You make the memories. We make the photographs.

Taking Your Own Newborn Photos

Apr 01, 2020

A friend of mine posted an instagram story with a list of things she'd been considering attempting while isolated due to Covid-19. Among these was taking newborn photos of her brand new daughter. I immediately responded to this, telling her to absolutely attempt it! She shouldn't lose those precious photos to this virus. As I message back and forth with her, offering advice and even sending along some example photos of my own baby it occurred to me that she is not the only one in this boat. Many of you have likely had birth and recovery plans disrupted by the current state of the world, and to start off I just want to say I feel so much heartbreak for you. For some those plans may have included photography sessions that are no longer possible. It's for you that I am writing this blog post.

To start with, take a deep breath. Newborn photos do not have to be some big intimidating thing. You got this mama and daddy. If you have a real camera, great! But with some good lighting you can get pretty amazing photos on your phone too, so if you're using that you'll be just fine too. Now then, if you follow me you know that I don't take super elaborate newborn photos with a ton of props and poses and things, so today I'll be walking you through some simple photos that will beautifully capture your precious little one. If you were planning on a specific theme or using some props don't worry I'll have a suggestion for you at the end for those too!

Step One: Make sure baby has been fed and is in a clean diaper. Have supplies on hand for spit up, diapers, and clothing changes if necessary (you know basic baby stuff lol). Some people really like to have babies sleeping in newborn photos and if you want to try for that go ahead. My boys have always resisted sleeping without being held at the beginning so you'll notice A is definitely awake in the examples I share lol.

Step Two: Set up your space. I recommend simplifying as much as possible. If it's warm enough to take baby outside, lay a blanket out in an area with open shade and take photos there. If it's too cool out then lay a blanket (or a stack of blankets) in front of the best window in your house. Find something large and white to prop up opposite the window to even out the light as much as possible. This was my set up back in December:

(Yes, that's my tree skirt lol)

Step Three: Take lots of angles and framing to find what you like best. Personally I'm partial to straight on from above, but I like to get different framing of this angle:

Step Four: Focus on the details. This is something I like to do with all milestone sessions, focus in on those tiny hands and feet and bellies and what have you. They change so fast and so do these little details!

Step Five: Put it in black and white! Let's say you're not happy with your lighting (our even if you are!) Put your photos in black and white and play with them that way. It can erase a lot of lighting and white balance oopsies (huge industry secret for y'all lol)

Step Six: Get big brother/sister involved! If Baby isn't your first than I definitely recommend getting the older siblings in some photos too. Don't worry, you don't have to let a big little hold Baby if you're not ready. Just have them lay down on the same blanket you've used for the rest of the photos:

(These were clearly our Christmas photos so the blanket and outfits are different but I did take them as the same time as the other.)

Step Seven: And finally get creative! Maybe have your partner hold Baby and take closeups of Baby in their arms. Take turns snuggling Baby close to you. Move the photo session to Baby's room and get some in their new little environment. OR if you have props and things you'd like to include you can do what I like to call a baby flatlay:

(I did this with A for his four months not his 10 weeks so age jump lol)

Sending love to anyone who's having a baby at this time. I hope this blog post helps you find a little bit of normalcy. If you use it to take some photos of your own I'd love to see them! You can tag me on instagram as @ltvisualsphotography or find me on facebook as LT Visuals Photography! Hugs and elbow bumps to all!

Posted in Lifestyle on Apr 01, 2020