Updated: Nov 6, 2019
Congratulations! You have your first newborn model call coming up. Hopefully you've been doing your homework and researching newborn posing/safety. Here are my top 5 tips to a successful newborn session.
1. Get baby nice and sleepy.
Creating a womb like experience for baby is key to a successful session. Some of my favorite soothing techniques include:
- Portable heater - Set to about 80 degrees.
- Sound machine - No louder than the refrigerator.
- Wraps - Remember, babies have spent the last 9 months in a not-so-spacious womb. They love to be curled up nice and cozy in soft, breathable fabric. You can purchase wraps on Etsy or from a local fabric store. I like to use jersey knit four way stretch fabric, 2 yards for my backdrop, 18" for my wrap.
2. Use weights in props.
Safety should be your top priority when it comes to handling anyone's tiny human. Props can tip at anytime and you should never be trying to "balance" a baby.
3. Light down baby.
I see this frequently with new newborn photographers. Don't get so caught up in all the adorable props that you accidentally forget about the technical side. Lighting up the baby, from toe to head, is called "ghost lighting". You know, like when you tell ghost stories? It's super unflattering for babies. I like to keep my light at about a 45 degree angle to babies forehead. Just enough to create a small, soft shadow under babies nose.
4. Don't shoot up the nose.
Guilty! We just talked about unflattering lighting, now lets's talk about unflattering angles. If you're new, you'll hear the term "shooting up the nose" frequently. No one likes to see up anyone's nostrils so it's best to avoid this angle. Just like my light, I like to photograph down baby or strait on. I used to struggle with parent poses for this reason. Now, I use a two step ladder and shoot from above my parents/babies.
5. Learn and grow.
Literally no one wants to hear that their work is less than spectacular, but it's going to happen. No one starts off a pro and if you think you're going to be pulling in thousand dollar clients or even hundred dollar clients by your third try, I sincerely apologize that you've been misinformed. Newborn photography is a unique specialty and many photographers quit or change specialties after realizing it isn't as easy as they thought. The good news is, there are tons of free, online resources to help you grow and learn. Asking for constructive criticism and be open to learning.
Interested in a mentoring session with me? I will be offering mentoring sessions starting this September, 2019 at my Massillon, Ohio studio. You must live a minimum of 50 miles outside zip code 44646 to apply. More details to be released August 30th.