Tuesday, April 8, 2014

My First EVER Newborn Photo Shoot!

My mom is photographer of our family.  Although it is not her profession, she loves to take pictures as her hobby.  She has taken photography classes and even had a dark room when film was still used.  After looking into newborn photography sessions while I was pregnant with my son and realizing the high prices charged, my mom and I decided that we could do our own photography session.  About one month before my son was born we started gathering props and preparing our setups.  Once my son was born we took all of his newborn photos before he was two weeks old.

Being that we did the photos at my parents home, we were able to work around my son's schedule.  We took the pictures over a period of days.  The key is to take the pictures when the baby is sleepy.  You need to be able to position the baby's hands, legs, and face; a task which can only be done with a sleepy baby!

For all of the pictures, it is important to keep the baby warm and comfy between setups.  Keeping the baby undressed, but covering him with a soft blanket keeps him warm and comfortable in between photographs or setup changes.



Place the baby on his belly on a stool.  The stool we used has sentimental value because it is my grandma's and has been in her home as long as I can remember.  I used a piece of fabric as a background and a vinyl white wood floor.  I also used a piece of molding to make the fabric look like a wall.  When taking this picture, turn the baby's face toward the camera.  I used a piece of cheesecloth on the stool, which I draped down the left side of the stool.  I also placed a hat on the baby, which was purchased on Etsy.

Doll Bed


My mom had this doll bed from when I was a child.  It is a great newborn photography prop!  Behind the doll bed I placed a string of pennants which were originally created for a baby shower.  The doll bed setup can be a little tricky to photograph because it may be wider than the backdrop.  Take some practice shots to make sure everything fits into the scene or you may need to do some editing using Photoshop to fix any problems with the backdrop or flooring.

The doll bed is also really cute for twins.  As shown in the picture above, a second bed is made out of a pillow, and each baby is facing a different direction. 



I had a large tin bucket, which I thought would be a cool prop for the photos.  I filled it with blankets then placed a lime green rug (purchased at HomeGoods) in the bucket.  I placed the baby on the rug.  Once he was settled and sleeping I tucked his legs under and placed his hand under his face.  He was content and sleeping so I quickly changed the background so that I had some variety from which to choose.  I used a small chalkboard in front of the bucket as a prop.

Bean Bag


For the bean bag setup, we cover a bean bag with a white blanket.  The white blanket also serves as the background.  The baby is positioned on his belly or side.  If on the belly, make sure that the baby's legs are tucked under the belly.  Attempt to place the hands near the face.  If the baby is on his side, pull his legs up towards his belly/chest in order to hide the umbilical cord and make the baby look comfy in the photos.

You can place something under the blanket or mold the bean bag so that the baby's head is propped up.  This setup is great for close-ups of the baby.



Take any opportunity that you have during the photo shoot to snap close-ups of the sweet sleeping baby.  You can capture facial features, hands, feet, or the whole face.