Newborn photography at home......(part 1)
Right now photography is considered a 'non-essential' service. In most ways that is true, we don't save lives, we don't prevent illness nor do we protect the vulnerable. However, I think photography is a definite necessity in all of our lives. It captures a moment, an event and memory that we want to be able to share with others and our future selves.
Since all of the restrictions came in to place, many amazing babies have been welcomed in to the world. Unlike previously, these new lives are not getting to meet extended friends and family. There are seas of people wishing and praying they could see and hold them. That won't happen for a while unfortunately I don't think, but there are ways that you can share this time with all of those people you wish could be present in these moments with you.
So in this first blog on capturing your baby at home lets start with location.
Whether it is your bedroom, sitting room, kitchen or baby's nursery the first priority is finding the room in your home with the best natural light. A good big window or patio doors are ideal, but not if that side of your home is in constant shade gets very poor light.
You probably never thought about it too much before, but check what way the light falls in each room at different times of day. The best time for photography is when there is plenty of light, but not direct sun, coming in your window. Direct sun light will give you very bright spots and harsh shadows on your images which is not what we are looking for.
I have found that the best time of day to photograph newborn babies is generally mid morning on average. Babies tend to be more settled in the morning than later in the day plus hopefully there will be good light through at least one of the windows you have available.
WHAT DO YOU NEED
First thing you need is to ensure that the space you are going to be photographing baby in is nice and warm. If you don't want to up the heat in the whole house, a little space heater in the room you will be using would be great to just insure that baby is comfortable and warm. Whilst we don't want to over heat them, we definitely do need to ensure they are toasty warm so that they will settle and be relaxed. Warm enough for you to be comfortable in a t-shirt is ideal.
In terms of 'props', all you need is a neutral blanket, fur or duvet set and your precious little one in a simple white vest. That is the perfect starting point. You can also swaddle your little one in a simple muslin wrap or a swaddling blanket for variety to your images.
Personally I don't use too many other props during a basic session. Occasionally I may use a simple hat or headband but I prefer the main focus to be on baby. Anything else that I do use in studio is to enhance the image without drawing attention away from baby.
My starting point will depend on baby. If they are already asleep and relaxed then work from there. If they are awake and wriggling a lot, then maybe start with swaddling them up. You will see various options from the images below and decide yourself what will work best for you on the day.
So, I clearly don't have access to a baby at the moment (insert very sad face here!) so I have borrowed my daughters baby doll to show you how I would go about doing all of this.
Enjoy looking through these and I hope I have given adequate descriptions for you but if you have any questions don't hesitate to get in touch and ask me anything at all.
I have cleared this little space at a window in a front room of my home for the purposes of today. This window is north east facing so gets lovely morning light without too much direct sun. For the first set of pictures I have simply laid a white sheepskin on the ground and am photographing 'the baby' on it.
From here there are a few simple rules to follow to make these images as beautiful as you would wish them to be.
Guide 1 - place baby with the top of their head towards the light.
We want the light to fall down over baby's face. If you reverse it you end up with the Halloween torch effect which is not the way we want to capture your little ones first images.
Guide 2 - don't shoot up the nose.
When baby is positioned perfectly in the light, you now need to position yourself so that you are able to capture the most flattering angle of baby's face.
Guide 3 - Capture full portraits plus detail shots
Whilst you have baby in one position, make the most of it. Capture close up images as well as the further out image you had planned. Don't forget the hands, fingers, lips, nose, eyelashes ears etc. All of those amazing details that you love so much.
Once you have captured these images you can move on to some more like below.......
Take images with some of the cuddly toys I am sure have arrived with baby. Use colour that fits your home style to add variety to your images. Whilst insuring that baby is comfortably and safe at all times, it is fun to experiment a little and capture those images that show who you and your family are.
Enjoy creating an amazing first album for your little one. If you would like to share some of your images I would really love to see them. xxx