How to create beautiful newborn photographs at home
We're in the middle of a global pandemic, and to top off all this madness, you're about to welcome new life into the world.
First of all, I just want to say a huge congratulations! And secondly, I want to let you know that although you may have dreamt of having adorably, squishy newborn photographs in a professional studio or setup, self-isolation doesn't have to stop you!
I've been photographing newborns for a good few years now, and to be honest, my first few sessions were no more spectacular than what anyone of you could do yourself. I had basic equipment, no lighting and used whatever I could find in my friends' homes to conduct the shoot.
I've put together this short guide on how to get beautiful photographs of your newborn in those first few days all on your own.
First of all, we need to get baby nice and sleepy and the best way to do this is to feed them as much as you can. This won't guarantee hours of sleep but it should give you a good chunk of time to photography your baby while they're feeling relaxed.
Two: Turn up the heat
Babies love to be warm, remember they've just lived inside you for the past 9 months! Keeping it overly warm will help keep baby calm, even when they're not wrapped up in blankets.
Three: Let the light in
So getting baby prepared is only half of the challenge of newborn photography. Next, it's important to find somewhere in your home that will make a good setting. Bedrooms, living rooms, conservatories are all good choices, just make sure you're comfortable, it's nice and warm and if you can, choose a room with a big window. Light is one of the most important parts of photography. You could have the most creative ideas in the world, but without the right light, it just won't work.
Four: Getting cosy
Once you've found your well-lit room (you may have to check where the sun is at certain times of day) you'll need to think about where to place your baby. Beds, beanbags and sofas are all great places. They're cosy and plenty big enough for a newborn to be placed safely.
One of my favourite home setups include taking the cushions off the sofa and placing them just in front on the floor. You can then drape a blanket or throw over the sofa and cushions and you've got yourself a little mini studio - just like that. If possible, try and put your setup at a 90 degree angle to your window, it's best to have light coming in from the side than from directly in front. You should then place your baby horizontally with their head closest to the window or vertically on your cushions for the best lighting.
Now you're all setup, all you have to do is that the photos! You don't need to try fancy positions or clunky props; dress your baby in your favourite outfit or keep it simple by using just a plain white vest. Try and photograph baby from above, at a low angle, tilt the camera , take close ups of their toes and fingers - just take as many as you can! They'll be precious memories you can treasure for a lifetime.
For those of you who have made it this far, I just want to wish you the best of luck! Take every moment as it comes and enjoy the time you have together before the whole world descends onto your home for a visit!
And as a special gift, I'll be offering 30-minute 6-month or 1-year sitter sessions for just £30 (usually £45) for all babies born between 10th March and the end of lockdown - whenever that might be!) Please email firstname.lastname@example.org before May 31st to claim your voucher! :)