Photography Tutorial: How to Photograph Newborns

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Photographing newborn babies offers some interesting challenges for any photographer. Newborns tend to sleep a lot, they are unable to sit up on their own, hold their heads up, change their position or follow instructions. Knowing what a baby can or cannot do will help plan your shoot to maximize the newborn's cooperativeness. Taking captivating pictures of babies becomes easier with planning and practice.

Things You'll Need

  • Camera
  • Tripod (optional)
  • Light source (remote flash, studio lights or natural light)
  • Pillows
  • Baby Blankets
  • Baby rattles or toys
  • Create a setting. Using a bed or the floor, position the pillows and cover them with a baby blanket, sheet or comforter. Take care to use neutral colors that won't create a color cast from the strobes on the newborn. White or black are safe choices for background and blanket color.

  • Position the baby on his or her stomach so the shoulders are reach the edge of the pillow closest to the photographer.

  • Position the photographer directly in front of the baby. Have a parent or other sibling stand or kneel, just behind one of your shoulders.

  • Using a baby rattle, toy or just the parent's voice, create a distraction to get the baby's attention. Some babies will turn toward the noise and raise his or her head.

  • Begin photographing as soon as the baby starts to show some interest in the noise or actions created by the parent or sibling. If the baby does raise his or her head, it will only be for a moment.

  • Change the baby's pose and start again. Have the parent hold the baby in their lap, over their shoulder or face-up in their arms.

Tips & Warnings

  • If using studio lights or external flash, use a light-modifier to soften the light, such as a softbox, light panel or umbrella.
  • Position the light source at a 45 degree angle from the baby's face, at a height greater than the baby's position.

References

  • Photo Credit baby image by Pavel Losevsky from Fotolia.com
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