Lockdown due to Coronavirus has us all isolated, maybe feeling a bit lost, missing our friends and family and all the stuff we usually take for granted. Maybe you've just had a baby or are due one any day now and perhaps you've been dreaming of having a professional newborn photo shoot for months and are now worried that you'll miss out on capturing this special time of your little one.
How can I help?
Read on to find out my top tips for photographing your baby at home yourself! Newborn babies are only little for such a short time, so grab the opportunity now to take a few lovely images you can treasure. Take it at your own pace and enjoy the experience.
What you should know
Professional newborn photographers are highly skilled and trained in posing babies safely and capturing beautiful images, so you won't be able to achieve the same results as I can with my years of experience. It has taken me many years to develop my skills to where they are now, so don't expect your images to look quite the same! You won't have the same camera kit, lighting and props that I use and you won't be able to professionally edit your images either.
BUT I can help you to achieve the best results with the equipment you do have!
When should I photograph my baby?
I recommend taking your baby's photographs within the first week or two of baby being born. Babies are much more sleepy in the first 7 to 14 days after birth, so you will stand a far better chance of settling them and capturing a few cute images.
Where should I photograph my baby?
Anywhere in your house that's near a window and is warm! Try and place your baby right next to a window, but NOT in direct sunlight. If it's a cloudy day, that's perfect. You want to angle baby so that their head is pointing more towards the light (towards the window). DON'T point baby's feet towards the window, as this will create terrible 'horror' lighting! (Please see my very technical diagram below)
What should I lay baby on?
Lay baby on their back onto a nice comfy blanket on the floor (especially good in front of a patio door) or on your bed (just make sure you keep an eye on baby at all times, to ensure they don't roll off). Keep the background plain and simple.
How should I take the photos?
You should NOT use the flash on your phone or camera - turn that off. Take your photos looking down onto baby from straight above them, or slightly to the sides and not from an angle below them, looking up their nose - it's not flattering! See below for an example of the angle you should be looking for.
What should I dress baby in?
Your aim is to keep the photographs neutral and simple. Often baby clothes are big and bulky and get in the way, so you could remove these distractions and have baby just in their nappy. You could then drape some fabric over them, if you want to add a bit of colour or to cover them a little. Remember to keep baby warm.
What else can I do?
You could try to lie baby on their side and tuck their hand under their chin. This pose takes a bit more patience and practice, so don't worry about trying to get it perfect or if baby doesn't want to settle like this (they often don't!). Remember to keep baby's face uncovered at all times and don't lie them face down. You should also be careful to make sure they don't roll off anything you have placed them on.
Things to remember
If you fail the first time because baby won't settle, or you're just not 'getting it', don't worry and don't cause yourself stress! Just give up and try again another day.
Please don't attempt to pose baby in anything but these simple poses, as it's really important that anyone doing this is trained in newborn posing, before attempting these.
Good luck and please share your results with me on my Facebook page here; www.facebook.com/sarahwaltonphotography