5 Tips for Photographing Newborns

I love taking pictures of newborns. I think it might be my favorite subject to take pictures of. So I jumped at the chance to take some sweet newborn shots of Clara. (Here are some I took of her in the hospital.)

I've thought of 5 things to keep in mind when taking pictures of newborns. Here we go:

Tip 1: Be Calm.
I don't know about you but when I'm shooting a photo session even though I may come off as easy-going with a go-with-the-flow kind of attitude, inside my mind is racing and constantly in "go" mode.  In my opinion, this is really not a big deal...except when it comes to newborns.  I feel like they can sense when things aren't calm and relaxed so in turn it makes them on edge and not willing to relax and fall asleep. So whatever it takes, try and be calm and serene as it will show up in your tiny little subject. Also, when you are calm, Mom will be calm and that is something that affects our little subjects as well.

Tip 2: Keep clothing simple.
I know this really just comes down to someones opinion and taste but I feel like newborns don't need a lot of foof and fluff to make them look adorable. That's why I like to stick with just a simple white onesie or nothing at all. I think it's cute to add a little hat or a special blanket. But it's really not necessary to dress them it their Sunday best quite yet.

Tip 3: Try to work on the baby's time table.
This actually ties in nicely with tip #1 of being calm. One way to also get the baby to look and hold those adorable newborn poses is to not force the baby if they are just not in the mood. It doesn't take much for them to be happy...a full belly, a dry diaper and maybe a swaddle. So I never try and rush a newborn session. If I can see that the baby just isn't being calm or is too fussy I will let Mom take over and do whatever it takes to soothe him/her. Then while Mom is cuddling the baby or tending to him/her I take advantage of some good photo ops of Mom with the baby.

Tip 4: Don't over complicate things.
Just like with the clothing, I try to not go overboard on everything else as well. I like to take pictures of newborns with very little in the frame as not to distract from them. Keeping the setting simple helps to focus the eye on the subject. I love to take pictures of newborns on Mom and Dad's bed and often times I will remove whatever is on their night stands just so it's out of the picture. I try to hide anything that I think will detract from my sweet little subject.

Tip 5: Be Safe!
Always, always, always be safe when you are positioning the baby. I know we've all seen those amazing poses with the baby swaddled in a cloth and is blissfully hanging from a tree branch. Those pictures are truly a piece of art but are not always what they seem. In reality someone actually has a hand underneath the baby to hold him/her and the baby is also only inches off the ground. The photographer does a lot of editing like removing the hand etc. in order to create such shots. Even just putting a newborn on a chair can be potentially dangerous if they all of a sudden flail their arms. So before you try to pose a newborn or put them in/on things, make sure it is first and foremost safe.

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dana said...

oh fun! I love all the tips. And totally agree with the simplicity factor. Great pictures Katie! Thanks for coming over and taking pics of us. And you seemed totally calm the entire time btw :)

Cammie said...

I pinned your super tips! Thanks for being so generous with your skills.

Ashley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ashley said...

Great tips! Can't wait to attend your class in San Antonio!

Marie@PoutyPinkPrincess said...

Love these tips! I totally agree with simple clothing! Thanks for sharing!

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Catalina G. Obrien said...

amazing tips about Photographing Newborns.Thanks for sharing your talent and expertise! Very detailed and well thought out. thank you.

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