Let me teach you how to take great newborn photos at home

A few weeks ago I shared on my social media channels a short guide I prepared to help you take beautiful photos of your newborn, at home!

Let’s be honest, nothing is going to replace the session you either had booked or may have booked. The gorgeous lighting, beautiful posing, and generally the years of experience that go into each and every one of the images I produce for my clients. However, anyone with a camera phone is more than able to be shown how to use a few simple techniques to take some really adorable images of your new baby in your own home.

So below I’ll share with you some tips and tricks on how to take some really lovely photos of your own newborn, at home…using nothing more than your phone camera.

Possibly the most important factor in taking great photos of your newborn at home is to work with the light…..

Absolutely definitely use window light. Don’t try to use overhead lights or lamps (although lamps can photograph beautifully actually that’s a little more in depth than we will go in to here – although check out the end of this blog to a link to my new Facebook group set up to help teach parent show to take better photos of their children – I may well cover how to use lights you have in your home).

Poor lighting can really make a huge difference to how your photos look. If light travels down the face, your brain will understand what it’s looking at and recognise this as ‘normal’ whereas if the light travels up a face in an upward direction (from chin to forehead) your brain will feel a bit ‘uncomfortable’ about it – it’s the kind of light you see sitting around a campfire telling horror stories!

So make sure that the top of your baby’s head is toward your window. If there are other windows in the room make sure you pull the blinds so you’re only working with one light source.

Now, even though I’m sharing with you here some tips of how to take great newborn photos at home let’s be honest…this isn’t going to suddenly make you a newborn photographer so you’re goingto need to keep it simple…

Perfecting the art of newborn portraits, whether you follow highly refined posing rules or photograph in a completely documentary fashion, takes years and years of practice to perfect. There are so many elements to consider and balance when photographing babies with their families. So although this guide will help you take some really lovely photos at home, don’t be tempted to get too adventurous. Bringing in coloured blankets etc will affect the colour balance of your photo so keep it simple and stick to light neutrals. Also, it is absolutely essential that you DON’T try and pose your baby like you may have seen in professional photos. The safety of your baby must be absolutley paramount. To safely pose your newborn I have undertaken extensive training spanning the last 4 years, so please don’t simply ‘have a go’.

When taking your newborn photos at home, try to keep your baby calm and warm…

One of the first things you learn when undertaking training to become a newborn photographer is how important the environment is to the success of the session. The air space cant’ be cold or drafty as it will startle your baby, but it can’t be too hot either as they will become overheated and uncomfortable. Your babies world has been warm, wet and weightless with loud but muffled sounds…a stark contrast to the now cold, dry atmosphere outside of their water world where noises can be loud and sudden. Your baby also has never felt hunger until they were born; this is a new sensation still at a few weeks old. Make sure your baby has had a good feed and has been gently winded.

When moving your, placing them down or moving their position work slowly and calmly so you don’t startle them.

So, in the absence of advanced posing what can you include to make sure you get beautiful memories and great newborn photos at home?

During a studio session, my most favourite section is where we include your family within the photos. Hands down the most precious memories are the ones which capture the love you feel for your baby; they are the ones that in 10 or 20 years time will evoke the most emotion in you and will be cherished by your children as they grow up. That’s why my newborn and family sessions focus so heavily on encouraging a connection and capturing the emotion from that.

So for sure, at home, photograph those precious cuddles. You could try popping your phone on the timer in selfie mode so you can get a family photo!

I equally love to capture your baby’s features during a session – their tiny toes close up, the crown of the head (every baby has a beautifully unique hair pattern), their fingers, button nose and my all time favourite….milk bubbles! These details are the things that you so easily forget as the years pass on by. At the time of writing this, my eldest is now 6.5yrs and I really don’t remember many of the little detaisl that made her so adorably squishy as a baby…I wish I had those little reminders!

 

The basics are covered. But what about older brothers or sisters? How can we involve them in our home newborn photos?

It’s safe to say that siblings can be hit or miss. The easiest way to get them feeling comfirtable to be involved is to keep things relaxed. In all my years of parenting and working with families, bribing an older sibling with treats very rarely results in the outcome you want and then you have to deal with the resulting tantrum when you don’t hand over the said treat.

A great ‘pose’ is to lay your wrapped newborn on a bed, sideways. Then ask your older child to lay on their tummy on a bed, with their chin on your newborn….from above it would look like a capital ‘T’ shape. Alternatively, you would lay them side by side on their back or have your older child kiss the top of your baby’s head from the side. You’ll treasure any kind of interaction you can capture so set up your environment first so that whatever happens, even if it’s a fleeting touch, you’re ready to capture it.

Final details to ensure you take great newborn photos at home…

So we’ve covered all things baby, but what about your phone? For starters turn off the flash feature – very rarely is the flash from a camera phone flattering. Use purely the light from the window, so choose a bright day! Also, get to grips with your phones camer features – adjust the exposure of your image (how bright it is) by tapping on the face of your baby – your camera should adjust the exposure automatically so that your baby’s face is nice & bright. This also serves to set the point of focus – you don’t want your nice bedlinen in focus and your baby’s face a touch blurry, do you?

Don’t forget there are also a ton of apps out there for editing phone photos…even the built in editing features aren’t too shabby!

So there we have it. My short and simple guide to taking great newborn photos at home.

I hope it helps some of you capture these time precious images during this time where you simply aren’t allowed to visit the studio.

As I mentioned above, please do head over to my Facebook Page and Facebook Group for more at home photography hints, tips & tricks!

As this lockdown starts to lift I imagine I’ll be permitted to shoot lifestyle sessions outdoors before returning to the studio with newborns so take a read of my Lifestyle Family blog post and learn more about how I work outdoors.

grab your next session for just £19!

You may have seen on one the images above that I’m offering everyone the chance to secure their own session for just £19. Secure your future session whilst I am not allowed to operate for the ‘special’ price of just £19 instead of £50. If you know you’ll want a newborn session early next year, your baby’s first birthday cake smash or your family session outdoors next Autumn, get in touch now to get booked in. Already the remainder of this year is looking busy busy – with already scheduled bookings and now rescheduled bookings from this period it’s set to be a busy end of the year. It’s also been reported that pregnancy test sales have soared during this lockdown period so it looks like the predictions were right and this will end with an almighty baby boom…so get in quick!

I hope this has been helpful to you’

Thank you for reading and please do feel free to share amongst your friends your baby related goups you may be part of.