You may have so many questions about your newborn photography shoot, so below I have written my own guide to newborn photography.
At what age should newborn photos be taken?
The best time for newborn photos is between seven and 14 days after birth. The first few days are hard, you’re just meeting each other and getting use to life with a newborn baby. And you may well be very tired!
The younger the baby, the more naturally they pose like they are still in the womb. That’s how you get those curly, womb-like newborn poses.
Now, that being said, if you have missed this stage, don’t worry. Anytime is literally the perfect time for newborn photos. But ideally before your baby is six weeks new.
My recommendation is to book your newborn photo session in advance based on your due date, then adjust as needed. They’re only this little once, so getting them as close to the 7-10 days as possible ensures you capture them before they grow too much! And I will endeavour to be flexible around you and your needs.
What safety precautions should be taken with newborn photoshoots?
Currently there are no safety regulations in place for the newborn photography industry which I think is pretty crazy.
Literally, anyone who owns a camera can begin photographing newborns with no training or knowledge of the special needs of infants. What? I hear you cry! I know, it’s crazy!
Baby safety should always be the number one priority when selecting a photographer. Literally, number one. Babies can startle and move easily so it’s very important to be prepared to anticipate and always be close enough to put your hand on the baby.
Some things a trained newborn photographer will consider are room temperature, baby’s temperature, and wellbeing, or only offering baby-guided posing and posing safely.
As a specialist newborn photographer in Shrewsbury, I have trained with Melanie East who I believe is the best, and I have created my own natural style always putting your newborns safety first.
Should newborn portraits be done in the hospital?
Nope, never – definitely not.
Ok, that might be a bit harsh. Here’s the deal, in the hospital no one is comfortable, it’s simply not home for you or your baby.
You’ve just been through a trauma, either through vaginal delivery or a c-section. And your baby has, frankly, only have just entered this bright and very noisy world where they are expected to eat and breathe and all sorts of other crazy new things.
From a technical perspective, hospital lighting is very harsh and not designed to make baby and mama look their best. You’re probably bloated and sore and trying to figure out how to feed your baby.
And a nurse is waking you (or both of you) up every two hours. Now does that sound like a recipe for amazing images that you want to cherish forever? Nope, take your time at the hospital to meet and simply be with the new love of your life.
Also, they don’t do family portraits. This means you won’t be in the images and frankly, that makes me sad. You’ll look back and want to see the wonder you feel for this tiny little creature that just changed your life. Some of my client’s favourite images have turned out to be the lovely parent shots.
Do you use newborn photo props?
Personally, I love to keep things simple. Just you. Your baby. Your partner. Siblings.
Nothing else, I have a firm belief that simple is always better. Too much stuff distracts from your newborn which is what you ultimately care about.
When you look back on these images in 20 years, you will care that they have that same smile or the same little freckle. You will care how little their fingers were not the props.
That’s why I believe in clean, simple backgrounds that are timeless.
Ok so now that my philosophy is out of the way, let’s chat logistics.
As an expert in newborn photography, I use a newborn table set up, which is a specialised soft place to pose the baby. I also often use a flokai rug for my sibling shots, and I have various beautiful blankets for wrapping in exquisite fabrics and finally a neutral backdrop for parent shots.
What are good newborn photo poses?
Every newborn is different. You’ve heard it a million times every pregnancy is different and if you’ve had more than one you totally understand what that means.
An expert in newborn photographer will work with the baby, NEVER forcing a pose.
The baby will naturally want to move in a specific way. An expert understands that and will safely pose a newborn in a way that’s natural to them.
Is it easier to take newborn photos at home or at a photo studio?
I sometimes get asked this question. But if you’ve ever been with a mum who has literally only been home from the hospital for a few days you know!
I do offer both experiences but if having a newborn photoshoot at home consider your space. Is it light and airy, and not too cluttered. And are you happy being in over 50per cent of the photos?
Or would you prefer to go to a safe space nearby, with the right lighting, where you can rest, have a hot drink and biscuit, and enjoy one of the first experiences with your baby in restful calmness?
What is the best time to take newborn photos?
Morning. At about 10.30 am. Hopefully the magical hour for newborns. They are sleepiest in the morning. And as an added bonus it gives you time to get up and shower (a total luxury) before your session!
I avoid late afternoons and early evening as babies wind tends to affect them more at this time of day. The colic hours!!
Should mums and dads be in newborn photos?
Yes, yes, yes mum, dad, and siblings should get in the photo.
We know you might not feel your best. Heck, you might not even be cleared to drive yet. But you will never regret having those memories. And you can’t get them back. Don’t regret it. Get in the picture.
Again, this is why you go to a newborn photography expert. They know all the perfect angles and posing to make sure you look amazing, even if you are not feeling the best. These images really highlight your connection with your partner and your newborn! I also find ways to include you in the photos if you aren’t keen…
What are the best outfits for new mums to wear to their newborn photo shoot?
Your body just grew a human and most of us don’t bounce back in a day. So, don’t try.
Honestly, don’t try to get back into your pre-maternity jeans. Just don’t. Wear your maternity jeans, they will look amazing because you will simply be glowing.
And since you are going to an expert, they will know all the most amazing angles for a new mum. For example, one of my favorite poses is mum draped around dad or a close crop of you snuggling your new love.
Don’t wear black, unless you have a lot of very black hair, it will look harsh. Wear thick fabrics with structure and think about lots of texture. We also recommend soft neutral colors; it lets your baby be the star.
How long should a newborn photoshoot take?
Simple answer 2 to 3 hours. (Unless they are really unsettled) and then I work around you and the baby.
The first hour should be images of just your baby
This is when the energy is low and it’s nice and calm.
They’ll be sleepy and sleep most of the session. When working with a professional newborn photographer they will have a specific workflow.
This allows them to wrap the baby nice and tight, which reminds the baby of being in the womb. Then they’ll slowly unwrap the baby for additional poses. This ensures the experience isn’t jarring for the newborn.
Think of it like this. Do you like being woken up to someone ripping the covers off you? Um, no. Neither does a newborn!
The second hour should be for the family.
This is when older siblings should be invited and we all know what happens when a toddler is involved, in literally anything.
So, when the energy is high, the newborn is in your (or your partners’) arms, which means they are snuggled in and very content to go back to sleep no matter how loud the toddler is!
Should I reschedule my newborn photo shoot if my baby is fussy?
Don’t put off your newborn photos because your baby is fussy!
We are trained professionals and will know the best ways to sooth a cranky baby.
Literally 99 per cent of the time if the baby is well-fed, warm, and swaddled they feel comfortable so there is nothing to worry about! I will capture amazing images for you, that’s why you chose a professional!
There is so much to think about when you are expecting a baby.
Everyone has an opinion (and they are oh so willing to share)! Choosing how you are going to remember your baby’s first few days is a really big decision.
So, let me boil it down – choose an expert, love their look and book before you deliver!