Since you’ll be hard-pressed to find an available Boston newborn photographer this spring, you might be thinking about how you can take your own newborn photos. While a cell phone or an entry-level DSLR won’t be able to perform as well as a professional camera, you can still capture all of that newborn sweetness with these simple tricks.
Turn Off the Lights!
The most important piece of advice I have for you is to turn off ALL LIGHTS in your house before you take out your camera. Mixed lighting creates unattractive color hues and is hard to edit. Instead, wait for a day when there’s ample natural light streaming into your house. If you have a darker house and need to take all photos right by the window, that’s okay!
Shake Up Your Backdrops
Even if you’re limited to shooting right by a window, you can get a variety of backdrops. In the above photos, I used the changing table. I have also been known to drag cribs closer to windows. You can even take the crib mattress right out of the crib and plop it by the window. There are even more options within the walls of your home, though. Try the master bed! I usually take photos of baby on the master bed from overhead and from the side, as seen below. You can use the bedspread that’s already on there, or grab a handmade quilt or another blanket. And if you’re having trouble settling baby for these shots, I’ve written about this topic before. You can find my tips right here.
Don’t Forget Details!
While I’m taking photos of baby by themselves, I also make sure to take some detail shots. Those tiny feet and hands are musts, and you’ll really appreciate having them captured later!
You’ll also want to make sure to get sibling shots, if applicable. There are two sibling shots I always try to take- one of siblings holding baby (obviously!), and another is of siblings doting on baby on the master bed. For the latter, I place baby on their back, and tell siblings to get on their bellies and kiss baby or tell him/her some secrets. I shoot both of these “poses” from various angles to get the most bang for my buck. If you have a wild toddler who isn’t likely to be safe while holding baby or laying next to them, you can always put baby in their crib and have big bro or sis look at them through the crib bars. It makes for an adorable shot, though it may not be the “money” shot that you’re hoping for.
I also try to snag some documentary pictures of big siblings on their own, doing whatever it is they’re doing during this time of transition. It helps tell the whole story, and will also make big bro or sis feel special when they see their solo portrait(s) :).
Finally, what should you do about editing pictures once they’ve been taken? There are several iPhone editing apps you may want to check out, like the VSCO app and the lesser-known RNI app.If you’ve taken photos on a DSLR and are interested in exploring Lightroom for editing, it’s only $10/month!
I hope that these basic tips help you capture this magical (and exhausting!) time with your little one. And just remember, the best camera is the one you’ve got ;). Happy photo-taking, friends!
Melissa Rabbitt is a Boston area newborn photographer who has been in business for over 6 years. She looks forward to capturing your little one(s) this fall!