A Newborn Session

I recently did a newborn photo session with a baby that weighed over 11 pounds at birth.  She was so precious.  Below you’ll find a few images from the shoot.  In addition to sharing photographs of the baby, I thought it might be useful to present a few tips on newborn photography.

1.  Get to know baby.  Hold baby, cuddle with baby and help the baby get comfortable with you.  If you are anxious or nervous the baby will sense this.

2. Posing – To achieve the frog-like poses  you often see, the baby should be between 5 and 10 days old.  I like to wait until they are at least 5 days old so that the mother and baby have had time to bond and Mom is settled into the new routine of having a newborn.  By about day five the baby too has acclimated to his/her new surroundings, although do not expect them to be on a schedule or predictable with their feeding/changing patterns.  As you can see in my images I forewent the frog pose in this shoot.  Even though the baby was only 8 days old, she was very big and not as “moldable/posable” as a smaller more flexible baby would have been.  This is not a problem, you can still get a lot of cute poses and use props to capture the baby’s essence.  Remember, you don’t have to use the scrunched up poses to capture the beauty of the baby.  You can easily pose their hands and get completely different looks and moods within your images. Also, don’t forget to focus on babies unique features – fingers, toes, nose, ears, head – each one makes the baby unique and the parents will love having these precious little pieces of the love of their lives captured permanently.  Also, remember that the baby doesn’t necessarily need to be moved and reposed all the time – you move; side to side, up and down, back and forth.  It’s a work out but you’ll capture every inch of the little bundle of joy!

3.  Time – Newborn shoots should take from 2 to 4 hours.  As happened during this particular shoot, the baby needed to be fed twice and took a bit of time to settle after the first feeding.  She also had to go potty several times and when babies are naked, you know what means! –  My kids always think it is funny when I come home from a newborn shoot and tell them that the baby went to the bathroom on me.  Needless to say, you don’t want to wear your Sunday best for a newborn shoot.  And, be prepared with extra wraps and blankets to use in the event some are soiled during the shoot.

4.   Flexibility – is crucial.  I don’t mean the ability to be acrobatic, but to be patient and go with the flow of baby and baby’s needs. This is why you want to allow several hours for the shoot.  You won’t be able to go from one pose to the next with prompt acuity.   I like to have Mom stay near by too, just in case baby needs something or  just to be another set of eyes in the event the baby decides to squirm.

5.  Fragility – Newborns are fragile.  Be very careful with them.  Yes, they are moldable and posable, but they are also very delicate.  Handle them gently and with great care.

6.  Do your homework – There are plenty of Youtube videos out there on photographing newborns.  Prior to attempting a newborn shoot, I recommend that you study newborn photography and watch some of the videos linked below.

Links:

The Natural Newborn – Daneille Stahl and Carrie Walker

Newborn Wrapping Technique – Kelly Brown

Ana Brandt – I love all of her videos!

Of course there are more tutorials available, but I wanted to give you a start.  If you go to Youtube and watch any of the videos I listed above, other recommendations will pop up on the right side of your screen.

Let me know if you have any questions and I’ll try to help.  Enjoy the photos below of this little hunk of love!


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9 thoughts on “A Newborn Session

  1. Your photography brings out the truest, most exceptional life truths, Robyn. I love the “special delivery” shot in a suitcase; it reminds me of when my cousin and I filled an old suitcase with darling puppies (9 of them) and took pictures for her 4-H project. Our pictures were with a Kodak instamatic and very amateurish. I’ve sent her your link and know she’ll love it.
    Your instructions are invaluable, Robyn. You’re an excellent teacher, too.

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