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Monday, July 28, 2014

Preparing for a Newborn Photo Shoot

When a new mom finds out she's expecting, she starts preparing for the baby by planning and organizing a nursery.  When a new aunt finds out she's expecting a niece or nephew, she starts preparing for the baby by planning and organizing a photo shoot.  Or maybe that's just me! 

The only newborns I've ever photographed have been my niece and nephew, so since I don't have a lot of experience with it, I started researching.  Here is a summary of the basics I learned:

  • 7-14 days old is optimal - you want them sleepy and position-able
  • It's best to go to the newborn's home
  • The temperature should be nice and warm (you can use space heaters or heating pads, just don't let either have contact with the baby's skin)
  • Don't use a flash - it can trigger a baby's startle reflex and upset them
  • Find natural light in the baby's home and just experiment with what works best
  • You're on the baby's time schedule - if he or she needs to eat or be swaddled or changed in between takes, that is the first priority
Then comes the fun part - start collecting backdrops, props and accessories.  For the backdrops - simple black and white.  I gathered a white presentation board, black fabric and a vinyl square that looks like old wood flooring that I found on Etsy by PeekPrints which is really cool!  

A behind the scenes look at the vinyl:

For background accessories - find chunky, textured items - baskets, blankets and hats should all have great texture.  I found two different chunky woven baskets and several blankets, some really soft and some really textured.  I used the Fabric Strip Backdrop that I made for the baby shower to create a fabric bed and it turned out very successful.

fabric strip prop newborn photo shoot, fabric strip nest for baby photo shoot

For props - I found an adorable hat on Etsy at SparkleBabyCouture and I was very impressed with this shop.  Hats for boys, hats and headbands for girls.

My nephew's nursery theme was teddy bears, so he had received several bears as gifts.  We took an adorable shot of him surrounded by bears. 

newborn photo shoot props
I also found vintage blocks to spell his name, at an antique store.
antique blocks, blocks in newborn photo
Do you have any other tips for a successful newborn photo shoot? 

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