Holding that small figure in your hands can be quite terrifying. Being handed the job of taking a newborn’s photograph is a huge and scary responsibility.
But someone’s got to do it. And at this very moment, that someone is you.
So instead of worrying about how to explain to the child’s parents what went wrong, why not turn that around and impress them by doing things right. Remember that dealing with an infant does not have the same principles as taking a photograph of a landscape or a bunch of adults or teens. It’s something more than your usual smile and clicks.
So here are some helpful pointers that you can do to make newborn photography easier and less stressful.
Pointer #1: Safety is your top priority.
Above anything else, the newborn’s safety is the first thing that you have to consider. There’s an extensive list of this yet the most important to remember is not to bring anything sharp or hard. This means that your props should not have pointed angles and must not cause any harm to the baby.
As much as possible, do not situate the newborn on surfaces that are either unsteady or elevated. Bring in a spotter or an assistant if you plan on doing a shoot that is quite tricky. For photographs of babiesthat are on top of things, themajority of those images are merged into a composite usually through Photoshop.
Pointer #2: Gather as much information as you can.
Take some time to interview the parents and ask pertinent questions like:
- What type of photography is this?
Take note that there are two types of photography pertaining to newborns – studio and lifestyle. While studio requires just the two-week-old baby in the picture and requires sophistication, lifestyle is more casual and can involve one or both the parents.
- When and where is the shoot going to take place?
- Will it include anybody else?
If possible, have a questionnaire prepared so that the parents can just put a tick on the box of their chosen answer.
Pointer #3: Be equipped.
Aside from the basic tools for the photo shoot – camera, lenses, memory card, backdrop, clamps, etc., you should also bring items like toys for toddlers, stool, beanbag, pillow, waterproof pads, necessary props, and blankets. These are just some of the general items that photographers usually utilize in newborn shoots. Expect the unexpected – bring anything that you think you might need in a span of three to four hours of the photography session.
Pointer #4: Comfort is a must.
According to photographers, there are generally two kinds of features that you are going for in newborn photography – the solemnly asleep and the happily awake. Babies that are comfortable will get unruly and will cry easily. This will ruin the perfect mood that you’re aiming for and will eat up so much of your time. If you have cold hands, wear soft gloves especially if you plan on touching the baby every now and then. Heating pads and heaters can be very useful to achieve that warm, fuzzy feeling inside the room.
Pointer #5: Your first shots are important.
Don’t just jump into the complicated shots all at once. Take your time by taking some trial shots first. The creative process will come upon you once you’ve seen how the baby looks like with poses of the back, sides, tummy, and those tiny but sweet expressions. Once you’ve figured out which photograph stands out, that’s the time that you can incorporate your props and move on to your advanced shots.
A rewarding outcome
Newborn photography can be quite daunting. But when you get used to it, you’ll realize that it can be very rewarding thinking that you are with the baby within the first few months of his or her life can be considered an overwhelming experience. Remember to acquire the much-needed information, do some research, get creative, and release your anxiety and fears of taking the first shot of that innocent child sleeping quietly amidst a beautiful backdrop.