Weeks before your little one was born, you saved the most beautiful images on your Pinterest board, bought the cutest outfits - ideally matching with mummy and daddy, and booked the best newborn photographer. Cause capturing those precious moments of your baby through their first days and weeks will create lasting family memories for generations.
We spoke to Sara Brown, LMPA, the East London family, and newborn portrait photographer behind Rocking Horse Photography. And these are her tips to make the most of the newborn photos you can take during the lockdown. She also shares a variety of safe but simple poses you can recreate at home, listed below and detailed here.
1. Keep it warm
Babies like to be warm, particularly if undressed or lightly dressed (recommended for photos). Around 25°C is perfect for when taking photos, so it is warm enough for you to keep the baby’s feet and hands uncovered.
2. Light is everything
The direction that light comes from, in your photos is the single biggest factor in creating a flattering, beautiful portrait. If your baby is lying down on a bed or sofa, make sure that the main light (usually the biggest window in the room) is coming from the same side as the top of baby’s head.
The direction that light comes from, in your photos is the single biggest factor in creating a flattering, beautiful portrait. If your baby is lying down on a bed or sofa, make sure that the main light (usually the biggest window in the room) is coming from the same side as the top of the baby’s head.
3. Shoot in the morning
The light is better and babies are usually their calmest. Early evening light is also very flattering but newborn babies often go through their ‘witching hour’ around this time. Avoid mid-day sun - it is very unflattering. On a cloudy day, or with a north-facing window, you could shoot during the day more easily.
4. Capture simple poses that don’t require training
Please do not attempt to pose your baby in the positions you may have seen in my or other photographers' professional portraits online. Newborn photographers undergo extensive training to learn how to safely position your baby into these poses. Many of the photographs you see will be heavily photoshopped to remove supporting hands/fingers and may be composites or two or more frames into one photo. There are enough simple and easy positions you can put your baby in, safely. Sara has detailed seven simple newborn poses, on her blog, found here, including suggestions on how to capture photos of a newborn with an older sibling.
5. Never shoot “up the nose”
Make sure you and your camera are positioned level with baby’s nose or above so that you cannot see up baby’s nostrils when you look at the photo.
6. Now you’ve got the images. What next?
Share your images. You can also create beautiful video slideshows through various apps. Upload them to social media for loved ones around the world to see and feel connected to your growing family.
Backup your photos for safe storage, in at least two places, one being a cloud service. Because, how many of us know where our USB drives, DVDs, and folders of holiday snaps and wedding photos are now? How many phone photos have we lost in various phone upgrades?
Finally, remember to print your photos so you have them forever.
Sara is offering small, free group sessions via Zoom and teaches you more about how to achieve the poses listed above, including parent and sibling shots and answeres all your questions on how to create your own newborn photos at home in these lockdown days.