The other weekend I had the pleasure in photographing this little cutie, baby Oscar along with his family.
Here are 5 tips in photographing babies:
- Posed or Lifestyle – Know your clients
Its important to know what style of photos your clients expectations are when it comes to newborns, are they expecting posed sleepy babies with blankets & baskets and outfits or are they expecting more lifestyle/casual shots with members of the family with a few posed family shots. This is something to consider and outline at the beginning of a booking so no surprises happen on the day, a prep sheet of tips can be useful to give your clients.
2. Organisation: Getting everything ready before the shoot
Being prepared and organised before a shoot is the best way to feel stress free and enables no last minute packing/charging. The night before I would advice you have everything ready and make yourself a list to be able to tick off what you’ve done/packed. Some examples I might list are:
- Camera (back up camera)
- Charged battery (spare batteries)
- Formatted memory cards
- A Lens buddy
- backdrop/white sheet/black sheet
- A noisy toy for capturing attention
- Props: a hammock, baby outfits, baby wraps, teddy, baskets…
3. Encouraging the parents to pose
A newborn and his/her mother offers powerful unconditional love that is raw material awaiting to be captured. Encouraging the parents to be in the shot can be difficult as the last thing they want to do is get camera ready when they feel sleep deprived or insecure on body changes, in particular mothers. However, they will treasure the memories and photos forever and never look back if you encourage even just a few shots holding the newborn baby and simple easy poses showcasing their unique bond you will get great results.
4. Brothers & Sisters
When the newborn has older siblings chances are the parents would love some photos of them together. This can seem like a daunting task especially if there’s more than one/two siblings as you suddenly will have to think in ‘group shot’ mode, creating the best angles and positions sometimes in a confined space in their house. My advice would be to get the sibling(s) photos out the way first because if they happen to be toddlers then there attention span won’t be as long as say a teenagers, you want them to be fresh, lively and curious from when you first arrive and then they can go play while you do the newborn shots. By the time you’ve done the siblings sometimes come back for more and want to be involved again so there’s potential for lifestyle shots here. If they don’t comply then you might want to use tactics of ice cream or treats- bribery, as long as the parents are happy with that!
5 . Be flexible and don’t give up!
I think patience is key with newborn shoots, they don’t always go to your hoped plan. I’ve had babies just cry and cry and be forever restless and unsettled in whatever position you do, or I’ve had babies just suddenly fall asleep when unscheduled to (from there normal routine) and so you have to adapt to the situation you are in and work round what you can/can’t do. Examples would be to get more lifestyle poses of mum or dad rocking the baby to sleep or perhaps to stop them crying. Or go in close for detail shots of hands, ears etc. when the baby is restless or crying. Being open and flexible is the best you can do sometimes, and it might end up giving you the best shot of the session, you just never know!
Relax have fun and go with the flow!