Tip - 1 : Safety First
Safety should always come first when it comes to newborn and baby photography. The list is quite extensive for tips on newborn safety, but in general - use your common sense
- Never bring in any hard or sharp objects as props
- Never place your newborn on high or unsteady surfaces
NOTE : Some of your favorite photos of newborns you see on the internet are actually composites (multiple photos merged into one)
Tip - 2 : Don’t Focus On Your Gear
Amazing newborn and baby photography results can be got with almost any camera and lens with proper lighting, creativity, and camera angles. A professional dSLR or a full frame camera, will give you better control while shooting and resulting overall image quality than a high end phone or a decent point and shoot camera.
Tip - 3 : Keep Newborn Comfortable
In newborn photography, you are generally going for two looks peacefully sleeping or awake and happy. If the baby is uncomfortable, you run the risk of him or her being fussy, potentially crying, and overall causing a difficult time for everyone involved in the shoot.
Use gloves if your hands are cold, or for tropical climates a fan / air conditioner may be necessary.
Although not essential it could be a good idea to meet older baby a couple of times before the shoot (during the time of discussions of the shoot with parents). Though for some babies which get agitated it better be avoided.
Tip - 4 : Select The Right Time-frame
A magic window for Newborn Photography is within the first 14 days of birth when Newborns are easiest to work with as they are sleeping for most of the day. They are also the most easy to adjust during this time-frame. Consider taking your baby’s photos after his or her umbilical cord has fallen off (which is typically after 5 days or so).
Do not fret if you have missed this period. It takes some careful planning and a photographer patient enough to wait out one of your baby's play/sleep cycles. Babies do tend to have a mini routine (eat, play, bathe, sleep) and one where they are generally calm, Work with your photographer to pick an appropriate time.
Tip - 5 : Basic Poses First
Being creative is a large part of being a newborn photographer, but so is making sure you get the basic, must-have shots before moving on to more advanced ones (just in case the baby gets too fussy and you need to abandon the shoot)
Tip - 6 : Get Creative Props
Creative props can be the difference between a professional photo and an amateur one. Newborn props don’t have to be expensive and you can find most of what you need at home or a local crafts stores or an Amazon / ebay.
Also discuss with the photographer about incorporating the parents’ hobbies, their culture, their favorite colors, or their overall personalities in the shoot
Tip - 7 : Use Colour Coordination
Plan your colours before hand, work with the photographer prior to the shoot, discuss matching & complementary colours, Pinks, Blues, Yellows, Greens --- generally light colours work the best
Tip - 8 : Use Window Light And Reflectors
Avoid fancy lighting like flash etc for the most part (a fill light just for background may be necessary -- but just for such exceptions). A continuous light may be more preferable than a strobe.
As much as possible maximise the use of Natural light (from a window). A reflector is a great addition that can improve the quality of the photographs
Tip - 9 : Be Flexible
Newborns have their own schedule. When they get fussy, its best to take your time and wait it out.
Sometimes you’ll need to spend 3-4 hours on a shoot with the baby crying the entire time and finally, in the last 20 minutes, you’ll get everything you need. It’s not going to be easy and be sure to plan sufficient time or the shoot.
Shoot duration will vary depending on the number of wardrobe changes and scene setups, but in general be flexible.
Professional shots are generally charged per session, per image, or per scene rather than charging per hour.
Tip - 10 : Proper Post Production
Due to inherent challenges while shooting images, you may have excellent captures that may be slightly blurred, noisy due to tough lighting conditions, unwanted objects, persons or their limbs in the frame.
Post Production is generally needed to get the final picture you would want to frame.