I know this isn’t how you imagined life would be when bringing home your baby but let’s make the most of it by capturing this time the best way you can.
I’m here to help!
Best time to photograph baby
I’ve found the best window of time to photograph a newborn is between 5-14 days of birth. Babies are sleepiest and easiest to pose at this time. That being said, I’ve photographed babies at several months old beautifully so have no fear! We can still get professional portraits when the quarantine is lifted.
As far as the best time of day is concerned, try photographing your baby in the morning rather than late in the day. Babies are typically sleepiest and happiest in the mornings and you’ll have greater luck getting good shots if your baby is sleepy and happy!
Move your baby close to a window. Lighting either makes or breaks an image. It’s the difference between horrible and fantastic so always consider your light. What makes it even better is if you have a nice soft sheer panel covering your window. This allows for soft, even light on your sweet little subject which is what you want. If you see strong shadows on your baby the light is too harsh. Get him or or her in the shade. You definitely do not want the sun beating down on your baby.
Positioning your baby
Position the top of your baby’s head toward the light source. In other words, the light should be hitting the top of his or her head first and coming down the face, not the other way around. When you “up-light” a person (in other words if the light is shooting up from the chin/bottom of nose) it looks very unnatural and unflattering. Think “flashlight under the chin during scary story time.” Scary baby is not the look you want for your little one.
Emulate the womb
This might sound tougher than it actually is. Your sweet little bundle was used to a very cozy, warm space with lots of white noise while still inside you. These two things (warmth and white noise) will usually make your baby sleepy and happy. Bring out a space heater to keep baby nice and warm while you are photographing, especially if you are going for beautiful au natural (ie naked) pictures. Bring out a sound machine as well. If you don’t have one there are white noise apps you can download on your phone that will help keep your baby sleeping or a hair dryer would work as well.
Work your angles
Moving around your baby while photographing will produce very different imagery without having to move him or her. While making sure your camera strap is securely around your neck to ensure safety for your baby try to get some pictures from above. Also, shoot from the shadowed side of baby with the light in the background. Get in close to photograph precious details of their hands, feet, eyelashes and other features you want to remember. Get full body as well as close up “headshots.” All of these are easy ways to get many different looks without having to disrupt baby’s slumber.
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Let’s get together after the quarantine!
I hope this guide has been helpful to you during this uncertain time of Covid-19. Nobody expects to be quarantined for months at a time and my heart goes out to you that you are not able to be with your family and friends during this time.
I look forward to celebrating with your family when it is safe to do so, and I can’t wait to meet your brand new baby and capture some beautiful portraits you will forever treasure.
In the meantime I can’t wait to see what you capture!
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JULIE COLLINS PHOTOGRAPHY
Julie Collins is an award-winning portrait photographer and the artist behind Julie Collins Photography. She is based in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. Her images are characterized by bold color and authentic emotion. Her work has been recognized by the worldwide photography community. Candid “in the moment” photographs touch her heart deepest and what feeds her passion for storytelling through her lens.
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