Don’t you just love those adorable images of infants posed in baskets, buckets and other containers that often reflect the parent’s occupations and hobbies! When I had children (it seems like a hundred years ago!!), formal newborn pictures were certainly not on my radar. I am fortunate to have very many pictures at all. I wish so much that I knew things then, that I know now. Even when I just started taking pictures of the grandchildren, I had no idea of some things that would have made taking their infant pictures easier. Life is certainly filled with learning and doing new things.
Here are a few things that I have learned in the last few years. One very important tip is that there is actually a suggested age in order to get those sweet images you see. The perfect age of infants to get beautiful newborn images is between 5-12 days old. When little ones are that tiny, they spend a lot of time sleeping and you are able to curl them up into very sweet poses just like when they were in the womb. After this, you might not be as successful posing and they are awake more and may become unhappy with all the “extra attention”! This requires you to book a session right after birth, or even before, if you know the exact day your baby is going to be born. Even if baby doesn’t cooperate with the date, at least your photographer knows about when to plan the shoot and can hold times before and after your due date. This is such a short window of time to take those special portraits and it is easy to miss it!
I like to do sessions in my home if possible, but can travel to yours as well. Typically, newborn sessions last anywhere from 2-4 hours. This might include portraits of the baby on his/her own and then with each parent, and then the whole family together. This may seem like a long time, but a good part of that time will be spent feeding and comforting the baby in order to get him/her as sleepy and contented as possible for the portraits.
Most newborn portraits are done naked or with just a diaper to capture the tinyness of being a newborn. Also, the clothing should be easy to put on and take off. If you prefer to have your baby clothed in pictures, be sure that their clothing fits them well and not too big. Big clothes do not look good on babies, or anyone else, for that matter.
Some good things to have handy at the newborn shoot are pacifiers, a change of clothing for yourself and your baby. With babies, you hardly ever know what will happen! You also should bring extra diapers, wipes, formula and bottles, and any special toys or blankets or props that you would like to be in the images.
I prefer to pose babies as natural as possible. There are safety issues with the way some photographers pose babies with their necks and props falling over. I love, love the photos of a baby in a basket sleeping soundly or in a pile of blankets. I often take suggestions from parents as well. Many parents are pretty savy with Pinterest and all and have some great ideas for the pictures of their baby.
The images of a baby curled up on his belly with his hands tucked under the side of his head and his/her feet tucked under his/her little bumm are the cutest. Most babies love to be in that pose, as it resembles the position many of them are in the womb.
Perhaps you are expecting your first/second—and beyond and you would love to have tangible, beautiful portraits of the newest member of your family. You can contact me for a free consultation in which we can talk about a date(s) to put on my calendar for a newborn shoot.
Jan Feehan Images at email@example.com