Wednesday, August 3, 2011

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday - DIY Newborn Pictures

I'm not even going to pretend this is a wordless thing today. BUT I am posting pictures (but not of my own babies), because I have lots of emails asking about how I take such cute pictures.
So I will tell you.

Taking a newborn's picture is easier than taking almost anyone else's, because for the most part a newborn is still-life photography.
Here are the things you need:

Sunshine. Real sunshine, not a flash, not an overhead light. Get yourself to a window or a shady yard.  In my humble opinion, the best light to photograph a newborn in is bright sunshine, coming in through a white curtain. That makes everything bright, and clear and soft.

a Camera. I know that you have a digital camera. It doesn't have to have interchangeable lens. It doesn't even have to be a real camera, lots of phones have perfectly acceptable cameras built in. In fact, if you're awesome you can use a real camera with real film. I bet you have one of those stashed away in a closet somewhere.

a White Sheet.  Babies are pretty freaking cute. They are perfect. They are plenty to look at. You don't need cute clothes, or a colorful blanket or a big bow. (Although those do make for some cute pictures), but the easiest way to photograph a baby is to place her on your bed with fresh white sheets.
Or in a basket with fresh white sheets.

Newborn. If you're in the market, try to find a cute one.

So, I'm also going to eat crow (a bit) because I definitely took this baby's picture in the nudie, which I have previously said I dislike, but um... this baby is freaking adorable.
I didn't need some diaper all up in my way. (Plus she was wearing a diaper for most of the pictures, but didn't just for the few of her whole body.)

So when you take a baby's picture, and you have her on a white sheet, in a room full of sunshine your work is already almost done for you.
(It's easy to take cute pictures of a cute baby)

Just get three shots: Far away / whole baby, medium / baby face, and close-up / baby-parts.
If you have a nice sleepy baby, all you have to do is lie her down and then move around her to get all the shots you want.
Get her whole body, so you can see how little and wrinkly and flexible she is.

Then get her face, so you can see how little and pretty and perfect she is.

Then get her fingers, toes, ears, profile, tufts of hair, etc - because babies are made up of several unbelievably small and adorable parts and the close-ups are important.

I spent less than twenty minutes at our friend Jessica's house yesterday photographing their new baby.
Oh, and by the way, you don't need to get "newborn pictures" in the hospital (where the lighting is always horrible, and your baby's face is probably still bruised) but within the first two or three weeks is a perfect time - because babies are still little and sleepy and sweet.

And a few more little tips:
* If you're photographing a face, and can adjust your focus manually ALWAYS focus on the eyes! even if eyes are closed.
* The best way to take pictures of a babies hands or feet is to have someone hold them. Hold their feet, or have the baby hold on to mom's finger.

*If a baby is awake then face her towards a window. Babies love to look out windows, and their eyes will really sparkle!

*Try to photograph a baby right after she's been fed and is good and sleepy. Those little guys are like rag dolls you can toss around when they're tired.

*Don't push it! You're probably not going to get anything new after a half-hour, except a few pictures of a baby crying. Just have your photoshoot be short and sweet.

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Anonymous said...

I've actually never photographed a newborn before, but I'd love to one day!

Oh Jazmyn

Polly said...

She is so cute! I think she looks just like her sister. I can't believe all her hair. What a sweetie.

Anna said...

those pictures and the baby are so cute! i guess the mother wanted the pictures like that, but didn't you say you don't like pictures of naked babies? just wondering...
and by the way: thanks for your great blog!

Unknown said...


The boys are growing up just in the week that we haven't seen them! Ahhh. I hope things go better with the sleep, and night time. James had a hard time adjusting after the time change, but I think we are on track now. I hope you had a good time with your family while they were here. Miss you guys and hope to talk to you later. PS accept me on Skype so we can chat during your free time (when you have free time). OK, bye!
Love C & C

NiƱa said...

Wow! this is so amazing... I love it!
It's almost perfect.