Newborn photography can be alien territory and basically uncharted waters for photographers who have never had an experience in the field, who are not exactly parents, or who have never had an experience handling kids. Newborns in particular are really extra hard to film because they can’t really communicate with the photographer verbally. Newborns also tend to sleep all the time so that means that a photographer would have to maximize the small window of time that it is actually awake and have its eyes open. We came up with a few tips and tricks to help a photographer out when experimenting with newborn photography.
Fixed and Choreographed
There are several approaches to newborn baby photography. The most common one is the more fixed or choreographed one. This is the easy one to pull off. After all, it can be quite easy to just arrange the newborn to a certain pose and with certain kinds of props and they won’t cry or do anything like that because they really are asleep all the time. You need to be quiet as much as possible though and to minimize the usage of flash so as not to irritate the newborn and wake it up.
Another approach that you can try to photographing newborns is to just let them play and take candid photos of them. Sometimes, you may even include the parents in the picture, just to help them relax and smile a little more. It also never hurts to have a few toys and props along every now and then, just to keep the baby occupied. This is usually more workable when the baby is aged six weeks or more and ideally when they can sit up a little of lift their heads up, or opens their eyes out wide, if possible.
Prepare at all times
It also pays to always be prepared for battle. Well technically speaking, it really is required of all photographers, regardless of what kind of photography style a photographer may be practicing. A professional photographer will go through the motions of cleaning the gear and making sure it is kept pristine and maintained at all times. A good photographer also keeps a healthy stash of memory cards handy, as well as a good batch of extra batteries, flash, an extra camera or two and several lenses for different angle shots.
It is also good to note that sleeping time means it is the perfect time for a photographer to take his macro shots. Photos taken through a macro lens are great because there is something touching and personal with a close up of a newborn infant’s feet, hands, and any other parts of their body. It sort of leaves the parents with a remembrance of how little the baby used to be for when it grows up.
A few accessories to keep in tow would be a rubber kneeling pad or kneeling stool because most of the shots will be taken while the photographer is down on his knees. A good assortment of toys is also much advised, especially the dangling and squeaky ones.