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DIY NEWBORN PHOTOGRAPHY: 10 TIPS FOR TAKING YOUR OWN PICTURES

DIY NEWBORN PHOTOGRAPHY: 10 TIPS FOR TAKING YOUR OWN PICTURES


Professional newborn photography can be such an incredible experience, expecially when it's done in the comfort of your home! Unfortunately newborn photos can get missed due to complications during birth, finances, family visits or simply not booking with your local newborn photographer in advance. Regardless for your reason for not getting your professional baby photos taken, I am here to give you some great pointers to take these photos yourself. Whether these photos are taken by me or you, I promise, you will cherish them equally the same.



As a professional a newborn photographer, I offer both In-Home Newborn Sessions and Studio Newborn Sessions, serving families in Southern, NH and Northshore, Massachusetts.  However, I understand that some families may choose to DIY their baby’s newborn pictures.   Below I’ve created a few tips for taking your own newborn photos in the comfort of your own home.


newborn baby girl wrapped in a cream wrap and bonnet laying on a floati taken by NH newborn photographer Vanessa Keo Photography

 

DIY NEWBORN PHOTOGRAPHY: TAKING YOUR OWN BABY’S PICTURES


Yes, you can still achieve beautiful pictures of your little one!  You do not need to invest in a $5,000 camera, 2,000 lighting equipment and thousands more in software and education. The key is to keep things simple and aim for candid shots. The best photos with natural light take place near a window light and getting the right camera angles.

Newborn photography emcompasses all of the milestones of your child's first year. Most sessions take place during the newborn stage, 4 month, 9 month, and 1 year. Keep those time frames in mind and that camera handy as you will see your child growing quickly before your eyes!


Now, I highly recommend an actual camera for taking these photos, however, if you are planning to use your phone to take these photos, head over to "5 quick tips for photographing with your phone" for a few more tips.

 



1. SAFETY


With safety top of my list, it's imporant to go into this with the expectations that you will be photographing your new bundle of joy in relax, posed poisition and plenty of candid shots. I do not recommend placing baby in any props such as buckets and baskets, as this does require a professional newborn photographer with proper posing aids . Those adorable baby photos with baby's head propped on their hands are edited with photoshop to give that illusion. Many times there is a spotter involved holding baby, which is later edited out or a weight in the basket to keep baby from tipping over. Please, please, please stick to more candid shots and leave the props to the professionals!



In-home Baby photos taken by Boston Newborn photographer Vanessa Keo in a basket wrapped in nuetral color wrap


2. SIMPLIFY

Skip the oversized outfit and keep is simple by choosing a white onesie or neutral colored wrap or pajamas. The focus should be on baby not your set up. A cream colored blanket over your bed will do the trick!

*Bonus Tip*

When you wrap baby they are likely to stay asleep as they are nice and cozy.

 


PROFESSIONAL NEWBORN PHOTOGRAPHY

Maybe you’d like an established photographer to handle your newborn’s first pictures? If you’re local to Northshore Massachusetts or Southern New Hampshire, feel free to reach out! If you live elsewhere, here are some tips for choosing the right photographer for your family.


newborn photoshoot of baby girl sleeping wearing a lace bonnet and hugging a teddy bear taken by NH Nashua NH newborn photographer Vanessa Keo




3. DECLUTTER

Since you will be using natural light and no editing software it's important to make sure you declutter the space you are taking the photo to take draw the attention to Baby. Get rid off any clothes hanging around, food or anything else you may not want displayed if you were to post the photo to social media. Keep a basket in whichever room has the best lighting so you can quickly move things out the way and capture the moment. If you're worried about your home's esthetic, simply zoom in or turn the photo black and white for a documentary style and capture the moment! Ultimately, you want real memories, no need to rearrange furniture or purchase items to create memories.


in-home newborn and family photos taken by Vanessa Keo Photography in Salem, MA

*Bonus Tip*

Use the Rule of Thirds: If you want more of a documentary style photo try taking a wide shot and placing your subjects on left or right third of an image, leaving the other two thirds open.



4. SLEEPING BABY

As a professional newborn photographer I often schedule the session within the first 10 days. This is when Baby is most sleepy. This gives you a chance to really perfect how you want the final image to look. If you are working with flash, make sure you photograph Baby while they are asleep. Otherwise, your photos will likely have cross-eyed shots or motion blur from Baby moving around. Use the times Baby is awake to record short videos instead!


5. KEEP THEM ASLEEP

Newborn's are not as unpredictable as you may think. If you anticipate their needs prior to taking your photos you should get a cooperative sleep Baby.

  • Start with a clean diaper. The last thing you want to do is undress them once you've gotten them to fall aleep.

  • Use a Baby Shusher or simply use youtube or Spotify to make the sound.

  • Feed and burp Baby. Making sure Baby's belly is full and has no gas makes all difference during a baby photoshoot

  • Make sure the room is warm.


6. LIGHTING

Window light is ideal for DIY newborn photoshoots at home for several reasons. Firstly, it offers a soft and flattering illumination that gently highlights the delicate features of the baby, without harsh shadows or overexposure. Secondly, window light provides consistent and even lighting, avoiding the harsh shadows and uneven illumination that can occur with camera flash or overhead lights. Additionally, window light minimizes the risk of color casting often associated with artificial lighting sources, ensuring that the newborn's skin tones are accurately captured in the photos. Overall, window light creates a natural and beautiful ambiance, perfect for capturing the innocence and tenderness of newborns in a home environment.

 


newborn photos with family during an in-home newborn photoshoot taken by Boston Newborn photographer Vanessa Keo



7. THE DIRECTION OF YOUR LIGHT MATTERS

Ok, so you've found a room with good light, now what? Avoid harsh light by using a sheer curtain or white bed sheet as a diffuser or simply wait till the later in the day before sunset. Next you want to make sure the sun is coming in from behind you or preferably coming across baby's face. You never want the light to come from below and shine up Baby's nose

 


8. OVERHEAD SHOTS

Overhead shots are great with you want photos of just Baby or with Sibling. Make sure the light is coming from the top left or right corner of the shot and place Baby in the middle. You can shoot straight on or from one of the top corners as well for great composition. If you can do so safely, prop baby up so they are not laying flat, this will help with any distortion in the photo.





Overhead newborn photo of baby boy in in white taken by Vanessa Keo Photography in Amherst, NH




9. INCLUDE GRANDPARENTS

Taking photos of Baby with Siblings and parents is a given. Whether you feel like you look your best or not, these photos are so important for your children. These photos will be what they have when you are no longer with them and it'll be what they share with their children and generations to come. This is also true for any photos of grandparents. As a Boston in-home newborn photographer, I love it when Grandma is there during my shoot helping care for baby in the background. I always ask to take a quick candid shot and it is always a favorite photo in a gallery.

 


HOW TO BOOK A NEWBORN SESSION

If you’re interested in booking your own newborn session, inquiring about availability, or learning more about my packages, please reach out. I’d love to chat further.


 

 



10. HAVE FUN

Keep that camera close and take plenty of photos! Babies are adorable no matter what, and photographing your children is something you’ll be doing for a very long time.  Be patient, have a great time experimenting with your camera and lighting, capturing those precious little features, and keep documenting these precious early days.





professional newborn photo taken in Bedford, MA by in-home newborn photographer Vanessa Keo

 



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