10 newborn photography tricks to capture amazing images of your baby
There’s nothing like welcoming your precious baby into the world. It’s the single most amazing thing you’ll ever do. The biggest thing you’ll come to realise is just how fast time goes and how quickly the little bundle will grow and change. Each new week they meet new milestones and become more alert and you just wish that time would slow down and you could hold onto these fleeting moments for a little longer.
I know you probably already have 547 photos on your phone of your new little one, but capturing those early moments with your little baby and being able to display them in the home to look back on is a whole other level of preserving memories. Those sweet, quiet, sleepy moments…those squishy poses…those snuggly cuddles captured with Mummy, Daddy and the proud big siblings are irreplaceable. So planning ahead and booking your little family in for newborn photos with a professional newborn photographer is so important to capture those precious early days for you.
But who do you choose? What do you look for? How will they capture amazing images of my newborn and family?
Here are the top 10 tricks that newborn photographers use to capture amazing images of your baby, and things you can look for when choosing who to book.
Tip #1: Safety Safety Safety!
Newborn photographers pose babies in a variety of ways, curling them into squishy poses like they were in the womb. As beautiful as these poses are, your photographer must always be more concerned about the health and safety of the baby than they are about snapping a great shot. Some babies might love a certain pose, while another baby might not. This may be because of delivery issues, the size of the newborn, or simply because they’re uncomfortable. No matter how much a newborn photographer, or Mum and Dad, wants to capture a specific pose, it’s always best to move to a different pose if the baby is uncomfortable so that they don’t become distressed or injure themselves.
Safe newborn photographers ensure that baby is never left unattended when in or on a prop. Many baby photographers also use photoshop skills and shoot for composite or digital images so that they can pose your baby safely and still achieve a beautiful piece of art without leaving the baby in an unsafe position. These shots take pre-planning and a lot of skill in both posing and post-processing. Most importantly it ensures your baby is safe.
Keeping the studio space the right temperature and ensuring that props are well maintained, clean and safe is also a high priority for a newborn photographer that practices safe baby photography. They will wrap the baby beautifully using various wrapping techniques while making sure that the newborn is not wrapped too tight and doesn’t overheat. A professional newborn photographer will always be looking out for any changes in baby’s skin colour if they’re too cold or too hot or wrapped too tight and they will always adjust what’s needed to ensure that your precious little one is safe at all times.
Always ask your newborn photographer at the time of booking if they are trained in First Aid for newborns. You want to have every confidence that the newborn is being handled by someone professional who will always put your baby’s health and safety first.
Tip #2: Preparation is key
Preparation is one important newborn photography trick. Preparing the studio space for your session is important for a newborn photographer to ensure they capture amazing images of your little one. The photographer will talk with you prior to your session to ask about the colours and style you like, and you may also have the opportunity at the session to tweak a few choices once you see the selection of colours and props available. However, giving the baby photographer clear preferences prior to your session will help them to prepare for the session and keep the session running on time.
To prepare the session the newborn photographer will have a variety of props, wraps and backdrops set up and many will use a shooting flow that will allow them to get a variety of images for your gallery by making small changes to poses and props to maximise the number of images you can choose from without disturbing baby too much. This might be something simple like changing a wrap or headband while the baby is in a prop, or changing baby’s hand position or carefully moving baby into a new position that is an easy transition from one pose to the next. These small changes take experience and preparation to pull off properly and ensure that the session flows smoothly and your baby stays happy and sleepy. The photographer will also have some backup plans in case the baby is particularly unsettled.
Tip #3: Posed vs Lifestyle
With so many newborn photographers to choose from, which style is best for you?
Posed newborn photography sessions are generally done in a studio setting with studio lights or natural window light. These sessions are planned and often include a variety of props and backdrops to capture posed baby and family images. This type of session is heavily focussed on your newborn, with a small collection of family images. The images are often edited with blemishes, flaky skin and any imperfections removed in post-processing to create a beautiful piece of artwork.
Lifestyle newborn photography has a very different feel. These sessions are generally done in your home or outdoors. A lifestyle newborn photographer captures images in a way that tells a story. They will capture natural, candid images of your family together, often doing activities that you love to do together. The images they take of the newborn baby will be un-posed and will focus on capturing baby exactly as they are.
Your photographer may give you some direction and offer suggestions of what to do with your baby, like breastfeeding or bathing baby, or snuggling in bed etc, and then they will capture images that celebrate your connection with your baby. These sessions are more focused on the family connection with your new baby with a small selection of photos of baby alone and plenty of close detail shots. These images are often edited with a very natural feel with baby’s flaky skin and beautiful early-day blemishes preserved for you to remember those moments.
Both styles of newborn photography will capture beautiful memories of the early days as a growing family. It’s up to you to decide which style you love most. Some newborn photographers will also offer a Lifestyle Set in their studio space to allow you to capture some close, natural family photos as well as some posed images. Chat to the baby photographer to see what they can offer, and be sure to check out their portfolio to see which style suits your family’s.
Tip #4: Patience is a virtue
Patience is another important newborn photography trick. Your newborn photographer is super patient. They won’t rush the session and will always allow time to settle baby. Sometimes settling a baby in a prop can take a little time to ensure that baby is really sleepy and safe in their pose, so being patient and taking their time will mean getting the very best images of your precious little one.
