Things you must ask your newborn photographer

8 tips for dreamy newborn photos - for beginners & parents!

As a Mum myself, I was desperate to capture my babies in those early weeks while they were tiny, sleepy and oh so perfect.

 

I tried many techniques in an attempt to get professional-looking shots but many of them ended up with my baby fussing and crying and me feeling overwhelmed and frazzled!

 

Fast forward through the next 7 years as I embarked on a career as a professional photographer and I’m now an expert at getting dreamy portraits every time with absolutely no stress.

 

I’ve now supported so many mums with my easy to follow online training and I’d love to help you become the next at-home photography pro.

 

Use these tips below to nail your in-home DIY newborn photo session.

 

TIP 1 - ensure bubs is fed

Ensure your baby is fully fed and left unwrapped to have awake time before you start the session. Ensure the baby is burped to avoid gas or an upset tummy. Let baby kick around and move to let off some energy which will help them settle more easily for photos.

 

TIP 2 - have the room toasty warm

Ensure the room where you are taking photos is super warm! Have the room at 27 degrees. This will ensure the baby is nice and warm to settle them asleep. A cold baby will not relax and will squirm all over the place.

 

TIP 3 - use natural window light

Use natural sunlight by making use of a window that has no direct sunlight/beams coming in (think in the shade or on an overcast day). This type of light is soft and beautiful and will result in beautifully exposed images. Ensure you take photos during the day when the natural light is bright enough. e.g. NOT taken at dawn or dusk!

 

TIP 4 - swaddle/wrap your baby

Babies feel safe and secure when wrapped firmly. If a baby is not settling into the wrap after a minute or two, if they can move their hands and legs out of the wrap it often frustrates them until they are completely out of the wrap. In this example, you must wrap the baby more firmly with a STRETCHY wrap to allow grip and to anchor the fabric around the baby. Always ensure there is space away from the baby's neck when wrapping.

TIP 5 - white noise

Taking photos of your baby should be a FUN and stress-free experience! I don't want you to go through what I did, which ending in me being exhausted and failing miserably on capturing beautiful photos of my baby girl. I felt so guilty that I made a horrible experience for her too as she squirmed and cried the entire time!

If your baby is upset, try putting on white noise and play it LOUD! Babies are used to being inside the womb which is very noisy and white noise is a very close resemblance to the sound inside the womb. Your baby will feel at home. This is why white noise is so comforting to babies.

 

TIP 6 - dummy/pacifier

This is another amazing tool to use to settle your baby. Even if your baby doesn't use a dummy, I recommend using one if only for the photo session to use as another settling tool when needed. If all the other tools aren't working, this can often be the last tool that makes all the other techniques come together and work!

 

TIP 7 - styling

Styling your photos can be made easy by using the items you already have in your home. If you have time to plan your styling (e.g. your baby hasn't arrived yet), you can get gorgeous wraps and hat/headband sets from Snuggle Hunny Kids. Their range is absolutely beautiful and are an absolute favourite brand of my clients! Examples of their gorgeous sets are shown in the first image.

 

Try using your favourite scarves to wrap your baby in and use your favourite linen as I have in the examples below!

 

TIP 8 - getting in a positive state!

After just having a baby, there's a chance you're waking up each morning feeling lethargic, sluggish and overwhelmed about the day ahead of you. You may be feeling like you don't have the mental energy to accomplish your goals.

 

Don't push or force yourself to take photos of your baby when you're in a negative or stressed state. It won't end well. Wait until you've had that much-needed nap or shower.

 

There are lots of ways to lift your emotional state, here are a few simple suggestions;
- put on your favorite upbeat song and move! (Please take it easy especially if you're recovering from surgery or trauma - please be advised by your doctor)

- smile to yourself in the mirror like a lunatic...trust me you'll start laughing even when you feel ridiculous!

- take time to quiet your mind. Close your eyes and focus on your body and your breath - deep breathing. If your mind wanders, always return to your breath.

- take a cold shower! Sound too harsh? I struggle with this too! Try splashing your face with cold water for a good 2 minutes.

 

Find a method that works for you and do this before your session! There are many suggestions out there on how to change your state. Remember you are only as resourceful as your own resourcefulness!

 

Follow these tips EXACTLY as described and you'll have great success in being able to take photos with a calm and sleepy baby. Wrapping is a crucial part of settling your baby, but if you're wanting to get photos of your baby in the nude, then PLEASE only try this AFTER you've taken beautiful shots of your baby wrapped. When you unwrap them, this is when they often wake up and get unsettled.

 

If you'd like to learn more you can grab our free guide to improve your photos drastically with this one simple tip PLUS a bonus explainer video ⬇️.

IS THIS helpful? How can we help you further?
I'd love your feedback and suggestions! x

What to ask your newborn photographer Warrnambool

Warrnambool newborn

Newborn portraiture is a specialist field. After reading this guide you’ll be fully equipped with the knowledge needed to ensure the health and safety of your beautiful newborn at their photography session.
Written by Newborn Photographer Jessica from Jessica Jane Photography.

