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No one wants to deal with you when you’re fussy and hungry… unless you’re a baby.
If you’re a baby, people love you regardless of your attitude!
Maybe it’s that newborn smell or the cute onesies; whatever the reason, people can’t get enough of babies. As a result of this universal love of tiny offspring, a newborn photographer’s best friend is a planner. Your schedule will fill up very quickly because a new mommy simply cannot have too many pictures of her new baby. Who can blame her? After nine months of patient curiosity and love, she doesn’t have to look at an ultrasound anymore. She can finally have photos of every detail of her new little treasure!
Unfortunately, the only easy part of newborn photography is accumulating customers. The toughest clients you’ll ever have are small, chubby, and wearing diapers. Even the slightest upset for this client can turn into a fifteen minute crying session. Your best course of action is to make the baby as comfortable as possible because now a newborn runs the show.
1. Schedule quickly
Don’t bother mommy as she’s being rushed to the hospital to give birth, but make a point to schedule the photo shoot beforehand. Most parents know an approximate due date so just be prepared and flexible. The best time to take pictures of a newborn is within ten days of birth because babies get fussy after two weeks. In the first ten days, they’re very busy sleeping and staring wide-eyed at the world. This gives you the perfect opportunity to reposition and pose the baby without causing a nuclear meltdown.
2. Make some noise
Seasoned photographers play white noise, light classical music, or heartbeat sounds in the background during a newborn photo shoot. This calms the baby and may even put them to sleep. As an alternative, you can make “shh”-ing and cooing noises as you capture the photos. This method has the advantage of calling the baby’s attention, giving you a few direct portraits.
3. Set it all up
Newborn photos should be full of light and pure cuteness. Position the light source at a 45 degree angle to the baby’s face to produce the most beautiful portraits. You’ll also need to create a safe set for the baby. If you’re crafting a newborn nest, be sure that it’s soft and there are no small pieces that could be ingested by your subject. If you want stunning and simple photographs, cover a nursing pillow with a textured blanket and snuggle the baby right in. Throw the blanket over the back of a chair and you’ve got a DIY newborn photo shoot set. With a textured blanket, you can play with your aperture to create a more dramatic image.
4. Editing software
Babies are the cutest; there’s no doubt about it. But when you’re being introduced to the world for the first time ever, you don’t want to show off red splotchy skin and blue-ish lips. Newborns deserve to have even skin tones and consistent lighting in their first professional photographs. It can be particularly difficult to guarantee that with your laptop’s built-in editing software, or even Photoshop if you’re not experienced. With our Dreamy Newborn Mini Kit, it’s as simple as the click of a button. Make new parents happy with incredible, professional, frame-able photos.
5. Turn up the heat!
Chances are, you’re keeping this newborn in its birthday suit for the duration of the shoot. Imagine spending nine months in the warmth and security of your mother’s womb only to be laid out naked in the cold, cold world. Don’t do this to a baby, it’s cruel. You should turn the heat up to the mid-80’s and try not to sweat on your camera.
Newborn photos can be challenging because babies don’t care about your fancy camera or years of experience. They have no desire to sit still, tilt their shoulders, and smile at the camera. They just want to eat, be loved, and sleep. To be a newborn photographer, you have to be flexible and willing to let a 4-day-old call the shots. You have no control if the baby thinks it’s time to eat, change a diaper, or shove its whole fist in its mouth. Your only defense is in your ability to be patient and prepared.