Monday, April 25, 2011

How To Photograph A Newborn [or what I did]

Fletcher Devin Collier
April 17th 2011
6.15 lb  18.5 in

5 days later...

If anything motivated me to keep on keeping on with Weight Watchers so I can hop back on that baby was this. Holding 7 pounds of pure innocence. Plus, it's nice to do that when it doesn't want you to nurse it, and it doesn't keep you up all night. 

Photographing a friends baby is kind of like being a grandma.

All the bliss without the burn.

Thank you google images for infant position ideas  when I typed in "newborn photography", as this was my first "newborn session". Unless you count my own children who I randomly or lack-there-of-all-together photograph those first 12 weeks [or whenever I start putting real clothes on again and change out of permanent pjs].

Five naked shots to take of a newborn:

1. Curled up on flat surface
2. Hanging on dads arm
3. In a basket [shot from above]
4. Hands & feet
5. With mom & dad

Shots not to take:

1. Anything that evolves the mother or father [or worse, both] topless...nudity is only for the infant people [google images clearly has a different take on this]

Bonus if their home has fun curtains, which made an excellent impromptu background.

Which brings me to my next point---use a window for natural light and clear a space below. We just moved a desk and let the light pour in on the carpet & couch below. 

Again, opportunity for bonus points here, [see above] if you can catch the infant in the act of urinating. More funny if it's a spray in the face, less fun if it's #2, and or a female infant. Sorry girls, this is one that the boys just get more laughs out of.

This was my first session and it took about 3 hours, but we were in no rush. I took about 200 photos and edited them down to around half that and posted about a sixth of that. 

Didn't spend too much time in editing, the light was just really gorgeous as is.

Working with a nursing baby [I say this with only one session under my belt, ha] can be time consuming because you best shots most likely will come from a sleeping newborn. And although newborns do love to sleep, they also love to nurse and be swaddled...not naked and being placed in laundry baskets.

All in all it was lovely experience. I now fully appreciate those who photography newborns professionally [which I have no intention of doing.]. 

I think my most favorite shots weren't the posed ones, they were the ones of the mother and father just genuinely doting on their little one. So if and when you decide to photograph a newborn...just know, that you can still get great shots...if you have a little natural light coming in.

Adorable knits from Etsy, props, and having more than an half hour to prepare are no required. Although recommended. [Ha!]

And don't forget, you'll probably get soiled a few times an hour. Bring a change of clothes and some Resolve for their carpets and upholstery. I'm teasing sort of.


  1. Love the pictures! Want to do another session? Love to get some pictures of Jadon.

  2. I just typed you a really long comment and then somehow deleted it! Here is a condensed version since I need to be rounding everyone up to leave for the circus.

    Great job! Love the family shot. Tips I found most helpful and used for the shoot I did a couple of weeks ago: heating pad under blankets to keep baby toasty and asleep, bean bag for posing baby(works great for older babies too), white noise, very warm room(I was sweating), position subject with lighting at a 45 degree angle instead of flat in front, keep a list of shots you want to do...when I have a chance I'll forward you the pages I read, they had more tips that were very helpful.

    Here is a brief post with pics I took using the bean bag, all the collage shots with my Little Man, and the newborn sleeping shots.

  3. Oh Candra, I love the basket ones! Great job! :)



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