  Wanambool Newborn photographer

Warrnambool Newborn Photographer

Workshop with Erin Tole

1. Have you taken any workshops or had training in posing newborns?

Many photographers are self-taught, but those skilled in newborn portraiture have taken the time to learn newborn posing and how to safely handle the littlest of subjects. Newborn portraiture is a specialized field. If someone hasn’t taken any specific training with regard to newborns, be careful.

They may not know how to safely replicate the poses they see online. I have heard stories of photographers bending baby feet and hyperextending limbs because they do not know the correct way to get the baby into posing positions. Every baby is different and won’t be able to do every pose. Look at the portfolio of the photographer you are considering. Do they have a diverse portfolio of babies and poses?

2. At what age do you prefer to schedule newborn sessions?

Most professional newborn photographers schedule sessions in the first 2 weeks of life. That means that the ideal time for a newborn session is generally when a baby is 5-12 days old. Thstudio-newborn-photography-camperdowney are very sleepy at this time and still remember being curled up in the womb, so their legs tuck up underneath them very comfortably and we can pose them in all those sweet curled up poses quickly and easily. At about two weeks old, babies go through a growth spurt where they want to feed more often and don’t fall back asleep easily and they don’t stay asleep while we pose them.

This doesn’t mean that you cannot have a newborn session if your baby is over 2 weeks old – but it does mean that you may have more images of your baby awake or you may choose a more ‘lifestyle’ session where baby isn’t being posed, e.g. being held by mum instead of in the curly, sleepy poses. Your newborn photographer should be knowledgeable about what she expects from the session based on the age of your baby at the time of the session.

3. How long have you been working with newborns?

Newborn photographers will tell you that every newborn is different. Some like being rocked, some like being bounced, some like pacifiers, some like to lay on their tummy, some like to be swaddled….and some won’t like anything you do! Having the experience of working with many, newborns gives professional newborn photographers the expertise to soothe colicky babies, to know what positions are best for babies with reflux, to understand how to pose multiples, and everything in-between. A newborn photographer must be patient, kind, and gentle with your baby.

 

4. Do you have props (blankets, baskets, hats, headbands, etc.)?

Make sure to ask your photographer if they have a variety of hats, headbands, blankets, baskets, etc. if you are looking for that type of thing during your session. These items can be very expensive, especially those that are well made and safe for newborns. Warrnambool newborn photographer

Professional newborn photographers charge enough for their sessions to cover the costs of having these things on hand in their studio for babies. They are often very selective about what they will choose to use during a session for safety or aesthetic reasons.

 

5. Do you do composites for difficult poses?

Many parents see photos of babies hanging in nests from tree branches, curled up in helmets, sleeping on top of chairs, etc. and think, “How did they do that? I want a picture of my baby like that!” What you don’t see is the process behind creating those images. Warrnambool newborn photographer

Any image where a baby is on top of a prop or hanging from something should be done as a composite, which means that the photographer takes multiple photos of the setup and then merges them together using photo editing software like Photoshop. This includes popular poses like the ‘head in hands’ or ‘froggy’ pose. (Example of a composite shown below) In these type of poses there is ALWAYS someone holding OR TOUCHING baby to ensure their SAFTEY.

A newborn baby should NEVER be left propped up on something where they could startle, roll off, or fall out. They should never be put in anything glass and if they are inside any type of bucket or basket that is off the floor, there should be an assistant with a hand on or near the baby.

Example of a Composite where baby is safely posed

Warrnambool Newborn PhotographerHead in hands pose composite 1  Warrnambool newborn photographer

Warrnambool Newborn PhotographerHead in hands post composite 2

Warrnambool Newborn PhotographerFinal edited image (joining composite images 1 & 2)

Warrnambool newborn

6. Are you vaccinated against whooping cough & flu?

When dealing with vulnerable little beings, ask your photographer if they are vaccinated. It’s a good idea to be wary of your babies exposure to other people, especially in the first few weeks. This ensures the health of your baby is not put at risk. Further information on whooping cough can be found on the Department of Health website here.

 

7. Do you have insurance?

Any photographer who works with newborn babies should have business and liability insurance. These items mean that you are dealing with a professional. A professional photographer should also provide a contract agreement for you to sign that outlines all of the key terms and conditions for the session. You should feel comfortable handing your precious baby over to your photographer and trust that they have done everything possible to protect your child.


8. Do you have an assistant or will there be other people with you at the session?
Sometimes photographers will have an assistant who helps them during the session, and other times they will rely on a parent to help them with more difficult poses. It’s always good to know if there will be additional people handling your baby or others watching at the session.

9. Are parents and siblings included in the newborn session?

Some photographers specialise in newborns only and do not include parents and siblings in the session. Other photographers may charge extra for each additional person. It’s always a good idea to clarify with your newborn photographer who will be photographed during the session. Warrnambool newborn photographer

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2 comments
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  • Tracy MartindaleAugust 25, 2017 - 10:21 am

    Jessica this is a great article on newborn safety during a photography session! Very informative thanks for sharingReplyCancel

    • jessicaAugust 25, 2017 - 9:05 pm

      Hi Tracy,

      Thanks so much for your feedback. I’m so happy you found this helpful.

      JessReplyCancel

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