You just brought your little bundle of joy home and would like to show them off to friends and family, but not everyone lives close enough to visit. The perfect solution is having newborn photos taken so you can share them on social media and even send some to your loved ones, but how do you capture those precious day-to-day moments at home? Don’t worry, there are many tips and tricks for taking your own newborn photos (that are simple enough to pull off even in your sleep-deprived state).
Here are my top tips for taking photos of your own baby:
The most important thing, always, is the safety of your baby! Make sure you do not take the photos when you are alone with your infant. Always have someone else with the little one so if you need to go grab the stuffy you want to include in the photo, there is someone there to put their hand on the baby while they rest on the pillow.
Never allow a child that is too young to hold the baby just to get a sibling photo. There are many ways to pose two (or more) children together that don’t involve holding the baby. Never force a baby into a position that is not comfortable for them.
You are very busy after bringing the baby home and with nights spent pacing the floor and days spent napping, time can quickly become an abstract concept. However, do not let it go too long before you take photos of your newborn as you still want them to be “new.”
Babies under the age of two weeks are easiest to pose and still have the benefit of that new baby “sleepiness” that allows you to get those adorable poses like their hands under their chin as they doze.
This one is crucial – keep your little one warm during the photos. If you usually keep your home cool, it is time to turn up the heat. Make sure your home is set at 21C or warmer if you plan to take photos of the baby in a diaper or without clothing on. The last thing you want is every photo to involve a crying infant because they are too cold!
Lighting plays an important role in any photos, and can be especially crucial in newborn photography. The best lighting is diffused and comes from a window on a sunny day. You can easily diffuse light using a sheer curtain, bed sheet or shower curtain. The best time for lighting like this is the morning, preferably before 10am.
Part of what you are paying for with a professional photographer is the array of props they bring with them, but these extras are not strictly necessary. All you really need to take gorgeous newborn baby photos is your beautiful bundle of joy and a blanket of some sort. Swaddling them in a blanket can help give them a sense of security and keep them in a deeper sleep so you have a bit longer to get the shot.
One major benefit of taking your own newborn photos is that you don’t have to schedule a certain time and pray your little one is going to be content during that time. You can wait for a time that your little one is happy and take them then. If they start to fuss, try again later.
Capturing the early days of your little one’s life is important. Whether you do this in posed photos or just snap the odd smartphone photo here and there, you will look back on this time fondly (once sleep becomes a regular part of your routine again, that is).
Stacie is the associate editor of Calgary’s Child Magazine and mother of a delightful daughter and silly son. Her days are filled with playing in parks, creating crafts and keeping up with the chaos. She thoroughly enjoys supporting, connecting and informing parents through interesting stories like this one.
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