Newborn home shoot during Covid-19 lockdown
Sadly no sign of let up
Hello, I'm so glad you've dropped by. We are nearly 3 weeks into lockdown and currently no sign of let up and missing out on so many things we took for granted. As a newborn photographer it's breaking my heart that new Mums can't have their professional photo session and if you were one of many who’d hoped and dreamed of a professional newborn photo session it seems your dreams may be dashed.
How I can help
In the following chapters, I will try to describe ways and tips on trying to get the best out of your own home photos with your newborn while we are isolating.... after all, we have plenty of time on our hands to at least give it a try.
Important to know
Firstly you need to understand that professional newborn photography is highly skilled and it’s taken me a long time to develop my skills. You won’t get the same results l could give you, and part of that is the camera kit l use that you won’t have, and part of it is simply the skills in the photography aspect, Also, you won’t be able to edit your images. But all you can do right now is your best with what you have at hand to record this precious time.
What you will need
A lot of you probably don't own a DSLR camera and lenses, if you have and know how to use the various settings then you have a head start. For the majority I believe you will be using a phone camera or ipad.
TIP 1 - Remove any filters, camera smoothing, bunny ears, oversized sunglasses etc off the camera app. you need to take the photos as natural as possible and turn off the flash. Make sure your camera setting is on the highest/finest resolution. Imagine if you took the most perfect photo and you find out it can't be printed any bigger than a passport photo, or is pixelated in facebook!... the higher the resolution on your camera/phone/ipad, the bigger and clearer you will be able to print.
TIP 2 - Find the brightest room in your house, this may be a bedroom where you can use the bed to position baby or maybe by a patio door, where you can position baby on blankets on the floor. What you don't want though is direct sunlight streaming in creating harsh blown out patches on baby's skin, choose a time of day where it's light but not harsh.
Tip 3- Have a look around the house for various blankets duvet covers, cushion covers, even an oversized chunky jumper to use as backgrounds.
What to dress baby in
Tip 4 - If you plan to photograph baby without clothes, make sure the room is warm enough... If you are warm in clothes then baby won't be warm without clothes.... turn the temperature up.
Tip 5- Try to keep baby's clothes neutral, no heavy patterns, fluorescent colours or fussy collars. If baby is wriggly you can swaddle with plain fabric ( an oversize muslin is perfect for this) this will aid to keep baby warm, calm and still. The most natural thing to do is have baby wear nothing but a nappy, and drape some fabric across.
Where to position baby
Tip 6 - Never position baby with the feet closet to the light. Always try to have the light to the side or above baby's head. If you are using a floor to ceiling patio door for light, position baby on a foot stool, bean bag (make sure someone else is watching and is close to baby at all times) or more sensibly on the floor on a backdrop blanket. If you are using a bedroom, the most sensible place is on the bed. Do not use a moses basket or cot as this will just create shadows on baby. Always try to make sure you smooth any blankets as much as possible as you don't want and harsh creases distracting from the face.
Where should my camera and myself be positioned?
You are now all set to take your own newborn photos at home! Whether its a phone or a camera, its where you are when you take the photos that make all the difference.
Tip 7 - Stand over baby and shoot straight down... If you have a camera strap use it if not hold on tight to your ipad or phone as you don't want to drop it on baby. Don't point camera up baby's nose, try to shoot down the nose it's much more flattering!
Tip 8 -If you are positioning baby on the bed have a look in your camera beyond baby, what can you see?, a coffee cup, a book, table lamp?.... De-Clutter the background and get closer to baby so there's not so much going on in the background.
Tip 9 -Use simple posing positions. Please remember your professional photographer has been trained, is confident and has been perfecting the art over many years posing your baby into various positions safely. Please only use simple positions; on their back with a blanket pulled up under their chin, on their front and gently turn their head to the light side but making sure their arms are comfortable, you could try putting a hand under their face. You can position on their side using a small towel behind their back to stop them rolling back. Zoom in on the details, capture the eyelashes, the pouty lips, tiny fingers and toes.Once again DO NOT TRY TO DO POSITIONS THAT YOUR PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER IS TRAINED TO DO SAFELY.
Tip 10 - try to have someone else with you to remove clutter block any streaming light, make slight adjustment or to just give a secondary source of ideas. Take some photos every day, learn as you go. Take note of when the best time of day is for the light, most of all enjoy this time with your newborn, you are doing everything you can to preserve this precious time until your professional photgrapher is allowed back to work to do it for you.
Please note: My own clients who have been booked in with me. Please contact me if you are taking your own photos as I may be able to help you further and edit some of them for you. Also for my own newborn clients if you don't own a higher resolution camera phone/ipad I can let you borrow a DSLR camera and lens.