that the household will need to treasure forever.

The lighting of your shot can be particularly important. You do not wish to go exposing newborn eyes to shiny flash bulbs, so attempt to take photographs in circumstances which can be naturally brilliant when photographing newborns. Improve the ISO and publicity compensation in your digicam in low gentle levels , however test to ensure that the picture doesn`t turn into too grainy as a result.

Be sure you consider the angles at which you`re taking your shots. It can be very easy to fall into the behavior of at all times shooting from above, so before long you have got an album stuffed with shots looking down at the child. Attempt getting down on the identical degree because the newborn, and allow them to fill the complete body of your photo.

Give attention to a few of the smaller elements of their face, or on a single hand or foot to get some actually interesting macro shots. It`s normally an idea to keep your camera on a continuous capturing mode, as a baby `s expression can change extremely quickly. Take a lot of shots for each setup, and hopefully you may be left with one good one. Digital photography allows you delete any undesirable shots.

Keep in mind that these pictures are being taken to capture the second and to look back on in years to come. Consider what photographs and reminiscences you wish to preserve. If there`s any item or toy that plays an necessary part in their early days, seize it. The household shot is always a favorite ; so ensure you get one in all each mum and pa with the baby. Another traditional photographs to consider are ones with the newborn `s hand or foot in its mom `s hand to emphasize the distinction in dimension , or pictures of the mom nursing seize the intimacy of the relationship.

By following these newborn photography tips you will be able to enhance your photography expertise and find yourself with images worth trying again on a few years from now.

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