Photographs of the newborns look very fascinating and charming, but there are things you need to keep in mind if you are going to capture beautiful newborn photographs.
To make your job a little easier, here are some tips for Newborn photography
Make safety your priority:
As we all know babies can’t hold themselves together and tend to fall easily if not taken care of. If you are a beginner at newborn photography, try not to experiment with a lot of poses as it might end up hurting the baby and that is not what anybody wants. Keep it more natural, try to study the body language of the baby, and keep them in the most comfortable pose. It will give you more time to hold with the baby and make the most of the pose. The good thing about babies is that they are very flexible and you can keep them anywhere you like while they are sleeping they will look cute even during sleep. There are plenty of safe poses you can try with the babies.
Simplicity is the best:
Newborns are already so cute and tiny that even the simplest of compositions make them look good. Try not to clutter the background with too many props, try to make it simple and clean. Newborns have this habit of swimming in their clothes, so it is always preferable to shoot them naked with the diaper cover or snug romper. Click a few test shots to learn how comfortable the baby is, then move further with the props and other shenanigans. Use minimum props and choose the ones that will help to portray how tiny the baby is, communicate with parents about their ideas so that the photographs have the reflection of the parents.
Make the baby feel comfortable with your presence:
To get those cute sleeping pictures, keep the baby warm as newborns tend to lose their heat very easily. For a newborn, it is better to keep the baby sleepy as the awake baby may flail arms and legs which makes it tough to shoot and they might get frightened with the whole setup. If you want to shoot the baby naked keep the room warm, set the temperature warmer than your body as the newborn needs a warmer temperature. Make sure that the photos should be taken after the baby has eaten.
In a simple and minimal setup, Natural light is the best source for newborn photography, as the babies are used to it. Place the baby near a window and take your reflector along with you and place it on the opposite side of the baby from the window. In the case of a more complicated and artificial setup, using lights is not a bad option. Lighting for a newborn is almost the same as the adult portrait lighting. Make sure the light source is coming from towards the baby's head, not their feet, that would make the baby look scary. Try to keep the light source at about 45 degrees angle from the baby's head, it generally works perfectly with newborns, if it doesn’t you can experiment accordingly.
Do not leave your macro lens abandoned during a newborn shoot. Macro photography always turns out great with tiny subjects. Babies are one of them, you can take a few close up shots of the baby's wrinkly hands, small toes, lips, and a little smile. Get those teeny tiny details of the newborn's body.
Make the most out of everything
With newborns, you spend more time setting up and making the baby pose and letting them sleep. Clicking time is much less than the preparation, so as soon as you get the baby into a pose, make the most of it. Try out different angles, closeups, and wide everything in that duration before the baby gets into senses as you need to change the things again.
Photography is all about timing, if you missed a moment it’s never going to happen again. Newborn photography sessions generally happen within the 2 weeks of its birth. They are easier to clink and manage at this time as they are most sleepy. I’m not saying it’s not possible to click an older baby that way but this duration will save a lot of effort. Also, try to shoot in the morning, as the baby's biological clock is set that way, babies are little off and less cheery in the evenings.
Be prepared for delays and take your time
There will be a lot of breaks during a newborn shoot as babies are unpredictable. They might get out of their sleep and get hungry at any time, so prepared for any such situation. Patience is the key with babies. As mentioned earlier, preparation will take more time than clicking, so dedicate a few hours to the shoot and you will get really good results.
Don’t overdo while retouching
The skin of the baby is already soft and non-textured. Keep the image processing as minimum as possible. You may need to reduce skin redness and use the healing brush on any newborn acne, but you shouldn't need to use any blur to soften a baby's skin. Don’t remove the birthmarks unless parents ask for it. Do minimum things like adjusting the exposure and white balance but make it subtle, don't let the details vanish away.
A person always cherishes the first month of the baby as babies grow faster than you imagine and what is left behind are the photos that have been clicked. If you are just starting out, make safety your first priority and be patient, Experience is the best teacher and you will learn as the time passes.