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DIY Newborn Session tips & inspiration!

Hi everyone!

I truly hope you are all keeping safe and healthy during this time of uncertainty.

My heart aches everyday that I can't do what I love most - taking photos of babies so I pray everyday that we can all flatten the curve together and nip this thing in the butt!

Since I love it so much I thought I would share some tips here for you all that may help you to take some shots of your little one before they get too old for newborn photos.

I am here and ready to help you if you have any questions at all, just shoot me a message. I would also LOVE to see the aftermath if you decide to give this a try!

Here we go...

Let's start with some quick tips to keep in mind:

Get Ready!

First off, know that your photos are not going to look the same as professional photos, and that's ok! But you are capturing some precious memories, and that is all that matters. Babies are energy-based and will pick up on your anxiety and frustration, so just relax and go with the flow!

Turn up the thermostat so the room is warm, then give your baby a good feed, and be sure to burp them, so they are happy and sleepy! But remember that awake baby images are beautiful too!

Your baby will probably poop or pee if you take photos without a diaper on, so have supplies ready for quick clean ups.

Equipment

Don't worry if you don't have a DSLR - try putting your phone on portrait mode if you have it to get some yummy blur. Make sure your lens is clean!

And since you will keep things simple - you don't need any props.

What to wear

Have the family wear comfortable, simple, neutral-coloured clothing. Stay away from logos, words, and characters on shirts, and neon colours. Newborns photograph best in a simple white onesie, as most newborn clothing are cute, but they don't fit well! You can add a little hat or headband for variety (but not one so big it takes the focus away from baby!)

Baby is more likely to stay sleepy and content when swaddled tightly. Try a simple swaddle wrap - learn how here!

Light

Try to take your photos in the rooms that get the best gentle window light (not direct sunlight). North/south facing windows are great! If there's enough window light, turn off your overhead lights.

When positioning baby close to the window, make sure the light is coming from the side or towards the top of the baby's head.

Siblings

Always have another adult present to be close to baby while taking photos with siblings. Start with low expectations - they may not cooperate and that's ok. If they lose patience, rather try those photos another time.

Safety

The safety and comfort of your baby is more important than any photo. Please do not attempt any poses that you see newborn photographers do - they are trained in newborn safety and posing.

Pets and siblings should never be photographed with a newborn without another adult right there to keep an eye (and hand!) on baby. When you are taking photos above baby, always wear the camera strap around your neck.

Listen for baby's cues. Your little one may start to tell you they have had enough. And pace yourself - you just had a baby and will need rest! If you need to break it up over a few days, that's A-OK!

Editing

Take loads of images so you can choose the best of the best. On your phone, VSCO is a great app for editing your newborn images.

Now let's get into some posing ideas & tips! (since I work mainly in my studio I did not have any sample images for baby in the crib or on a bed, but I am sure you will do just great!)

Natural overhead images…

  • Spread a blanket, swaddle wrap, or sheet on the floor near a window. Best choice: a neutral colour like white, cream or grey, or with an interesting pattern (arrows, stars, polka dots, etc.)

  • Position baby with light coming from the side or top of baby's head.

  • Take photos looking straight down - do not take photos up baby's nose.

On the bed…

  • Use large bed (usually in master bedroom).

  • Simple and neutral bedding looks best (tip: use white duvet inner)

  • Lay baby on bottom half of bed, with head towards the side window.

  • Get down and take photos at baby's eye-level.

  • Add Mama lying down behind baby for a gorgeous shot! - ask your partner or use a timer for this

Tucked in…

  • Lay a simple blanket down on your bed or even on the floor.

  • Lay your baby down so the window light is coming in on the side (or towards the head of your baby).

  • Fold the bottom part of the blanket up, tucking under their chin.

  • You can put something heavy on each side so blanket stays stretched tight.

  • Take photo from right overhead, looking straight down.

In the crib…

  • Lay baby down in crib, head towards the window (move the crib close to the window if needed, and practical)

  • Take photos from various angles, e.g:

  • Looking straight down

  • Through crib slats

  • With a parent leaning over crib, hand on baby

Sibling images (older children)…

  • Let sibling sit down with window light coming from the side, with legs straight out or criss-crossed to create a little pocket.

  • Safest places are right on the floor, or propped up against pillows on a bed. An adult should be an arm's length away at all times.

  • Place baby onto sibling's lap, so baby's weight is supported by sibling's legs. Have them wrap their arms gently around baby.

  • Top of baby's head should be angled towards the window.

  • Take photos from side, from behind looking down, straight on, etc.

Sibling images (younger children)…

  • Safest option for young or rambunctious siblings is not to have them hold baby. Another adult should be right there with baby all the time.

  • Place baby on bed with top of their head towards the window.

  • Ask sibling(s) to lie on their tummies behind baby. Ideally I find laying down the easiest with young ones.

  • Encourage calm interaction - look at baby, smell baby, touch toes, etc.

Sibling images (lying down)…

  • Spread comfy blanket or rug close to a window. Tuck some rolled up receiving blankets underneath to create a place for sibling to rest head.

  • Have sibling lie down with top of their head angled towards window.

  • Place wrapped baby right up close to sibling, with baby's head supported by sibling's arm.

  • Ask sibling to place other arm on baby's tummy or somehow connect.

  • Take photo standing over them, looking straight down.

In Daddy’s hands…

  • Have dad sit down near a window, so light comes from the side.

  • Dad should hold baby out in front of him, resting on his legs, and baby's head cupped in his hands.

  • Take photos focusing on dad's big hands holding small baby.

  • Switch it up for photos of baby feet and hands in dad's hands, and dad's hands on baby's body.

  • Also capture Dad's expression as he looks down at his baby.

Parent & Baby…

  • Place parent sitting or standing so window light comes from the side.

  • Try to always angle top of baby's head towards window.

  • Hold baby in different ways: lying in arms, held face to face, up on shoulder, facing out, etc.

  • For each position, take photos from different angles - straight on, from side, from behind over parent's shoulder, etc.

Whole Family…

  • Position your family members with window light coming from the side - on a couch, or even on the floor of the nursery. Let them leave a spot for you to sit or stand.

  • Use a tripod if you have one, or simply set up your camera/phone against something sturdy, getting the whole family in the frame.

  • Activate the timer (10 seconds), and run to get into your assigned position with your family. Smile!

Details…

  • Position your family members with window light coming from the side - on a couch, or even on the floor of the nursery. Let them leave a spot for you to sit or stand.

  • Use a tripod if you have one, or simply set up your camera/phone against something sturdy, getting the whole family in the frame.

  • Activate the timer (10 seconds), and run to get into your assigned position with your family. Smile!

I truly hope this helps, I absolutely wish I can snuggle your babies and do this for you, but I know you can do it!

I would love to see your images if you attempt this at home - please email or DM them to me and if you have any questions I am here! :)

All the best and stay safe!

Julie

xoxo

 

905.699.9800

Milton, Ontario Canada

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