Newborn Photos, need some help


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Jun 6, 2009
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Manchester, NH
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I have been contracted to do a newborn shoot in January. Upon doing some research in the forum it seems like almost everyone has all these props and things to put on the babies, however I do not and most likely will not. This is probably be the one and only time that I do a newborn shoot.

Any ideas or examples of some newborn shots that do not have all these props and stuff in them? It is going to be a little boy, so pink and frilly is out. Lol.

PS, yes the people that want me to do the shoot know I have never done newborn shots before and that they are out of my scope of practice per say. I am an action/event photographer. I don't do well with kids. :er:
Do the basics - lay the kid flat, prop a pillow under the blanket, do some low key/dramatic lighting, get those eyes nice and sharp.
or you can hire someone to do it for you :D
First bit of advice, have fun with it! Newborns are such a joy to photograph, and easy to keep happy . They will never try to rush you or push you in any direction, and parents of newborns fall in love with your pictures easily becacuse of the subject. =)

The best piece of advice I've had is to use HEAT. I always bring a space heater along to keep running near the baby. Babies will always sleep for you if they are warm and well fed. Don't be afraid to take breaks and let the baby nurse/bottle feed often, and don't feel rushed. It can take half an hour to get set up for just one shot you're aiming for, but in the end the time spent is rewarding.

Some people also say it's a good idea to bring a heating pad and use it to keep any blankets you lay the baby on warm- I may try that next time.

An easy classic look can be achieved with some nice black fabric (I use the high quality velvet because it photographs beautifully) and a bean bag chair.

As for shots without props- close ups! Get lots of shots of those tiny fingers, toes, the curl of the newborn lips, eye lashes, you name it! If you have a macro lens, pull it out for this.

Involve mom and dad! Pictures of mother and child are always gorgeous. New Daddy spending a moment looking into his precious son's eyes, siblings meeting their new baby brother- catch those moments =)

And lastly- paper diapers look TERRIBLE in pictures. Either get the diaper off (and strategically hide private areas) or invest in an inexpensive cloth diaper cover. Even a simple cotton pair of shorts will look better than disposable diapers.

I do a lot of shots with the props you so dread.. But I do have a few examples of more simple work. It's not a style I'm quite as confident in yet, but here are some that have turned out alright so far:

(This one would be fine without the headband. The background was just a chair in the family's living room. )


This was just a soft blanket/fabric draped over a beanbag, with the space heater running just to the side.


Black velvet hanging from the window rod, daddy's hands holding his new son:


Mother and baby (wish her hand wasn't chopped)


Laying on that same chair again- watch for cute expressions, babies have lots of them in their sleep!


And a close up- laying on the bean bag with the soft fabric:


Hope some of these help! Best of luck, and have fun! Can't wait to see some pictures =)
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:cry: That is so sweet
I'm gonna have to get some of that black velvet for portraits. Can't really even tell it's there. Sorry I can't really give much advice on the newborn photo's. I'd say listen to her and invest in a beanbag chair at least. I'd say it could be used for a lot of things. You could really put anything in it for shots.
I have black velvet so that is a start :) Bean bags are easy enough to get and I am sure the parents will have all kinds of cute blankets and such to put under the baby.

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