Five Tips To Take Great Photographs Of New Born Babies
The new-born days are so precious, yet so fleeting. As photographers, I am sure we can appreciate how quickly these days go by and how important it is to capture all of the sweet details of new babies, while they are still little. Here are some tips to help you capture those precious moments of a new born baby.
Being around a new born baby is one of the best feelings on earth. As a new born baby photographer, chances of you being tempted to make the sweet little bundle of joy pose in different ways to capture the precious and fleeting moments of its first days on earth is high. However, baby safety should be your first priority while shooting new born babies. Work with minimal equipment and props so they do not become a distraction or safety hazard. Prepare and plan the shoot before so you can focus on your work and the baby and not worry about putting unwanted things away. Remember, baby reflexes are quick, and in an instant they can roll or lunge. Don’t take chances; be safe!
Some other points to remember are use clean and sterilized (wherever possible) props when shooting. Ensure that you avoid objects with sharp or pointy edges. Use baby safe materials as props like soft cotton cloth instead of synthetic materials etc. so that the baby is comfortable. Always take consent of the baby’s parents when using any prop.
Choosing when to shoot is another important aspect of photographing babies. New born babies sleep for most parts of the day. That means, you will get a short window between a baby’s sleep schedules to shoot. So plan your shot ahead in time and consider discussing with the baby’s parents in advance about the baby’s sleep schedule. Keep on the look-out for those times when the baby seems most settled and content. A baby’s mood depends on how much sleep the baby has had. A good sleep ensures a great mood.
Similarly, a well fed baby will readily give you a happy pose than one who is hungry. Make sure the baby has been fed before the shoot begins. If the baby is hungry during the shoot, it will be hard for you to get a cute cuddly pose.
Babies are usually less active between breakfast and lunch times and more during the afternoon or in the evening. So the best time to get a steady shot is usually in the morning.
The first thing to remember is that the baby’s skin and the eyes are very sensitive. So keep away from using a direct flash at any cost. If you need to use a flash, use it at a 45 degree angle away from the baby and definitely use a diffuser to soften the light. Another great option is to explore using natural light from windows and doors or even outdoors in a park or a garden.
Who doesn’t love tiny baby toes, fingers, lips that are so perfect and their soft glowing skin? There is nothing like the beauty of images capturing that incredible tiny scale of when a baby was born. With detail images, one can see clearly just how small the new born baby was. Try to shoot details of the baby’s body parts like the little upturned nose, her rosebud lips, his crinkly little chin, those tiny toes and fingers.
Shoot the baby from as close as possible with a wide aperture to get short DoF.
5. Type of images:
A baby’s first few days on earth are very special to not just the parents but also the entire family. To capture this precious time, you can shoot two broad types of images.
The first type of shoot you can choose is a studio shot. While one can choose a photo studio to get this type of image, it is also common to stage a shoot in the baby’s home as well. The focus in this type of shoot is on the baby amidst a staged environment using various props. They could be stand-alone shots using a basic backdrop or elaborate thematic ones with choreographed backgrounds.
The second type of shoot you can do is to capture a baby in its natural surroundings. In this type of shoot, you will need to include the baby’s parents, siblings, surroundings, family treasures etc. The main aim for these shoots is to capture the early bonding moments between a family member and the baby while a daily routine is being developed. These shots are great to create inclusive family memories for posterity.
In summary, photographing a new-born can be challenging but also very rewarding. I hope that these tips will help you toward your goal of making great new-born photographs. So what are you waiting for?
About the author:
Udayan Sankar Pal is an internationally acclaimed photographer who aces on building stories through his photographs. A committed photographer for over 20 years, he is also the founder of the world’s only Archive of Photography Exhibitions.