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Newborn / Baby Photography

We all want to cherish those moments and people that mean everything to us and pictures have been a major helping factor for us. A single picture can tell a hundred stories and can keep a smile on faces for years.

Babies are the epitome of innocence and joy, and parents can’t seem to get enough of this. But as the years go by, we lose those first moments of simple purity. And sometimes you hunger to see that smile full of trust and curiosity, but there is no way to turn back time.

What Is Baby Photography?

To cherish those moments forever, baby photography has become a major aspect of photography. Parents want to keep that a bit of those baby years with them when they decided that they seek the assistance of a professional or take up the charge of taking photos of their young ones. With the aid of pros, lightning and the innocence and beauty of the child, a stunning image is formed.

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The age range for baby photography.

There are generally four sessions to take a baby picture. All of which would come after a maternity session, each of the four sessions is taken at milestone points of your baby’s life.

The newborn session: this session should take place between birth and the first month. As a parent, you can capture, the wrinkled skin, their blistered lips, and their tiny feet and hands.

3 – 4 months: the next major milestone is at 3 to 4 months when your baby can hold their heads. At this stage, you can also capture their smiles and even tears, you are also sure to receive a little interaction from them.

6 -9 months: at this milestone age, you can capture your babies sitting up, holding and playing with things, toys. You can also get a picture of them laughing and maybe even crawling.

1 year: the final stage major stage of baby photography is when they get to 1, here you can get a picture of them walking or even running, you can also capture them being more active and responsive to objects. And finally, you can get a picture of their first teeth.

After a year, pictures can not completely fall under baby photography since all major milestones of formation and growth biologically have been captured.

Training.

If you choose to take a single baby photo of your child or that of a relative, without any career intention behind it, then there might be no need to take any special course. But if you want to take baby photography as a career, then maybe getting a few lessons or working as an assistant just to get a feel of the job might be a good idea.
However, whatever your choice might be taking a look at some useful tips or rules for baby photography is advisable. Here are some necessary details you might need when taking a baby picture.

A complete and detailed guide to baby photography.

There are a few details that ought to be taken care of when it comes to baby photography. In our article, we will take you through all the steps necessary following three stages. Before the session, during the session, and after the session.

Before the session: this will involve everything that needs to be taken care of before a session. Before even getting a client, there are some things to have in place first. One of those things to think of is;

The camera: using the right camera is a plus for a baby photographer, although no particular brand is crowned best, it is recommended to have a DSLR or mirrorless cameras would be a fine choice for you. This allows you to take raw, fully manual shots with a bonus of setting your lens, a very good range, and a flash-less take. While the mirrorless camera gives you noise-free shots and high quality takes. However, if you do not have access to these, you can still get a good camera, just follow these basic needs

  • Get a camera with an image resolution of or more than 26 megapixels.
  • A camera that has an ISO range of 3000 to 6000 and low light performance is necessary
  • It is best to choose a camera that has a quiet shot taking since most of your early baby session would be with a sleeping baby
  • Choose a camera with its setting changes on the body and not on the camera software, it would be of use when taking shots
  • Choose a camera with a crop factor
  • Pick a camera that offers slots for dual card, essential for backing up files
  • If you wish to add video taking, be sure to get a camera that can work a good video shoot.

The lens: just as you need the best camera, you would also need the best lens. Here is a run down of some of the best lens choice for a baby photographer

  • 24-70mm f/2.8 zoom- gives fast zoom, sharp focal lengths, versatile and professional-grade pictures in a single lens
  • 35mm f/1.4 – for fast, wide, and professional level photos this lens does it. You also get lots of area and light
  • 50 mm f/1.8 – is an amazing lens. It is cheap, versatile and complementing
  • 100mm f/2.8 macro lens – is a macro lens and with it, you get close up pictures of a baby’s part. You get the assurance of sharp, clear pictures of even the smallest details on the baby.

Props: you would need to have props and materials for your baby pictures. It is best to keep it simple but creative except when specifically asked by the parents. Keep it as basic as needed in the beginning

  • Fluffy blankets
  • Baskets
  • Stuffed animals
  • Hats
  • Baby-sized angel wings
  • Costumes like suspenders, headbands, and overalls for older babies
  • Headbands
  • Newborn cushion, beanbag, Bed, or Couch, for posing
  • Buckets, boxes and other container types (for assisting newborns or older babies during poses)
  • Wraps or leaves
  • Rugs, Mats or Carpets
  • Towels or cloths
  • Flowers
  • Fun toys
  • Cake stands or wash tubs for bath sessions poses

Scheduling: ensure that you have your schedules updated. As a professional photographer, you do not want to portray that you are unorganized and forgetful to clients who would be entrusting their child’s safety to you. If you are sick or unable to make a shoot, inform the family as early as you possibly can.

