I believe that newborn photography is about more than just getting a beautiful image; it’s about offering a great experience. Rather than just trying to get a good shot, one must focus on keeping babies safe and comfortable by creating the right environment for them. Newborn Photography sessions go much smoother if the baby is safe and comfortable.
Creating the Ideal Environment For a Photography Session
Being familiar with babies and how to make them comfortable is the most important aspect of a newborn photography session. Turn your studio into a baby-friendly environment to keep the baby calm as you pose them and quickly move through the session.
One thing to remember is that a newborn baby just lived in a womb for nine months. The better you can recreate the environment they are used to, the happier they are going to be. Here are some simple steps to creating the right environment for newborn photography sessions:
Keep Studio Temperatures Regulated
Wombs have an average temperature of around 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Babies feel their best in warm rooms. I personally keep my studio at around 80 degrees, which is great for newborns. This temperature also ensures they have peachy skin, while cold temperatures can cause blotchy patches to appear.
Ambient Sound is Key
Babies are exposed to a lot of noise during their nine months of development. They hear the heartbeats of their mother and are tuned into their digestive systems and voice. You don’t want to make the music too loud, but a white noise machine (or app) can make the newborn feel at home.
Safe and comfortable newborn posing
Each baby is different and they may be uncomfortable with some poses. Each baby has a comfy spot and you shouldn’t try to force them into a position they don’t like. If a baby gets unsettled it unsettles the parents, so make sure everyone in the family is enjoying the session. Gain the trust and confidence of parents by showing them you value the safety of their baby above everything else. After all, it’s a privilege to be asked to be the one photographing their precious bundles of joy.
There’s no need to make newborn photography complicated when the simple shots are often the most treasured and beautiful of all.
Put the Safety of the Baby First
Here are the baby safety rules I personally employ:
- Babies should never be left unattended in props, on posing bags, or with young siblings
- Babies should be with spotters or parents when using props
- Support babies with a hand or finger when posing them and Photoshop it out later
- Don’t force babies into particular poses. Rather adjust them into a position they feel comfortable with.
- Shoot above the baby with the camera strap around your neck
- Never stand on anything above the newborn
- Don’t put the baby inside or on something that may fall or break
- Don’t use props made from glass
If the baby won’t easily go into position or are obviously distressed then you should move on and consider ending the session. Prevention is better than the cure, as they say. Make the most of your common sense. Don’t force a baby that is obviously in discomfort.
Making the baby comfortable makes them content. If they are moved around or disturbed too much then they get unsettled and overstimulated. Make gentler, smaller movements to move babies between poses to keep them calm and ensure the session goes smoothly. Be patient.
That photographing newborns is so challenging is also what makes it rewarding. It’s not easy to work with babies. You need to be able to take a good photograph of course, but you also have to know how to treat the babies with the loving care they need.