If you have ever happened across my photography page, there is a wee little link thing down there to the right then you would notice that I have a whole area of my site dedicated to photographing babies. Since i work with newborns and have done ( as a neonatal nurse) for 12 years now, it has seemed like a natural step to newborn photography.
Its sort of a niche area of photography. It is a pleasure to do but can take a long time (which i guess is why so many photographers avoid it!) and i love meeting these little miracles and getting to know another little person.
I often get asked about how to get lovely images of babies when they are so new. So i thought i would do a few posts with some hints and tips to getting some lovely images of your newborn baby. Easy things that you can do at home.
So part one, i thought i would explain a little about the environment that would be a good place to start if you have a newborn and you want to try and get some cute shots.
- Newborns have just come out of a very warm environment in the womb. Its very warm in there, about 38degrees. So if you are thinking cute naked baby shots then you need to have your environment warm. Babies cannot regulate their temperature when they are born so its important to make sure you do that for them. My general rule is if you are uncomfortably hot then the baby will be happy 🙂
- Choose a time when your baby is usually most settled. Often babies are sleepy in the morning and start to crank up the grumps towards the evening. Not always the way, you know your baby the best.
- When a baby is in utero it is NOISY! Lots of noises! Anyone who has a newborn will marvel at the fact that their new baby will nod off next to the washing machine on full spin. So its a really useful tip to download a white noise phone app and have it playing near your baby. Or you can use a womb noise teddy things you can get to soothe newborns to sleep.
- Look for signs that indicate when your baby is relaxed and settled. Babies have a way of communicating….honestly! It isnt always all crying.
Signs that they may not be in the best place for being a model…
- Stretching their hands towards you and up towards their face or splaying their fingers apart in front of the their face, yawning, hiccuping and sneezing excessively, arching their back or moving their arms and legs frantically.
Signs that they are ready to play model…
- well fed or just fed, wrapping them up in a blanket or other loose item to feed them and settle them. One thing that will for sure wake your baby up is fumbling a onesie over its head when its asleep.
- Rock your baby back and forth to imitate the movements that would have settled them in the womb. how many mothers always say that their babies were still as could be when they were on the go and then woke up to party when they lay down. A slow rocking motion copies this and will help lull your baby to sleep.
- Once they are asleep you can gently pop them on the beanbag or pillow that you want to use to photograph them on.
….and how you go about setting that up will be in my next newborn mamarazzi post!!