- Beginner Photography Tip: How to Take Photos of Newborn Babies
- Best Camera Settings for Portrait Photography
When speaking with new parents, I've noticed that there's a common feeling that they aren't capable of taking great photos of their babies on their own.
But this simply could not be further from the truth.
In fact, you don't even need professional newborn photography equipment to create beautiful photos of your child.
In the video above, The School of Photography outlines how to tackle newborn portraiture using limited items you'd find around the house.
Now, I'm not saying that just anyone can grab a camera and take a fantastic picture, but if you follow the advice in the video, you'll certainly get better results than if you just wing it.
That being said, have a look at the video, and for a detailed look at some of the tips that are discussed, read below.
Editor's Tip: See what your newborn photos look like as fine art.
Find Great Natural Lighting
Natural light is so much more flattering than artificial light in so many different situations, and newborn photography is no different.
The pop of a flash can startle a baby, in addition to the fact that if the flash isn't diffused, it'll cast harsh shadows that degrade the look of the shot.
So, when you're photographing your baby at home, find the best natural light you can. This is usually in the form of a large window, or as is the case in the video, a patio door that lets in tons of natural light.
Now, if the natural lighting is a little too direct, you can use something like a sheer curtain or even a plain white sheet to hang in front of the window to help soften the light.
By softening the light, you minimize harsh shadows and have much more even lighting with which to work.
You can then play around with how you position the baby to create different looking shots - some that are backlit, some that are frontlit, and so forth.
Just be aware that even if the light is diffused, you will still likely have shadows on the side of the baby that's away from the window.
As suggested in the video, you can use a reflector to bounce light back onto the baby to minimize shadowing.
Get the Right Accessories
Setting up the shot for your newborn portraiture doesn't have to be complicated or require tons of accessories.
In fact, as the video shows, you can use your kitchen table as the base, adds a few blankets on top to soften it, and you've got the perfect platform to lay your baby down for some quality photos.
Naturally, you want to be very careful about making the tabletop safe for your baby.
That means having plenty of cushioning underneath, as well as supports for your baby's head, neck, and back.
You can purchase styrofoam bumpers, bean bags, and other accessories to help support and stabilize the baby, or you can use normal household items like washcloths or towels to put underneath their delicate body for support.
It terms of accessorizing the shot, you want things that will add visual interest without taking attention away from your baby.
In the video, the photographer uses a faux fur throw to give the shot some texture and brightness.
Notice how the fur throw is very simple though - it's bright white and has a clean texture about it.
This is key because you don't want patterns or textures or colors that will overwhelm the shot.
Other accessories to think about are caps, jumpers, and other clothing for your baby, small stuffed animals, or even background elements like plants or flowers to give the shot a little color.
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Be Aware of the Background
One of the things that immediately sets a professional newborn photo apart from an amateur newborn photo is the background.
If you look at professional newborn photography, you'll see that the background is clean and free of distractions.
That's because the pros understand that the background is an integral component to the shot and take the time to ensure that the background is as on-point as the subject.
When you grab your camera to frame up the shot, take a few seconds to scan the background, looking for anything that will be detrimental to the photo, like dirty dishes in the sink or the couch in the living room.
If you find that the background isn't ideal, you can hang a sheet up to cover unsightly objects.
Another idea is to put your camera in aperture priority mode and open the aperture up nice and wide (i.e., f/4, f/3.5, f/2 or higher).
Doing so will limit the depth of field and blur out the background, turning the background elements into beautiful bokeh like you see above.
Design the Perfect Print
As you can see in the video, the process of taking a great photo with limited newborn photography equipment is fairly quick and easy.
However, you don't want to rush the process. Instead, taking a few extra minutes to check things like your exposure settings, the background, and so forth will help you get a much better shot.
Something else you don't want to rush is getting prints made.
There's tons of websites out there that offer cheap and fast prints, but more often than not, what you get is a print that looks cheap and fast.
For my money, there's nothing better than a high-quality canvas print, and for something like that, I turn to CanvasHQ.
In fact, I've turned to CanvasHQ over and over again because the quality of their work is second-to-none.
The quality is great. Had one canvas that I was not happy with. You guys took care of it perfectly! - Harvey E., Belmont, NC
Their canvas prints are bright, vibrant, and have incredible (and accurate!) colors that pop on the beautiful stretched canvas.
And unlike some companies that print on canvas, CanvasHQ actually takes the time to ensure the canvas stays taught with no wrinkling or bunching.
As if that isn't enough, these guys are simply good, hard-working people that treat their customers right.
They understand that every image they receive to print is someone's special memory, and they strive to ensure that the canvases they make are the kind of quality that precious memories deserve.
And, if something does go awry, they offer a 100& money-back guarantee. Just return the print within 30 days and you'll get your money back!
Great service. Canvas and print quality is very good, and the framing is done very well. We will definitely be ordering more. - Ed V., Spencer, IA
In the end, the work you do ahead of time to take a photo will have a great impact on the quality of that photo. But don't neglect the work to be done afterwards when the prints are made.
Find someone you can trust - like CanvasHQ - to help you bring home the most gorgeous newborn portraiture possible.