Taking your own newborn photos because of the COVID pandemic is probably something that most new parents have at least considered. It is such an exciting time bringing your new baby home but the pandemic is causing stress. And while your baby is so new you will want to capture all the little details.
In Texas we are still able to photograph newborns at home following all of the required safety procedures, and I no-longer pose or even touch the newborn. It takes a little more direction – but I leave all of that to Mum and Dad. However, if you are not comfortable having someone in your home I also offer outdoor newborn sessions, or you can follow my tips below to help capture the details of your babies first few weeks yourself.
When to take the photos
Of course you will be taking photos from the first few minutes your baby was born, but when you are planning an official photoshoot. I would suggest you do this around 5-12 days after baby has been born. If it is later than this don’t stress, it might just mean a little more settling.
The best time of day is usually around 11am because that is when your house is brightest. Ideally take the photos in a bright room that has filtered light if possible.
And try to feed baby before the shoot, so they are nice and sleepy. I love photos of baby asleep and awake but sometimes it is easier to start when they are asleep.
Where to take the photos
I would suggest taking the photos in a well lit room. My favourite place is on the master bed with everyone getting in close. It is also great if you are photographing the newborn with a sibling for safety, as you can place them both in the middle of the bed. Always make sure the sibling is comfortable, and when they have had enough move on, you can always come back to them later or another day. If you are taking photos on the bed plain bedding works best as a background so you can really see the baby and the details.
Don’t be afraid to move around your home though. As my photographs show I love lifestyle shots, so you can use bedroom, nursery, living room, even kitchen. Just make sure the rooms are slightly warmer than usual to keep baby sleepy and comfortable.
Props and clothing
I tend not to take or use props in my photography, however, if you have something that means something to you, or your family by all means include it in the photos. For example a blanket or a toy is lovely to capture with the baby, and also shows how small the baby is.
Clothing for baby can be whatever you like, I usually suggest a plain vest or babygrow that is quite fitted so you can see the size / shape of the baby. For everyone else plain colours work best so when you are shooting the details nothing is distracting in the background.
Note on Safety
I know that you see photos of babies in strange positions, I would never suggest moving them into a position that looks uncomfortable, and any pose you have to force or manipulate should not be attempted.
When it comes to pets, I would also never lay a baby on or next to a pet. Instead put the baby on your knee and have the pet next to you.
Tips for taking your own newborn photos
- Shoot in good filtered light if possible
- Don’t take the photo up the babies nose
- Capture all the little details – fingers, toes, head of hair, lips.
- Get in the photos, set up a little tripod and timer and all get in the photos!
Hope that these tips have helped you consider taking your own newborn photos, and I would love to see what you capture. Also, if you have any questions I am always happy to help. If your baby hasn’t arrived yet and you are interested in a maternity session please see blog below on what to expect… Socially distanced maternity session. Also, would love to connect on social media, you can find me at Claire Thom Photography.