Photographer Anne Geddes revolutionized newborn photography by dressing babies as beautiful sunflowers, fairy-tale creatures and darling zoo animals. While these images have been the staple of newborn photography for years, Photographer Central Pro Hari Simons has some new, inventive and heartwarming approaches to capturing special moments with your little bundle of joy.
Safety Comes First
Safety is obvious to all, but worth emphasizing. After all, we are dealing with the littlest of people, so whatever props or posing techniques are involved must be of utmost safety. Also:
- Never put a newborn in an uncomfortable or potentially unsafe position
- Have a parent or spotter close at all times
- Keep in mind that not all babies can do all poses—never force a pose that the newborn seems to resist
This is the main reason it’s important to find a professional. Someone who photographs newborns for a living will know all the tips and tricks to achieve wonderful photos without endangering your little one. So go to www.photographercentral.com and find a local professional in your area.
Studio Shoot—the Basics
Incorporate warm temps, smooth textures, and soft lights. Newborns like to stay warm and cozy, so most studios will have the temperature set at 85-90 degrees and/or have localized heaters for extra warmth.
When babies are in the womb it’s pretty loud, so they find comfort in loud white noise. It might be beneficial to find an app on your phone that can create white noise to soothe your newborn during the shoot.
Your photographer will most likely have backdrops, blankets and a baby basket at the ready. Having these prepared makes transitioning between them smooth and easy. I like to stack up all my blankets so the top one can simply be removed after a pose and the next one is ready to go. For diaper-free poses keep a waterproof pad under the first blanket—just in case!
Many newborn shots are actually a composite of two images, with a spotter’shand propping the baby up in a different place in each shot, where the hand has been removed from the final image. This goes back to the first point of safety. In order to achieve those adorable poses without endangering your baby, oftentimes cloning or compositing of the image is required.
Most photographers will want to use props in order to paint a picture. These newborn shots are supposed to hint at a specific location or setting. For example,twigs and greenery.Library books and reading lamp.A basket and picnic blanket. A duvet and pillows.Pinterest is a great place to find inspiration for these themes and the props that can convey them. These will also be handy for any at-home shoots you’ll do yourself.
Having a photographic record of your baby growing is something that you’ll treasure forever. So why not take a similar photo at a regular interval to have adorable documentation of your child’s development? Here are some simple ideas to make a consistent sequence:
- Have a common toy in each photo as a point of reference to compare size
- Bring in a chalkboard to write their age; you can get creative with different ways of writing their age to visually change it up each month
- As your child grows, include a different item from each milestone. This could be something that shows off the fact that your baby started crawling, or their first word, or this could simply be the representation of their interest this month
There are different ways of doing this, from daily photos to recording each growing stage. It would make a lovely montage to share with your child down the road!
Themes and Characters
Costumes aren’t just for Halloween. Dressing your baby as beloved storybook characters will make for fun and creative keepsakes. There are many detailed costumes and iconic accessories, or you can use a collection of references to the story. Just make sure there are enough hints in the photo for viewers to get the character reference. For example, Harry Potter would have big round black glasses, red and gold scarf, a scar, wand, and possibly some leather-bound books.
With an expressive child and a bit of patience (OK, maybe a mountain of patience), you can collect images of the child in the same spot but with different expressions representing different emotions. Then create a nine-image grid with photos that correspond with a particular emotion, i.e., happy, sad, angry, excited, tired, fussy, etc.Add the name of the emotion over the image in a font that relates to the emotion, and then you’ll have a fun keepsake of your child’s many moods.
Just like anything with these little bundles of happiness, you and your photographer will need to be patient,creative and most importantly—have fun! With some planning, these images will be cherished mementos for the rest of your life.