Little Henry was my first experience of photographing newborns…they are so tiny! Henry belongs to one of my best friends, Alice, who kindly let me practice photographing her new little one.
Newborn photography is not as easy as you might think, here are a few tips for photographing newborns that I found from my experience:
1. Try to photograph the baby within the first two weeks of their birth. This is when they are less mobile and sleep most of the time.
2. Ask the parents to have the baby in just a nappy at least half an hour before you arrive to avoid any clothing marks. They can use a blanket to keep the baby wrapped up warm.
3. Make sure the room being used for the shoot is nice and warm because the baby is likely to be in just a nappy for most of the time. (Alice and I were sweltering, but Henry seemed to like it.)
4. Keep a blanket on hand to place over the baby between photos, babies like to feel cocooned.
5. The key to good photos is a sleepy baby who is happy to be moved about and posed. And a happy sleepy baby is a fed, clean and warm baby, so make sure the baby has been fed about 20 minutes before you arrive and then changed.
6. Expect little accidents. For naked baby photos count yourself lucky if the baby doesn’t have a little accident. Just make sure to take a spare plastic bag to pop any bits in that need to go straight into the wash.
7. Use a beanbag. (I don’t have one yet but think they are a brilliant idea.) They make posing the baby easier and give the right amount of support and shape, and help the baby stay in the pose.
8. Have lots of different accessories and blankets in different shades and textures. Etsy is a brilliant source for accessories, knitted hats and cocoons, but be warned, you’ll likely get carried away and spend a fortune! (Or was that just me? Everything was so cute.)
9. Be prepared that the baby may not like certain things – Henry hated my hats, every time Alice put one on he screwed up his face as if to say “GET IT OFF ME!”. That is why you’ll only see one hat picture here! Which leads on to point 10…
10. Keep the baby happy. This will mean patience and going with the flow. The shoot most likely won’t go to plan, so plan for that by allowing extra time for your newborn sessions. Babies work around their own schedule, not yours, so as long as you bear that in mind, you’ll avoid getting stressed.
I’m sure there are loads more useful tips and tricks that photographers use for newborns, and I’m sure I’ll learn along the way what works well. Here are a few more photos I took of Henry at around 1 1/2 weeks old, he is so adorable.