April 13, 2020
During this time of quarantine and social distancing, I’m watching as my Facebook feed fills with new moms who are navigating such a weird time in history. As a pregnant woman myself, I’m learning how to embrace this time as a gift from God and learn to adapt to the slower, content lifestyle that is required right now.
My heart goes out to the mamas who are giving birth without their support systems or those whose family hasn’t gotten to meet their newborn yet. While parts of these days are hard, I’m also praying you get to enjoy the peace of being home with your little one and soak up your time getting to know them!
As I’ve scrolled through social media, I’ve seen some friends taking photos of their newborns and I’m realizing something – you can’t hire a professional photographer during the ONLY time your baby will be a newborn.
While I’m (obviously) all about great, professional photos, there’s also something calming about going back to simplicity.. There’s no option to worry about if you’re doing “as much” as the other moms you see online because the majority of states won’t allow photography as an essential business at the moment – NO ONE is able to “do all the things”.
While I don’t consider newborn sessions to be my “niche”, I have photographed newborns for some of my friends and would love to share these tips with you on how to can take pictures AT HOME with your cell phone or DSLR camera (I don’t recommend a point and shoot! Your phone camera is better).
If you’ve been too intimated to use your “fancy” camera because of the settings, put it in automatic mode! (No shame). The settings will automatically adjust based on lighting. This won’t be amazing but they’ll be good.
If you’re using a cell phone please (PLEASE) turn that flash off. The cell phone flash washes out skin and makes everything look flat. Your photos will all look like disposal camera pics from 2002. What if it’s dark? Keep reading!
If you’re choosing to shoot photos indoors, choose a room with lots of natural light (windows) and if possible, neutral colored walls. If the entire room isn’t well lit, at least look for a spot on the floor that has nice window light. If you can, it’s best to avoid overhead lights or lamps.. they have a different color than the window light which will make your picture look part cool and part warm.
Definitely! If you’re going to go outside, I recommend shooting early in the morning or later in the day when the sun is low. This means you’ll have less harsh light and shadows to worry about. The biggest factor with shooting outdoors is finding good shade and an easy way to position your baby.
If you have a well lit nursery and neutral colored sheets, you can take pictures right in their crib! However, if you’re wanting to switch it up a bit, using a decorative basket (or bin with a neutral colored blanket to cover it). Keep it simple! The busier the background / more props you add, the less focus will be on baby!
Don’t get frustrated or defeated if your baby isn’t cooperating perfectly. Some babies will only be calm in a swaddle, some will cry their eyes out.. some can handle the outdoor light and some will cry immediately.. Some lay flat and some turn their heads to the side. Every baby is different, so go with the flow and try a few things!
You may or may not want this, but for baby Mya, she liked to turn to her side meaning any close ups of her face had to be taken from a side angle. It was actually pretty dark behind her crib, so we add a white blanket that covered her crib and hung over the back. Keep in mind, if you choose this option, you’ll want to use Portrait mode on your phone or be really close up so the background looks seamless.
Remember the goal: take pictures of your baby while they’re a newborn. It’s not more complicated than that. In 15-20 years, their clothes will be out of style, probably even the photos themselves will be out of style, but it’ll still be your baby. Keep the focus on seeing who they are and taking pictures of all their little newborn quirks (they’ll change in a week!!)
If you’re editing your images, especially on your phone, I recommend using the FREE Lightroom app. I’ve created several one click presets with instructions on how to easily install them (even for those non-tech people!!). You can find the entire collection HERE.
Do you have another tip or follow up question?! COMMENT below!