I have put together some of my favorite tips for photographing your newborn in the hospital if you do not have a professional photographer available.
Please keep safety in mind when photographing your newborn. Please don’t leave them unattended on surfaces they could roll off of or attempt to pose your newborn in fancy poses you see some professional photographers offer. Sometimes what you see is not as it truly appeared and could have been a composite or two images.
Use all of the available natural light you can by opening the blinds and turning off any artificial light in the room.
It’s best to choose a time of day when the sun is overhead so the lighting is not too harsh. If you have a cloudy day to work with choose a time when you have the most light available. The clouds will act as a diffuser and soften the light.
Clothing and Wraps
Photograph on white or really light colors with a simple wrap or clothing This will help avoid color casts and will give your images a light, clean feel.
Position the baby close to the light source so the light is falling down or side lighting their face and not lighting up their nose. You’ll know you have a good position when the nostrils aren’t bright red. There may be a slight shadow under their nose.
Composition and Angles
Composition is very important and can make or break your shot. Imagine the image is broken up into thirds both horizontally and vertically. Position the important parts of the image along those lines or where the lines meet. In the image above you can see the baby’s toes are position along the bottom, horizontal line.
Shooting from various angles are a great way to get a variety of shots from one pose. The main thing to keep in mind for any shot is not to angle your camera so you’re shooting up the baby’s nose. Position your camera above them so no nostrils or only part of their nostrils are showing. You can see, in the image above, the baby’s body is angled slightly down towards mom while the head is elevated some. This is a great way to capture images when parents are holding baby.
Focusing and Taking Your Shot
When you’re ready to take your shot, steady yourself, focus on the part of the image you want sharp (this is usually the eyes when the baby’s face is visible.) Hold your breath to help keep your hands steady as you snap your shot. Snap 2 or 3 shots of the same image to ensure you get a sharp one.
Shots to Capture
All the tiny, fresh features of your new baby will change so fast. You’re going to want to remember their wrinkly toes, tiny ears and fingers and the cord clamp that will soon fall off.
How to get variety out of each pose:
Laura Cardan is a professional newborn and family photographer based out of Birmingham, Alabama. Laura offers Maternity, Fresh 48, In-Home Newborn, Studio Newborn, Children and Family photography.