[Updated 2017] If you’re looking for newborn photography tips, then you know very well how hard it can be to photograph little ones. You can’t pose them. They won’t sit up. They may cry if you scare them. They won’t smile. They won’t even look at the camera when you want them to. So how can you capture great photographs of a baby that the parent will want to buy?
What starts out sounding like a negative actually can be worked into a BIG positive from selling your photography. A baby won’t pose, but they will only be little for a very short time. They won’t sit up, but they have the tiniest hands and feet. This is a once in a lifetime moment. Wait a month and it will change. Put it off for a few months, and you lose the opportunity forever.
The solution? Check out our newborn photography tips that will help you snap cute photos that rival those of famous photographers any day!
1. Choose Natural Light
Babies are sensitive to loud noises, sudden movements, and bright lights. A large flash may send them into a fit of tears – the last thing you want. So whenever possible, control your use of flash as much as possible. If you’re in your dark studio, use a softbox. Or bring the baby up to an area where natural light comes pouring through the window.
2. Use Color Coordination
Knowing which colors work best together is sometimes difficult. Tools such as Adobe Kuler, Material Palette, and Color Palette Generator are effective in finding analogous and complementary color combinations. You’ll be able to visualize the colors that work together and pick the props and clothing of the baby before the shoot. This guarantees you’ll be happy with the color combination and save up precious time.
3. Get The Details
Tell the story of this new little life. Capture the hands, the feet, a fist wrapped around mom’s finger, or the dad’s wedding ring slipped around the toe. Size is everything. For some infants, we photograph at their home instead of bringing them into a studio location. This is a great way to bring out the props. A blanket knitted by great-grandma, for example, makes a wonderful backdrop (and of course a must-have portrait).
4. Get Down on Their Level
One of the biggest challenges in photographing babies is finding the right angle. But here’s one of the best newborn photography tips: get down low for a more natural shot. Shooting from above, looking down is not always the best way to go about photographing infants although you may find it easier to set up your camera for these shots. But if you’re using the widest focal length, you should be just fine. Give it a go!
5. Don’t Rush It
Do you know what separates you from the discount chains? Your client’s happiness. Give each client plenty of time. If they need to change the baby, not a problem. If she gets hungry, you’ll wait until she’s fed. Remember your clients are new parents, and may be a little stressed about the baby’s routine. Being calm and patient is going to help build your reputation.
6. Set Your Camera to Continuous Shooting Mode
Timing is everything when it comes to any shot but this is especially true when photographing babies. They move subtly and change both position and expression in terms of seconds. If you don’t act quick, you lose an amazing shot. This is why one of the best newborn photography tips is to set your camera to continuous shooting to not miss any moment.
7. Bring In Mom and Dad
It’s all about size. And the love and bond between the newest member of the family. Just like the details, mom and dad will love intimate images showcasing their tiny baby. When photographing a baby with a parent, ask the parent to tuck the legs of the infant underneath them. This will make the baby look like a little package and it’s terribly cute.
Also one of the best newborn photography tips is to ask the parent to hold the baby close to their face. This gives sense of a strong connection between the subjects and makes for a sweeter photo.
8. Build An Album
Don’t just take the images and wait for the sale. Take the images with an album in mind. Predesign several samples, and offer them in package plans. A 20-page album in your lowest, a 40- page in your highest (for example). Then shoot to fill the pages in a way you know your client could never refuse.
9. Start A Baby Club
Because babies change so fast, they are the perfect target for more than one sale. Don’t bring in a client for one shoot as a brand new baby, offer a baby club where you take four images throughout the first year. You’ll get the family in for a sitting 4 times per year, and get the opportunity for multiple sales all year long.
10. Use the Airbrush Tool
The majority of the amazing pictures you see of babies have been post-processed with editing tools to come out smooth and perfect. And while babies are incredibly cute, they’ll often have little scratches, skin issues, birth marks, snotty noses or food around the mouth. A cloth may fix some of these issues, it’s not enough. An airbrush or a retouching tool are great things to use to smooth out the skin. Photo editing programs such as Adobe Photoshop, Capture One and Cyberlink PhotoDirector can help you turn your pictures magazine-perfect!
These are some of the most important newborn photography tips and tricks to have in mind when shooting babies. But you should also know that every picture you take is special and as the years pass by, your subjects will be grateful of each memory of when they were little and most fragile. Don’t worry too much because as long as there’s a bit of creativity flowing through your veins, you can make the most of environment and the props you have to work with.