Monday, June 13, 2011

Tips for Photographing a Newborn

I'm so happy to introduce you to today's guest poster! Allow me to introduce Kirstin, from KoJo Designs!


I am such a big fan Kirstin and Jordan!! They do a beautiful knock off, like this Anthro-Inspired Knotted Bedding, transform trash to a treasure (have you seen how they up cycled a plastic stroller into a "Vintage" Baby Buggy), and have an incredible eye for detail when throwing a party. I've been keeping an eye on their sewing projects ever since I got my sewing machine and have been thrilled to try a few out already, their ideas are just so cute!! Really, I can't say enough good things about these two, so you'll have to check out their blog and see for yourself.

Picnik collagekj

Thanks Kirstin!!

Hello friends at lemontree! I'm so excited to be here today... I couldn't be more thrilled for Erin's bundle of joy and love having the chance to be a part of her 'Maternity Leave.'

I am Kirstin, half of a sister team that blogs over at kojodesigns. Jordan and I write about all sorts of crafty ventures- sewing, repurposing, taking pictures. Erin is in good company- both of us have had baby girls in the last nine months. Which makes babies (and making things for babies! and taking pictures of babies!) one of our favorite subjects.

A quick disclaimer before I launch into my tips for taking pictures of newborns- I feel more than a little underqualified to write this post. I love taking pictures, but I am not a professional photographer by any stretch of the imagination.

However, after taking thousands (I wish I were exaggerating) pictures of Piper Jane, I have learned a few useful things about taking pictures of babies in the last nine months. And I thought I'd share my most useful tips with y'all!

A few rules of thumb for taking pictures of newborns-

Tip 1- A good set-up makes all the difference.
Things that make a good set-up-

-a white down comforter
-a heating blanket

-big baskets, buckets and containers (ones that a newborn baby can fit in... a drink bucket filled with a blanket is one of our favorites)
-a boppy (to prop the baby up)

-a white sheet hung as a backdrop

-fabric (also to use as a backdrop)

-hats, hairbows and plain white diaper/white bloomers are all great 'props'

Tip 2- Make sure the baby is as comfortable as possible.
Basically, keep her warm and well fed. And if your baby has a 'happier' time of the day, schedule your photo session accordingly.

The heating blanket (placed under the down comforter or whatever you're having her lay on) will do wonders in making her nice and warm. And cranking up the thermostat (or turning down the AC) will help as well, especially if you're taking pictures of her just in her diaper (or less!).

Tip 3- Keep things simple.

Babies are absolutely beautiful. Minimize distractions from their newborn loveliness by keeping things simple. Your darling little one, sleeping on a simple white blanket will make for some absolutely gorgeous pictures.

Tip 4- Take TONS of pictures.

funny outtakes

In order to actually 'get the shot,' I end up taking a ridiculous amount of pictures. This tip is especially pertinent as your baby gets older (and more mobile), or if you're trying to take pictures while you're newborn is awake. There are just so many weird eye rolls and mouth puckers and squirms- quantity covers a multitude of quirky shots here.

Also, switch up your position often, taking pictures from all sorts of angles and vantage points. Often, the pictures I think are going to be my favorites don't turn out at all, and the ones I took 'just to switch things up' are the best photographs.

TIP 5- Get the family involved.

If your peanut has older siblings, be sure to involve them in the photo shoot! Later, you'll love having a record of their sweet (or not-as-sweet) beginning.

Likewise, you'll love it later if you can get in on the action and have someone take a picture of the two of you snuggling.

Those tips just scratch the surface, but they're a good place to start! Happy Baby Picture Taking, Lemontree friends. And thanks again for having us, Erin!

ps- The pictures I used as examples that I didn't take myself were taken by my sister, Jordan!


Jodi @ Organizing Dolo June 13, 2011 at 8:37 AM  

For a non-pro, your photos are beautiful! I'm eagerly saving money towards a DSLR. My son is almost 6 months (so not a newborn anymore) but I just want to capture those moments and learn more about photography. :)

Great post!

Courtney June 13, 2011 at 8:50 AM  

You do offer some great tips, but as a professional who specilizes in newborn photography I want to warn parents of the dangers. NEVER leave a child propped in a basket or on a high piece of furniture just for a picture. Many of the images you see professionals post have been edited to remove the parent that is spotting the child while the image is taken. Most professionals would not risk the safety of the child for a picture and hopefully parents understand that. Nothing is sweeter than a newborn snuggled up in a blanket, please play it safe!!

Sarah June 13, 2011 at 11:52 AM  

great tips!

Patrice June 13, 2011 at 7:04 PM  

I cannot wait to use some of these tips this fall when our little one arrives. Thanks for the suggestions!

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