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Friday, May 18, 2012

How To Photograph A Newborn Baby—05/21/12

Patti Thompson Published in Tip Of The Week
How To Photograph A Newborn Baby—05/21/12
This Article Features Photo Zoom

I've got a baby. My little girl is almost a year old, though, so she's not exactly a newborn any more. She's more like a kid every day, which makes her easy to photograph: She's exuding personality. But when she was brand-spanking new, all she did was eat and sleep, and one other thing—and I wasn't interested in photographing that. Here's what I've learned about photographing newborns if you're interested in making simple, timeless portraits that you're sure to treasure forever. (After all, you might as well do something while you're not sleeping, right?)

1. Help the baby relax.
Make them warm and comfy, and be sure they've just eaten. This will make for a relaxed, mellow, happy baby. One who is less likely to be screaming and crying and writhing in agony as you try to photograph her itty-bitty body. Just after a meal and with the temperature of the room cranked up will create a nicely drowsy newborn—perfect for picture taking.

2. Photograph her sleeping.
A sleeping newborn is adorable. Because they aren't exactly rambunctious, there aren't a lot of options when photographing them. They might be awake and alert, but even still they're probably not doing terribly interesting or photogenic things. What's photogenic about them is their tiny little fingers and tiny little toes and beautiful little faces. So along with pictures of a baby who's awake, be sure to shoot some photos of your newborn peacefully asleep. These images aren't only a true representation of most babies' first weeks, but they're a great way to create timeless images of the little details.

3. Less is more.
Keep it simple. When it comes to attire and props, you can go over the top or take a more minimal approach. I think it's best to keep it minimal because I think it's more realistic, and the baby is already special enough! I'm no fan of a sleeping baby positioned in a bucket or wrapped in a palm frond. Those things seem gimmicky; it's like the baby becomes a prop. Nor do I love over-the-top outfits and bows—although I realize I'm not in the majority here. It's my belief that a photograph of your baby should be a photograph of your baby—not your baby as incidental to some ridiculous (albeit immensely cute) fantasy. When in doubt, put your cute little baby in a simple little outfit (or even comfortably bare) and focus on her gorgeous face. Voila: an instant classic that's anything but cheesy.

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