Expanding family? Looking to save money by capturing those first magical moments on camera yourself? Check out these fun newborn baby photography ideas for images you’ll always cherish.
Whether you are already an old hand or it’s your very first child, welcoming a new family member into the household is always an exhausting event. Of course, it’s also an incredibly joyful moment that you’ll want to remember forever. But at a time when your finances are likely to already be under some strain, hiring a professional photographer for a newborn shoot can sometimes seem like an unjustifiable luxury.
If you know your way around a camera though, then doing your newborn shoot yourself can save you a lot of money. But newborn babies tend to develop so quickly that before you know it the moment has passed. So If you’re an expectant mother or father, it’s always wise to plan your newborn shoot a little in advance.
Here are 10 great newborn baby photography ideas to get you started.
01 – Deliver a Basket of Joy
One of the simplest and cutest ways of photographing your wrinkle-nosed rug-rat is to place him or her in a shallow woven basket as if the stork had just come by to make its charming delivery. Whether curled up in a fetal position or lain or her back with arms and legs in the air, photographing a newborn baby in a pretty container like this always results in images that are unbelievably cute.
It will make your life easier, though, if the basket you use is not too deep; this way you’ll be able to photograph the little one from all angles without the risk that the sides of the basket might obscure your line of view. However, even if you can’t find a basket that’s really shallow, filling it up with plenty of soft blankets first will help to raise the infant to a more workable height.
02 – Get Fancy with Costumes and Props
While the average crinkle-faced carpet-crawler already looks adorable au naturel, there’s nothing like dressing them up in a delightful little animal-themed “onesie” for truly heart-melting degrees of cuteness. Better still if the outfit in question comes with a fluffy tail and rabbit ears on the hood!
There’s plenty more you can do with the fancy dress though beyond merely reaching for the novelty blanket sleeper. And be sure to consider props as well. Some popular newborn baby photography props include teddy bears, dolls, balls, balloons, flowers…even fruit! Whatever will add a fun theme to your session.
03 – Focus on the Details
While you will, of course, want to capture some full-length portraits of your chubby-cheeked crib-midget in all his cuteness, it can also be great to shoot a bunch of close-up shots too. For example, seeing baby’s hands or feet on top of your own can really bring home just how tiny this little creature really is. And in 15 years’ time, when your adolescent man-child comes gambling in with his gigantic clodhoppers, you’ll marvel at the fact that his feet could ever have been so utterly minute.
Photographing the newest member of the household detail by detail can also make a great collage once printed out. Think about how the different elements will work together as a series of images; a close up of the little fella’s tiny paws alongside a shot of a curious eye, or a gurgling and smiling mouth. For real detail, though, you’ll need to use a macro lens in order to get in very close.
04 – Bring in the siblings
If there are other little monkeys in the household already, they’ll likely want their share of the limelight too. Get the scamps in the shot alongside their newly-arrived sibling and you’ll keep them out of mischief while adding an extra element of interest to your photos of the new guy. Brothers and sisters can lie down next to each other, or if they are all relatively well-behaved, you could even have the latest addition lying on top of the older siblings.
The best shots come together when there’s a degree of interaction between the tiny-tot and an older child. As with all newborn baby photography, the secret here is patience and being totally prepared for when the magical moment occurs. Get your offspring to play together and be ready on the shutter finger.
05 – Put Yourself in the Picture
Although you might not be feeling your most photogenic in the first few weeks after the birth of a child, do try to get some shots of everyone together; including yourself. You might not love them now, but over the years they’ll likely become some of your most valued images. Get in the frame alongside the latest bundle of joy, your better half, and any other scallywags there might be in the family – even pets too – and set your camera’s timer to count down the seconds.
Just because there are several people in the frame now doesn’t mean that the photo necessarily needs to be super-wide. Set up the photo with the camera really close for a much more impactful and eye-catching shot. You don’t always need to leave space around you, instead fill the whole photo with smiling faces. Just be careful not to cut any eyes or arms out of the shot in an awkward manner, as this could look a little strange. Generally, it’s OK to crop limbs out of the picture if the edge of the frame falls about halfway between the joints. But avoid cropping right on the shoulders, elbows, wrists, knees, or ankles as this tends to look a little disturbing.
06 – Shoot Over the Shoulder
If you really can’t face being in the shot for a close-up, you can always hold the little munchkin in your arms with their face looking back over your shoulder at the camera. This way you’ll still be captured in a beautiful and unrepeatable intimate moment with your child, but for the most part, you’ll only be visible from the back.
07 – Go Monochrome
If you’re having trouble getting your newborn baby photos looking up to professional standards, it may be down to there being too much going on in the frame. One of the biggest problems is showing too many competing colors. While one solution to this would be to convert your images to black and white, it somehow feels a bit of a shame not to capture your child’s first few days on this planet in full color.
One way around this is to keep shooting in color, but reduce the different elements within the frame to just two or three colors only. You could perhaps even go for total monochrome. However, this needn’t be black and white; you could simply limit everything in the shot to, say, blue, placing baby in blue clothes, on a blue blanket, with blue cushions, or whatever. This way all attention will be on the little tyke, and not on some distracting element of only secondary importance.
08 – Keep it Real
Although it can be fun to dress your offspring up in funny outfits and place them in cute poses while they are half asleep, often the best photos are the most relaxed and spontaneous ones.
Indeed, one thing that most amateurish baby photography often has in common is simply trying too hard. Keep it natural. You don’t need to go for over the top sets and styling in order to get a great shot. Babies are fascinating creatures in themselves. And if we’re talking about your own baby, there’s no one more important in the world – so why the need to make a fuss with fancy scenarios? If the images you capture show moments of genuine intimacy between your newborn infant and other family members, these are likely the photos that will really mean something to you over the years.
Of course, the reason most people – from occasional amateurs to experienced professionals – tend to prefer setting up shots is because it’s actually very difficult to capture really great spontaneous photographs. But don’t let that stop you from trying. You see, the secret to capturing true emotions on the spur of the moment is firstly being in the right place at the right time, and secondly being ready for these moments when they finally do occur. And look at it this way, as the parent of your child, nobody is in a better position to take these photos than you. Be patient, and be prepared.
09 – Ditch the Diaper
This may seem obvious, but disposable diapers are not attractive items of clothing. Practical, yes. But cute? No. More like trashy; keep them out of your photos.
10 – That’s a Wrap!
It seems odd that anyone might be offended by seeing a newborn baby in their “birthday-suit,” just as nature intended. But if you really don’t want to photograph your cheeky cradle-chimp in all their naked glory, swaddling the little cherub in the soft fabric is the way to go. Not only will wrapping up baby look super simple and adorable, but most newborns love being swaddled in that womb-like state, and will often be very docile like this: perfect for a photoshoot.
Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed the article. What are your favorite newborn baby photography ideas? If you have any tips of your own to share, I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments section below.
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