Now that Rose has arrived I know I will want to document her every milestone (and OOTD) – but I don’t want to pay for a photographer all the time, or have the time to set up sessions every week (OK, every day). So today, I have provided some tips and tricks for your own DIY newborn photo shoot! Some of these images were taken with my Nikon, and some were taken just with my iPhone, so it is totally possible to get amazing photos no matter what you are working with.
All professionals say that natural light is best, and they are absolutely right. Pick a position near a window with lots of light, and even if it is a bit dim (I shot the pics below when it was overcast and misty outside) you can always edit the lighting in a photo editing app or Photoshop afterward (scroll down for more on that). But whatever you do, don’t use lamps or lights in your house to make the room brighter.
Time the pictures for when your little one is in a deep sleep – for Rose, this is after her feeding. I made sure to prep the area ahead of time and set up my “scene” beforehand. I had the room nice and warm, and I worked quickly and quietly to position her. Since she would be laying down, I didn’t need to think ahead about supporting her head for any alternative poses, but if you are considering something that requires neck and head support, be prepared to prop it up with either an object or hold with your hands. You can always Photoshop things later, or crop the photo in certain ways. But always consider safety first.
To get the overhead shots, I stood on a step stool and took wide shots. You can always crop later! Also, try and get a variety of angles when you are doing close-ups; slightly shift your body to subtly change the way the light falls on their face. Depending on where the shadow falls, you may want to re position yourself – or the babe – so that you get a good angle with no shadows on the face.
angle (bad shadows)
Even if everything goes perfectly, a little editing is always nice. For me, since it was rainy when I took these photos, I used Photoshop (for my Nikon photos) and Colorstory (for my iPhone snaps) to brighten up the image. You can use filters, add brightness, lower contrast, adjust vibrancy, etc. to make the image have the effect you are looking for. I went with light and bright!
brightened in Photoshop
If you don’t have the capability to Photoshop your images, steer clear of the riskier poses that require support of the neck or head. Go with poses from above, with the baby swaddled, or cradled on their side. Create the scene by setting up a supportive base with pillows, rolled up blankets, or pads, and then drape it with a sheet or blanket to place your babe on top. This will ensure they have adequate support and remain comfortable for the photo session.
Take lots of photos! Don’t stop! You never know when you might catch a split-second smile, or a cute frown. The more images you have to choose from, the better off you will be at ensuring you have captured the right angle, lighting, body position, facial expression, and frame size.
Boy, did I scour Pinterest and Instagram to find amazing baby pics and poses that I absolutely loved! This part is fun – go into your session with a plan. Baby may only sleep for a little while, so it’s important to know exactly what it is you want and are looking for. That way you can get exactly what you want out of the time you spend doing this DIY.
This is the opposite of doing research: be in the moment and be inspired by your little one. Have fun, and if you don’t get the pic you want on the first time around, regroup, do more research, and try again another day! Since you aren’t paying for a certain time frame, or on a specific schedule, you have lots of time to get it right and try new things.