Today’s post comes to us from Rita Lawrence from Bitsy Baby Photography. Rita is an amazing newborn photographer and we are so happy that she is sharing her tips with us today! Visit Rita’s website to learn more about her Photography Workshops!
10 Great Baby Photos From One Pose
Newborn baby photos are one of the most exciting experiences for parents. Babies really do grow quickly and the first days of the baby’s life are fleeting. Typically infants are brought in for their first photos when they are less than two weeks of age; they can be more sleepy and we are able to achieve a wide variety of looks with them.
Basic photography poses for newborn babies are crucial for a successful session. One of the most popular baby poses is when the baby is on his back. One thing to be sure of for these shots on their back is you see the tip of the baby’s nose versus up his nostrils. If you are short use a small stepladder and while photographing from above I recommend to always have your camera strap around your neck for safety.
An issue I typically troubleshoot in this pose is keeping the hands and feet in place and close to his body. One way to do this is to bury an indention into the beanbag so the baby is slightly nuzzled down and his arms and feet will stay in place a little better. You can also have an assistant or a parent hold the hands and feet in place and they then remove their hands immediately before snapping your shot. Sometimes it does work out beautifully if you let the baby stretch his arms out for a couple shots too.
I always achieve a variety of shots from just this one baby pose: bare baby, detail shots, with a hat, in a cocoon, in a wrap, from above, from the side, etc.
I shoot from various angles rotating the bean bag for a variety of light if needed and I change out the blankets to achieve a variety of colors too.
From this shot it is convenient to transition the baby into a prop for your next pose. I typically use deeper bowl type props so the baby easily can be moved right on over.
I find wooden bowls at local antique shops but I’ve also seen them on EBay and Etsy. This kind of newborn prop is easy to use and most importantly they are safe for the babies.
For lighting I have one large window with indirect light slightly above or perpendicular to the baby’s head.
When working with natural light the light can change from one minute to the next so evaluating the light is a constant process in sessions.
I try to achieve a reasonable amount of shadow, just enough to show all the details in the face. Being close to your natural light source and not lighting up the nostrils are also key for obtaining a quality baby photograph.