In fact, newborn photography can catch a lot of people offguard with the myriad of nuances it has…especially if you aren’t a parent. I’ve compiled a list of newborn photography tips that have helped me tremendously and I am sure will be helpful for anyone interested in learning more about newborn photography. Of course every photographer will have a different way or style of doing things but these are just some of the most essential stuff which I’ve learned through the years as a newborn photographer.
#1: Posed vs Lifestyle: Know Your Clients’ Expectations
There are two major styles of newborn photography – posed/studio & lifestyle.
At our studio we do both for different reasons. However, it is important to make sure your client knows what type you intend to do so there are no surprises during or after the session.
Posed/studio sessions – Typically must be done within the first 2 weeks of birth when the baby is very sleepy and “mold-able”. The focus in this type of session is on shots of the baby looking perfect, usually in blankets, wraps, hats, & headbands. The session can last up to 4 hours with feeding, potty breaks, and posing. Editing this type of session also takes quite a bit of time as each image needs to go through Photoshop individually to get a polished end result.
Lifestyle newborn sessions – Are a bit more casual approach to newborn photography.
There may be some posing but the intention is to capture more natural images of the baby and their home. These sessions can be done up to 6 weeks old and usually last 1-2 hours max. My favorite thing about lifestyle newborn photography is making sure that the wonder and amazement looks on the faces are captured. Newborns are incredible but so is the love in the air. Memories of this time-frame often become fuzzy for new parents and that is precisely why I feel these types of shoots are so important.
#2: Come prepared…
If you are doing the session on location, posed newborn sessions require nearly the same amount of prep as a wedding. You need quite a bit of nuances to take care of before you shoot and it is easy to forget something so I make sure to pack the night before and use a checklist so I don’t forget anything (I’m a mom with a very limited memory). To make your life a bit easier, I’ve made a print ready checklist you can use which is included in the newborn photography toolkit – one of the FREE limited time bonuses included in our online Newborn Photography Workshop.
Memories of this time-frame often become fuzzy for new parents and that is precisely why I feel these types of shoots are so important.
My prep list inclcludes packing the following:
- Camera and backup camera
- Formatted memory cards
- a few loud and funny kid toys (if there is a toddler that will be joining the session)
- Newborn posing beanbag
- Backdrop stand and clamps
- Space heater
Loud enough music to disguise the startling sound of my shutter (usually just my phone and small speakers – some photographers prefer white noise).
Since the sessions can be up to 4 hours I make sure to eat a lot before I go. Also, because it will be very warm with the space heater blaring, I make sure to wear cool & comfortable clothing. Some photographers bring a soft mat for kneeling comfort but I’ve found using one of your blankets work just as well.