Your baby may want to feed more during their session, so a newborn photographer will always allow time for Mum to feed the baby. Don’t worry if this takes a little time. Capturing amazing images of a baby is much easier with a happy baby than a hungry baby.
Tip #5: Props and Drops
Capturing amazing images of your baby takes a lot of skill and some beautiful props and backdrops. Professional photographers invest a lot of money into props and backdrops to add a beautiful, artistic element to the posed newborn session. The newborn photographer will have a range of props and several go-to poses that they know can be achieved with those props. Props may range from boxes, nests, a posing beanbag, and lots of textures, layers, and accessories to style the session in an artistic way.
Professional newborn photographers are skilled in styling, but keep in mind that this will vary from photographer to photographer. So check out their portfolio and really make sure you’re happy with the way the photographer styles their sessions. Your baby should always be the focus of the image and the styling should complement the baby, not be a distraction. A good photographer will ensure your baby is the star of the image.
Tip #6: Seeing angles and perspective
Your baby is only little for so long. They grow so fast and you’ll suddenly find yourself looking back at old clothes and marvelling at how they ever fit into such little onesies and tiny booties.
Professional newborn photographers are skilled in seeing angles and perspectives that capture a baby from the best position to highlight all their beautiful little details so that you can keep those beautiful memories of your tiny baby. They’re also looking out for the most flattering angles. Think about the good old selfie angle. Up high…no double chins and nostrils. No one wants to see up a baby’s nose, so a newborn photographer will be shooting from an angle that will capture the baby looking their absolute best.
Check out your photographer’s portfolio to make sure they’re taking time to consider their angles, and that they’re capturing details like their tiny feet and little ears and their soft hair and sweet lashes. All these little details will change so fast and you’ll appreciate all these memories more than you realise.
Tip #7: Getting the light right
Getting the right light is another important newborn photography trick.
Lighting is the biggest consideration for any photographer. Understanding the complexities of light, and how to use your camera correctly in the available light, can be the difference between an amazing gallery of images and a set of ho-hum or blurry, grainy images.
There are so many styles of photography and getting the light right plays the biggest part in preserving your memories in the best way. It’s an art. A newborn photographer might love dark, moody lifestyle images using only natural light, whilst another photographer might love bright, clean images using studio lighting or a big window with natural light. There’s no right or wrong, as long as your photographer understands how to use the light and creates consistent images so you know what to expect from your portrait photography.
Getting the lighting right isn’t just about deciding between natural or studio light. It also helps a photographer to convey a story, and create an art piece. Photographers use the light the way another artist paints with colour. The way they use the light really shows off their style and allows them to take you into the moment they’re capturing. Look at your newborn photographer’s portfolio and take notice of how they’re using light to tell a story or highlight the subject in the image. If you connect with and feel the emotion they’ve captured in the images, you may have found a perfect photographer!
Tip #8: What a fancy camera! It must take great photos!
Thanks! I taught it everything it knows 🙂
Your newborn photographer has a big, fancy, expensive camera. Impressive! But, unless you know how to set your camera, it won’t guarantee you’ll get great shots, just like having a fancy oven doesn’t guarantee you won’t burn a meal. Having the right gear is step one. Using it to its full capacity and knowing how to get the best shots is the most important thing.
Professional newborn photographers spend a lot of time and money learning to use their gear, and, to be honest, they don’t ever stop learning. There’s always something new out there. Upgraded equipment, new lenses, different ways to do things. Constantly learning and upskilling makes for the best kind of photographer because they’re so committed to being the best they can be.
Tip #9: Capturing the family connection
Having a great camera, an awesome backdrop, and matching outfits don’t make the best, most memorable photos. The ones you’ll cherish the most are the ones that show genuine connection, and that’s what professional newborn photographers love to do. They’ll give you direction about where to sit or stand and how to pose, and they might ask you to talk to each other or do or say something funny or sweet.
All of these things might feel silly, but it helps to put you at ease and capture some genuine smiles and, most importantly, some beautiful connections. There’s nothing sweeter than seeing a Mum and Dad snuggling and kissing the new little baby they’ve waited a lifetime to meet. Those connections can’t be faked. Capturing the family connection is another important newborn photography trick. Being able to capture those moments forever makes every photographer’s job so rewarding!
Tip #10: Artwork that deserves to be printed!
So, we’ve prepped and shot the session. The images have been edited. Now it’s time to choose the images and what you’re going to do with them. How will they be displayed? In an album? On a Fine Art Canvas? In a boxed set of Museum Grade Art Mounts? On a Metal or Wood print? In a set of Frames? The sky is the limit. Whether you’re in a rental and can’t hang photos on the wall, or you’re a homeowner and you can do what you like, there’s an option for you.
Preserving your memories is as much about printing as it is about capturing the images. Photography is an art, and just like a painter displays their art, Photographers love to see their art given pride of place in your home. Not because it’s our art. But because everything we do is about capturing moments for families and we want them to cherish those memories every day.
So, let’s get that Art Work of your family up on display in your home. I guarantee you, your children will thank you for preserving their memories in print.
There is so much to what a newborn photographer does. These are just 10 newborn photography tricks to make you understand that newborn photography is hard work to ensure you get the best images of your family and your precious newborn. Investing in the images of a professional newborn photographer is the best thing you’ll ever do. Be in the photo with your kids. Enjoy the experience. And soak in the memories year after year as you look at your precious family on display in your home.
Victoria – your Brisbane newborn photographer