Getting The Perfect Newborn Photo: 10 Tips From A ProfessionalCasi Densmore-Koon
The first few shots of your Little’s life are the ones you will never forget. From the moment they arrive, you just can’t stop snapping photos. I know all moms out there can relate to taking hundreds of pictures the first few days. Well, the one thing I never invested in (ah, shocker!) was a newborn photographer. I have always taken the birth announcement photos myself for the past four kids but when I found out there were photographers who actually specialized in taking beautiful newborn photos well, I was beyond excited. I know, I had a serious blonde moment. Who didn’t know newborn photographers existed?
And well, now I am lucky enough to have an amazing photographer as my best friend. Meet Kim Flores of Whimsy Baby Photo, a wonderful highly-recognized newborn photographer. She is amazing. You can read more about our kindred spirit friendship on cupcakeMAG Littles as she was just recently named Mom of the Month. Lucky for you she had the time to give all of you some must-have advice when getting those very important first shots.
After the jump, get ready to take notes from a professional as you browse through her past oh-so-pretty newborn sessions + get her top ten tips when it comes to getting that perfect newborn photo!
#1: Get To Know Your Camera 1 of 10Spend some time learning your camera and how to use the manual settings. There are even shortcuts on some of the newer cameras that make using manual even easier! Learning the manual settings allows you to control the result and exposure. Getting proper exposure is key in beautiful creamy skin tones.
#2: Its All About The Light 2 of 10Natural light is the most flattering for portraits at home. Turn off that flash and embrace the shadows of natural light on those sweet baby rolls! Place baby on a beanbag or Boppy Lounger near a window or sliding glass door. Study the light and watch it fall over the baby's features.
#3: Remember The Little Details 3 of 10Don't forget to capture the tiny little details that make your baby special. The sweet little toes. The pouty lips. The gummy smile when they sleep, and their sweet little baby rolls. You want to remember it all!
#4: Shoot From Above 4 of 10Shooting from above when their eyes are open will not only get their attention and focus to your camera, but also makes a pleasing portrait. Grab a small toy and dangle it right near your lens to get amazing eye contact with babies older than 2-3 months. With smaller babies, their focus is not as strong, so it may take some patience to get that direct eye contact. Keep your finger on the shutter, and just wait!
#5: Get involved! 5 of 10Pick up a tripod and try out the self-timer on your camera. Your child will cherish photos of the two of you when they are older, as will you when they are grown. Forget waiting to lose the rest of that baby weight. Trust me, your child won't care about anything else in the photo other than your smile and loving expressions.
#6: Watch The Clutter 6 of 10Pay attention to your surroundings before you click the shutter. It takes two seconds to grab that shoe or dirty diaper in the background, and will make a huge difference in the final result.
#7: Forget Photoshop 7 of 10While it certainly is fun to learn to play with Photoshop or other photo editing programs, it isn't necessary to create a beautiful portrait! If you get the photo right in camera, it should not need editing. Using the right light and settings on your camera can easily eliminate the need for photo editing on a picture of a new baby!
#8: Have Help Nearby 8 of 10When photographing babies and small children, it's always helpful to have an extra pair of hands nearby. If your baby is already rolling over and you're trying to photograph them on their tummies, it helps to have a spotter to make sure they stay safe while you are behind the camera. It also helps to have an assistant to help pose smaller babies. For toddlers, it's obviously helpful to have someone wrangle them as they run from your camera!
#9: Go Outside! 9 of 10Take advantage of natural surroundings. Put little babies in a basket (weighted down with a spotter), and photograph them in open shade. Toddlers and older babies, are also best photographed in open shade. Look for patches of shade with bright blue sky above. This creates a nice soft and flattering light, while making their eyes sparkle!
#10: Hire A Professional 10 of 10While it's important to know how to capture beautiful images at home with your camera, when it comes down to important events such as the fleeting newborn weeks, or a yearly family portrait, the investment in professional photography is well worth it. While I know my camera inside and out, I still hire a family photographer yearly, and have already lined up a professional to photograph my newborn boy next month. When choosing a photographer, look for a style and quality you can envision on your walls for a lifetime.
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