The newborn baby photography age is technically between 1 – 10 days, but more often than not families need time with their new baby before considering having professional photographs taken.
Recently I photographed a 3 week old baby boy in Nunawading in the Eastern Suburbs of Melbourne and I thought I would share some tips about photographing older babies using natural light in the family home. Taking them yourself is never quite the same as hiring a professional, who does this day in and day out because they have many tips and new ideas because it’s their job! They are the professional photographers. But when it comes to educating others, I’m always happy to offer tips and enjoy doing this as I have a teaching background.
1. Feed baby just before the photography session – he/she will be much happier and settled
2. Have the home warm
3. Lay out the new baby’s outfits before the photography session to save time
4. Have some favourite sound making or light up toys handy if the baby is older than 2 months
5. If the baby is bottle fed, have the milk ready so if he or she becomes unsettled a ‘top up’ is on hand
Image: Look for natural poses that the baby falls into, these often make for cute shots. Make sure to photograph a vertical and horizontal image too.
Baby Photography Set Up
1. Ask the clients what they are hoping for from their photography session.
2. View the clothing options or simply use wraps to cover the baby.
3. Walk around the home and look at the light. Strong sunlight is not preferred even though it is bright, look for soft even lighting coming through a window.
4. Place your baby bean bag near the window and carefully watch the shadows. I hold my hand where the baby will lie and consider this. If you don’t have a baby posing bean bag, try using a couch or even the master bed.
(The baby bean bag that I use is from King Kahuna Bean Bags in Melbourne – its’ fantastic)
5. Next layer the rugs, keeping in mind an order to photograph the baby in each set of clothes or wraps.
6. Position any props in the window light e.g. baskets
7. In the cooler months, you might like to warm the beanbag slightly with a heat bag, check this is not too warm when you remove it from the beanbag before placing the baby down (you don’t want to hurt them if it’s too hot)
Image: By using a baby posing beanbag the beans can be moved to create a slope, leaving the baby on an angle, creating a more dynamic composition.
I have this awesome white bowl which is fabulous to photograph babies from any age. I fill it with soft fluffy blankets and wrap the baby as required.
Here are some more images from this Nunawading baby photography session.
Remember to photograph the babies’ feet and hands too.
I hope this information has been helpful and I will continue to post further ideas for photographers about photographing babies using natural light soon.