If you're new to newborn photography, the very prospect of trying to capture those tiny little fingers and toes can be intimidating. The more you understand ahead of time about how to simplify the process, the easier the entire shoot is likely to be. Although there are some things you can't completely avoid, such as crying and messes from the baby, you can take some steps to create a calm, soothing environment. Here are a few things to consider before that first newborn shoot.
Keep the Environment Calm and Consistent
Babies can sense anxiety and upset, and that will lead to an anxious and upset baby, too. If the new mom is particularly stressed out, consider having her step out of the room for a few minutes and let Dad take over to calm and comfort the little one. Sometimes, that change in dynamic can make all the difference.
Keep your voice calm, soft and soothing at all times so that you don't startle the baby. It's easy to get lost in what you're doing and inadvertently get louder than you mean to, so keep that in mind as you shoot.
Another great tip for the studio space is white noise. The sound of a camera shutter can echo in a completely quiet room. If you're shooting a newborn, recreating the sounds that he or she is accustomed to can help. Rain machines, ocean waves and white noise apps are great for this, and they'll mask the sound of the shutter.
Keep the Space Warm
Newborns need warmth, so make sure that your studio space is warm. If it's a large studio, consider having a portable heater or two set some distance from the shooting area to target warm air toward the staged space. You'll want to dress lightly, though, otherwise you're likely to be uncomfortable. The warmth is important for helping the baby settle in and sleep, though, so you don't want to skip it.
Not to mention, newborns can't regulate their body temperature on their own. That makes it essential that you keep the space warm without making it too hot. A normal temperature somewhere around 70 degrees Fahrenheit should be enough.
Change Your Angle
If you're not sold on the shot you're getting, don't disturb the baby until you've checked out other angles. Sometimes, an indirect angle gives you a better shot than you'd think. Try to work at eye-level as much as possible to capture the smaller details and expressions. You'll also want a step stool that's sturdy to do overhead shots, but don't do them unless you have a helper to spot you and the stool as well as someone to help with the baby.
With these tips, you can go into your first newborn shoot with the confidence that you're ready to make it work.
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