Photographing your newborn can prove to be one of life’s most rewarding experiences.
Follow these 10 steps and your family will cherish these images for a lifetime.
1. Timing is everything. Be patient and wait for the right moment to get your camera out. Your little one should be fed, napped and diaper changed to avoid fussiness. If you need to take a break for feeding and changing the baby, go for it. My philosophy is that if the baby isn’t content, you will get frustrated and it will show in the photographs. Have patience. If your little one isn’t happy feel free to abort and try again on a different day.
2. Best time. The easiest time to photograph your newborn is when she is asleep. You can position her in a variety of different ways and she won’t move. It’s great!
3. Assistance. Make sure you have some assistance. You will want a parent or caretaker around to give you a hand with holding the baby in place. It’s tough trying to be a successful mom and photographer at the same time!
4. Facial expressions. Capture a variety of facial expressions. This can be really fun if you print 6 square images in a frame of his/her special looks. Don’t be too quick to disregard sad or mad faces. Sometimes they can be incredibly sweet, funny or cute.
5. Lighting. Available light or natural light looks best. Window light is soft and lovely. Find the direction of your light source and place your subject accordingly so the light is behind you.
6. How often? People always ask me how often to photograph their newborns. My answer is as often as possible because in the first year they are ever changing and you can’t go back. If you have to narrow it down, newborn, 6 weeks, 3 months, 6 months, 9 months and 12 months are milestones in an infant’s life.
7. Be creative. Photograph your subject from a variety of angles & distances. If you put the baby on the bed, get above him on the bed to show his little body. Get down low too. You can prop him on his belly and get down low to his level and photograph him.
8. Consider location. When choosing a location, be sure to assess the background. The simpler the background, the better. The baby will standout if the background is plain and not busy. You can put him/her on a sheet or blanket on the bed or in a cute chair.
9. Wardrobe & Props. Outfits that are plain without distracting logos work best to highlight the beauty of your little one. I think light blue, pink, and yellow work well for colors. It’s also nice when some skin is visible. Hats and booties are fun for some of the images. You can also wrap the baby up and put him/her in a basket or basin to show how little baby really is.
10. Back up the work. Make sure to save the images on more than one hard drive to ensure you won’t lose the photographs if one of your drives fail.
Most importantly, relax and have fun! Enjoy your little delicious bundle.
Karen Haberberg is a portrait and event photographer specializing in capturing natural moments. Her photographs have been exhibited in various New York City galleries and published in magazines and newspapers. Karen teaches photography at NYU, the International Center of Photography, 92Y and the JCC in Manhattan. She holds a MA degree in Art and Photography from the International Center of Photography, as well as a MA degree in Educational Communications and Technology from New York University. She received her BA from Brandeis University where she graduated Cum Laude. She lives in Manhattan with her husband Robert, daughter Maya, and son Liam.
To learn more about Karen Haberberg and to see her work, visit Karen Haberberg Photography.
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