Every type of photography has its own value but newborn photography stands in a league of its own. It’s no mystery to anyone why certain personal photographs become priceless as time passes and newborn photography takes the cake in this sense. After all, you might not be a parent yet and fully understand what it means to have professional baby portraits of your newborn, but your mom certainly remembers yours, much to your embarrassment when she shows them off in public.
Regardless if it’s a skill you want to develop for personal reasons or if you want to grow a small business, newborn photography has its set of unique challenges, but this checklist is something to bookmark for future reference because it will be of great help when doing baby photo shoots. So here are 7 awesome tips that will greatly improve your newborn photography portfolio.
Use natural light
While not all photography genres work well with natural lighting, newborn photography certainly does. There are several reasons why you should use natural light, but we’ll just name three of them. The look of baby photos has to be natural. Authenticity is what you should be going for instead of the “commercial”, studio lighting look that will probably be replaced a few years down the road. The second reason is that flash can startle the little ones and that’s the last thing you want during your baby photo shoot. Lastly, it can take away the spontaneity of the moment when you’re photographing the entire family. Again, remember authenticity.
If patience is not on your virtue list, perhaps newborn photography isn’t for you. Unlike any other type of models, with the admitted exception of pets, babies will have you working on their terms, not yours. They really don’t care how much you charge or that the light is slowly fading. If it’s feeding time, it’s the end of the story, at least temporarily. Have lots of patience and schedule the photo-shoot wisely.
Do it in the first 14 days
Infants sleep a lot during their first two weeks in the world and it’s a lot easier to pose them because they don’t really care about what’s going on around. Their skin is also cleaner during this time, as many tend to develop newborn acne, which can be a pain to remove in post.
Go for the details
Many aspiring photographers tend to focus solely on facial expressions. While it’s obvious those shots are the core of the work, newborn photography is also a lot about the details.
The tiny hands and feet, the crying, the yawning, everything will look so cute for a very limited period of time.
Home vs. studio
If you have a studio for your newborn photography business, that’s great. But how about some variety? For environmental baby portraits, not to mention business overall, variety is your best friend. Each home is different so try to plan at least some of your baby photo shoots at the client’s home.
Create a slideshow
This can be a great way to boost sales and get the name of your newborn photography business out there. After completing the shoot and the final images, create a slideshow with a funny baby music soundtrack. The parents will love it, especially because it will be much easier to share with loved ones.
As mentioned earlier, infants are mostly unpredictable. It’s impossible to anticipate what will shift their mood from totally cooperative to crying like they’re out to make you def. Never let your guard down with the little guys and always be prepared for a mood swing that can bring you that once in a lifetime shot.
Be sure to return to this checklist every now and then, or better yet try to memorize it. It’s easy to feel like you’re completely out of control when you’re less used to doing baby photo shoots, but if you apply these tricks, everything will be much easier.
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