Tips For Newborn Photography
Hi, I'm Charla formerly known from Charla Marie Photography, I had a very successful Maternity & Newborn studio in Northern BC for eight years and moved to Penticton B.C in the summer of 2019. I have recently re-branded to Little Wildflowers Photography working in Kelowna, Penticton and the surrounding areas in British Columbia.
When I first started in newborn photography I thought it can't be that hard right? Boy was I wrong and it was the toughest genre to learn! I'm still learning but I have some valuable tips for anyone thinking of starting a newborn photography business or even some tips for all the new parents out there that want to capture some sweet photographs of their little newborn baby.
Now I bet when you think of newborn photography you think of these sweet tiny newborns that are curled up looking very sleepy and angelic. How hard could that be to pose a little newborn baby all they do is sleep, right? After my first handful of sessions, I quickly realized this was way harder than I imagined it to be. There was lots of crying, poop, and pee too! Oh yes, be aware of the bodily fluids I can't even begin to tell you how many times I have been peed on or thrown up on, probably a few hundred times by now. Sessions with new parents can be even harder as they navigate the first few days learning about this tiny creature they created and with no sleep to boot. It is very helpful if you have been around newborns or had children so your comfortable handling this tiny baby.
So how do you get it right? I can give you a few tips that can help you with your first few newborn sessions, shall we dig in? Newborns are very sensitive little humans who have no way to tell us what's wrong unless they start to cry or fuss, followed by an angry little baby and a nervous parent. I would recommend doing your first newborn session with someone you know and feel comfortable with. Now when it comes time to book your newborn session what date is the best? I always book my newborn sessions when the baby is between seven to nine days old I find that is the best time, but if you cant try and book baby in before the baby is fourteen days old that will be just fine. After the baby is fourteen days old they start to feed more and become more alert plus they can start to develop baby acne. Rest assured you can edit baby acne so don't be too worried about this as with every newborn session a baby typically has an uneven skin tone that you will need to correct in Photoshop.
Another tip is to get your studio or house very warm remember baby was just inside a warm snugly womb so you want to shoot in a nice warm climate so when we strip off their cozy sleepers they won't be cold. With a toasty warm environment you will have a much better chance at getting those sleepy posed shots you see on my website. Always be sure to keep heaters a safe distance away from baby, you must be sure to practice newborn safety at all times. This leads us to the safety issue, you knew it was coming, right? This is always the most important thing during your session and I can not stress it enough. Be professional, caring, safe and take your time you can not rush a newborn session and if you don't feel comfortable you should not photograph newborn babies.
Now that baby is booked and your ready to start you will need to get babies Mama to feed her baby so that you can start your session off with a nice full tummy, milk coma is the goal here! Prepare for lots of breaks during your session as some babies will need need to suckle or be held or simply just want their Mama. Be sure to tell parents to bring a soother or extra bottles if she is not breastfeeding and always prepare her with a prep guide on what to expect during the session. Always explain to parents that newborns sessions can take two to three hours as your baby will be determining how this session goes so its best not to book other appointments on this day so there is no rushing and you can all relax and take your time!
There were many times that I wanted to give up with newborn photography as it is a skill and not to mention time-consuming as each session can last hours and the editing can take days if a baby has purple feet, acne and or jaundice. Overall practice and more practice will be the key to a good newborn photographer along with learning your lighting! You can photograph a newborn session with natural light or studio lights, I have done both and still do both. If you are not lighting baby correctly your images will not look professional and baby's skin tones will be off! Now keep in mind the better your subject is lit the better the image and it makes editing newborns so much easier! If you are looking for a newborn mentor I do travel and can mentor you in a one on one setting with natural light or studio lights. I hope that gave you some insight into newborn photography and wish you the best of luck and if anything you learned here may it be that you should always be safe and never put a baby in danger or force baby into a position they don't want to do, always follow baby-led posing and be safe! If you have a lot of patience and are great with newborn babies this may be something you will be great at, don't get discouraged just keep trying! For mentoring please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or with this link bellow. https://www.littlewildflowersphotographybc.com/contact/
Written by Charla of Little Wildflowers Photography BC located in Penticton British Columbia