Hi everyone! My name is Jenn and I blog over at Pdx Momma about being a working momma, my 2.5 year old son, all things Portland, and my eternal struggle to lose weight and be healthy. I am also a professional photographer (photo blog). With Censie out having her new baby girl I thought that giving some tips for capturing great images of your newborn would be perfect!
When I had my son one of my biggest regrets was not having great photos with the first few weeks. Any mother will tell you how much they change in the first month. It's mind boggling actually. For my clients I strongly advise that we get scheduled within 10 days of the birth whenever possible. This is to help ensure a sleepy curled up baby as well as capturing that newborn face, hands, and feet that are just not the same even 30 days later.
If you cannot afford a newborn photographer you can get some great shots yourself and below are some tips and tricks to do just that whether you are shooting with an iphone, a point and shoot, or a DSLR! - Pick a spot in your home with excellent natural light. You want to avoid using a flash whenever possible. I know... some houses are just terrible for light, but even if you have to be RIGHT NEXT TO a window then so be it. Natural light is your friend (this is true for all photography). - Remove any distractions from the area if possible. This means toys, bags, bottles...etc. You want to focus on the wee one and not your pump in the back ground (RAISES HAND... GUILTY!) - Keep it simple. Naked babies (keep the diaper on!) photograph the best. Simple white onesie's are also a good choice. There is plenty of time to get snapshots with that "Daddy's little slugger" onesie, try and focus entirely on the baby for newborn shots. Keep swaddle blankets on hand if he/she gets chilly or fussy.
- Pick a simple light blanket/fabric to use as your background. You can use your bed (if the light is good in your room). Just like the tips above, simple is key to beautiful newborn images. If you choose a fleece or knit fabric you will not have to worry about pesky wrinkles either!
- Focus on the details. Belly buttons, hand, feet, hair...
- Let big brother/big sister in on the action. Just remember... safety first! Have a helper with this one. Trying to make sure a toddler doesn't scratch, drop, or squeeze too hard is difficult to do behind the camera.
- Get in on the action. I know you feel gross, fat, and you haven't showered in days. Trust me on this, you'll appreciate them later. Tell the person behind the camera to focus on the baby, use creative angles, and when all else fails... it's a good reason to take a shower and put yourself together a bit?? Abide by the same technique above though. White or black camisoles work best. Nothing distracting from the adorable little one. Also, converting to Black and White is also a great tip... flatters almost everyone! You can do some great simple edits using PicMonkey such as black and white conversions.
As a pro I cannot end this without a plug for professional services. If you can afford a professional... do it. If not then maybe you have a friend who just loves photography and you could ask for some (free) help?
Thanks for having me Censie! I'd love to help and answer any questions you and your readers may have. I can be reached at jenn(at)pdxmomma.com Happy shooting!