Photographing Newborns

March 8, 2010

Perhaps the most exciting and difficult children to photograph are newborns. Photographing newborns takes almost infinite patience, but is incredibly rewarding. Who can not be moved by the miracle of a newborn baby?

There is probably no other time in a child’s life that incredible changes take place almost minute to minute. Watching each change in their development is endlessly fascinating to parents, grand parents and siblings alike.

It is exciting to see each new expression and gesture as they explore their body and world. Soon the wrinkly skin and furry ears are replaced with baby-smooth replacements usually occur with the first few weeks. This is why it is very important to photograph them often in those first few weeks.

Newborn Baby Real Kids Photography

Newborn Baby Real Kids Photography

At this stage of life the newborn is “flexible”, and can be folded into almost any pose imaginable. You can position the baby in the fetal position and place in Dad’s hand for an incredible photograph.

One of the challenges is that newborns seem to have an innate sense of their surroundings, and if Mom is stressed out or tense the photo shoot can quickly deteriorate into an exasperating experience.

Calm Moms make calm babies, so it is worthwhile to take a little time to get everyone relaxed before you pull out the camera and flash unit to start shooting. If baby becomes hungry or needs attention, stop photographing and let them get things taken care of.

Be prepared, babies often nod off in a moments notice and a minute or two later they can be fussy and demanding attention, so you should have everything ready, be patient, wait for your opportunity and then snap away.

Use white or solid colored blankets to wrap or lay the baby on, and don’t try to photograph a naked baby on any surface that isn’t washable. Because they can’t focus yet you will sometimes see that their eyes, when open, are crossed. Simply reposition the baby and wait a moment or two, the problem will probably go away.

Ultimately the effort to capture a newborn within the first few weeks of life are really worth the effort. Take the time to let the baby go to sleep, these are precious images. Once the baby is soundly asleep it is easy to position the baby as you like, and to use whatever props you want, to get just the right shot.

Remember, keep taking lots and lots of photographs of your kids. You will be glad you did!

Betty Muscott, Child Photographer

Betty Muscott, Child Photographer

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