A newborn photo shoot can be challenging, especially if you are unprepared and not quite sure how to position your baby and get the light right.
Experienced photographer Veronique Mills provides this advice on how to do your own newborn photo shoot at home.
For the setup, you will need:
- A blanket for your baby to lie on. A textured, plain-coloured or fluffy blanket works best
- Cheap cloth nappies
- An area with a big window where light comes in
- A blanket in which to wrap your baby
- A baby headband or hat
To make your own decorative headband:
You will need
- Plain headband
- Different types of fabric, such as lace, netting etc.
- Needle and thread
Cut the fabric in rough flower shapes and stitch to the headband. Add the beads on top.
Important things to remember when planning your shoot
- Take into consideration that newborns become aware of their surroundings after about 14 days. It is normally best to do your newborn shoot between six and 10 days after the birth of your little one. This will insure a sleepy and relaxed baby!
Three key things for a happy model are:
- Being well fed
- A warm environment
- White noise
I find that most babies are relaxed and sleepy when these three things are in place. You can use a small heater for warmth, but remember not to aim it directly at your baby. You can download a free app for white noise – this drowns out surrounding noises and calms your baby.
- Newborn photos look best when your baby is sleeping. When they are so young, they tend to look cross-eyed or their eyes are still a bit yellow when open. Try to feed your baby right before the shoot and wait until she is asleep to start the session.
- Try to keep your background neutral with some texture – this ensures that the focus is on your baby. I would recommend taking photos of her naked, wrapped in a small blanket. I bought a cheap winter jersey that was knitted in the front and plain at the back and cut it into different sizes to wrap her in.
- For good lighting, turn off your flash. Use a room in your house that has ample natural light and position your baby so that the light falls on her. You can defuse the light with a white bedsheet to get soft lighting.
- I have chosen to do the shoot in my bedroom. It has a big window where light comes in and the bed has a headboard, which I can use to secure the backdrop. This is how my setup looks.
Once you have everything ready, undress your baby down to only her nappy, which should be put on loosely to avoid any marks on her skin. Wrap her in a warm blanket and feed her. Once she is asleep, you can unwrap her, take off her nappy, and place her on the blanket that you have set up for the shoot.
I placed the baby on the bed with her legs folded beneath her.
I gently placed her hand underneath her face. You will see that her face is lying flat, which is not the best angle, so I gently placed the cloth nappies underneath the big blanket to prop her up a bit.
Lastly, place the headband on her head.
*This tutorial was done by Veronique-Photography.