It’s a precious time when a baby is born. Everyone is amazed by how tiny the baby is and the fresh smell that they carry. But most importantly, many parents like the idea of having a photoshoot of their newborn as a way to forever remember how tiny their child was, to celebrate the moment of their birth.
When to take newborn photos
It is never too late to take a photo of a baby, as parents never regret having pictures of their child, no matter their age. However, babies stop being newborns the moment they reach the two-month mark (if not before). If you’re looking to have a photoshoot of a newborn, then the perfect time is usually between one to six weeks. Babies sleep for hours, something that is great when it comes to newborn photoshoots.
Newborn photography tips – the do’s and the don’ts
When it comes to photographing a newborn, as photographers we must be careful, as a baby is very fragile at this stage of life. We will usually leave all the handling to the parents, of course, but we must still be more mindful than usual.
Here is a list of tips for a newborn photoshoot.
Do have a spotter
Photographers should always have a spotter. A photographer cannot see everything, and having a spotter makes everything safe. As babies are fragile, putting them in a pose with their heads in their hands can be difficult as they do not have the strength to hold their heads. However, a spotter can help the mother position their hands as a prop, if required, to make sure the baby isn’t straining too much. It doesn’t matter if the hand is caught in the photo, as it can always be edited out in pre-production.
Do read the baby’s body language
Sometimes you will have a fussy baby; this could be due to hunger, gas or needing to be changed. Once a photographer notices that the baby’s body language has differed, they should encourage the mother to deal with it right away, to make sure the baby feels comfortable once again.
Do be confident and reassuring
On some occasions, it might be hard to keep a parent away from the set, as this is most likely the first time that their baby is encountering a person that the parent does not know. Photographers need to reassure parents and make them feel comfortable. To do this, ask them questions about them, such as how they came up with the baby’s name. Keep them involved in the process the whole time, explaining everything and making sure they understand. Ask the parent if they are happy with the way the shoot is progressing, at each step, until they feel comfortable and relaxed.
Do sanitise your hands
A baby has a low immune system, meaning it is easier for them to catch germs. It’s vital for everyone in the photoshoot, including the parents, to sanitise their hands regularly.
Don’t try new poses without attending a course
Being taught how to pose a baby is vital for a baby’s safety. If you do not know how to do a specific pose, attend a professional course to learn how to do it safely. Remember, safety is always the priority.
Don’t use a heavy flash
During the photoshoot, make sure that the flash is on low. As mentioned before, newborns are fragile and using a heavy flash could damage their eyes.
Don’t place them on something high
Safety is always important, and placing a baby up high to capture a photo isn’t a clever action. This can put the baby in harm’s way, and they could easily injure themselves.
Don’t do the photoshoot outside
Doing a photoshoot outside can be hard to do due to the number of people that are around. This can stress the baby and may result in a few tears – and no one wants a photo of a crying baby. Not only that, but babies shouldn’t be placed in direct sunlight.
A photoshoot should be done indoors, away from the sun and the public.
There are many exciting poses to take during a newborn photo shoot. Here are a few ideas.
Chin on hand
As mentioned before, newborns do not have the strength to hold themselves, so this pose should be done carefully. The parent, or the photographer spotter can support them by positioning their hand under the newborn’s chin.
This womb pose is the perfect position for newborns, especially in the first two weeks, as they are still in their womb phase, which makes it easier to do this. Wrap a blanket around them and decorate with a few flowers.
Pillows are perfect for this pose as it gives the baby a place to rest their arms and head in a comfortable way. When positioning them, the baby might end up leaning too far forward, risking a topple. If this happens, move the pillow slightly forward to keep them upright.
All of these poses are great to do on a beanbag as it is comfortable for the baby. However, if you don’t have a beanbag, just make sure that you use something that will still give the baby the comfort and support it deserves. For example, use a bed, a sofa, or even use some blankets.
Is it safe to take pictures of a newborn?
The reason why we shouldn’t take too many photos of newborns is due to how fragile they are, having been cocooned for nine months before everything suddenly changed. Therefore all of this could be too much for them. Keep shoot times short and baby’s safety always paramount.
However, many parents do want photos of their newborn to remember how small their child was. This is why it is crucial that photographers take safety measures when doing a newborn photo shoot.
On your website, you should have a page where you discuss safety and what they do during the photo shoot – this will put parents at ease as they know what to expect.
During a photo shoot, photographers should be on high alert and make sure their subject – the newborn – is as happy and peaceful as possible.
Follow the tips above and always keep an eye on the baby’s body language.
Newborn photos are often the most precious treasures that parents keep of their children; done in a safe way, you can help them achieve their desired photos that works well for everyone.