Of course, as soon as your new baby arrives, you will be taking loads of pictures, but let’s face it, finding the time to take gorgeous photos, between feeds and naps and all the little things that need doing, is tough. Then there is the decision of who gets left out of the group photos because they are holding the camera – so now you start to see why you need a professional.
A professional newborn photographer will have all the key ingredients for a beautiful photo shoot – the right lighting, proper camera equipment, props like buckets and tiny beds, and stretch wraps with matching knitted bonnets, adorable outfits, white noise-makers and your photographer won’t be sleep deprived!
The newborn photo shoot can last up to four hours, considerably longer than a standard family photo shoot. Often, the photographer will have their studio set up with a comfy sofa or two, perfect for tired mums and dads to sneak a quick nap while she poses the baby.
A good photographer will know the right angles to shoot photos of your baby.
She will know how to calm and lull your baby to sleep and will be able to adapt the photo shoot for a baby who just won’t snooze. Most of all, the photographer may make use of cute outfits, but the pictures should be about showing off your baby, and not the prop.
Your baby should have a photographer's assistant that has a hand ready to support the baby at all times.
While literally any photographer can take your baby’s photos, it’s important that you choose someone who has specifically been trained in newborn photography. They will have experience and special training in baby safety. A new baby can be seriously injured if their little heads or bodies are twisted incorrectly, or if they are posed in ways that can cause suffocation.
The froggy pose, potato sack and head on arms should be made using a composite of several photos,
while the baby is continuously supported.
Your photographer should have an assistant, who will have a hand ready to place protectively on your baby between shots. Poses like the froggy, or head on arms, should never be attempted without training. These positions are usually shot using multiple images that are a composite (cut and pasted together), so that baby is always supported.
Your photographer will edit the photo by smoothing backgrounds and so on.
Lots of editing work is done afterwards. Your photographer will be skilled in digitally smoothing backgrounds and adjusting the lighting, and correcting little imperfections in skin tones, and so on. While sweet details like tiny peeling skin on toes is adorable, that little red patch from birthing can be removed.
Many newborn photographers have their own studios, either in their homes, or a more formal shop front, while some will travel to your home and do lifestyle shoots in your home and baby nursery. Newborn photo shoots are normally done when the baby is under 15 days old, when they are still so sleepy, flexible and easily posed. Older babies tend to want to stretch and wiggle more. But if you have missed the first 15 days, your photographer will be able to adopt other ways of capturing your beautiful baby photos.
Fresh 48 pictures are taken at the place of birth, and within the first 12-48 hours.
A lovely trend is what is called the ‘fresh 48’ lifestyle photoshoot. This is where the photographer comes to you to capture those special first few hours, usually in the hospital, or your home if baby was a home-birth. These photos won’t be formally posed, but will capture the natural moments of baby being held by adoring parents, the first feeds, baths and changes, emotional first family meetings, and so on.
So, as you can see, having a professional photographer take your new baby photos is just priceless.