Other things to take into account:

Arrangement: set your stage before your clients walk in, it will help you be more composed and ready for the shoot.

Get to know your clients: find out what they want in their baby’s picture, what theme are they looking at if they are? What do they want to see more? Do they want to be a part of the picture or just their child? Find out these questions first.

Safety: which is paramount, choose the ground over high places for your shoots, keep every sharp object or wire or harmful object away from the studio as you can. Wash your hands and have all props regularly cleaned.

White Noise Machine: to help the child sleep soundly

Space Heater / Heating Pads: to keep them warm and comfortable

Basic Cleaning Items: since it’s babies we are talking of here, it is wise to have your cleaning supply in case of pee or poop while shooting. Do not just rely on the parents to have those stuff, even though they should.

Backdrops and Backdrop Stand: just so you can get a beautiful background

Soft Box: to top up lighting, especially when there isn’t so much

Reflector: necessary when using natural light to shoot.

During the shoot: once you have set up everything and your clients are at your studio, you should take into account certain things

The pose- There are two basic styles for baby photography

Lifestyle Baby Photography: this is usually easier to achieve and doesn’t demand so much time. You also won’t need to move the baby a lot, and there might be little to no need for props and more. The family of the baby, as well as the baby, gets to enjoy the surroundings which means less need for editing.

Posed Baby Photography: this generally takes more time to complete since there is a constant need to get the baby in various positions. This can be hard, especially if the baby sleeps light and can easily get fuzzy when woken. You would also need to be extra careful while moving the child around. Of course, there would be an immense need for props and equipment. This option is best suited when you plan on only taking shots of the baby, with any family member involved. It is more expensive to handle since lots of time is spent waiting on the baby and lots of energy will be put into the arrangement, setting and final editing.

The camera setting- is the next thing to settle during a session.
Follow these guidelines.

  • Begin with a wide aperture like f/1.8 or f/2.8: it will help you get a lot of light and create shallow depths. With this, you get the dreamy look newborn photography always has.
  • Use 1/200 or 1/160 of shutter speed: You won’t get a camera shake, but you will get a lot of light while working. Best for siblings who tend to be up and about. With a shutter speed of up to 1/500, you can take every moment in.
  • For ISO, place it as low as it can be to ensure silence, or grain, in the image.
  • Get creative with your white balance and use a card to achieve your desired result.

Things to do while shooting

  • Have them dressed, but don’t overdo so much so that they get uncomfortable
  • Consider their comfort first and be sure not to twist and turn them too much
  • Use more homely settings and background
  • Use as much natural light as you can get
  • No flash should be used no matter the situation
  • It is best to lay them down for maximum comfort to you and them
  • Be patient with them, they can cry and fuss a lot, so be sure to take things at their pace
  • Make them laugh or smile
  • Keep taking pictures, the most unplanned pictures are sometimes the best.
  • Use the best of a baby’s sleep.
  • Be creative with your props, even while shooting
  • Focus on the details of the baby, eyes, legs, hands, lip, do it all
  • To get some interaction with the, you have to be ready to talk with and cajole them.
  • Get the family involved, even if they choose not to be in the shot, you can have them work as assistance in posing the baby
  • Be flexible, babies can quickly change their minds and go from understanding to wailing.
  • The warmer a baby is, the more likely they are to cooperate with you.

Post-session – (Newborn / Baby Photography)

Be sure to clean up after a session used props and equipment that come in close contact with the babies should always be wiped or washed.
Editing is the hardest part of this job, so be sure to let your client know the task ahead and how long you would need to effectively create a beautiful picture. While editing take these into consideration;

  • Use photoshop tools
  • Use Lightroom
  • Have the pictures framed

Finally, the delivery: since it is a cherished delivery for the family put a little effort into making the delivery package a little more child-friendly and entertaining.

Becoming a baby photographer is not an easy task and it demands patience, time, understanding and more for the parents, the photographer and the baby, so be sure to take out time to rest up if things get heated while taking the pictures. You should expect to spend over 2 hours in per session, but after it all, the results are always worth it.