4 Newborn Photography Tips
- #1 Newborn Photography Tips: Keep the Baby Comfortable
- Newborn Photography Tips for Lighting
- Props, Backgrounds, Clothing
- Create Lasting Memories With a Photo Book
- Recommended Photography Gear
- What to Look for when Ordering a Photo Book
- The Importance of a Personalized Wedding Photo Album
- Layflat Photo Book Buyer’s Guide
Photo by UfukSaracoglu via iStock
Newborn photography is a specialty niche of portrait photography that is enjoyable and rewarding and can also be profitable when marketed well.
But there are some tricks you can follow to get better photos of little ones.
Here are some newborn photography tips that have proven to help maximize the rewards of this genre of creative portraiture.
Table of Contents:
#1 Newborn Photography Tips: Keep the Baby Comfortable
Photo by NataliaDeriabina via iStock
The most important of all of our newborn photography tips is to keep the baby comfortable. One of the ways to make sure the child will be relaxed enough to accept your posing and all of the equipment around them is to carefully monitor the ambient temperature.
Using the air conditioner or heater is important because infants can show signs of discomfort due to being too hot or too cold. Besides making the resulting photos unusable, we really don’t want to be the cause of anything uncomfortable for the child or the parents.
Mood is vital for good infant photographs. This starts before we choose any lighting configuration or exposure settings. Think peaceful, calming, and affectionate. Even what the child hears is going to affect the mood, which is why we’re including using hushed speaking tones in our newborn photography tips.
Going back to temperatures, the area in which the newborn is placed also should be considered. Some of the more thoughtful newborn photography tips we’ve come across include making sure the material the child is on top of is a soft, natural material. Warming a blanket to use for the newborn’s posing area is often a good idea, even if we need to use air conditioning for air temp comfort.
Making sure that the child is fed about 20 or 30 minutes before the photo session is another one of the newborn photography tips concerning their comfort level. Posing them too soon after feeding could decrease their comfort level, but about 20 or 30 minutes usually has them nicely relaxed.
Newborn Photography Tips for Lighting
Photo by katrinaelena via iStock
We already mentioned creating a relaxed mood in our newborn photography tips. Creating a soft mood in the images themselves can be enhanced by proper lighting. Soft, warm light is definitely preferred, such as diffused daylight coming through a window.
We can use lighting gear, including a softbox, warm tone reflectors, and color controls on LED continuous lights to create our own window light. There are even specialty scrims that many cinematography lighting specialists use to mimic window panes or blinds that we can adapt for our use.
You’ll notice I already listed using LED continuous lights in our newborn photography tips. A continuous light source has some advantages over studio strobes or camera flash units when photographing newborns, mostly because of the previously mentioned comfort level.
The bright explosion of light from a strobe may startle a child, even if you’ve diffused the light. And LED lights avoid the heat issue of other forms of continuous lights while also adding in generous levels of control for light intensity and color temperature.
The actual light configuration can vary quite a bit. A standard two-light setup with a 3 to 1 (3:1) lighting ratio between key and fill lights can work well, as can advanced techniques including butterfly lighting, broad lighting, and short lighting, depending on what effect you want, from low key to high key and anywhere in between.
Many successful newborn photographers have related that one of their newborn photography tips for lighting is to use a generally flatter light ratio than even the 3:1 portrait set up. A 2:1 or 1.5:1 ratio can provide enough modeling texture to the light and help soften the mood for beautiful infant portraits.
Props, Backgrounds, Clothing
Photo by VYCHEGZHANINA via iStock
This brings us to the setting part of our newborn photography tips, what kind of backdrop, props, and clothing items to choose. Just as with the lighting tips, using soft items, soft colors, and natural materials all help contribute to a comfortable session and good images.
There are stiff, flat top beanbag types of cushions that can be placed on a posing table, bed, or floor that have some give but let the baby sink down into the material that are excellent for newborn photography.
Softer, muted colors work well. You can choose earthy tones or fun, bright colors, but if you opt for brighter colors, pastels seem to enhance a photo more than deep or intense primary colos, which can seem a little harsh. This extends from the posing blankets to include your backdrops.
As a side point in our newborn photography tips, some of the same backdrops and props we recommend for food photography cross over fantastically into all forms of portrait photography, including these intimate portraits of a newborn infant.
Create Lasting Memories With a Photo Book
All of the already listed newborn photography tips can be used in our marketing and presentation of our portrait work to show potential clients. Photo books can be used as our portfolio, and we should also be offering a photo book to the clients we’re already working with.
Parents love having these to show everyone, and they are a lasting memento as well. Grandparents, godparents, family friends, and other extended family and friends could receive a nice photo book as a gift, or they can purchase one themselves.
Photo Book Press is a premium printer of fine-quality photo books and is the source I like to use for newborn photography. They are very reasonably priced and provide so many options for the creation of just the right book style for your client.
When considering the marketing ideas of newborn photography tips, remember to book ahead of time for some follow-up sessions. Some parents may want six-month and one-year-old portraits, while others may prefer less time between sessions.
A series of photo books is a good way to keep their cherished memories intact and is a nice source of extra income for you as the photographer. Combined with all the other newborn photography tips we’ve presented, this will contribute to your rewards and the enjoyment of newborn photography.