The COVID-19 pandemic has reached across the world, and few--if any--people have been left unaffected by it. With social distancing and self-isolation protocols in place, many new parents or soon-to-be parents are finding their plans to have their new baby photographed are no longer feasible. Even if you aren't able to have a professional photographer capture those first precious weeks of your newborn's life, you can still document your new little one on your own at home! Keep reading to see some of my best tips for at home newborn photography.
1. For sleepy, posed images, try to do the photos within two weeks after baby is born. This is when they sleep the deepest, so they will be less likely to wake up when you are moving them around.
2. Feed baby right before trying to get the photos. A baby with a full belly will be less fussy and sleep deeper, giving you a better chance to try some poses.
3. Where possible, turn the lights off and use natural light from large windows or glass doors. Indoor lighting often casts a very yellow and unnatural tone to baby's skin, while natural light will help keep it smooth and beautiful. Because you'll want as much natural light as possible, the best time to do the photos will be late morning or early afternoon. Watch the light in your house in the days before to see what time of day your home is the brightest without lights on.
4. For posed images, try simple poses like baby laying on his back or side. You can use a swaddle/wrap, a cute outfit, or leave baby nude. Layer a few blankets on top of a nursing pillow like a Boppy. Place baby with his head on one side of the pillow and his feet on the other side to give him good elevation and curve. Have someone hold up the top blanket behind baby to provide a backdrop while you take photos. Never force baby into an uncomfortable position or try any poses in which baby's head is left unsupported (like the froggy pose) as this can be very unsafe for your newborn. Do your set up a 2-3 feet away from a good light source like a large window, and position baby so that the light falls down on him from the top of his head. When you take the photos, be sure to try out different angles and avoid shooting up baby's nose unless you want a good shot of his nostrils! Try to get some detail shots of things you want to remember such as ears, nose, feet, and eyelashes.
5. Capture baby in his natural environment. Posed images are beautiful, but not always easy to get. Unposed images are just as beautiful and help capture more about those first few weeks of baby's life. Photos of baby in his crib, being held by a parent in a chair in the nursery, or laying on the big bed in the master bedroom are all great options! Open up those curtains/blinds, and just let baby do his thing. Sleeping and awake photos can be captured well in this lifestyle setting. Be sure to get some shots with parents and siblings as well.
6. Include special props/accessories. If you have a special outfit, blanket, or stuffed animal/lovey for baby, try to incorporate these into some photos as well.
7. Relax. Baby can feel when you're stressed out, and this will make him more anxious as well. Do your best and remember that the photos are beautiful because of who is in them, not who took them.
8. Schedule a milestone or family session. Though you may not be able to get professional photographs right after baby is born, he changes so much and so quickly during the first year of his life. Schedule a milestone session for baby around 6 months or a family session any time after baby is 3 months old to be able to capture more of those moments and personality before they're gone!
If you have ANY questions at all or want more tips specific to your photos, PLEASE reach out! You can contact me any time by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will do my best to give you more advice on taking your newborn's photos!